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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > M3 control arms and ST coilovers installed. Looking for alignment opinions.



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      08-16-2018, 02:46 PM   #1
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M3 control arms and ST coilovers installed. Looking for alignment opinions.

Over the weekend I finally was able to get to refreshing my old suspension components. I installed the TRW M3 control arm kit, ST coilovers, and all the rubber bits within the suspension components. For the alignment I decided to use Dinan's M3 specs as a guide and tried to get everything as close to them as I could.

The Dinan M3 alignment specs are as follows:

Front:

Camber -1.8
Caster: 6.5
Total Toe: 0.07

Rear:

Camber -1.8
Total Toe: 0.17

After installing everything, I tried to pop out the locating pins as everyone typically suggests but I was unable to get them out. Is this something you have to do with the front struts pulled out? Either way, I did the alignment with the pins in and this is what I ended up with.

Front:

Camber: -1.35
Caster: 7.55
Toe: 0.08

Rear:

Camber: -1.55
Toe: -0.18

In the rear, the slightest adjustment for camber would take the measurement from -1.55 to -2.0 and wouldn't hit anything in between for some reason. I'm not sure if that was the alignment rack or something to do with the car itself.

Would it be beneficial to pop the pins out and realign it? Does anyone have any suggestions for anything I should change? This is my first time doing this sort of thing so I'm trying to learn as much as possible.

Thanks!
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      08-21-2018, 03:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnapCoupe View Post
After installing everything, I tried to pop out the locating pins as everyone typically suggests but I was unable to get them out. Is this something you have to do with the front struts pulled out? Either way, I did the alignment with the pins in and this is what I ended up with.
Did you adjust the camber before popping out the pins? if So then its no longer aligned with the strut and they won't come out.

If you didn't adjust before trying to pop the pins out you "should" be able to pop them out with a steel punch.

Also are you trying to adjust camber on concrete or without an alignment rack? if so adjusting components is much harder to fine tune without having some sort of buffer between the bottom of the wheel and "floor" I would try using a piece of plywood and some salt or sand between the plywood and the floor. That will help fine tune your adjustments.

One more thing: Try rotating the camber bolt completely and see how the measurement changes.
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      08-21-2018, 05:47 PM   #3
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If you're going back in there to remove the pins, I'd suck it up and just add the Dinan plates while you're at it. Worthy mod for not a lot of monies.

Also, you gotta do something about that toe in the rear...toe out on a RWD street car doesn't sound safe.
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      08-21-2018, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnapCoupe View Post
Over the weekend I finally was able to get to refreshing my old suspension components. I installed the TRW M3 control arm kit, ST coilovers, and all the rubber bits within the suspension components. For the alignment

Front:

Camber: -1.35
Caster: 7.55
Toe: 0.08

Rear:

Camber: -1.55
Toe: -0.18
Those look like good numbers to me, how does the car feel when you drive it? I have the front pins removed, and am only at -1.5*. I've got M3 arms too, but with Koni Yellows and H&R Sport springs. My alignment is here
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      08-22-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckn0rr1s View Post
Did you adjust the camber before popping out the pins? if So then its no longer aligned with the strut and they won't come out.

If you didn't adjust before trying to pop the pins out you "should" be able to pop them out with a steel punch.

Also are you trying to adjust camber on concrete or without an alignment rack? if so adjusting components is much harder to fine tune without having some sort of buffer between the bottom of the wheel and "floor" I would try using a piece of plywood and some salt or sand between the plywood and the floor. That will help fine tune your adjustments.

One more thing: Try rotating the camber bolt completely and see how the measurement changes.
Tried to pop the pins out before the alignment and wasn't successful. Went ahead and did the alignment with the pins in so I would be able to drive the car. I did try to pop them out while the car was on the ground, not in the air. Would this affect the pin being able to come out? Also this is all being done on a professional alignment rack.
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      08-23-2018, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
If you're going back in there to remove the pins, I'd suck it up and just add the Dinan plates while you're at it. Worthy mod for not a lot of monies.

Also, you gotta do something about that toe in the rear...toe out on a RWD street car doesn't sound safe.
Eh, at this point I don't think I would really take advantage of the extra camber from the plates. The car is my DD, so I think anything around the -1.5 to -1.8 realm would satisfy my needs. Also, I realized that I put -0.18 for the toe, but it is actually 0.18.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwashy View Post
Those look like good numbers to me, how does the car feel when you drive it? I have the front pins removed, and am only at -1.5*. I've got M3 arms too, but with Koni Yellows and H&R Sport springs. My alignment is here
The car definitely feels like it isn't aligned properly and the front is fighting the rear.

We tried again to align the car the other day and we were seriously struggling with getting the rear setup correctly. For some reason, the toe and negative camber were not agreeing with each other. Every time we had one set where we would like it, the other would get thrown out of adjustment. For example, if we got both the rears to -1.8 camber, the toe would be WAY off like .44 total, but as soon as we brought the toe back, the camber would either go to -1.5 or -2.1, no where in the middle. I did notice that one side of the rear coilovers is a tad bit lower than the other, so this Saturday I plan on readjusting all 4 corners after it has had 2 weeks to settle. I'm hoping then we can get the alignment right.
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      08-23-2018, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnapCoupe View Post
Eh, at this point I don't think I would really take advantage of the extra camber from the plates. The car is my DD, so I think anything around the -1.5 to -1.8 realm would satisfy my needs.

If you pull the pins, you'll likely gain a couple tenths at best. I'm currently running -2 up front on my daily with no ill effects...feels VERY much improved over the -1.5 setup I ran previously.

How peeps can rationalize installing coilovers on a DD, but then shy away from camber settings that will actually improve handling "because it's a DD" is beyond me, but to each their own.
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      08-23-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post

If you pull the pins, you'll likely gain a couple tenths at best. I'm currently running -2 up front on my daily with no ill effects...feels VERY much improved over the -1.5 setup I ran previously.

How peeps can rationalize installing coilovers on a DD, but then shy away from camber settings that will actually improve handling "because it's a DD" is beyond me, but to each their own.
I'm just airing on the side of caution as I just spent a good amount of $$$ on a set of PS4S' and I don't want to chew through them in less than a year. With the majority of driving I do being freeway stuff, I wouldn't want the car to feel "darty" or wander about. Do you think running -2.0 degrees in the rear would be beneficial, or would that be too much and go through tires quicker?
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      08-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Everything you're describing is a result of toe, not camber.

-2* in the rear, no...there's no benefit there...in the front, yes; obvious benefit.

I have over 50K miles on my tires. They're wearing even across the entire tread of the tire...this little bit of suggested camber doesn't kill tires; toe does...just like it does on any other vehicle on the road today.
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      08-24-2018, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
Everything you're describing is a result of toe, not camber.

-2* in the rear, no...there's no benefit there...in the front, yes; obvious benefit.

I have over 50K miles on my tires. They're wearing even across the entire tread of the tire...this little bit of suggested camber doesn't kill tires; toe does...just like it does on any other vehicle on the road today.
So are you saying that running .16 to .18 toe in the rear is too much? Isn't that pretty close to what the sport package 335i is stock?
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      08-24-2018, 11:04 AM   #11
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No he is saying running camber in front will not wear bad, the idea is run camber with slight toe in to be stable and wear even ,toe in wears outside of tires toe out inside and makes unstable but agressive turn in so camber increases inside wear slightly and toe in balances back out .
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