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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 11-23-2004, 10:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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i was at a mechanic's shop today to ask him how much he wanted to install lowering spring on my car. he immedately began this spheal about positive and negative camber, and how the alignment has alot to do with ride height, and how lowering spring are only BAD.

he said that since the new alignment machines have the official ride heights preprogramed via the vin #.... there is no way to perffectly align the wheels so that the weight is evenly distibuted across all of the wheels. his main concern was that since it was the wrong ride height compared to the computer.. it would (eventually) negatively affect my camber and damage my wheels and create horrible tread wear.

is there any truth to this?? should this stop me from gettin lowering springs?
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Old 11-23-2004, 10:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to go back and tell that guy thanks, thanks for the huge laugh he just gave me. So what happens with race versions of our beloved BMW's, which are deffinetly not stock ride height or cars with actve suspensions when the suspension adjusts does it screw the alignment? As far as camber, he pulled that one straight out of his ass. The only rides that change camber with ride height are I-beams defenitey not seen on sedans. I'd never let that guy touch your car! By the way some race suspensions actually purposely adjust the camber for better tracking performance, not for street though.

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Old 11-23-2004, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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P.S. Did you ask him how the old alignment systems worked? before they supposedly set them from the vin. And also by the way that would have to be a ridiculously sized database not to mention that ANY suspension change out of OEM would change these variables. What a DORK, find a good BMW sporting hause in your area with mechanic who works on performance BMW's all day long.

I hope you find a good one.
Best of luck, the car looks pretty good already.
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Old 11-23-2004, 10:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, talk about over doing it... but once it's lowered find the right wheel spacers to set your wheels to flush with the fender wells. That ends up looking sick!
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i work in a restaurant in clark, NJ...

i was helping the to-go guys out and a goodyear tire guy came in. i told him what the mechanic said to me and his only comment was that he would install the springs, and then wait one week before getting an alignment. this would enable to springs and shocks to fully settle.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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he is right, lowering your car will affect your tread wear, in fact it will make your tires eat through tred. but he is wrong when he says you can align it, which should fix the camber, (unless you slam it on his ASS, like hardcore) anyways what i am getting at, is if you lower your car and do not get it aligned right away, (Somewhere like les schwabs will do it) your tires will get eaten depening on how bad your camber got!

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Old 11-24-2004, 12:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There is some truth to what he said. For instance the H&R cup kit springs will cause horrible wear on your tires without installing camber plates to correct for the large amounts of negative camber. But for less intense springs such as the H&R sports, most Eibach springs and the springs from Bavauto.com will not cause this horrible treadware that you mechanic reffers to. As far as cost goes unless you are getting the "brother in law" deal expect to pay $300 give or take $50 (US). However, if you can use a ratchet and don't mind paying the deposit for a spring compressor from auto-zone you can do it yourself with out a problem, great time to do your brakes too. If you are interested do a search and I have provided instructions in other posts, I have pictures of how to do the front springs, and the backs could be done by a blind deaf and dumb drunk five year old with the right size ratchets. Or if you can not find the directions just ask and I'll write them up again.
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Old 11-24-2004, 01:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ideal alignment is 0, my car can't get any better than .01 because of this bullshit. Treadwear is a fucker, but I just got realigned so we'll see if it's better now. Negative camber makes tires unhappy, but Falken Azenis (ST115s as well as RT225s/sports) have thicker tread on the inside to compensate fairly well. Haven't had uneven wear issues yet on the new tires.
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Old 11-24-2004, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by triggrhaapi@Nov 24 2004, 01:31 AM
Ideal alignment is 0, my car can't get any better than .01 because of this bullshit. Treadwear is a fucker, but I just got realigned so we'll see if it's better now. Negative camber makes tires unhappy, but Falken Azenis (ST115s as well as RT225s/sports) have thicker tread on the inside to compensate fairly well. Haven't had uneven wear issues yet on the new tires.
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wow - thicker treads on the inside - i never knew - what a great idea
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Old 11-24-2004, 04:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah most of the time it isnt even very drastic, instead of getting x # of miles per tire you can subtract like 500-750 miles... some cases are worse... but as longas you get your car realigned you should be golden!

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Old 11-24-2004, 11:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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would it be to my advantage to wait the week and be sure that the spring/shock combo has completely setteled?
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Old 11-25-2004, 12:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I got my springs installed during the summer and I still havn't gotten an alignment. I don't think it's that big a deal, also the car seems to be in pretty good alignment as is. But if you were to get an alignment, you don't even have to wait a week. After the rpings/struts are installed jump in teh car dirve it for 15 mins and it will be mostly settled. It will sink a little bit more. But you really shoudl have to only wait a few days, it shouldn't take a week.
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Old 11-25-2004, 02:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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how can you tell if your car is good alignment...

the term "aligned" only means that the weight of the car is evenly distributed across all 4 wheels. So if your car has a 400 pound driver... it will pull to the left even though it is proporly aligned... how the freak can you tell?!? i need some help... i think i am just gonna be safe and wait the 5-7 days B4 i get an alignment.
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