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Topic ClosedE39 Wheel alignment/tyre wear

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Andrew Rolland View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: E39 Wheel alignment/tyre wear
    Posted: 02-May-2005 at 06:56

My E39 has a worn shoulder on the inside of my front offside/right tyre.  I presume that my wheel alignment is out.  It is like there is too much negative camber on that tyre.  The other front is o.k. Which makes me suspect that the toe in/out settings are correct or am I wrong?

Am I best to get a full four wheel alignment done at a main dealer, if so how much will they charge?

Tyre is run at correct pressure for its size and rating.  Car does ever so slightly pull to the left/nearside, could this be related?

Any thoughts

Andrew

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2005 at 08:58
Andrew,
if I remember correctly, you have recently put some new rubber on the
rear wheels; looks like you'll need to do the same on the front shortly.
Personally, I feel it's well worthwhile getting a full 4 - wheel laser
alignment at a reputable BMW dealer. The full 4 - wheel job, as you
probably know, aligns the rears first to the thrust axis, ie straight ahead.
The fronts are then aligned to the rears, and of course camber and toe-
in are also set up at the same time. My car was significantly out when I
first got it. When I had new tyres fitted, I got them on-line, and had a
local tyreshop fit them. I asked for a 4-w alignment, but afterwards
didn't feel comfortable about the quality of the work. Nothing concrete, I
just had a doubt in my mind. About 2 weeks later, when the car was in
the dealers for a new radiator, I asked them to do a 4-w alignment
again. They showed me the print-outs afterwards; the wheels had been
pointing all over the place. The drive afterwards was noticeably smoother
and quieter, with much improved steering. And the mpg improved, too!

Definitely worth a dealer trip, IMHO.

edit; and since then, tyre wear has been nice and even all over.

.

Edited by studyolic
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2005 at 10:06

Yeah I put new rubber boots on the back end.  I wanted to get the same tyre for the rear as the fronts as the fronts were not worn by much......or so I thought till I took off the offside wheel on Sat and got a shock.  I might need a couple more tyres now!

How much was the 4 wheel alignment?  Can the camber be adjusted on the E39 then?  The Haynes joke book says the E46 camber is not adjustable?  I couldn't see how to adjust the camber when I had a look on Saturday.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2005 at 16:24
Andrew,

Having had experience of Four Wheel Alignment Equipment, I can highly recommend it's benefits. It can transform the handling characteristics of a car as well as improve tyre wear and increase fuel economy.

If it were me I would get in touch with a company called Pro-Align Ltd on 01604 588880 and ask where your nearest garage is with a "Hunter Four Wheel Aligner". The garage will then be able to give you a before and after print out once they've performed the alignment. If the garage is on Pro-Align's database then they will have access to a range of accessories to be able to adjust camber on cars where the camber is "not normally adjustable".

Hope this helps mate.


2002 E39 530i Steptronic Sport Touring
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2005 at 15:25
Andrew,

if I can decipher the BMW bill correctly, and dissect the Alignment out of
the steering work that was done at the same time, it looks like £77.

Richard.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-May-2005 at 18:14
I did look at getting the alignment done a little while ago and from memory it was about 1 1/2 hours worth of work so about £160 (but don't quote me on that!)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2005 at 08:10
I got quoted anout £150 from a mani dealer.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-May-2005 at 14:49
Maybe the steering/axle work was part of the alignment, in which case
£150 is about right.

Richard.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-May-2005 at 12:57

Thanks for the replies guys. 

She is booked in to a highly recommended body shop who will do a full four wheel alignment, setting up the rears on the thrust axis before touching the front.  He said all the things that I have read on here about what to do so he filled me with confidence.

Price £45 inc vat!

PS I am out working on site so I am away from my pc and thus this website - getting BMW withdrawal symptoms - not pretty!

Andrew

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-May-2005 at 17:20
Andrew

£45 seems awfully economical for a full 4 - wheel alignment. I guess
I've become cynical in my old age. Any chance you can watch the guys at
work on your wheels? At least show you the equipment?   I don't
understand a lot about this, but I recognise a laser set-up with mirrors
and digital readouts when I see one.   That's what made me suspicious
about the first one I had done. I couldn't see how thay were aligning the
rears. The rears were not resting on any sort of adjustable table, just a
fixed ramp. Only the fronts were on little turntables.   Hate to see you
get conned.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2005 at 08:45

Richard

The place I'm taking it too are an excellent body shop.  They straighten out cars from all over Scotland.  I saw a rolled Jeep being delivered by a recovery truck that I know is based near Killin about 60 miles north of this garage in Bridge of Weir I'm taking the car to.

They work with lasers and are able to give me a digital read out. 

I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Andrew

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2005 at 14:24
Cheers!   
Richard.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 11:15

I put 4 new tyres on my e34 540i Touring, and had my local BMW dealer on his recommendation do a KD 4 wheel alignment for well over £100.

Just over a month and less than 2,000 miles later I noticed that the brand new front tyres had scrubbed away completely on the outsides and were illegal!  It also drove terribly.  Had to get 2 new tyres and my dealer re-did the alignment.

These machines are very specialised and I suspect that most dealers don't know how to use them.  For instance, amongst other things, the tank has to be full and weights have to be put in the car to simulate 4 occupants!  I know this didn't happen to mine!

The moral is to beware and ensure that the place you go to understands how to use the kit!  Otherwise the car will be worse than before!

Regards

STEPHEN B

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-May-2005 at 11:22

I hear what you are saying Stephen but this gargage I have it booked into does all the insurance company work from all over Scotland so they should be o.k.  The certainly seemed to know what they were talking about.  They get loads of cars in that they need to straighten out after bumps and scrapes so they should know how to use the kit.

Fingers crossed.

Did your dealer refund you for the price of the tyres if they didn't do it properly.

Andrew

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2005 at 11:05

Andrew,

It all happened at the same time as I was getting a new clutch and flywheel installed under goodwill!  Maybe I missed a trick on the tyres as I subsequently bought new ones! However I got over £1,000 worth of clutch and flywheel for nothing!

Regards

STEPHEN

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-June-2005 at 03:05

Update

Full four wheel alignment has now been done.

I got a print out of the alignment at the start, what it should be (the specification) and also what they adjusted it by.  All in degrees and minutes and looked a bit complex but I could see from the results that all it needed really was a toe in/out adjustment as the camber etc were all well within the specifications. 

She does seem to drive better, took it for a test drive up past Oban on Friday and did about 200 miles that day and it felt like it was really gripping the road, until I happened to say to the Mrs 'oh that looks like a car in a ditch' on the A85 at Taynuilt when the back end gave the faintest of wobbles on a bend.  Too fast in the wet, no traction control light flicking at me, I was o.k. but an Octavia was in the ditch.  It had just really poured down for 10 mins just before I got to that bend.

Car also got a pre-mot done in the same garage and I need two rear anti-roll bar links. 

Andrew

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