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      08-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #1
suprtran
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Is this normal?? M3 front/rear suspension arms installed, now problems.

Had the following E9X M3 suspension components installed on my 135i:
1. Front upper control arms
2. Front lower control arms (tension rods)
3. Rear guide rods
4. Megan Racing rear adjustable toe links (non-BMW part)

Everything was purchased new, either from Tischer BMW or from Megan Racing.

The car is definitely out of alignment. Driving straight, the top center of the steering wheel is pointed toward 1 o'clock and the bottom center of the steering wheels is pointed toward 7 o'clock. That said, the car pulling to the right. So OK, I will need an alignment as has been advised prior.

My concern: The car's steering is acting very strange now; not sure if this is normal with a car that is HEAVILY out of alignment. So, turning the steering wheel more than 90-degrees (more than a quarter turn) in either direction (right or left) causes the car to virtually "take-over" steering and continue to steer itself. Basically, instead of the steering wheel recoiling after the turn is made and straighten out, the steering wheel continues to pull forcefully in the direction of the turn. So to correct this, I now have to turn the steering wheel the opposite direction to regain control and re-straighten the travel direction of the car.

What more, the tires now squeal very easily on very wide slow turns. Odd...

Else, the yellow DSC triangle indicator symbol and the yellow "BRAKE" word indicator symbol with yellow brake "(!)" indicator symbol turned on 15 miles after driving. What would cause these lights to turn on after doing a suspension job?

I'm thinking severe caster and/or toe problems.

Can anyone comment on these issues I'm experiencing?
Those who have done these mods, please chime in.

THANKS.
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Last edited by suprtran; 08-25-2012 at 08:14 PM.
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      08-25-2012, 09:34 PM   #2
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When you install the M3 control arms it throws your alignment way off causing every symptom you mention.

- Steering wheel turning on it's own, needing to physically turn back to center
- Steering wheel off center when going straight
- Squealing tires
- Etc.
- Etc.

Caster has not changed unless you changed the front struts.

Camber is more negative, not a bad thing.

Toe is what is causing the problem, both front and back.

Go get an alignment ASAP to correct all of these issues.

If you cannot get an alignment until a long time you will wear your tires down in a few thousand miles. You can make an adjustment yourself with a tape measure to get it pretty close to normal. You have to adjust the steering arms coming from the rack and pinion.

Good luck.
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      08-25-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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I'm not sure I understand the OP here?

You replaced all those parts and you're surprised that your alignment is off now?!
Get an alignment!
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      08-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogart View Post
When you install the M3 control arms it throws your alignment way off causing every symptom you mention.

- Steering wheel turning on it's own, needing to physically turn back to center
- Steering wheel off center when going straight
- Squealing tires
- Etc.
- Etc.

Caster has not changed unless you changed the front struts.

Camber is more negative, not a bad thing.

Toe is what is causing the problem, both front and back.

Go get an alignment ASAP to correct all of these issues.

If you cannot get an alignment until a long time you will wear your tires down in a few thousand miles. You can make an adjustment yourself with a tape measure to get it pretty close to normal. You have to adjust the steering arms coming from the rack and pinion.

Good luck.
Thanks
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      08-25-2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post
I'm not sure I understand the OP here?

You replaced all those parts and you're surprised that your alignment is off now?!
Get an alignment!
I'm not surprised I now need an alignment. I'm seeking feedback on whether the symptoms my car is having is what I should expect.

What did not expect was for indicator lights to come on as a result these bolt on suspension bits.
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      08-25-2012, 11:01 PM   #6
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Did you hook up the headlight leveling sensor correctly (the new one)?
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      08-26-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by int2str View Post
Did you hook up the headlight leveling sensor correctly (the new one)?
where do you get a new one from? ED: actually, WHY would you get a new one? it only reads ride height, the stock one should always work fine unless it outright breaks?

every kit i can find only comes with the front control arm/tension rod and the headlight adjuster rod for adaptive headlights (which i don't have - but my headlights DO auto level)

ED: incorrect alignment can make things like ABS warning lights come on, and other things like that.
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      08-26-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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Even if you don't have the adaptive headlights, you still need to use the new headlight adjuster rod.

The M3 control arms are longer than the stock ones and the headlight adjuster rod location is different, so you need to connect the new rod. It's pretty simple.
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      08-26-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Yes, it's normal especially with the changes in toe. When I had my suspension first installed I waited 3 days to let the springs settle before getting an alignment. The steering was so off the car would fight me for a few moments before giving up and throwing up the DTC/DSC failure light.

Also, you have more then one warning symbol on, you are only seeing one but if you run the list of faults you probably have at least 3.

Get an alignment asap.
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      08-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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The steering sensation you are feeling is what I felt after installing the front M3 bits. It would be difficult to first initiate the turn, then after the wheels turned, the steering wheel would "take off" and drastically pull to that side. It also took a lot of effort to re-center the wheel. I would suggest not driving your car unless its to the alignment shop. You're toe is very far off (caster should be unchanged, and camber should be slightly increased). In fact a shop turned me away, because my alignment was so far out of whack, they didn't want to touch it. This is the reason that every single DIY of the M3 suspension make very clear the necessity to get an alignment immediately after install.

Also, for the headlight sensor, there should have been something previously attached to the control arm. The one there will not fit back on the M3 arm, so you need the new arm that bolts onto the control arm. Like mentioned, most kits come with this piece already.

Go get the car aligned so you can enjoy the upgrade!

Tim
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      08-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timhatimay View Post
The steering sensation you are feeling is what I felt after installing the front M3 bits. It would be difficult to first initiate the turn, then after the wheels turned, the steering wheel would "take off" and drastically pull to that side. It also took a lot of effort to re-center the wheel. I would suggest not driving your car unless its to the alignment shop. You're toe is very far off (caster should be unchanged, and camber should be slightly increased). In fact a shop turned me away, because my alignment was so far out of whack, they didn't want to touch it. This is the reason that every single DIY of the M3 suspension make very clear the necessity to get an alignment immediately after install.

Also, for the headlight sensor, there should have been something previously attached to the control arm. The one there will not fit back on the M3 arm, so you need the new arm that bolts onto the control arm. Like mentioned, most kits come with this piece already.

Go get the car aligned so you can enjoy the upgrade!

Tim
Thanks Tim. The alignment will be done ASAP. Yes, the Regulating Rod for the headlight is installed.
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      08-26-2012, 07:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprtran View Post
Yes, the Regulating Rod for the headlight is installed.
The correct (M3) one, or the 135 one?
I'm wondering if implausible ride height sensor readings are causing some of your warning lights.
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      08-27-2012, 12:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogart View Post
Even if you don't have the adaptive headlights, you still need to use the new headlight adjuster rod.

The M3 control arms are longer than the stock ones and the headlight adjuster rod location is different, so you need to connect the new rod. It's pretty simple.
if you don't have adaptive headlights, why would you have an adjustor rod?

ED: ah so it's just named incorrectly? fair enough.. should be called 'headlight vertical adjuster rod' not 'adaptive' since it has NOTHING to do with adaptive headlights.

M3 one would be http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Head...t_Rod/ES66416/ correct? kinda hard finding anywhere else that sells it.

Last edited by flinchy; 08-27-2012 at 01:13 AM.
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      08-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flinchy View Post
if you don't have adaptive headlights, why would you have an adjustor rod?

ED: ah so it's just named incorrectly? fair enough.. should be called 'headlight vertical adjuster rod' not 'adaptive' since it has NOTHING to do with adaptive headlights.
So if you dont have Xenons, or dont have adjusting headlights. You dont need this?
Correct?
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      08-27-2012, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flinchy View Post
if you don't have adaptive headlights, why would you have an adjustor rod?

ED: ah so it's just named incorrectly? fair enough.. should be called 'headlight vertical adjuster rod' not 'adaptive' since it has NOTHING to do with adaptive headlights.

M3 one would be http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Head...t_Rod/ES66416/ correct? kinda hard finding anywhere else that sells it.
It should have come with your kit:

http://hpashop.com/BMW-E82-90-92-93-...ms-e82-e9x.htm

You might want to contact Harold @ HPA and verify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
So if you dont have Xenons, or dont have adjusting headlights. You dont need this?
Correct?
You only need it if they are auto-leveling.
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      08-27-2012, 06:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogart View Post
It should have come with your kit:

http://hpashop.com/BMW-E82-90-92-93-...ms-e82-e9x.htm

You might want to contact Harold @ HPA and verify.



You only need it if they are auto-leveling.
i haven't actually got a kit yet

been trying to find it cheaper - settled on TRW OEM parts which should be identical for $300 less (half price basically) with no ///M logo.
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      08-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #17
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Gotcha... well make sure they are sending you the right stuff!
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      12-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #18
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Anybody know what alignment should be with M3 front bits? can it be used from 1M or someting different?
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      12-14-2012, 10:20 AM   #19
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They only things that are really adjustable will be your toe settings. Knocking out the alignment pins will allow camber adjustment range of .3* - not really very much at all. After installing the M3 your toes will be way out .. pretty much undriveable. I used a McGyver-inspired toe adjustment procedure in my garage using jack stands, a clear ruler, and some string.It allowed me to get the toe close enough to be able to safely drive it to the alignment shop the next day.

I'm not sure what the alignment specs are for an 1M. When I went to the alignment shop, I gave the mechanic explicit instructions on alignment settings. With the M3 bits you 'll be somewhere around +7* caster, -1.1* camber. There are variances from car to car, but you should be somewhere in the ballpark. Toe will be way out. I had mine set to 1/16" toe-out to improve turn-in a bit. Anymore than that on the street and you'll burn up tires. 0 toe will give you best tire life. Good luck!
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      12-14-2012, 10:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RimasRS View Post
Anybody know what alignment should be with M3 front bits? can it be used from 1M or someting different?
I remember we all talked about the 1M alignment specs before. I think it was 1Addict member: Drivehard who provided some hard numbers. I would search from his post on it. I will look too for it!


UPDATE... here is Drivehard 's post... post #3...

1M versus M3 stock suspension settings
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...t=1M+alignment


Drivehard wrote:

I did some searching and came up with theses facts.

I compared a 1M and an e92 M3 ( both w/18" wheels) (both w/o active steering)

for a 1M these are the Factory specs:

Ride Height (front)...........600mm +40mm or -20mm
Ride Height (Rear)...........592mm +40mm or -20mm

Rear Camber...................-1*45' +0*12' or -0*12'
toe (left or right)..............0*05' +0*03' or -0*03'

Front Camber...................-1*20' +0*12' or -0*12'
toe (left or right)...............0*05' +0*03' or -0*03'
total toe..........................0*10' +0*05' or -0*05'

The only difference for the M3 is the following

front camber is..................-1*10' +0*20' or -0*20'


The above numbers are in Degrees and Minutes *= degrees, ' = minutes

everything else is the same..

what you shoud really compare are power to weight / track / total weight etc etc etc.. this is where the magic is..
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