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BMW E34 alignment question - camber

anyone know if the E34 has camber adjustments? Or is it fixed like the E30? As far as I can tell, it's fixed - no adjustments anywhere..

Put new springs on, and need to figure out if I should realign immediately or later (new wheels coming next week) - can't get into my favorite shop till then..

rjp
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:38 PM
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Pretty sure it's fixed, and only toe is adjustable. I know there's not anything on the rear that's adjustable.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:57 PM
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Re: BMW E34 alignment question - camber

Quote:
Originally posted by RANDY P
anyone know if the E34 has camber adjustments? Or is it fixed like the E30? As far as I can tell, it's fixed - no adjustments anywhere..

Put new springs on, and need to figure out if I should realign immediately or later (new wheels coming next week) - can't get into my favorite shop till then..

rjp
It's fixed. If you want adjustable camber you'll need some of these.

I lowered my e28 with factory M-Technics springs, about 1.25 inches, and the camber is fine, more like it was originally designed to be.

I have H & R lowering springs on the way for my E30, we'll see how that is tolerated, 1.4 in front and 0.4 in back with new Bilsteins which will reduce the drop a touch.

EDIT: Does Pelican sell adjustable camber devices?

Last edited by fastpat; 04-11-2006 at 02:08 PM..
Old 04-11-2006, 02:01 PM
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They sell Bilsteins, not sure what kind of springs they carry.
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:05 PM
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cool, thanks y'all.

We swapped to Eibachs and new struts. Cakewalk - didn't disturb anything! Car drives perfect afer the swap.

1/2 tempted to say heck with the alignment, but that's not very PC of me....

rjp
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RANDY P
cool, thanks y'all.

We swapped to Eibachs and new struts. Cakewalk - didn't disturb anything! Car drives perfect afer the swap.

1/2 tempted to say heck with the alignment, but that's not very PC of me....

rjp
The E28 has to be preloaded before you tighten the lower and upper control arms which I'm sure you either have or will be replacing. 150 lbs in each front seat, 150 pounds in the rear seat, and 40 pounds in the trunk. Makes the car sit a touch lower and unloads the rubber bushings when there's a load in the car, such as a driver.

I'm pretty sure the E34 is set up that way too.
Old 04-11-2006, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fastpat
The E28 has to be preloaded before you tighten the lower and upper control arms .

I'm pretty sure the E34 is set up that way too.
There it goes again!

I never understood that - I've seen a few DIY's saying you "have to loosen the lower control arm" to give the strut assembly enough clearance out " It made it look like a PITA frankly.

Wasn't the case with this car. Drop the front calipers, rotors, ABS / wear sensors, sway bar link, 3 x 17MM bolts below, 3x 10MM(?) on top then slam your foot on the lower control arm and it falls out of the car. Cake, I tell you.

No dropping lower control arms or any of that nonsense..

Doing it again, I could have the whole car ripped and back together again in under 4 hours.

rjp
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:56 PM
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Randy, I put Bavarian Auto's lowering springs and Bilstien sports on my E-36 a few years. The front actually sat a little too low and the negative camber was extreme (-2.5 degs). I ended up making a 3/4" thick, round aluminum spacer disk to sit between the top of the strut and the inner mount surface. I c'bored 3 holes to attach the strut to spacer with the original nuts, then I installed in the car, lowered it down in approximate position then moved it to a spot that gave me the proper amount of camber. Next I carefully drilled and tapped three new holes into the aluminum spacer and installed the new bolts from above. This got me close to where I wanted to be and a year later I slotted the holes in the shock tower to get even less negative camber to aid in tire life for the wifey (I think I am now at about neg .5 degrees).
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Old 04-12-2006, 03:44 AM
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Essentially Tim, you just saved a bunch of money and made your own camber plates. Good job.
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Old 04-12-2006, 04:02 AM
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Yeah, those lowering springs from Bav auto drop the front quite a bit more than the rear and -2.5 deg camber is a little more than wifey needed!

My tire wear is pretty decent now the rear still wears slightly more on the inside (I adjusted the rear camber to the limit and I still was at -1 deg, but with slight toe-in back there, the wear is pretty decent now). I considered fabbing new adjustable control arms out of 4130 aircraft tubing, but I am satisfied with it now. The car still handles great and wifey just got an A6 turbo to drive, so the Bimmer is now my daily driver (260,000 miles an runs/drives perfect!).
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Last edited by Tim Hancock; 04-12-2006 at 04:26 AM..
Old 04-12-2006, 04:20 AM
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Aren't BMWs notorious for camber wear anyway?
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:22 AM
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That's pretty slick Tim. I'll have to remember that with the Bav auto springs.

And yes, large BMW cars wit' sport pkg are notorious for excessive camber settings -

My E39 sport has custom settings for toe and much less camber in the back to ease the tire wear. The shop that set it up says that in factory form, it'll blow thru rear tires less than 20K a pass. No thanks...

rjp
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RANDY P
That's pretty slick Tim. I'll have to remember that with the Bav auto springs.

And yes, large BMW cars wit' sport pkg are notorious for excessive camber settings -

My E39 sport has custom settings for toe and much less camber in the back to ease the tire wear. The shop that set it up says that in factory form, it'll blow thru rear tires less than 20K a pass. No thanks...

rjp
Oddly enough, the E39 wagon like my wife's has a unique rear suspension that has significantly less camber and rear tire wear. The drawback is that it has much less room for large tires, and has 17x8 inch wheels front and rear instead of wider ones in the back like the sedan has. The tires are 235/45-17. I do, from time to time, think about putting some 18x7 wheels and corresponding tires on the car, like the fronts on the 2003 540i Sport, but the cost/benefit ratio is extremely poor. The looks are killer, though.

It's handling and speed is about the same as the sedan though. It's a bit heavier but that weight, from the glass, is rearward and makes the car more balanced.
Old 04-12-2006, 08:56 AM
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