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  #1  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:58 PM
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BMW X5 E53 - rear wheels negative camber

I have recently replaced the rear upper control arms and rear ball joints hoping that this will fix the negative camber, but it looks like i still have it. I haven't taken the car for alignment yet, but i am pretty sure that it won't make much/any difference.

Anyone else having this issue? Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2019, 01:19 AM
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Neg camber is normal, as long as it is within specs it's a good thing.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:43 AM
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even if it is clearly visible to the eye? i have severe wear on brand new tires(i did the alignment when i purchased them) that's why i decided to try and change those parts.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:50 AM
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Given that you have just replaced all those suspension parts, you need another wheel alignment anyway....

Just sayin'...
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:10 AM
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I am dealing with this right now on the rear driver side. visible excessive neg camber. and wear on the inner edge of the tire. That corner squeeked badly about a month ago. I pulled the rear upper control arm a few days ago, but is seemed serviceable, with good movement left in the ball joint. However, my bottom rear spring perch (rubber) pad was badly mis-shapen and distorted. You could see from the bottom that the rubber pad was not seated properly in the bottom spring perch. I think either a bad upper control arm or improper installation of a spring or a combo of both caused my problem.

The bottom rubber spring perch pad (BMW Part# 33531093785) is actually rubber and hard plastic. It is not bendable. Once it is distorted it needs to be replaced. None of the dealers in my area had one, so my x5 has been beached for a few days. I will update this post after I replace it, but in the meanwhile take a look at your spring perch pad.

Edit: I see you have the other thread on ball joints & spring compression. It looks like you and I are battling the same thing at the moment. Take a look at your spring pad and compare it to other side.

Last edited by Effduration; 09-11-2019 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:36 AM
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You cannot tell from looking. Measure your camber.

Park on a level surface and use a 2' level. Put the level plumb against the tire sidewall at the bottom and measure how far it is from the top sidewall and do a little math.

On my tires the bulge in the sidewall is very close to 24" diameter so the math works out to:

Tan (1) 24" = 7/16"
Tan(2) 24" = 13/16"

Spec is 1-2 neg. camber works out to 7/16-13/16" over 24" distance. It's quite a visible amount and normal.

If your tire is wearing it's usually from incorrect TOE angle not camber. Toe should be in about 1/16" on the front of the tire you can test with a taught string around the front and back tires.

Put a 1/16" spacer under the string on the front bulge of the front tire and you should see the string float away from the front bulge of the back tire.

If the front of the back tire touches the string the toe is too far out and will chew up the inside of the tire.

This pointing out toe can happen just when turning if you have a loose ball joint anywhere in the suspension.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:38 AM
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Okay I got mine all back together. The spring sits properly on a new, rubber perch pad. I replaced the rear Upper control arm and tightened it all up under load. The spring looks good with car sitting on the ground with tire on. At that point, negative camber looked reasonable, and comparable with the right side. However, I took it for a short drive before hand torquing wheels, and when I brought it back, the excessive negative camber returned.

I now think I have a bad ball joint.

Before i replace the ball joint, I may try to isolate the ball joint pblm like they do in this video, using a bottle jack as noted above. I may also bring it to a local mechanic with a alignment rack and actually check it.

https://youtu.be/_guTE2ANcIg
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mihai View Post
I have recently replaced the rear upper control arms and rear ball joints hoping that this will fix the negative camber, but it looks like i still have it. I haven't taken the car for alignment yet, but i am pretty sure that it won't make much/any difference.

Anyone else having this issue? Any suggestions?
Nice work getting that done.

To help remove some mystery before getting a professional alignment, I'll suggest that you can do your own rear camber adjustment pretty easily, at least to see if you still have a suspension problem (making alignment to spec impossible) before taking it in. Easy, especially since you just did all the other stuff.

There's that one eccentric bolt to adjust. If you're concerned that there won't be enough camber adjustment possible to get it within spec, just adjust that eccentric bolt to its extreme limit, towards positive camber.

Then you can measure camber yourself. Car on flat level ground, a carpenter's square and some 8th grade trigonometry will let you know the answer.

Significant camber adjustment may also put the rear toe significantly out. If you have string or a laser, you can adjust that too, pretty easily - although toe is a much finer adjustment than camber.

There are some other bushings down there that may be "the problem," but I'd try this first.


Separately - on the spring end rubber things - I found mine (2001 3.0i at about 170k miles when I did it) to be fine, but that they were the source of an intermittent and really annoying squeaking noise I had. I removed the springs (OP, from your other thread I see you did not) and carefully cleaned, regreased, and reinstalled these. No problems and 100% eliminated any noise.

I have doubts that a problem with these spring cap things could cause an alignment problem.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:44 PM
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Second on the bushing causing the problem. One of the ball joints of which there are a few will usually be to blame.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:15 PM
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Usually it is the worn rear ball joint.
Use only BMW or Lemforder brand.
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