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Old 05-26-2006, 12:34 AM   #1
L84THSKY
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Default Wheel alignment

I just went to Firestone, to see if they could do a wheel alignment on my car. It was lowered last weekend, and needs to be aligned. He punched in the data into his computer, and the machine said weights must be added to the driver's and passengers front seats. Also the car needs a full tank of gas to do it correctly.

Anyone ever heard of this? I know he wasn't jerking me around, because I watched him type the info into the computer, and a diagram of my car appeared, along with the points shown where weight must be added.

He said they do not perform alignments on BMW cars because of the procedure called out by BMW.

Do you think there are other European repair shops that will do the job, besides the dealerships?
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:45 AM   #2
CirrusSR22
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The Bentley mentions doing this for alignments and for the front control arm bushings. When I did mine (LCAB) I loaded it as closely as possible to that spec.

If you were to bring it in loaded correctly you'd think they could then do it. But maybe they don't want to deal with that??

For those interested, The Bentley says:

150 lbs. Front Right Seat
150 lbs. Front Left Seat
150 lbs. Rear Seat (Center)
46 lbs. in trunk
Full Fuel
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:48 AM   #3
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thats really interesting, i never heard anything like it lol
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:53 AM   #4
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That seems like it would give the car too little camber in daily driving.

I had my car aligned with as much fuel as I plan to have during autocrosses (1/4 tank)and nothing in the seats.

If you want a good handling car you do want to have negative camber.

Do you know what kind of specs you are going for?
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:56 AM   #5
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Yes, proper alignment ideally calls for you to sit in the drivers seat and have half to a full tank of gas. Besides the dealer, there are some alignment shops I would trust which service high end cars/race cars. You usually find them by word of mouth. I would not trust the run of the mill pep boys, firestone, sears, etc. The ones I know are on the west coast, so sorry I can't help you out east.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:12 AM   #6
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sounds like bmw specifies a more comprehensive way to do it. how much weight in each of the seats? other places likely just ignore the bmw specs.

EDIT: nm, someone else posted the info. i would more or less agree with clex2. have it aligned how you normally drive it (or what state you'd want the best handling). i would go with what clex said, me in the driver's seat and half tank of gas.
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Old 05-26-2006, 01:24 AM   #7
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Does anyone have a procedure for doing an alignment themselves? Like a DIY aligment write up?

I know lots of people do their own alignments, just curious if it was documented somewhere.
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Old 05-26-2006, 03:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustenT
Does anyone have a procedure for doing an alignment themselves? Like a DIY aligment write up?

I know lots of people do their own alignments, just curious if it was documented somewhere.
You'd think you could come up with a way to do it on the 318ti. Front toe is really the only readily adjustable spec. on the whole car.

Google here I come.... I installed new shocks a couple months ago and I've yet to get an alignment. oops
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:07 AM   #9
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Its best to align a car as it is normally loaded, The BMW spec assumes some average of 2 adults 1.2 kids and a Weimaraner.

If I was tracking the car I want it setup with me in it.
and a fuel load that I can reproduce...

Thats for track handling. BMW does pretty well on specs for general use.
(IMHO)

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Old 05-26-2006, 07:23 AM   #10
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I had a shop in Flint turn me down because of the weighting. They sent me to another shop, and I mentioned the weights and they said, ah it doesn't matter much, we just do the alignment. LOL
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Old 05-26-2006, 07:26 AM   #11
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I heard that NTB will do them the right way
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:05 AM   #12
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Default Camber

What do you guys use for camber in the back? i currenlty have -2.2. its being changed now to -1.9. I have the H&R sports racing springs installed.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:02 AM   #13
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Ireland engineering camber and toe adjustment kits. the kits are pretty cheap, but it'll take a good bit of labor to get them installed (slotted brackets need to be welded in where the trailing arms bolt to the subframe and then eccentric bolts allow adjustment). the other choice is eccentric trailing arm bushings (a number of sources). think there might be more information in the KB article on camber correction.
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current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




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Old 06-09-2006, 08:50 AM   #14
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That whole 150lb. front seats, 150lb. centered back seat, full tank of gas and whatever weight in the trunk is for measuring fender gap/checking ride height and condition of springs. Unless I read it wrong, it has nothing to do with adjusting one's alignment, just for checking ride height which in this case doesn't apply.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:01 PM   #15
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i got an alignment yesterday at a shop called European Performance....really awesome shop....cost 140 though! they never mentioned any weighting issues though...
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