BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)

BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) (
-   E46 M3 (2001-2006) (
-   -   Weighted Alignment (

Kdubski Thu, Jul-06-2017 05:44:07 PM

Weighted Alignment
Hi all,

Been having alignment issues with my 90k E46 M3. Ever since I got her, changed all of the struts, sway bar endlinks, FCAB, RTAB, and even ZCP package wheels.

She has a slight pull to the left on the highway, so I always have to keep the wheel slightly turned to the right. Around town this isn't noticeable, but as you can imagine at high speed it gets annoying.

I had 2 alignments done in the past 1,000 miles, and both times they told me my alignment is fine, if it pulls its a tire issue. So I swapped the tires and it still pulls... the same.

These are shops owned by guys who are performance car enthusiasts but by no means BMW enthusiasts. I recently read about weighted alignments, and I'm wondering if that slight pull is a result of them not performing the "weighted" alignment. I don't want to keep pestering these shops if the m3 in fact requires a weighted alignment and they aren't capable of doing it.

I'm tired of throwing money into the car thinking it's bent components if it's just a faulty alignment. Anyone every experience the difference between a regular/weighted alignment? Do our cars require it?

lmtfi Thu, Jul-06-2017 06:06:14 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
The car will track true on a standard alignment.

I assume that you have looked carefully at tires, pressure, bushings etc,

Napalm Thu, Jul-06-2017 06:21:40 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
I'm still going through similar problems with my car (three years now after a body shop did some cosmetic work to it).
I had multiple shops do the alignment after getting brand new tires, replacing a few worn bushings/guibo/etc.
The last shop says they did the proper weighting, but the car still pulls to the right.
I don't have any good advice for you other than to double and triple check your bushings, suspension parts, wheel bearings etc.

I hope you have better luck than I have had on my car that used to (but seemingly never will again) drive flawlessly.

Obioban Thu, Jul-06-2017 06:27:00 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
Threads like this remind me why I like replacing all my bushings/bearings at once, instead of trying to hunt down issues.

My advice would be to replace all the wear items you haven't replaced (and replace all the ones you used crappy pats on again) and enjoy the car for years without any weird handling issues.

Burrell Thu, Jul-06-2017 06:34:56 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
Have you checked your brakes for a sticking caliper? A slight drag can cause the car to pull to one side.

fattycharged Thu, Jul-06-2017 06:52:25 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
maybe the highway leanin

M3 dude Thu, Jul-06-2017 09:45:05 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
what alignment settings did they use? and what tyres are you running

sticking caliper, road lean and a worn component somewhere will throw the tracking out.

RedM3/4 Thu, Jul-06-2017 09:56:15 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
This. classic symptom.
If this isn't it, ask the shop that aligned it to check for play in remaining components, including wheel bearings, tie rod ends, and you did do new hat bearings right - or at least check them?


Originally Posted by Burrell (Post 1067688102)
Have you checked your brakes for a sticking caliper? A slight drag can cause the car to pull to one side.


nowanker Thu, Jul-06-2017 11:18:21 PM

Re: Weighted Alignment
Please post your alignment readings!
If their machine is accurate, the angles will tell the story. If the angles are good, trading F wheels left to right is the first check...
Standard BMW practice for weighting the car calls for equal weight left and right. If you're an 'extra large' type of guy, your extra weight on one side of the center line could cause a pull due to suspension compression and camber change.
If swapping the tires side to side had no effect, a sticking caliper might easily be the culprit.

bigjae1976 Fri, Jul-07-2017 03:50:14 AM

Re: Weighted Alignment
Those laser alignment machines can be inaccurate. They need frequent calibration checks which I'm pretty sure very few shops do.

I have been doing my own alignments for 3 years now. Takes me about 1-2 hours depending on how many adjustments you need to make. I have always been happy with reworks.

Just need:
  • A flat and level floor
  • Two 8' pieces of conduit
  • Jack stands
  • String
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • 2"x2" wood cut to the outer diameter of the wheels
  • iPhone or protractor.
  • Wax paper

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