e34 525it front end alignment WAY OFF after suspension kit. Please help! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 12:27 AM
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Unhappy e34 525it front end alignment WAY OFF after suspension kit. Please help!

I have a 1993 525i wagon (production date 12/92) that has been in the family for some time. the car has 261,000 and still runs like a top but after a horrible front end shake under moderate braking i replaced the front end parts with aftermarket parts from FCP Groton. i checked everything for size and fit and all the parts fcp sent me were right (or so i thought). after i installed this kit the caster and camber on the front wheels looked way off so i took it in for an alignment. the alignment shop got the toe to where it should be but they told me the front caster and camber could not be adjusted. after failing to come up with any ideas for several weeks a friend suggested the front struts being worn out could be causing some of the problem. replaced the strut inserts and while it did help the camber get closer to where it should be the caster is still way off. bavarian autosport sells an adjustable strut mount for $300 something and it only offers 2-3 degrees of adjustment (the caster is off almost 4 degrees). my question is whether or not there is some difference in the front end parts i replaced (upper and lower control arms, steering linkage, tie rods, sway bar links and sway bar bushings.) if anything i think that the lower control arms would be wrong but when i installed the parts they all matched up quite nicely. has anyone had a similar problem with an e34 front end or the FCP kits? if so any insight you have into this problem would be a huge help to me and i would be forever grateful. thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 04:09 PM
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the upper control arms should have brought the caster within spec or close enough, how far out is from spec and whats the cross caster, if your cross caster is within 0.5 degrees difference , and the each measurment its not to far from spec i wouldnt worry about it,no handling issues or tire wear but you may be able to get some adjutment from moving the top of the strut or mount
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 12:47 PM
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have frontend shake at low speed when driving over pot holes R.R. crossings etc. car acts like the old idler arm shake.had problems with wheels (honey comb factory) and had them rerounded.had all necessary things checked, balance,front aleigned,ball joint tie rods,etc. was told it could possibly in the ABS system not reading codes. anyone else had this problem,on a 2000 528i.
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 01:33 PM
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its a bushing thing for sure,you need someone who knows BMw,this is a common prob and only a decent shop will sort it out without costing you heartache.Go for a good independent,must be one near you.Dont be a cheapskate either you get what you pay for.My cars always rattling and rolling,just spentŁ700 on her for same thing.welcome to BMW world.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-20-2012, 06:54 PM
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it sounds like you have not lowered your car, just replaced...the only time you should get camber problems is when you lower it, as the angle pushes the bottom out. this also changes the caster angle too as the tie rod also pushes it out and makes the wheel turned into the front,,,that being said, the replacement should not have changed any camber nor castor except the new tie rods would have a bit to do with the castor if you did not match the length exactly by matching up yhe number of threads on the outer tie rod ends. the mechanic is not being truthful i don't think. since you changed the struts, be sure they are seated all the way in as they rest on a small lip that can be tricky to seat in all the way. also they have a left and right marking on them that must be aligned correctly.

2001-540i
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