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Alignment/Steering (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 7-series (E32) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by George Mann on December 29, 2000 at 17:39:08:

In Reply to: Re: question posted by David F on December 29, 2000 at 08:00:52:


Follow David's good advice...one trick is to
loosen the turnbuckle bolts on each tie-rod,
and put a piece of tape to mark the angular position at each wheel. Record which direction
turning each tierod changes the toe...in or out.
Methodically adjust each tierod "with a centered
steering wheel" always adjusting/rotating each
tie-rod the same amount (opposite direction).
Also use two metal tape measures, one for front
of the wheels, one for the back of wheels.
Remember if you measure the distance between the
wheels below the equator of the wheels, the true
linear toe measured is less than the true amount
of toe....its hard to measure front and back of
the front wheels right at the horizontal axis of
the wheels....you can trig this small amount. If you have any questions, post or send me an E-mail.
P.S. a little anecdote...when I first got my
90 735il, being naive, I took it to the dealer,
to have among other things the toe adjusted. They
said my toe was fine but my steering gear was
worn.
Long story short, the reality was:
- Tie rod turnbuckles were frozen so dealer could
not adjust the toe..I since replaced them myself.
- Steering gear just needed adjustment...top screw. What a lot of people don't know about
these cars it there is a 32mm nut under the in-
strument panel at the base of the steering column
that after many years of driving can work loose.
This way my major form of looseness in the
steering....I posted some time ago about how to
adjust this nut....also you don't want it too
tight if you have a telescoping column...like Alex
does for example.
Hope this helps
George
90 735il/145K Bav Auto lowering springs before
spring.

Rich:

Do the alignment yourself. The most sophisticated tool you need is a Tape Measure. The only possible adjustment on BMW's are toe-in and toe-out. Set the toe-in (with vehicle on ground) to about 3/16". Basically, you measure the difference between the front of the tires and compare that to the measurement between the back of the tires. Really, do not waste time and money with "professional" alignments and fancy machines.


I how much should I expect to pay to have a front wheel alignment done on a 1988 BMW 750iL? (California)

Thanks Rich






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