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Old 02-24-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
E30Bastard
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Driver's Side 1/2" Lean

Hello Friends,

Hoping I could get some advice here. The car sat even before I had a bunch of work done and I think I've exhausted my brain and body troubleshooting this. I've pretty much disassembled the entire rear suspension, put it down on the floor, and carefully reassembled to spec checking proper function after every step. I am taking it back to the shop tomorrow morning but if any of you have any ideas they would be greatly appreciated.

Measuring from the bottom of the rim to the fender flare gives me 18 3/8" driver and 18 3/4" passenger.


Work done so far front and rear. The shop did front struts bushings, I did everything else:

Control arms, ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends, IE poly rear shock towers, poly rear sway bar bushings for stock sway bar, OEM fixed adjustment end links, IE Stage 3 springs, spring pads, Koni Single Adjustables, strut tower tops/bearings, fixed camber plates, subframe bushings, and I do believe they installed trailing arm bushings even though I still have a pack of poly RTABs (I think I had two sets).


Pending:

IE Front sway bar poly bushings for stock sway bar.

Here's what I found wrong with it when I got it back from the shop and what I did/tried to fix the lean.


Problems stemming from the work:

Axle/CV Joint @ Driver's Side Diff was hanging by 2 loose bolts and tire side CV Boot is sliced - Replace/Repair.

Rear hubs are missing wheel bearing retainers/axle nut lock plate. One was dangling over the collar nut on the driver’s side and the passenger side was completely missing. BMW Part # 33411124945. Parts are in box on passenger floor along with the old part for inspection.

Front Driver Side Strut – Pushing down hard on the driver’s side produces a sound. Please take for a test drive and go over bumps with it and/or inspect. I have returned the front struts to softest setting and that alleviated most of the sound.

Steering Wheel Knock - Something binding up front when turning, could be related to driver’s side strut. – FIXED – TIE ROD ENDS STAMPED WITH "L" and "R" WERE REVERSED!

Rear End Suspension - Either one rear corner sagging or one rear corner jacked up. Sat perfectly even before. Upon inspection I noticed passenger side spring pads were reversed (knob was on bottom instead of top). I thought this would be the culprit and I flipped them but the rear is still crooked. I am not sure if the trailing arm bushings were replaced, not sure what else might affect ride-height on a refreshed suspension if the shocks are not binding. Measuring from bottom of rim to bottom center of fender flare gives 18 3/8” on rear driver and 18 3/4” rear passenger. I swapped the left and right springs to see if there was any difference and ride height is the same as it was before. I checked the sway bar while it was detached from the trailing arms and it does not bind. Please inspect the subframe bushings as well, although they look even to me I am not a professional.

Rear Spring Pads – Lower pad was ripped clean through because driver side spring was mounted upside down. Old lower pad used for passenger side for ease of replacement. Torn new spring pad in box on the passenger floor for inspection.

Rear Shock Towers – Passenger missing gasket, both new gaskets were installed on car. While replacing gasket and diagnosing/repairing rear suspension lean please return the rear shocks to softest setting + 1/16” turn firm to prevent damage to adjustment cam. It is clockwise firm and counterclockwise soft for the Koni 80 series. I have already set the front struts to softest setting + 1/16” turn firm to prevent damage to adjustment cam. Front struts are counterclockwise firm and clockwise soft.


Work requested but not completed:

Diff Bushing. Part is in box on passenger floor.

Center Support Bearing. Part is in box on passenger floor.

Trailing Arm Bushings - Inner & Outer. I don’t know if these were replaced. Please inspect for damage if they were replaced as this could affect ride height. Parts are in the box on passenger floor.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:04 PM   #2
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I should note that I have indeed checked tire pressure and verified that all 4 tires match. Stock 14" baskets with 195/65/14 Toyo Spectrum highway tires on them.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
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...and as I sit here trying not to think about it anymore I am wondering if switching out the bad rubber swaybar bushings in the rear and replacing with poly revealed a bent bar/damaged mounts swaybar situation. I don't even know if something like this could affect ride-height. The one thing I did not try was unbolting the swaybar end links from the trailing arms and setting it back down to see what I get. I'm not going to do it unless someone who knows more about suspension tells me to!
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Last edited by E30Bastard; 02-24-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:53 PM   #4
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Have you driven the car since it was at the shop? The springs/suspension might settle after driving a bit. 1/2" isn't much at all.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:43 AM   #5
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Yes, couple hundred miles, but the rear has probably been disassembled 4 times in the past week inspecting and trying different things. I took it for a drive with a passenger last night but it wasn't a long drive. The front is pretty dead on.

If 1/2" isnt the big deal I think it is maybe ebrake causing break in faster on driver side?

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Old 03-29-2019, 03:38 PM   #6
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All right. So everything has checked out. Subframe is straight, car shows no signs of any collisions besides some serious California bumper car bs.

I have replaced and re-verified everything - subframe bushings (pass side was not seated all the way and I thought this was the fix, but it only changed by about 1/16", rtabs, reinforced rear shock towers, swaybar bushings front and rear, end links front and rear, diff mount, trans mount, motor mount, tie rod ends, control arms with offset bushings and lollipops, new spring pads all around, new IE3, and new koni single adjustables.

One thing I do notice is that the camber on the driver side seems to be a little more than the camber on the passenger side. Is my cv screwed up and causing something weird? Keep in mind driver side was driven loose for a few miles (mechanic didn't tighten it up after axle swap, he did replace the side that came loose with new grease and boot after i buttoned it up and drove it right back to the shop).

I have taken this thing apart 1000 times and put it back together trying to get this thing to sit straight. Are shims or coilovers my only solution for ride height with a completely refreshed suspension and a verified straight frame
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:50 AM   #7
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I dropped a .32" ireland engineering poly spacer (you get a set of two to bump the rear for a more neutral appearance with IE3 Srings) on the driver's side.

It now sits dead nuts - 18.5" each side.

I am not ok with this solution.

I just wanted to see it sit even until its fixed. Started kicking the rear driver tire walking up to the lean every day after work.

Any suggestions?

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Old 04-24-2019, 08:57 AM   #8
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… :/
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:55 PM   #9
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Bent control arm perhaps? Wouldn't take much.

No offense, but I think you are being overly anal about it. 3/8 of an inch is hardly anything. Just enjoy driving the car and stop looking at it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:00 AM   #10
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The saga continues...
I just want it to sit even. Ripping more shit apart revealed different axles with different spindle lengths.

Could this have been the culprit?

Left side is driver's side, seems to be about 1/4" difference...less spindle, more thread.

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Old 05-17-2019, 08:10 AM   #11
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Sitting lower on the driver’s side seems to be a very normal thing for BMWs. If it really bothers you, you’re going to have to play with spring pads or go to coilovers. Setting the ride height to even up fender gap will also likely make the car handle worse.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:25 PM   #12
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I thought that sitting lower on the passenger side was common, so that when the driver sits in the car it appears even. Apparently an E36 thing.

Once I get my clutch situation sorted this thing has new GKN halfshafts that match so I am hoping it sits pretty when it settles down. Will update asap.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #13
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Axles have nothing to do with ride height on these cars.

I don't understand the process you're following here. You have an alignment issue, you even mentioned the camber looking off on one side, so what were the results of your alignment? What is the rear camber/toe? Unless you have any of that data, any part replacement is just throwing time/money in the trash. You can take it apart and put it back together 1,000 more times, but if you have a bent trailing arm, it's not going to fix itself...
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:53 PM   #14
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Mine sits low on the drivers side and it lightweight bothers me too.
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGood View Post
Axles have nothing to do with ride height on these cars.

I don't understand the process you're following here. You have an alignment issue, you even mentioned the camber looking off on one side, so what were the results of your alignment? What is the rear camber/toe? Unless you have any of that data, any part replacement is just throwing time/money in the trash. You can take it apart and put it back together 1,000 more times, but if you have a bent trailing arm, it's not going to fix itself...
I appreciate the candid response lol I definitely do not want to take it apart 1,000 more times!!

Have yet to get it aligned, to be honest it's been nice having it out of the garage (I had to take a week off from working on this thing). Will try and see if I can break away from work and get it done today. Will respond to this thread with a scan of the alignment results.
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