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View Full Version : Camber / Caster problems due to (?) Bilsteins?


fast_frizz
11-05-2003, 08:41 PM
Hello everyone. I have a problem with my '95 ti (vanilla).
Last year, I replaced the steering rack, aswell as shocks on all corners. (replaced most of the bushings while in there also). Got the car aligned, and the first time around, the shop didn't mention anything odd, even though the numbers were off EXACTLY the way they are described below. The car was acting squirly, but not that bad, b/c at the time it was on winter tires. This past summer, the 225s went on, and the car felt very twitchy. I just got it realigned AGAIN (it did have a little bit of toe-out, which was responsible for part of the problem), and the numbers are as follows (pretty much symetrical, so I'll only post one side. Also, 3 numbers are lowerlimit_ideal_maxlimit):

item..............actual........normal...................sport suspension
Camber........0.0............-1_-0.5_0...............-1.35_-0.85_-0.35
caster (!?!)...2.5............3.23_3.73_4.23......3.33_3.83_4.33
toe is of course fixed, b/c that's the only thing you can adjust...

So you can see that my car is quite a way off in terms of camber AND caster. Since it's symmetrical, (and I have never had any accidents with the car - only owner), I think that the Bilstein's must be part of the problem. All the other parts are BMW, and installed as per specifications on the BMW TIC CD. Has ANYONE seen something like this? (I saw a post by someone regarding H&R sport springs http://www.318ti.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=764, but that seemed to be a slightly different problem)

I will probably get the M3 strut bearings and mount them L->R R->L, as recommended by some, but I'd still liketo know WHY this happened...

Thanks for reading
Friso

J!m
11-06-2003, 12:31 AM
I have the Bilstein sports on my car and no problems to report.

I would not switch sides with the strut-top bearings from the M3. Instal them in the correct locations (arrow pointing forward L-L and R-R) or you could have more front-end problems.

I discovered the ability to lengthen the wheelbase on the ti by using late E36 M3 lower control arms with early M3 lower control arm bushings. This pushes the front wheels forward about an inch or so. I have a post elsewhere on this. This is nice for overcoming the slight nose-heavy attitude the 3.2 produces...

One thing I could mention regarding the apparent front end geometry is to loosten the bolts where the strut attaches to the spindle. There is a slight ammount of 'play' there, which may be a possible sorce of problems, but there is not a lot of room to move here.

Don't forget the threadlocker on those bolts!!

There is not a provision for serious adjustment of the front end of the E36 as you have discovered. Some have ovalized the strut-mount holes to get things where they want them. Please strengthen the mounting point if you oval the holes...

fast_frizz
11-06-2003, 04:06 AM
I would not switch sides with the strut-top bearings from the M3. Instal them in the correct locations (arrow pointing forward L-L and R-R) or you could have more front-end problems.
.

J!m, can you be more specific about what problems could arrise if I follow this procedure? It was recommended by a shop where the people actually know their stuff. If I perform this modification, I should get more camber aswell as more caster, correct? Since I am low on both, it seems like the ideal solution.
Thank you for the input.
Friso