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  1. #1
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    Does putting "new" lowering springs absolutely mean a new alignment?

    Ok, I am a bit confused. Have looked at many old threads, but no one really explains this very well. I understand that when you put new tie rods, wishbone or tension struts arms on the front, or if you put new guiding suspension arms and/or wishbones on the rear, you should get your car a new alignment. Heck, I even understand (I think) the reasoning behind getting a new alignment if you put new struts on the front and/or new shocks on the rear. But what I am having a hard time understanding is this:

    ...if you do nothing to your car other than put new lowering sport springs on, what is the reasoning (technical reasoning) behind why you should get a new alignment?


    I just finished this weekend putting new lowering springs on the front and rear of my '96 528i car (will post pics soon). The lowering springs are German-made Vogtlands, which lowered the car 1 3/8" at each corner, and I do luv the new look & handling of the car. But, I did nothing else to the car, only these new lowering springs were put on. So my question: why are some people recommending in their DIY spring-only threads that you have to get a new front and rear alignment? If your car was perfectly aligned before, how would that aspect (the alignment) be any different with new 1 3/8" lower springs on there?? I mean,. how in heck does the car lowering down 1 3/8" on springs make any difference to the suspension components &thus car's alignment as opposed to when the car was 1 3/8' higher? It just doesn't make sense to me? (I am sure I must be missing something here, and if anyone could please explain, it would be a big help).

    I even took the car out on the autobahn Monday and today, went on a 20k stretch that is pancake flat & paved brand new, and the car tracked dead straight at 40-50mph and all the way up through 120mph+. Thus, I wondered again, why is every spring-only DIY thread screaming that you should get your car aligned if you put new springs on????


    Thanks for any technical explanations about this.
    EuroDavid
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  2. #2
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    Euro,
    When your height changes, your toe changes as does the camber; they are small but enought to cause long term wear issues with the tires. Since the camber is not adjustable on the front you can only fix the toe. And since the rear has limited adjustability on the rear caster/camber, you can adjust caster, camber and toe on the rear.
    If your car was perfectly aligned before the height change, the toe changes are usaully equal between the left and right side, so you usually will not notice pulling, drifting or tramlining unless the specs are way out.
    When you change heights, the tie rod angle is changed, thus lengthening or shortening the overall distance between the outer tie rod ends. Also, since there is not an upper control arm, the wheel moves in a slight arc, thus changing the camber slightly.

    2000 540ia w/sport package 9/99
    Silver/black, Eibach springs and Koni FSD equiped
    1998 528i 5 spd w/sport package
    white/tan
    1987 535is
    silver/red
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 SixPak 4 spd
    (stroked to 420cid, 5 spd Tremec TKO 500)
    Cincinnati, Ohio
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  3. #3
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    Frit nailed it. The change to rear camber with such a drop is such that the inner 30mm of tread will quickly wear. The front change is slight, but enough that re-establishing neutral is warranted and would be done when the rear is realigned. Your car is driving as though the suspension is compressed (giant hand pushing the car into the road).
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    I'm not so sure, look at my alignment specs after I put on the H&R, FSD's and new PS2's.
    The before reading are all in spec before the aligmnent was done, except for the RF camber that was 0.2 out and the rear tow. The lower springs shouldn't have effected the rear tow.
    I also had them set the rear camber to the minimum negative to help the rear PS2's wear evenly, which they have been doing.
    Looking at the date on the jpg, 2006, that is the only alignment my car has had. All 4 tires are not showing any problems....well the back ones do have a problem of not lasting as long as the fronts.

    Alignment.JPG
    Last edited by jimlev; 10-18-2011 at 05:16 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimlev View Post
    I'm not so sure, look at my alignment specs after I put on the H&R, FSD's and new PS2's.
    The before reading are all in spec before the aligmnent was done, except for the RF camber that was 0.2 out and the rear tow. The lower springs shouldn't have effected the rear tow.
    I also had them set the rear camber to the minimum negative to help the rear PS2's wear evenly, which they have been doing.
    Looking at the date on the jpg, 2006, that is the only alignment my car has had. All 4 tires are not showing any problems....well the back ones do have a problem of not lasting as long as the fronts.

    Attachment 2481
    Gee, Jim, I wonder why the rears wear faster than the front. Think it has anything to do with the right foot and spray?

    2000 540ia w/sport package 9/99
    Silver/black, Eibach springs and Koni FSD equiped
    1998 528i 5 spd w/sport package
    white/tan
    1987 535is
    silver/red
    1970 Dodge Challenger T/A 340 SixPak 4 spd
    (stroked to 420cid, 5 spd Tremec TKO 500)
    Cincinnati, Ohio
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  6. #6
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    Euro,
    Know I'mlate here with this response but if in doubt get re-aligned...........
    Jan/1998 528i, 348Kkms my daily driver,5 spd manual, black on black non DSP. non-Sport, lowered with KONI FSD & Eibach springs in 2008--SOLD-Sep-2013
    My previous rides worth mentioning:1970 GTO "The Judge",1985 325e M3lite, Euro BMW +
    1998 323Ti, in Munich, Germany on the autobahn for 1 yr
    Now back in Halifax, Nova Scotia,via Ottawa Canada.
    now upgraded to an E60 62Kkms (40Kmile) MYSTIC Blue 2004 545i...(now 82000)
    like the E39 better!!!.
    300Kkms325e, formerly known here as cmyachtie.
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