[200q20v] Alignment problems and Bilstein inserts

Derek Pulvino dbpulvino at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 13 11:24:28 EDT 2001


Can't say for sure I you're screwed.  Are you confindent in your alignment 
shop?  Have you checked for subframe readjustment?  Has the car been in a 
collision up front to your knowledge?  Are you using lowering springs?  If 
you have lowering springs, and wide tires, do you go banzai on a regular 
basis? (can't imagine that hard driving would permanently deform the front 
end of your car)

Maybe try messing with the subframe. Although I'm not convinced the captive 
nuts allow as much adjustment as you need, it's definetly a good place to 
start.  Another suspect would be subframe bushings, but that seems very 
unlikely to me.  To go for a "keen grasp of the obvious" type statemtn, it 
does however sound like the bottom and top locating points for the 
suspension are not lined up as they should.

Do you have the "Benz Bar?"  Could be used to force the issue, but Bernie's 
the expert on best application therein.

As to the Igor camber plates, talk the creator; he'd most likely know what 
his invention is capable of.  I'd leave this as a last resort though.  But 
in a pinch...

derek p

I believe I'm at -1.5 on one side and -1.25 on the other, or
possibly -1.25 and -1.0. So 0.25 deg. difference between the two,
with one maxed positive and one maxed negative to get it to this

Is my car screwed? If Igor's adjustment mod can get this closer
to -1.0 all around or -0.75, I'll be happy.


-----Original Message-----
From: Derek Pulvino [mailto:dbpulvino at hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 1:22 PM
To: 200q20v at audifans.com
Cc: t44tq at mindspring.com; SuffolkD at aol.com; sjagernauth at att.com
Subject: RE: [200q20v] Alignment problems and Bilstein inserts

Hey all,

What is your front camber set too?  I believe it should be dialed to 0.5
negative camber.  As to why you can't get them even on both sides, I guess
front end straightness could come into play.  Another thing I thought about
when I was having alignment woes was whether or not the front subframe was
centered on the front of the car.

If your car is limited in camber adjustment (either pos. or neg.) on the
front end, did you look and see whether the bolts that go through the camber
adjustment plate are at the end of the adjustment range on either end?
Along these lines, if the Igor camber adjustment plate is what I'm thinking
of (elongated camber adjustment slots on camber adjustment plate), can't see
wahy that wouldn't work on the 200 as well.  Be more of a band-aid, but...

As to tire wear, I believe misadjustment of toe will lend itself more to
premature tire wear than camber.  As an aside, also recently heard that a
more positive camber adjustment will help decrease tramlining (for those of
you affected).

Now for Bilsteins...

Never btdt with an on car replacement, I'd say it's technicaly possible, but
realistically challenging.  With the "damper tool" you'll be able to get the
old strut out, and the new bilstein in, but I think your main problem is
going to be getting the bilstein collar nut tightened back up to spec.  I
believe I've heard of people using chain wrenches (how to through the
spring?) to tighten the retaining nut, and with the bilstein tool design,
I'd say that's really your only solution... that is unless you want to drive
around with the bilstein tightening tool on the strut cartridge, or maybe
cut it prior to or after install.

I will also go out on a limb here (pretty safe one I'd say although no btdt)
and say on car replacement of the strut bearing, camber plate, or spring for
that matter is not possible.  That's going to require strut removal, and a
spring compressor.

Derek P

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