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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Is it bad to remove alignment pin on the strut?

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      09-22-2012, 04:02 AM   #1

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Is it bad to remove alignment pin on the strut?

I took my car in for an alignment in the past and most of the time, they never had to pop my hood to touch the alignment pin. Today, I went to Sears because they seem to have a state of the art system, Hunter Hawk Eye3D shit. Plus, you pull up to get a pre-scan to see where you stand. Takes 30 seconds, and then if you want to really get it aligned, you can pull up to the bay.

So today, I got new Michelin PSS at America's Tire and decided to get alignment because the rear toe was so bad. As you can see from the print out. Therein starts my problem. The technician popped my hood and I was wondering why. Later I began to recall that struts have an alignment pin and he probably wanted to remove it.

We got in a confrontation argument, I told him I don't want him to touch the alignment pin. He said , "just trust me, I know what I'm doing..." .. I told him the camber is not that bad, and it wasn't.

I had a pre-scan which showed the front was -0.7 degrees on the left and -0.4 degrees on the right. This was well within the -1.1 to -0.1 range. He started to hammer and mess with the pin but he couldn't get it out it seems. (on the left driver side). Then he started to pull on the driver strut from the tire. I told him, I don't want you to touch that pin or change camber!

Then he goes "you need to stay outside, you're telling me how to do my job!???? I've been in the automotive industry for 3 years, I know what I'm doing"

Okay, clearly guys I recall reading somewhere in the past on e90post that its best to not touch the pin unless you are going to seriously modify your suspension, lower, etc. I don't want to modify my suspension. I just want an alignment without having to mess around with factory settings. The pin I remember was one of them.

Needless to say, he quickly finished his job after I called the manager over and told him he's not listening and I just really wanted to GTFO of there.

Final print out was decent. He managed to put my front toe dead center on both side but the camber is mismatched. Left at -0.7, right is -0.3. I'm totally fine with this, I just don't want that pin removed! The car doesn't even pull at all.

The rears are also fixed. I had pretty bad toe in the rear, which I already knew because I was burning up the rear tires every 8 months. I had massive toe in problem. All was centered to .14. Thrust angle came out perfectly 0 and such.

Still, after I calmed down a bit, $85 and it seemed to be a decent value. They told me to come back anytime up to 6k miles to check. Originally, they were offering $120 for unlimited alignments for one year. That seemed like a great deal. I could come back once a month. But i downgraded to the 6k mile package after the technician wouldn't listen to me!!

So am I right or wrong for freaking out??? Should I have let him remove those alignment pins?

Stock 2009 E92 M-Sport 335i on 18" OEM wheels. No suspension mods.
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      09-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Looking at your print out, your camber is the same as it was before he did the alignment, to the exception of the right side .1 difference...Even if he had pulled the front camber alignment nubbs BMW require you to have a special to tweak it. Front camber is not adjustable from the factory, u can just tweak it..I personally wouldnt let Sears,slut boys,Wal-mart near my car let alone touch my car, their are many independent guys out their in the field that know what the hell their are doing IMO
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      09-24-2012, 12:06 PM   #3

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Lol 3 years... So basically he admitted to not knowing shit.

While I personally would want my pins out anyway, he should have listened to you since you're a paying customer.

Don't worry about it though. I've gone as far as slotting my strut towers to get more camber.
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      09-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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No need for the pins if you want to optimize camber settings even if you are stock.
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      09-24-2012, 12:31 PM   #5
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This is why you don't go to Sears for an alignment.
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