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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Suspension | Chassis | Brakes > Alignment Lessons Learned
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      09-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
mocohead's Avatar

Drives: '16 M235i 6MT & 12 128i Msport
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: CA

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Alignment Lessons Learned

I took my car to West End Alignment in So Cal (a renowned race alignment shop) with a couple of goals:

1. Install e90 M3 front lower control arms to get more negative camber, and
2. Take out the pins on the top of the shock tower to get more negative camber in front

Both goals were not achieved. While the e90 M3 control arm was the right length and general shape, the bushing at the rear of the arm was too wide to fit the mount on the chassis. It didn't really look like you could punch out the existing bushing on the M3 piece so we didn't bother. Hopefully some day somebody will develop a replacement bushing that will fit our cars.

As for the shock tower pins these could be knocked out BUT unlike on all previous BMW's the shock tower bolts did not thread into slotted holes. That means that the top of the shock is not adjustable for camber.

In the end I left with .5 degrees negative camber in the front, 1.5 in the back. This was a somewhat disappointing result.

The car also has a lot of caster (6.5 degrees) which might explain, in part, some of the steering vibration issues. BMW puts in that much caster to gain steering feel, but it may be causing some wheel hop as a result. If you are experiencing steering vibration please consider reducing air pressure in the tires to 3-4 psi below the recommendation in the door jamb.
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      09-05-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
Second Lieutenant

Drives: slowly
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: United States

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the aftermarket coilovers need shock top hats with slots like every other bmw has available, until that we are stuck. technically you could cut some, 2 degrees is 2 degrees

you are spot on about caster as well but i doubt we can mod that because of the knuckle. i ended my last track day at 28/30 psi cold and it does help street feel for sure
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      09-05-2012, 09:20 AM   #3

Drives: Msport X3
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Houston

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Interesting...thanks for the information

15' Msport X3 28i _Mperformance - ACschnitzer - H&R_
15' Sportline X1 28i _Mperformance - H&R - Recaro baby seat_

Previous:13' Msport 328i, 09' Msport 335i, 07' Msport 335i
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