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DIY is the only way for an alignment . . . (archive)

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Posted by f1reverb on June 29, 2001 at 01:24:54:

In Reply to: Has anyone done their own wheel alignment? (long) posted by a54atii on June 28, 2001 at 14:36:24:


About seven years ago, I rebuilt the entire front-end on my 1974 2002. I decided to take it in (I do all my own work and always have, and this was the exception that proves the rule) and get a professional alignment to celebrate, and the professionals (where the local BMW dealers and shops get their cars aligned) let me pull it off the rack when they were done, and the car pulled bad to the right and the steering-wheel off about 60 degrees. I didn't let them drive the car onto the lift, and I wanted to road test it myself, so it's obvious their rig wasn't right, nor their equipment. I drove straight home and decided to do it myself. I read the Haynes, got a 20 buck alignment gauge from Harbor tools, spent about one hour, and it's been perfect ever since. All that really needs to be done is to set toe-in, which is very slight, and make sure the front is in correct line with the rear (that's where the string is handy). When I was done it tracked perfectly and the steering wheel was properly aligned. 15000 miles later the front tires have worn evenly, the best of any car I've had, and it still tracks perfectly.

If you go around curb-bashing you'll need to do it more frequently. Just make sure your tire pressures are correct, and that your tires are not worn improperly. I'm going to be rebuilding the front-end on my 1983 533i soon, and I'll DIY the alignment again.

1974 2002
1975 2002 partsmobile
1983 533i
ex-1969 1600-2
ex-1973 Bavaria



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