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Old 08-10-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
jasonlau8023
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factory lean theory? i don't buy it

hi everyone,

i have a 97 bmw 328is with M pkg. i lowered them with HR OE SPORT springs(grey colour) few months ago, which lowered the car 1 inch front and .5 inch rear. However, the driver side(both front&rear) are 6mm higher than passenger side. i measured the height on gas stations level ground, so there can't be measurement errors.

I did tons of research on this, it seems a lot of ppl have this kind of problem. there is a theory called factory lean theory, which states that the driver side higher than passenger side is because it's designed to compensate drivers weight(150lb assumed). but i don't really buy it because there isn't any official evidence backing it up. non of this mentioned in bentley manual or other posts. most importantly, not every car has the same problem. Yesterday i read about a thread that mentioned some e46 common front spring installation mistakes. I suddenly realized that if my springs were installed incorrectly? so i took few pictures of the springs and hope someone can help me out....(the bottom pic is the front driver side)

even if the factory lean theory is true, is there any way to balance the height? i just don't want my car leans everytime when i look at it... i love my car....and i believe most of bimmer owner love their cars like i do.

feel free to contribute your thoughts.
sorry about my bad english, hope i explained my question clearly..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg passenger side.jpg (197.6 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg driver side.jpg (196.9 KB, 150 views)

Last edited by jasonlau8023; 08-10-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:01 PM   #2
blk325i
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bro.. it's 6mm... stop tripping
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:07 PM   #3
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Look at it this way, if the cars came corner balanced from the factory like this, then there would be a specific spring for each corner. There isn't - there's a front and rear. The strut lengths are identical.

It could be that your spring is possibly not seated properly. The ends of the coils should be parked against the ridge in the perches. The ridge is visible in your first pic. There's one like that for the top perch as well.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
jasonlau8023
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thanks for replying guys.. the annoying thing is that sometimes when somebody sitting at rear the rear right get rubbing fender... i really just want it to be even, not just because of looking but also the safety..

BigD, do you have pictures of spring installed/seated properly?
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:00 PM   #5
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Not of my own but this pic shows it decently. Notice how the coil ends at the bottom, butted up against a ridge/wall in the perch. If your spring coil is not right up against that little seat there, that side will sit higher.

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Old 08-10-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Not of my own but this pic shows it decently. Notice how the coil ends at the bottom, butted up against a ridge/wall in the perch. If your spring coil is not right up against that little seat there, that side will sit higher.

correct and juging by that picture it doesent look like the spring is sitting in that ridge look how compressed that last ring is.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
Dr. Flyview
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Hmm my car also sits higher on the driver's side with no one inside. RMP certified the car and told me the factory height is like that...
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:00 AM   #8
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Almost all e36's are like this.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:18 AM   #9
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to test out the factory lean theory go back to the level gas station with a friend that can use a measuring tape and see if the car is even when you sit in it. unless your over 150lbs cause then the driver's side might be 1-2mm lower than the passenger side.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:25 PM   #10
jasonlau8023
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to pawcio, i did check....it's even when driver was in.

i just don't think this "factory lean" is necessary.... what if someone sitting in passenger side... then ppl may wonder "oh, your car leans to my side....what's going on?"

anyways, thanks guys. i'll take it to a sponsor to check....
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:43 PM   #11
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BMW was thinking about weight distribution, not how it looks with all your buddies packed in it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:52 PM   #12
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what if someone sitting in passenger side... then ppl may wonder "oh, your car leans to my side....what's going on?" .
make them sit in the middle back seat. everything will be balanced then.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:01 PM   #13
jasonlau8023
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which of them show the correct spring installation

some are e46s, i'm confused....or they are all correct but just show different angle?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 114148578053_290_1.jpg (24.7 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 1d12f7ed.jpg (74.4 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5402_600.jpg (64.4 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg StrutsSprings013.jpg (167.2 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_5412_600.jpg (62.0 KB, 70 views)

Last edited by jasonlau8023; 08-11-2009 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:09 PM   #14
jasonlau8023
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make them sit in the middle back seat. everything will be balanced then.
although sounds stupid, that's what i did when ppl sitting in the back....
especially with e36 coupe, person sitting in the back usually sitting in the passenger side because they got in the car from passenger door for convenience, which easily make the car lean more to passenger side.... always rub fender......damn!

i'll make sure that my mechanic didn't install my spring wrong. if it is 100% because of the factory lean theory, i'll live with that...
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:56 PM   #15
craigIS
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jason- an off topic question.....would yoou be able to PM me pics of your car....i happen to believe that this a car i saw driving around chatham before i moved. was a nice car back then, nice and clean.
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