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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Jul-08-2017, 06:28:56 AM   #21
exodus454
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

I've been doing my own alignments on my M3 for the past year and a half, it's really not too bad once you get the hang of it.

Toe is definitely time consuming to set, but as long as you check and recheck yourself it's totally doable. I've tried quite a few different methods and have come to find the string method to be the best. It takes longer to setup but it's much quicker to make adjustments against.

I use 4 jackstands and neon contruction string- tie the string to one stand, run it back to the other and cut with a few feet of slack. Tie a socket (or something heavy) to the end to tension the string, adjust stand height to center with wheel emblems and square it up from there.

Slip plates are another revelation. They're surprisingly easy to make - I've been using heavy duty garbage bags folded over with some soapy water sprayed in the middle. DIY alignments are a tedious nightmare without them imo. I tried making more official ones with thick aluminum plates and bearing grease between them but they actually worked too well and if you leaned on the fender you could push the whole car around

With the slip plates you can do all your adjusting on the floor and in "real-time"
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Old Sat, Jul-08-2017, 03:03:40 PM   #22
EricSMG
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
I used a 1/16" tape measure. The front is easy because you pretty much want zero toe so your measurement front and rear should be equal.

You do want toe in at the rear. I forget off the top of my head but I think I dialed in 1/16" toe in on the rear axle on my E90.

Just want to point out that it is imperative that your string, laser or whatever is square to the chassis. If it's at an angle, you'll get zero toe but the car will travel straight and the chassis will travel at an angle aka crabbing down the highway.

In other words...you will look totally ridiculous and you don't want that.


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I prefer front toe in for best stability on the street. Crisper turn in does nothing for me but I digress.

Yep - seems like squaring up the strings is the critical element.
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Old Sat, Jul-08-2017, 06:07:56 PM   #23
black bnr32
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

I've done about 40 DIY alignments over the past 10 years on my e36, 46, and 90. I don't even check left and right rear toe independently any more. just total toe. If it handles the way you want and tire wear is acceptable, that's all that matters.

OP, try adjusting the rear toe on both sides about 1/16" left/right to compensate for the pulling. just use the wear marks left by the bolts of the rtab pockets.

Last edited by black bnr32; Sat, Jul-08-2017 at 06:14:53 PM.
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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 04:14:20 AM   #24
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Camber and caster are easy. Camber is set. You can measure camber by laying something flat against the wheel and measure the angle with a protractor.

Toe is the pain. You need to create two lines parallel and level lines to the car's frame. Preferably near the centerline of the wheels. Parallel is the key. I used two pieces of conduit at the front and rear of the car. Made sure they were square and ran string down the sides. You could probably use lasers as well. You measure the distance between the line at the front and back of the wheel. Then figure out the difference in degrees.

The pain is if you need to make to adjustments. You need to jack up the car, make the adjustments, lower the car, roll it and then set up your lines and measure.

I really want to make some hub stands which would make doing a home alignment super duper easy. Might be worth buying those BBX hub stands for $1000 in the long run. Figure 6-7 alignments?

I need to align my E46 when I'm done with the roll cage. I can post up a DIY.
I made these blocks and on them, I have 2 linoleum tiles with grease between them. When the tire hits they relieve all tension in the suspension. A quick press on front and rear bumpers gets it all out.

4 jack stands, 1 at each corner, hold string. Its good because they're heavy enough to pull tight and also you can slide the string up and down to get at the center line of the wheel. Then you set the string at a set distance from the rear center car, say 12-14CM and take the rear track, minus the front track. The difference is added to the front value you chose as the M has a wider rear track and we want a parallel line.

From there you measure at each end of the rim, string height, and your values will show toe in or out. bigger gap at front of rim is toe in. bigger at back is toe out.

I definitely recommend doing the home alignment. I did mine last night after pss9 liner conversion and camber plates and felt the car was pulling right after. I rechecked it today and it was off the direction it was pulling. I realized I bumped the wheel the night before and forgot to correct the value before moving on to the other side. Set everything properly today and no issues. I have done this a few times now and definitely learned a bit each time. It does work.

I set toe to zero and camber plates to 1 degree. Rear is maxed on OEM arms then tweaked even. Ill do the same on the E46.

More info in my build thread here
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...E36-328I/page5

Also, I do the left and right independently. Using the same initial values for the parallel line from the wheel center, I see the exact same numbers left from right. As others have stated, check and re check...if you get the same values youre doing it correct!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg align.jpg (586.9 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg align3.jpg (504.7 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg align2.jpg (609.0 KB, 29 views)
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Last edited by PITT M3 RR; Tue, Jul-11-2017 at 04:19:47 AM.
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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 03:14:59 PM   #25
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

The greased tiles is a great idea, allowing you to set toe without moving the car/strings.^^

I found some cheap, simple, steel turn plates, Gil Smith Racing Fabrication, that do essentially the same thing.

http://gilsmithracingfab.com/alignment-turn-plates.html
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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 03:20:58 PM   #26
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

Pitt M3 RR...I like the idea of the tiles as well. I will copy that.

Good point about doing each side independently. I don't like the idea of using toe plates and a tape measure. That could cause your wheels to be out of alignment with the chassis which is kind of the whole point. The string method doesn't take long to set up and gets the right result.



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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 04:53:45 PM   #27
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

I was looking up our track width and found this photo.


This is generally how the set up will look once all the measurements are made and ready for adjustments. Ignore the writing on the photo. If you do left independent of right, it will end up that a and b are equal anyway.

The tiles work pretty well. Their main purpose is to remove the hubris from the suspension when lowering the car on to blocks. That whole deal is irrelevant if you drive on to your blocks. They help with toe movement too, but aren't necessary. IF your suspension and steering parts area in decent shape, they're hard locked to the wheels as in an adjustment at the tierod will result in a direct movement of the rim. Sure you will get tire scrub, but the wheel will have moved the way you intended.

and if, like me, you're super anal about it. You can perform the alignment, check it, go for a drive, recheck and if any adjustment is needed, make the tweaks. I have set the car to the point that I could let the wheel go at 45 mph and had no variation in track. Dead straight.

When I readjusted yesterday, I simply drove up onto the flat ramps I made and did the fronts over. I didn't even put it up on the blocks again!
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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 06:45:13 PM   #28
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by PITT M3 RR View Post
I made these blocks and on them, I have 2 linoleum tiles with grease between them. When the tire hits they relieve all tension in the suspension. A quick press on front and rear bumpers gets it all out.

4 jack stands, 1 at each corner, hold string. Its good because they're heavy enough to pull tight and also you can slide the string up and down to get at the center line of the wheel. Then you set the string at a set distance from the rear center car, say 12-14CM and take the rear track, minus the front track. The difference is added to the front value you chose as the M has a wider rear track and we want a parallel line.

From there you measure at each end of the rim, string height, and your values will show toe in or out. bigger gap at front of rim is toe in. bigger at back is toe out.

I definitely recommend doing the home alignment. I did mine last night after pss9 liner conversion and camber plates and felt the car was pulling right after. I rechecked it today and it was off the direction it was pulling. I realized I bumped the wheel the night before and forgot to correct the value before moving on to the other side. Set everything properly today and no issues. I have done this a few times now and definitely learned a bit each time. It does work.

I set toe to zero and camber plates to 1 degree. Rear is maxed on OEM arms then tweaked even. Ill do the same on the E46.

More info in my build thread here
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...E36-328I/page5

Also, I do the left and right independently. Using the same initial values for the parallel line from the wheel center, I see the exact same numbers left from right. As others have stated, check and re check...if you get the same values youre doing it correct!



That is a good setup! What type of wood is that, 2x4? Look's like I know what I'm doing this weekend. Can you explain the difference between front and rear tires a little more?
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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 08:49:27 PM   #29
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

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Originally Posted by Kdubski View Post
That is a good setup! What type of wood is that, 2x4? Look's like I know what I'm doing this weekend. Can you explain the difference between front and rear tires a little more?

If the string or whatever you run down the side of the car is square to the chassis, your measurements from the string to the wheel will be different on each axle due to the track width differences.

You can setup the other side using those same measurements. Then you'll be square to the chassis.


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Old Tue, Jul-11-2017, 11:40:54 PM   #30
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Default Re: Weighted Alignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdubski View Post
That is a good setup! What type of wood is that, 2x4? Look's like I know what I'm doing this weekend. Can you explain the difference between front and rear tires a little more?

2x4 with 3/4 osb on top. 16x18.

On the E36 the front is 56" wide / rear 56.6". Thats 1422.4mm and 1437.6mm. The difference is 15.2mm as in its 15.2mm wider in the rear. 15.2mm/2=7.6mm wider preside.

So in the rear if you make your string 120mm from the center of the wheel, at the front you'll make the string 127.6mm away from the center and then the line is parallel. Set that and get the line running through the centerline horizontally and you can then make adjustments.

With spacers, you just add their width in and it's that easy. I did mine with 12mm spacers at the rear.
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Discussing Weighted Alignment in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)