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      05-07-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
Hoops
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Alignment Question

Im having my new tyres fitted next week at Elite and i was considering having my alignment done there at the same time. I had my car lowered using Eibach springs last week but havent had a proper alignment done yet.

My question is - should i trust Elite to do my alignment - are they likely to have someone who knows exactly how to set a performance car up properly and effectively - they have the Hunter machines, but will they have the full know how to use it properly etc???

Or should i get my local BMW dealership to do an alignment for me?? My local stealership is Sytner Chigwell and they have a very well respected master tech there by the name of Graham who knows me and my car. I will obviously give him a call and see what his view is - but thought i would run it past you guys first for your opinions.

Elite do a basic alignment for about 50 but i doubt this is very involved. I know a full set up via BMW can be a few hundred pounds. I appreciate you gets what you pay for but its been a bloody expensive few weeks and was hoping to not have to spend a huge amount more.
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      05-07-2009, 11:06 AM   #2
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KDS by BMW is supposed to be the mutts nuts, they even load up the driver seat to account for drivers weight. BUT at 180 notes it's a rip off! AND you may find your dealer wont do it with the lowered suspension. BMW glasgow refused to touch mine! So I went to a specialist who did the alignment on a full laser unit to 0.01 of a degree. I really don't see why anyone needs to be more accurate than that. He was quite familiar with settings for the e92 and also how to adjust the car. Save your money and go for an indy specialist.

AND you'll probably find that you can watch while he does it. Rather than sit having a coffee while the junior trainee does his 50th alignment of the day, proving he can get through X customers a day!!!!
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      05-07-2009, 11:31 AM   #3
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Mmm, good point Finnie. Ive just rung my local stealer and they actually quoted me 280 plus VAT for a full KDS - and want the car the whole day!!!?? They assured me that the guys that would be doing the work are all fully trained and conversant with the equipment etc - but im not fully convinced.
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      05-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #4
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I had an Indie do mine once and it was pretty crap

Had bmw do it since much better.
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      05-07-2009, 11:41 AM   #5
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Elite are actually ok - I know them well and they've always done a good job. Not KDS excellent, but as long as you're not doing major camber changes and it's just basic toe adjustment, then they're good. Not cheap though, as they charge on a 'per-wheel-adjustment' basis !!! Speak to a guy called 'H' there - tell him you're a good mate of mine...
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      05-07-2009, 12:24 PM   #6
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I had mine done after changing to RFT. I went to an indie. (Christchurch Tyres) They had the hunter KDS kit. They aligned the car and steering, weighted the the car down with weights in both front footwells and the boot. They checked the tyre pressures and then did the check.

I was able to stay by the car through out the process and ask mind numbingly stupid questions of the mechanic. The car was in tollerance and since they didn't need to adjust anything, they didn't even charge me! (Max cost 80 depending on what they have to do.)

Whilst I'm no judge the mechanic really did seem to know what he was doing and this was all he did, no mucky tyre changing for him!
Why not try an indie first and if your not happy then go BMW, if you have to do this then the extras cost is possibly 80 but you could save a fortune.

PS. You car looks fantastic!
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      05-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92Fan View Post
Elite are actually ok - I know them well and they've always done a good job. Not KDS excellent, but as long as you're not doing major camber changes and it's just basic toe adjustment, then they're good. Not cheap though, as they charge on a 'per-wheel-adjustment' basis !!! Speak to a guy called 'H' there - tell him you're a good mate of mine...
Thanks Tone - Louisa tells me you are in Cz Rep - are you back yet?? Anyway, ive sent Matt a text asking him if he would consider doing it for me and what he'd charge cash in hand after hours or whatever - see what he says. Elite originally quoted me around 50 for a basic alignment check - will have a chat with this H when im there next week and take it from there i guess - but hoping Matt will help me out and do me a favour - maybe bribe him with some dirty dvd's or something!!!!??
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      05-07-2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbailey View Post
Thanks Tone - Louisa tells me you are in Cz Rep - are you back yet?? Anyway, ive sent Matt a text asking him if he would consider doing it for me and what he'd charge cash in hand after hours or whatever - see what he says. Elite originally quoted me around 50 for a basic alignment check - will have a chat with this H when im there next week and take it from there i guess - but hoping Matt will help me out and do me a favour - maybe bribe him with some dirty dvd's or something!!!!??
Yup - in CZ, back tomorrow night. Exhausted!!

Matt is tea-total, nicotine-adverse and chemically-repulsed...... so don't know if dirty vids will be his thing !!!! When you find out, let me know - I need something to destroy his clean-cut reputation...!
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      05-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92Fan View Post
Matt is tea-total, nicotine-adverse and chemically-repulsed...... so don't know if dirty vids will be his thing !!!! When you find out, let me know - I need something to destroy his clean-cut reputation...!
Bloody hell, what a bore-off!!! He's got love a bit of the old filth, surely!!??
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      05-15-2009, 02:13 PM   #10
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My front tyres were wearing excessively on the outside edge. Original runflats had done 35k miles so I couldn't complain (I basically spend 95% of my time on the M6/M40/A34). Tried the BMW dealer but they didn't want to know. They are only interested in tyre wear within 12k miles or 12 months and even then "interested" is probably the wrong way of describing it. They offered me 2 new runflats at 220 each plus a full 4 wheel KDS alignment at around 220 (or was it 260) - it didn't really matter - total 660-700 all in.

This is what I did:

Rang up Nigel Langs Garage on Friday lunchtime

http://www.nigellangsgarage.co.uk/

Asked about 4 wheel alignment - he said it costs 40 for complete setup and diagnosis plus 10 per 15 minutes for any required adjustments. I asked when could I book it in and he said we can usually fit around your requirements. I agreed to bring it in first thing Saturday morning (thats 8.30 btw).

Arrive at 8.30 - a knowledgable chap took it for a quick drive round the area and asked was I noticing any issues. I advised I wanted to change the front tyres and avoid the uneven wear.

He spent a long time setting up the Hunter kit, weighting the car (front and rear passenger spaces and boot) etc and getting appropriate readings from the Hunter machine. He showed me the output which required adjustments to front and rear toe and "steer ahead". Not much adjustment was required to front toe but, given the uneven wear he adjusted within spec but on the outer limits in the other direction (if that makes sense) thereby hopefully countering any potential future uneven wear.

He was happy for me to watch and ask questions also. He then took the car for another spin and I paid 60.38 for the whole job including VAT

I then ordered two new Falken front tyres (18" 225/45) for the princely sum of 134 delivered next day from Camskill (excellent service). The guy at Camskill suggested I check with my insurance company given I was migrating from runflats. I rang the insurance company (Privilege) and they said it was fine (classed it as an upgrade after checking with a manager).

Tyres were delivered and I took them to a local indpendent who fitted with new valves, balanced them and fitted to the car - 12 each - 24 in total.


So - for 224 all in I have the satisfaction of a 4 wheel alignment and 2 new tyres - all for less than the cost of a BMW KDS or 1 runflat tyre from a BMW dealer.

Hope this helps some of you.

Tony
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Last edited by tmarshall57; 06-29-2009 at 11:38 AM.
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