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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 09-07-2005, 02:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Uneven height..help

I owned a 1997 323i, and up to now I'm still wondering what cause this problem. My car does not seem to have an even height in the back. I tried to measured it, and it is almost an inch lower on the right side. Some people told me it is normal, since it is a right hand side driver type, but I'm still curious cause some other bimmers just don't have that problem. Is it really normal, cause it's quite an annoyance to take a look at. Or is it because something else that is more serious? Faulty RMS? Shockbreaker? Spring? Any insight guys.. please help
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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how exactly are you measuring this? are you sure your on level ground? and if so did you reverse the postion (180) the car and see if it changes?
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Old 09-07-2005, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I simply measure from ground up (from bottom of the wheel to just the edge of the middle of rear fender) using ordinary measurement tape. And I'm pretty sure the ground is level. I love everything about the car, it is just this small thing that annoyed me for quite some time
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Old 09-07-2005, 03:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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see the thing is i thought the same thing, but then i flipped the car 180 and the same gap was on the opposite side. try that first,,, ground is very hard to judge (kinda like golf)
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The cars are 3/4 to an 1" higher on the driver's side, its supposed to compensate for the drivers weight thus assuring the 50/50 weight distribution.There was a thread on this somewhere, since then I've heard it from some pretty knowledgable guys as well.
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That even confuses more. My driver side is the one that is 1" lower, meaning it will even go lower if I sit in it. I was wondering if it is because the original design always called for the right side to be lower, which indeed make sense if the driver side is on the left side. Mine is on the right side because we are driving on the left side of the road (like in England I guess, CMIIW) So I guess I'm stuck with it then?
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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on my old 5 series i remember one side of the car being lower in the front and when i replaced the struts/springs i saw that the spring was turned about an inch on its perch which gave it a crooked stance, maybee this is your problem
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't buy into the compensating for the driver weight thing. Bentley manual has no mention of it. They say ride height should be measured with weight in both front seats and the trunk. Besides with 300Lb/in springs a 150Lb driver would only compress the springs 1/4" on one side of the car.

Springs can and do fail/weaken. Have them checked.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Uneven height

Hello. I have the same problem/concern. My '95 325i is lower on the right side by 1/2 inch. I've swapped the rear springs and it did not correct the problem. I have ensured the location is level and I've measured while the car is in different locations... same measurement each time - measuring from the floor to the center of the rear fender opening.

Fortunately... whenever I get behind the wheel, I forget about it!

I've had the suspension inspected and it exibits no obvious damage, etc. I am concerned that maybe there may have been some frame or other type of damage in the past that may have caused the problem. I've only owned the car for a short time so I don't know the history.
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Old 09-07-2005, 04:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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tmay- If you have a left hand drive car, then the passenger side will be lower than the driver side, when no one is in the vehicle. Once you sit in the car, it should pretty much become level. That is normal.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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is there any factory printed right heighth spec for bimmers? i want to know if my 93 318is is sagging or normal...?
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Over time, sagging is normal.
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Old 09-07-2005, 09:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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obviously, but too much sag is bad
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