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      09-06-2008, 07:35 PM   #1
Gray135i
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DIY Alignment pin removal

Okay, several people have mentioned removing the alignment pins in the front to gain additional negative camber (and reduce understeer). My stock runflat tires are close to bald with the outsides wearing much more than the insides, so the additional negative camber should actually help tire wear.
For those of you that don't have the means to measure the camber, I'd personally just move the strut top as far inwards (towards the engine) as the slots allow.
I started this with -.5 degrees on the front left and -.7 degrees on the front right. (-1.5 on right rear and -1.8 on left rear in case anyone wonders)

Tools needed:
13mm open end wrench
13mm deep socket or 13mm shallow socket with extension
floor jack
pair of Vise-Grips with pretty good teeth


Step 1
Jack up front side of car until tire if off the ground

Step 2
Loosen all three nuts of strut tower, I personally just loosened the one under the strut tower brace and removed the other two.

Step 3
Holding Vise-Grips vertically with jaws facing down, latch onto the alignment pin.


Step 4
I'd try to rock the pin back and forth for just a second to loosen it before you pull it out. It popped out pretty easily on both sides for me, but I'm sure some people will need to pull a little harder. Pictured here is the pin you're removing, its grooved but not threaded, so you don't need to unscrew it.


Step 5
Once the pin is removed, you'll need to pry the top of the strut over. I used the handle of my ratchet and stuck it down in the rubber lined hole in the middle of the three strut tower studs. Pry the top of the strut so that the three strut bolts move as far towards the engine as the slotted hole will allow. Once you've moved the bolts as far as they will go, tighten down one of the strut stud nuts. You can now tighten the other two strut nuts. At this point, you now have more negative camber and can lower the car back to the ground.

Step 6
Repeat on the other side of the car and make sure all strut nuts are tight.

On the left side, I now have -1.0 degrees of camber. On the right side, I did not max out my travel and ended up at -1.2 degrees.

If nothing else, this will help my tire wear being uneven and hopefully provide a little less understeer. Good luck!
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      09-06-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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Are you lowered? mikeo tried this on his stock suspensioned car and got -.6 deg.

I removed the pin on mine, have lowering springs, and enlarged the slot and have -1.6deg though.

Btw, thanks for the DIY! Adding it to the stickied index post.
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      09-06-2008, 10:54 PM   #3
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No, I'm at stock ride height but I would be curious to have some other people's dimensions from the ground to center of wheel well arch. Several people have seen the car and asked if it was lowered as well.
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      09-07-2008, 11:03 PM   #4
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I could not get the alignment pins out no matter how much wrigging, twisting or pulling. Both sides were impossible. The good news is that pin is soft aluminum. I took a chisle and took off the head and then easily drilled out the rest. I do not have tools to measure the camber change but I suspect it is not very much. I used to have camber plates on my E36 that gave me 1.5* of camber. Based on how much movement was needed to get that amount, I would suspect that removing the alignment pins was worth maybe 0.2* or 0.3* of additional camber.
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      09-10-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nordique14 View Post
I could not get the alignment pins out no matter how much wrigging, twisting or pulling. Both sides were impossible. The good news is that pin is soft aluminum. I took a chisle and took off the head and then easily drilled out the rest.
Same for me!! My alignment pins don't look like the pictures above...mine are very short and rounded and there is NO way to get a set of vice grips on them. I ended up drilling them out as well but once they were out, it worked like a charm. I know it's not a lot of camber but it's better than nothing!
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      09-11-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
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So, for those that have done this, how does the car handle now? I want better response out of my car, but don't know what route to take. Is this mod even worth it?
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      09-11-2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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Mine certainly is very neutral. For 20 minutes of work for a free mod, I would say it is well worth it. I do have wheels with more offset on the front as well and I know that helps. In over 8000 miles, I've only faced understeer once and that was on stock wheels with stock camber. I drive the car very hard on the street, enough so that brake fade is more of an issue than understeer, so it's not that I'm not driving the car hard enough.
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      11-01-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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How much torque do you have to tighten up the strut bolts and won't they work themselves back over without the pin there. Thanks
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      11-01-2008, 02:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyr View Post
How much torque do you have to tighten up the strut bolts and won't they work themselves back over without the pin there. Thanks
my E36 was 18-20ft-lbs. I see no reason the E8x cars would be any different.
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      11-01-2008, 02:53 AM   #10
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Thank you for your help
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      11-01-2008, 06:21 AM   #11
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Kiss your front tires goodbye.
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      11-01-2008, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Dragon View Post
Kiss your front tires goodbye.
Not true. I've had this done for a few thousand miles already and haven't seen any significant wear. Will it reduce the life of the tires slightly? Sure, but the trade-off for better turn-in is WELL worth it.

Great DIY, Gray135i!
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      11-01-2008, 07:43 PM   #13
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You really should get an alignment done afterwords. You will change the toe by doing this.
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      11-07-2008, 11:28 AM   #14
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I did this on my e87. I've only half degree camber.

I put the toe to 0°.

Now there is not understeer but the camber is still too low.
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      11-09-2008, 04:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Dragon View Post
Kiss your front tires goodbye.
I've found that to be a myth which started in order to sell camber kits to riceboys.

Toe has much more to do with inner tire wear than does camber.
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      02-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyr135 View Post
How much torque do you have to tighten up the strut bolts and won't they work themselves back over without the pin there. Thanks
That's what I'm also wondering...

Want to do the mod tonight, but I'm afraid that the struts can be forced back slightly to the original position after some time whithout the alignment pins to lock them!

Somebody has an answer to this?

thx.
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      02-03-2009, 09:30 AM   #17
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Mine are still in place, nearly 10 month later.
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      02-05-2009, 11:44 PM   #18
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hey how does this give you more camber ? are the 3 holes slotted so when you remove the pin you can move them over a little ?
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      02-06-2009, 01:18 PM   #19
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Exactly, I moved the struts +-5mm.

Turn-in improved a little and there is obvious more grip on the front wheels now.

Tomorrow i'll do a wheel alignment and add some toe-out for better steering response.
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      11-09-2009, 12:40 PM   #20
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im not trying to go int unknown territory.looking for someone who is more than comfortable at doing this! would any body be willing for some cash to meet me and do this on my 1er? thanks! PM me if you would like to work something out. thanks in advance.
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      11-09-2009, 05:17 PM   #21
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i maked it and only have -0,15º and -0,20º . I think that it´s more little change, it´s possible that i make it wrong?.
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      11-10-2009, 03:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw13 View Post
im not trying to go int unknown territory.looking for someone who is more than comfortable at doing this! would any body be willing for some cash to meet me and do this on my 1er? thanks! PM me if you would like to work something out. thanks in advance.
Why don't you find a local alignment shop that caters to the go-fast crowd? I'd imagine they can do it. It's not a hard fix if you have the right tools.
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