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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-13-2006, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alignment Q's

my baby tends to swerve right on the freeway. i was thinkin maybe its my alignment.

i understand e36s use a weighted alignment system where it has to be loaded with proper weights prior to alignment. (p272 bentley.pdf) - something that goodyear, pepboys, les schwab admit they're not equipped to do.

any quick checks before i write a $250++ check to the stealership?
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Old 03-13-2006, 01:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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damn, an alignment costs 250 bucks at the dealer.... DAMNNNN...

my mechanic charges 75 bucks, and i thought that was bad...
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Old 03-13-2006, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeUp
my baby tends to swerve right on the freeway. i was thinkin maybe its my alignment.

i understand e36s use a weighted alignment system where it has to be loaded with proper weights prior to alignment. (p272 bentley.pdf) - something that goodyear, pepboys, les schwab admit they're not equipped to do.

any quick checks before i write a $250++ check to the stealership?
wait wait wait, sounds wrong for some reason, are u using the stock suspension?
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wait wait wait, sounds wrong for some reason, are u using the stock suspension?
yep. all stock. but i take back les schwab. they'll do it for $75.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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damn, an alignment costs 250 bucks at the dealer.... DAMNNNN...

my mechanic charges 75 bucks, and i thought that was bad...

called up another dealership. they said they'll charge $140.
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dealers are crap...

The dealership will most likely do the exact same thing any of the other shops will do, except double the price. Find a shop locally that uses a Hunter laser alignment system. Offer to sit in the car while they do it and see if that changes any of the numbers, probably not. The Hunter system compensates for no passengers in the vehicle. Hunter Computer Laser Alignment Systems















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Old 03-13-2006, 07:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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u dont need a dealer......around 70 is right
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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32 00 Wheel Alignment - Normal Position / Inspection Conditions E36 / E38 / E39
Car loaded down to normal position Vehicle with complete equipment for normal operation with:
2 x 68 kg on front seats (seats in central position)
1 x 68 kg on rear seat (center)
1 x 21 kg in luggage compartment (middle)
and full fuel tank.
Exception:
M3 sports suspension
Normal position for car empty weight
Requirements:
1. Specified rims and tires with even tire profile (see Wheels/Tires)
2. Correct tire pressure (refer to instruction plate on vehicle)
3. Specified wheel-bearing play (see Front/Rear Axle)
4. Ride level check in normal position (see above) Ride level measurement, refer to Repair Manual 31 33 095 Warning! Repair vehicle in event of deviation from specified value (refer to Troubleshooting Repair Manual)
5. On car with air springs, pull fuse of air supply system so that there is no regulation.
Adjust correct ride level for alignment = spec. value 2mm /
for E 36 M 3, E39 M5, E39 with M sports package
spec. value 1mm
by loading or unloading car.

These are the requirements for an alignment straight from BMW.
You can have some hack that does alignments at an independant shop mess up your BMW for 70.00, ore you can take it to the dealer and have someone who is trained to work on a BMW correctly adjyst your alignment for 170.00.
ist up to you. I would spend the extra money and know the job was done right.
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Old 03-16-2006, 12:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i dont think u'll notice a difference, what do those weights achieve? as long as the car's going straight when u let go of the steering wheel on a straigh road its fine!
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Old 03-16-2006, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i dont think u'll notice a difference, what do those weights achieve? as long as the car's going straight when u let go of the steering wheel on a straigh road its fine!

what makes a car pull to either side (mine is to the right)?

toe, camber, caster?

i understand that e36s only the front toe-in can be adjusted. the rear toe as well as the camber and caster (front and back) are fixed by designed and can only be altered if the suspension parts are worn or messed up.

we'd actually end up paying $170 or so at the dealership just fixing the front toe. i think that is indeed a little too much.
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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toe.
tie-rods control this in the front
rear trailing arm console controls this in the rear - which the wheel is connected to the frame by the bushing-through the console. Be sure the bushing & your tie rods are good before you even THINK about getting an alignment. Cause, if your suspension dosn't HOLD the alignment, it's *USELESS*

Yes, you can change the rear toe, anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn't work on the car
Extreme camber can do this too, but you would SEE that it's off and it wouldn't be balenced from side to side. Look at the back wheels from the back of the car, see how the top leans outwards? that's camber (if they dont, your not looking at it right or your lower control arms are bent). Some negative camber (which is top out, bottom in) is GOOD.
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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toe.
tie-rods control this in the front
rear trailing arm console controls this in the rear - which the wheel is connected to the frame by the bushing-through the console. Be sure the bushing & your tie rods are good before you even THINK about getting an alignment. Cause, if your suspension dosn't HOLD the alignment, it's *USELESS*

Yes, you can change the rear toe, anyone who tells you otherwise shouldn't work on the car
Extreme camber can do this too, but you would SEE that it's off and it wouldn't be balenced from side to side. Look at the back wheels from the back of the car, see how the top leans outwards? that's camber (if they dont, your not looking at it right or your lower control arms are bent). Some negative camber (which is top out, bottom in) is GOOD.

called up my dealership again and talked to a service advisor. he said that bmw are designed to pull (a little) to the right after a few seconds from releasing your hold on the steering wheel while driving on a straight and level road. this, he said, is to ensure that vehicles drift right and not left whenever the driver falls to sleep. (i'm not so convinced)

he also said that rear tires on bmws are designed with positive camber (top leaning in) to aid in cornering. used:
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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that sounds like BS but my m3 is drifting right when i get off the steering wheel ever so slightly
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Old 03-26-2006, 12:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Most roads are "crowned". That is, they are taller in the middle than on the ends. This helps water to run off faster. Some crowns are higher than others. The fact that you will be slightly leaning to the right might have something to do with you steering to the right. I wouldn't worry if it drifts a little bit. If it moves to the right quickly, then have the alignment checked.
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Old 03-26-2006, 03:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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My M3 slowly goes to the right too, and it had a full dealer alignment less than a month ago.
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