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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 09-11-2006, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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weight distribution

Is there anyways that you are able to judge how much front/rear car weight distribution you have on your car with out buying the expensive scales? Is there anything that I can do in my own garage with something i already have or can get for pretty cheap? I just put on some coilovers and liked what i was getting with spec but just want a tid bit more understeer. I was just wondering if there was a easy way to get it back to spec before I start changing around other aspecs. thanks.
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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OK you can do this but be warned it is a Little dumb and dangerous. start by jacking the car up front and back. then use a set of jack stands on both sides and place them under the middle on the car ( front to back). let the car down with a buddy on the other jack and see which way the car tilts will still having control with your front and back jacks. dont be dumb...the ground has to be level. this is just a suggestion and i have never done this personally. i have only seen it done to get an idea of what a car is going to do on the drag.
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Old 09-13-2006, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Make sure you put this on youtube
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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lmao where did you hear about that!?! thats just a disaster waiting to happen! haha wow i would love to see someone try this...
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bathroom scales ftw!

Here's a stab at it, although I think your best bet is to have it done professionally:

Fabricate four big, sturdy wooden boxes. Maybe about 6 inches tall, 12 wide, 24 long. Find a very very dense clay. I don't know if play-dough would work. I think it's compressibility forgiving. The reason I like play-dough is that you need soemthing that will not dry out in a matter of a few days. Top out your wooden boxes with this low-elasticity agent. Cover the top with some sort of sheet of rubbery-plastic material. This is mainly to reduce how much air makes it to this mystery dough, thus avoiding premature drying.


Jack up the car. Place one of the four wooden boxes under each wheel. Lower the car unto the boxes. It would be best if all four corners are lowered at the same time/same rate. However, this is not critical. Label the boxes according to what wheel they are holding.

Let the car sit on the boxes for a few days. This will reduce the impact of any error introduced when the car was lowered, since all wheels will most likely not be lowered at exactly the same time.

Jack the car up. Remove the measuring instruments (what I have been calling boxes so far).

Find an accurate (very accurate) method to determine how deep the impression left on each box was.

Post those figures. Using physics of moments, we can determine which axle had more weight on it, and to what proportion. In fact, if we know the compressibility figures on the special mystery putty, wwe could even determine the weight in lbs.

This should work in theory. It seems to me like a lot of work, especially because I have mentioned a couple of unspecified materials and one mystery measuring instrument. Furthermore, the wooden boxes should have to be really really sturdy. Otherwise, the load on each wheel could push out the mystery putty to the sides, and completely break whatever box you buil, unless it has a lot of nails. Thick metal would be better, but I doubt you have something like that in your garage.

hint: I believe you can determine the specific psi rating for the mystery putty by determining the area of your tires' footprint in square inches, then estimating about 800 lbs/wheel. Whatever number you get from dividing 800/(footprint square inches), find a material with about 75-85% that psi rating (to allow for the car to sink in).

If this works. Then let me know. We can publish a white paper or something.

With all that said, just give it up buddy
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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whats the point of the boxes? why not just jack the car straight onto the clay on the level ground of my garage?? wouldnt that make alot more sense?? i might be willing to try it if i didnt have to build some wierd ass boxes haha
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I was trying to restrict the degrees of freedom for the clay. If you get big enough masses of clay, it may be worth a shot.

You should still be able to get distinguisibly different impressions on the front and rear masses.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i might be hitting up the playdoh section of toys r us pretty soon then haha
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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hey i just watched this on spike's powerblock when they dragged out a 5.0 stang.
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Old 09-15-2006, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^^ Watched what? The tilt test, or the play-do test?

I am really curious.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The tilt test I'm betting. Which is so amazingly stupid an idea....
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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^^ Go post something. You have 999 posts at the moment
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