BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      12-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

Wheel Camber check with smartphone

I devised this to measure the wheel camber. I just had my wheels aligned after camber plates were installed. The shop was busy so just set to -1.5 front and will take back post xmas to set to -2.2.

Steps:
- cut a piece of 1/4 inch board to 60 deg angles. To determine the equal length sides of the triangle use the following method:
- measure the wheel - my 19" was 20.50", then the radius is half of that at 10.25"
- Take the radius and * by 1.732 to get the length of the sides (mine was 17.75, but did 18 just to be a bit larger). Suggest adding 1/4"
- cut out the triangle
- add some rubber stops of about 1/4" to allow the wood to sit off the wheel
- use a phone inclinometer and method as in photos.

The camber was exactly -1.5 as shop had dialled in. All four wheels were as per the camber set earlier in the week.

EDIT: Remember to calibrate the phone to the surface angle. Also as many get up in arms that this isn't accurate, it is pretty accurate! These phones have same tech in them, perhaps better, than digital inclinometers.
Attached Images
   
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates

Last edited by Ian///M; 12-21-2013 at 02:41 PM.
Appreciate 0
      12-21-2013, 12:48 AM   #2
ASPEC135i
Lieutenant
4

 
Drives: sideways always
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: location, location


Posts: 495
iTrader: (0)

LOL brilliant!
Appreciate 0
      12-21-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
Freon
Captain
United_States
12

 
Drives: 2009 135i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indianapolis


Posts: 891
iTrader: (2)

Neat idea, but there is more to it than that. You at least need to level your garage floor first, and put shims under each corner of your tire:

Here's a guide:



Also, I'm unsure your phone is really all that accurate. There are other devices that are not terribly expensive that should be more accurate than a phone.

I would not recommend anyone else use your technique outside of a rough check. I think you just got lucky that you see -1.5 as your tire shop said.
__________________
2009 BMW 135i 6MT Sport, AFE intake, Cobb AP, Apex 18x8.5+9.5, 255/275 PSS
Appreciate 0
      12-21-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
ShocknAwe
Lieutenant Colonel
United_States
19

 
ShocknAwe's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 135i
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Charleston, SC


Posts: 1,794
iTrader: (6)

I see the utility in roughly setting toe and camber so you can drive to allow springs to settle etc and then get to the alignment shop after doing serious suspension work.

I agree that a phone is probably not the best device for this, but nifty none the less.
__________________
2010 135i M-Sport 6MT Jet Black
N54 | Build Thread
Appreciate 0
      12-21-2013, 02:45 PM   #5
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freon View Post
Neat idea, but there is more to it than that. You at least need to level your garage floor first, and put shims under each corner of your tire:

Also, I'm unsure your phone is really all that accurate. There are other devices that are not terribly expensive that should be more accurate than a phone.

I would not recommend anyone else use your technique outside of a rough check. I think you just got lucky that you see -1.5 as your tire shop said.
No, you don't need the above levelling, just calibrate the app to the garage floor. It is accurate to within a couple of minutes, but yes, this is not a replacement for a proper wheel alignment, but useful for those with camber plates
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates

Last edited by Ian///M; 12-21-2013 at 03:07 PM.
Appreciate 0
      12-22-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
SalemChiro
Second Lieutenant
3

 
Drives: 135i vert
Join Date: May 2012
Location: MA


Posts: 264
iTrader: (0)

Ian///M

Thanks for posting this. I plan to install M3 front control arms soon. Using this will help me set the camber pretty close so I can drive to the alignment shop without issues.
Appreciate 0
      12-22-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
Gangsta D
Captain
United_States
6

 
Gangsta D's Avatar
 
Drives: '12 e88 128 vert/ '14 e84 X1 s
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Route 66 [So. Cal]


Posts: 627
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
just brilliant.... thanks gangsta
Appreciate 0
      12-29-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
Freon
Captain
United_States
12

 
Drives: 2009 135i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indianapolis


Posts: 891
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
No, you don't need the above levelling, just calibrate the app to the garage floor. It is accurate to within a couple of minutes, but yes, this is not a replacement for a proper wheel alignment, but useful for those with camber plates
Sorry, going to have to strongly disagree. Your garage is not just one level, so you cannot calibrate it properly.

I advise everyone not to count on this technique for setting camber with plates. Follow the videos I posted first, and you can get a proper tool without spending big money.
__________________
2009 BMW 135i 6MT Sport, AFE intake, Cobb AP, Apex 18x8.5+9.5, 255/275 PSS
Appreciate 0
      12-30-2013, 12:34 AM   #9
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freon View Post
Sorry, going to have to strongly disagree. Your garage is not just one level, so you cannot calibrate it properly.

I advise everyone not to count on this technique for setting camber with plates. Follow the videos I posted first, and you can get a proper tool without spending big money.
Noted, but your video is a backyard special
You need 3 points to get a correct measurement, not a builder's spirit level which has 2 points.

The smart phone app will calibrate to the surface of each wheel. As I said, I calibrated the phone before each wheel and got the same on all 4 wheels as the alignment shop. Proven for a measurement within 0.1 IMO
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates
Appreciate 0
      01-02-2014, 06:40 PM   #10
Freon
Captain
United_States
12

 
Drives: 2009 135i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indianapolis


Posts: 891
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
Noted, but your video is a backyard special
You need 3 points to get a correct measurement, not a builder's spirit level which has 2 points.

The smart phone app will calibrate to the surface of each wheel. As I said, I calibrated the phone before each wheel and got the same on all 4 wheels as the alignment shop. Proven for a measurement within 0.1 IMO
That backyard special is superior to your smartphone measure. You've proven little more than you probably have a level garage, which is rare.
__________________
2009 BMW 135i 6MT Sport, AFE intake, Cobb AP, Apex 18x8.5+9.5, 255/275 PSS
Appreciate 0
      01-02-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freon View Post
That backyard special is superior to your smartphone measure. You've proven little more than you probably have a level garage, which is rare.
No, you are incorrect. That's why you calibrate the floor surface. Spoke with a an engineer mate who confirms that this method would be 95% accurate if the smartphone is calibrated to the floor surface. Anyhow tired of arguing with you.
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates
Appreciate 0
      01-04-2014, 11:35 PM   #12
schnite
Private First Class
4

 
Drives: E82 1M
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: china


Posts: 111
iTrader: (0)

what.s name of the software ?
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2014, 07:37 PM   #13
Freon
Captain
United_States
12

 
Drives: 2009 135i
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Indianapolis


Posts: 891
iTrader: (2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian///M View Post
You need 3 points to get a correct measurement, not a builder's spirit level which has 2 points.
The video I linked is method to establish a plane with four points on it. One point for each tire. Three points is not enough because your garage floor is not a plane to start with. You cannot do any precise measurement on a car's alignment until you know all four tires are on a single plane. Please let that soak in for a moment.

I'm curious if you could expound on how you are calibrating your phone in the first place. Do you pick a random spot on the floor, lay it down and press a button to zero it out? I'm doubting you have a 10+ foot long known straight edge. Even if you did, you would end up with a new calibration every time you moved your straight edge.

There IS no way to calibrate or zero your phone until you already know your tires are all touching in a single plane. If you were to do that, you could then use your phone method across a straight edge that spanned the distance of the tires to zero out any static error in your phone. You can certainly use your phone, and I buy that the accelerometers are usually pretty good, but you need to set the car up first.

The phone is only a replacement for a separate camber level, digital inclinometer, or plumber's level, etc. You cannot skip the setup part.
__________________
2009 BMW 135i 6MT Sport, AFE intake, Cobb AP, Apex 18x8.5+9.5, 255/275 PSS

Last edited by Freon; 01-11-2014 at 07:45 PM.
Appreciate 0
      01-11-2014, 10:08 PM   #14
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freon View Post
The video I linked is method to establish a plane with four points on it. One point for each tire. Three points is not enough because your garage floor is not a plane to start with. You cannot do any precise measurement on a car's alignment until you know all four tires are on a single plane. Please let that soak in for a moment.

I'm curious if you could expound on how you are calibrating your phone in the first place. Do you pick a random spot on the floor, lay it down and press a button to zero it out? I'm doubting you have a 10+ foot long known straight edge. Even if you did, you would end up with a new calibration every time you moved your straight edge.

There IS no way to calibrate or zero your phone until you already know your tires are all touching in a single plane. If you were to do that, you could then use your phone method across a straight edge that spanned the distance of the tires to zero out any static error in your phone. You can certainly use your phone, and I buy that the accelerometers are usually pretty good, but you need to set the car up first.

The phone is only a replacement for a separate camber level, digital inclinometer, or plumber's level, etc. You cannot skip the setup part.
If you say so . You are obviously an expert

Strange how my camber method matched on all 4 wheels within 2 hours of leaving the alignment. I must be lucky, or just actually right
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates
Appreciate 0
      01-14-2014, 12:50 PM   #15
cdde323
asshole
0

 
Drives: 135i
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Santa Cruz, CA


Posts: 71
iTrader: (1)

I feel like you guys are arguing about different things...

Freon, you're fighting for how someone should align their car... and you're right.

Ian///M, you're defending the inclinometer in your phone as a useful tool for checking/referencing a camber setting... and you're right.

If you want to check camber (in this case, confirm what the shop said they set it at), you don't need to go through the whole process of leveling the car, finding your planes, pulling out the string... etc.; Ian///M's method is accurate enough to do that... However, you would NOT use Ian///M's method to actually align the car... if you needed to do an alignment, Freon's method should be you're DIY go-to option.

Even the cheapest inclinometers are accurate to +/- .2 degrees... and it's not difficult to find them with an accuracy of +/- .1 degrees. That doesn't mean the reading will ALWAYS be off by .1... it just means you should only trust the reading within a spread. And for what it's worth...the really good digital inclinometers are only accurate to about +/-.05... Any digital inclinometer resolution reading to 3 decimal points is complete BS, but the flashing numbers sure are pretty.

If you're referencing the floor directly in front and inline with where you're holding it up against the wheel to set your 0 (and assuming the side of your phone is flat with no buttons), that is an "accurate enough" reading of your camber... it's a simple 2 dimensional reading, it's the same thing as if you were measuring a picture frame for 90*/squareness, it's not complicated.
__________________
2010 BMW 135i, 1988 Mazda 323 GTX, 2009 Honda Ruckus, Legs.
Notice: I am an asshole and I judge books by their cover; if you drive an automatic (DCT included) or convertible and unless you're a women, I assume you're not the kind of car person I respect or want to know. I offer you a preemptive apology for hurting your pride and/or feelings for any comments I make to this fact.
Appreciate 0
      01-14-2014, 02:45 PM   #16
Ian///M
Major General
No_Country
81

 
Ian///M's Avatar
 
Drives: 1M
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne


Posts: 6,252
iTrader: (0)

+1

I only referencing a way to check/confirm CAMBER. For those with adjustable camber plates this would be useful before going to a track day etc. Changing camber at home though would affect toe etc too, so I prefer to get it set at the shop and just forget it.

Yesterday, I just had the shop turn up the front to -2.09, and again this was confirmed when I got home using the smartphone app.
__________________
BMW 1M VO - Cobb + PTF e-Tune, Akrapovic wireless, MadDad mids, ETS 5" FMIC, ER CP, TurboSmart PB DV's, SSK, CDV, OCC, AWRON Gauge, Hankook RS-3's, Vorshlag Camber plates
Appreciate 0
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:27 AM.




1addicts
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST