10-20-2013, 03:35 PM #1
New suspension installed but got a problem
So me and a mechanic friend just installed my new BMW Performance Suspension kit but now I've got a problem. I took it for an alignment after the install and the tech got everything within spec but when he took it for a test drive, he noticed that the car had what he called "memory steer" such that when you take a right turn, after the turn the steering wheel wants to stay turned right and the car veers right. (It should just go back to center after the turn). The same thing conversely happens when you turn left, the wheel stays left and car veers left. It's almost like something is binding up. During the install, we torqued everything to spec and had the wheels jacked up for the control arm tightening like you're supposed to. (also did this for the sway bar links). I even got basically all new mounts including new top hats. The only problem we ran into on the install was tightening the strut top nut to the strut tower, this requires a special socket with the side cut out so you can fit an allen wrench inside it and on the top of the strut shaft to keep the shaft from spinning while you torque the nut. I didn't have this special socket so we just used an impact wrench and I think we got that nut too tight. But, I've since gone back and made my own socket by cutting out the side and was able to loosen the nut and then re-torque it to proper specs. I was sure that would solve the "memory steer" problem but it did not. So, what else could be causing this? Any ideas? There are no funny noises or anything. Did we maybe damage the top hat bearings when we used the impact wrench the first time? I know you're technically not supposed to use an impact gun on that nut but I'm fairly sure most people do it that way anyway.... Help!
Also, is it safe to drive around like this or should I lay off of it in case I might be damaging something?
One guy said he had this same problem also and suggested to just stop the car and turn the wheel all the way to the left, then all the way to the right and then back to center and it might cure the problem but that didn't work for me....
10-22-2013, 06:32 AM #2
Are you sure everything is within specs?
Sounds to me you have a lot of toe-in, which will make the steering "fall over'' in a corner and not return to straight.
When I replaced the front suspension arms by M3 ones I introduced almost 7 degrees of toe-in.
That much toe-in must have shown during alignment...There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works
10-22-2013, 01:18 PM #3
10-23-2013, 01:11 AM #4
Well, I looked at the alignment sheet and don't really understand it, may take it back by the shop and have the guy explain it to me but just looking at my front wheels, I can tell they are toed out, not in...
10-23-2013, 03:12 AM #5
When you replace the suspension arms of your car by M3 arms you should have the alignment set to the M3 specs.
If I recall correctly that is a toe-in of 1 degree, so the alignment sheet should say-1.
I actually found the pic I took when my car came into the shop for alignment after installing the M3 parts.
This shows the difference in alignment settings when only replacing the parts.
That made me actually have doubts as to it was a toe in or a toe out of 1 degree. Not sure now...There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works
10-23-2013, 04:26 AM #6Member
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1 degree of toe-in is too much IMO. This could induce uneven tire wear (insides wearing out faster).
I would set it straight to 0, maybe even a hint of toe-out for added responsiveness.E92 335i SB / Black Leather / 6AT / Navi Prof / Sunroof / Active Steering
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10-23-2013, 01:37 PM #7
I don't have the M3 control arms, I just got new BMW performance suspension. I believe I do have a slight toe out just by looking at it.....
I did notice something last night though. I removed the alignment pins from my new top hats for max neg camber and I noticed that the top hats are bolted to the strut tower in a different orientation than before. Does it matter if the orientation of the strut hat was changed; basically it looks like the top hat was rotated one hole over from the way it was originally if that makes sense. For example, the bolt hole nearest to the alignment pin ( which I removed) has now shifted one hole over and I can't see the alignment pin hole under the strut tower like I could before because it's now mounted differently; it's shifted over one hole....does this matter. Basically Is there a specific orientation to bolt up the top hat or not because the holes line up regardless of which way you bolt it up...
Last edited by nikitino25; 10-23-2013 at 01:46 PM.
10-23-2013, 04:50 PM #8
There's a chance I put the black ringed washer on upside down when we assembled the struts, It looks like I will need to pull them out to check this....
10-24-2013, 06:30 AM #9
11-05-2013, 05:46 PM #10
Pulled off the front struts and disassembled and indeed we had the washer upside down, stupid little washer......reassembled correctly and no more problems......will try to post review soon
11-08-2013, 02:50 PM #11