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Discussion Starter #1
So a couple weeks ago was Dream Cruise over here in Detroit, and I had a great time cruising around in the E28 and the beast until one of my friends that was following in an E36 M3 noticed that everytime I took off moderately to hard in the beast I was laying sparks from the left rear wheel/tire. So the next gas station we stopped at we checked it out, and the left rear tire was down to the chords on the inside shoulder :eek:. So I took it easy for the rest of the night and switched back to the E28 for daily use until I could take a better look at this issue and figure out what caused it and what I want to do about it.

So, the next day I put the rear end up and pulled both wheels. Upon doing this I was able to make several observations. The excessive wear on the shoulder was not from the road, in order for it to be from the road I would have to be running camber somewhere in the 30-40 deg range. So my conclusion is it was from rubbing. The car is slammed on BC Racing coils, but the previous owner said it didn't rub unless you went over large bumps. Anyways I inspect the wheel wells and the only thing with evidence of rubbing is the plastic fender liner, but it is pretty similar from side to side and the right tire shows no excessive wear. Has anyone seen a fender liner eat through a tire with taking almost no damage to itself? One of the other major observations is that the left tire is nearly bald while the right one is at about half life, and shows some signs of feathering. So my conclusion so far is that the alignment on that corner got screwed up somewhere along the line, and caused the fender liner to eat the tire. I did a quick and dirty check on this theory last night with a level and some body lines for alignment, and sure enough the left one is toed in more than the right, relative to the body of the car anyways. Not very accurate, but good enough to make a conclusion I think.

So, what's the big deal throw some new tires on it and get an alignment, right? Wrong, because the wheels have seen some better days, and should possibly be retired. Also, at this point I'm 90% sure that they are knock off Varrstoen es2's instead of the Volk te37's they are modeled after, and as everyone knows there are some pretty scary stories out there regarding reproduction wheels. So, now I'm looking for wheels, tires, and an alignment. I'm 90% sure I'll be going with Continental DW's unless the wheels I get come with rubber. However, I don't have much knowledge about wheels, and no experience with alignments on lowered cars. So I may need some help figuring this out.

For the wheels I'm not a huge fan of the style 65's. I generally like simpler non-showy wheels, concave and/or lip is good, but nothing chromed or polished, nothing multi-piece, and no 5-spoke (they just look unbalanced to me). Does anyone have any suggestions of what I should be looking for, or even better maybe have something for sale that might fit my fancy? I also stumbled on this thread while researching wheel stuff today and was wondering if anyone has given this a try on the M5: Did you know? E60 hubs/wheel bearings fit E39.

For the alignment I like the slammed look, but I don't like setting an incorrect alignment to get there. So I will probably be raising the car some to get back to stock numbers. That being said this is my first foray into lowered cars, so is there anything special I should know about or read for setting the car's height and alignment? My understanding is that it is largely a big trial and error process. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

I'm definitely feeling a little overwhelmed with this at the moment because of how little I know, but I know that with some searching and help from the wonderful people here I should be able to get though it. :cheers:
 

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Varrstoen is notorious for offering wheels in really wide sizes. Assuming they are varrstoen's (and typically wide..i.e. 19x11)...I would recommend going to a narrower wheel and as close to stock tire widths as possible.

As for the rubbing...did you ever hear the tires rub? It is definitely not quiet.

How much life is left on the rest of the tire that has cords showing? If they are almost new and you have cords showing it could be a sign of a suspension issue. With that said, if the remainder of the tire only has a little bit more tread left than the rest of the tire, it could be an alignment. Your camber does not need to be 30-40 degrees off to have extreme inner shoulder wear. It may be best to post a picture of the worn tire and the specs on the wheels and tires.

There isn't much about aligning a lowered car except you may have some camber that you won't be able to dial out because of what physically happens to the car's geometry when its slammed. My car is lowered and I've had no issues aligning it.

Now....with all that said...I'm selling a set of Hartge classics....they are single piece, good quality authentic wheels, and have a classic design :cheers:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/parts-other-sale-wanted/359978-hartge-classic-11s-los-angeles.html

I can do $1300 shipped.
 

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Yes, fender lip can "shave" tires without inflicting damage to itself (metal). Most likely you need bigger offset for those rims.
 

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Yes, fender lip can "shave" tires without inflicting damage to itself (metal). Most likely you need bigger offset for those rims.
His excessive wear is on the inside shoulder. Also, if he was rubbing on the outside shoulder and it was being gouged by the lip of the fender, the fender would get damaged because more than likely the tire is contacting the fender at the front or back of the arch and the contact would pull the fender's lip down. E39 M5 fenders are only rolled at the top portion of the inner fender, not all the way down to the rear bumper and not all the way down towards the door sill. I attached a picture and circled where rubbing usually occurs on lowered cars. At those points, when you rub, it 1) eats away at the edge of the tire, and 2) causes the metal at that part of the fender to be pulled down.
 

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His excessive wear is on the inside shoulder. Also, if he was rubbing on the outside shoulder and it was being gouged by the lip of the fender, the fender would get damaged because more than likely the tire is contacting the fender at the front or back of the arch and the contact would pull the fender's lip down. E39 M5 fenders are only rolled at the top portion of the inner fender, not all the way down to the rear bumper and not all the way down towards the door sill. I attached a picture and circled where rubbing usually occurs on lowered cars. At those points, when you rub, it 1) eats away at the edge of the tire, and 2) causes the metal at that part of the fender to be pulled down.
Didn't they teach you better than to use logic in law school? :haha:
 

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I have the same serious wear on the inside edge of the right rear tire on my car. Left rear is fine. It is not from rubbing. I think the most likely cause is excessive toe or camber, or both. Worn parts could also be a cause. I've got new ball joints and integral links on hand to replace the original ones with 130k miles on them that show some wear. I will evaluate the two upper arms and other components and bushings when I am in there. The upper arms are considerably more expensive and I don't like to change parts just to say I did it. I'd like to get the alignment checked before I start just for peace of mind as to the source, but don't care to waste the $100. Start with your alignment and minimize rear toe and set reasonable camber if you want the tires to last.
 

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Didn't they teach you better than to use logic in law school? :haha:
They had to teach me what it is so I could recognize and avoid it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Varrstoen is notorious for offering wheels in really wide sizes. Assuming they are varrstoen's (and typically wide..i.e. 19x11)...I would recommend going to a narrower wheel and as close to stock tire widths as possible.

As for the rubbing...did you ever hear the tires rub? It is definitely not quiet.

How much life is left on the rest of the tire that has cords showing? If they are almost new and you have cords showing it could be a sign of a suspension issue. With that said, if the remainder of the tire only has a little bit more tread left than the rest of the tire, it could be an alignment. Your camber does not need to be 30-40 degrees off to have extreme inner shoulder wear. It may be best to post a picture of the worn tire and the specs on the wheels and tires.

There isn't much about aligning a lowered car except you may have some camber that you won't be able to dial out because of what physically happens to the car's geometry when its slammed. My car is lowered and I've had no issues aligning it.

Now....with all that said...I'm selling a set of Hartge classics....they are single piece, good quality authentic wheels, and have a classic design :cheers:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/parts-other-sale-wanted/359978-hartge-classic-11s-los-angeles.html

I can do $1300 shipped.
The current setup is definitely at the limit of what you can fit on an E39, and the plan is to step it down some. I still have to pull one off and check if it is Varstoen. I was busy doing some E28 maintenance tonight. They do have the "JWL" lettering on the outside of the rim. Which in theory means they are approved for the road by Japan standards, but it is missing the "-R" at the end that I have read the Volks are supposed to have, which means they are approved for the track/racing.

I have heard it rub going over large bumps, but that is pretty infrequent, despite the Michigan roads.

The tire with the cords showing is down to the wear bars across the whole tire, but as you go across the tire from outside to inside there is a section that is clearly being worn by the road, then one that the road does not touch, and then the section that is down to the chords. There are some photos attached to hopefully explain better. From description alone I would tend to agree with you, but take a look and let me know what you think. That being said my brother did a quick and dirty camber check on the rears and they are both at roughly -2.6.

Those wheels do look nice, and are within my price range but it's not what I'm looking for. The nut and bolt/hardware look of two piece wheels is pretty, but I don't want it. Thanks for the offer though.

If you're indeed interested in a quality set of wheels, see my ad linked below. Toe is what wears tires down quickly, so check your RTAB's.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/parts-other-sale-wanted/395881-immaculate-19-gunmetal-bbs-ch.html
Those a very pretty, but a bit more than I wanted to spend and are just too shiny for me. I really like satin, brushed, and flat finishes.

What are you considering the RTAB's on the E39? I'm assuming you are referring to the bushings that come in Part #8, right? Also, how do you suggest I check them. I've already done the standard grab the wheel and shake, and prybar on all the joints to check for play/looseness, and found nothing that seemed out of place, but it is hard to tell when rubber has reached its end of life.

Yes, fender lip can "shave" tires without inflicting damage to itself (metal). Most likely you need bigger offset for those rims.
His excessive wear is on the inside shoulder. Also, if he was rubbing on the outside shoulder and it was being gouged by the lip of the fender, the fender would get damaged because more than likely the tire is contacting the fender at the front or back of the arch and the contact would pull the fender's lip down. E39 M5 fenders are only rolled at the top portion of the inner fender, not all the way down to the rear bumper and not all the way down towards the door sill. I attached a picture and circled where rubbing usually occurs on lowered cars. At those points, when you rub, it 1) eats away at the edge of the tire, and 2) causes the metal at that part of the fender to be pulled down.
Threepedals is right. Also, the previous owner rolled the fenders, so that really isn't much of an issue for me.

So the pictures show the tires after I swapped them, left and right (non-directional thankfully), and ran them for a few miles. It's hard to see on the bad tire, but on the good tire you can more clearly see where the rubbing is already starting, and is seperate from where the road has been contacting. Also someone asked for the specs. All four corners have Yokohama Advan Sport sized Front: 255/35ZR19 Rear: 285/30ZR19.
 

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Two things:

1) I'm 90% sure that Varrstoen wheels are JWL certified so that will not be what confirms your suspicion one way or another. The fact that you're stretched with a 285 rear tire suggests that they are probably 19x11 or AT LEAST 19x10.5. On my lowered car, I've rubbed with certain wheels even when I ran a 275 on a 19x9.5 and 19x10 wheel. If you want to avoid future issues, a narrower wheel would help (and depending on the offset of the wheel, you may want to go back down to a 275).

2) Get your suspension checked!
 

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If the tires have the same mileage, it is a suspension alignment issue. Might be rubbing, but that is the least of your problems.
 

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If the tires have the same mileage, it is a suspension alignment issue. Might be rubbing, but that is the least of your problems.
That is what I was thinking.

OP:
Why not take it to the alignment shop and find out what your current settings are? Something may jump out...........

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OP:
Why not take it to the alignment shop and find out what your current settings are? Something may jump out...........

Regards,
Jerry
I am planning on doing that, but I haven't figured out where I want to take it yet. I have used Belle Tire for all my previous stuff, because they are cheap and it's pretty hard to screw up when the only adjustment is the front toe, but I don't trust them with the beast. I have a couple on the list to look at, but do any Detroit area people have suggestions? My biggest concern was the shop possibly trying to not let me drive it home once they see the bad tire (they have done it to me before), but your post somehow reminded me that I have towing on the beast so that isn't an issue.

I did manage some time today to take the wheels off and check for more info. They are not Varrstoen like the PO told me they were. They are in fact from a brand called MARCATO. At least that is what is printed on them, you never know these days. After some googling I have not been able to find much info on MARCATO. Does anyone know who MARCATO is or anything about them?

The good news is that they have the VIA and JWL stamps. Which after some reading the VIA stamp is the important one that means they have been tested by a 3rd party. They also have an interesting "VIA 690KG" on the back which I'm assuming is the weight rating. I also recovered the size specs, which are:

Front: 19x9.5JJ et20
Rear: 19x10.5JJ et22

Anyways, I'm taking the E28 up to the family cottage for a beach weekend. I'll catch up with you guys later and hopefully get the beast into an alignment shop next week.
 

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I am planning on doing that, but I haven't figured out where I want to take it yet. I have used Belle Tire for all my previous stuff, because they are cheap and it's pretty hard to screw up when the only adjustment is the front toe, but I don't trust them with the beast. I have a couple on the list to look at, but do any Detroit area people have suggestions? My biggest concern was the shop possibly trying to not let me drive it home once they see the bad tire (they have done it to me before), but your post somehow reminded me that I have towing on the beast so that isn't an issue.

I did manage some time today to take the wheels off and check for more info. They are not Varrstoen like the PO told me they were. They are in fact from a brand called MARCATO. At least that is what is printed on them, you never know these days. After some googling I have not been able to find much info on MARCATO. Does anyone know who MARCATO is or anything about them?

The good news is that they have the VIA and JWL stamps. Which after some reading the VIA stamp is the important one that means they have been tested by a 3rd party. They also have an interesting "VIA 690KG" on the back which I'm assuming is the weight rating. I also recovered the size specs, which are:

Front: 19x9.5JJ et20
Rear: 19x10.5JJ et22

Anyways, I'm taking the E28 up to the family cottage for a beach weekend. I'll catch up with you guys later and hopefully get the beast into an alignment shop next week.
Erhard BMW in Bloomfield Hills did a great job on mine.
southeastmichiganbmwservice.com

As far as the tyre, it is not likely that any good shop will let it out with the bad tyre (at least with signing a liability waiver). However I would get the tyre replaced prior to getting it aligned. If you align it with the old tyre you will need a new alignment when you do replace it.
 

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Ya, I need to call them. It's probably where I'll end up going, as long as they aren't afraid of the coilovers. I've been busy this week prepping the E28 for POR this weekend though. It's my first time running it. Should be fun.

Thanks Allison. I'm fully aware that I need to get the new tires before the alignment, but I would like to get it checked and verify the root cause before installing new parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, it took some time between all the surprise parts orders and delays, but with AGM5's help (Thank You Allison) through the whole thing the beast is finally back on the road. New front springs, new control arms on all 4 corners, repaired/refinished wheels, and new tires. Not without its complications though.

I did end up taking it to the dealer for the alignment. With trim height specs from the TIS in hand I told them to set the ride height to 1" below stock. Not an issue they said. Then when it was finally done they called me and said it was done, but they couldn't get the camber in spec on the front or rear. This was to be expected with it being lowered, but I was surprised by the front having that issue because it has camber plates. Come to find out they didn't think to check for them and didn't use them. So they had to redo the front alignment using the camber plates. Then they came back saying they ran out of adjustment to get the toe in line. Seems strange to me, but it wasn't enough to really worry about (still need to crawl under and check why they ran out of adjustment). It was only a few minutes out of spec. So I said ok and took it home.

Then came the new fun. Lots of tire rub over small bumps, which I was not expecting because I thought 1" of drop was a conservative number. Especially considering that the PO rolled the fenders and told me that it was dropped as far as he could get it. So, the next day some of the guys at work and myself got a good look at it in the sunlight, and come to the shocking realization that it is even lower than it was when this whole project started. The attached pictures are the only reference photos I have of how low it was sitting before.

So, now I want to raise the car because it is just too low, but I have several questions and I'm not sure where to start. The biggest one is how much do I have to worry about my alignment when I raise it? What will change and by how much? How much drop is reasonable (some trial and error is probably required)? I am running 255/35 tires on 19x9.5 et20 wheels with 5mm spacers on the front and 285/30 tires on 19x10.5 et22 wheels on the rear. Which I have been told is the same tire width as the Dinans and they are set at 3/4" of drop, but from what I have seen on my car I have the feeling it will still rub at 3/4". Maybe the BC Racing springs are softer than the Dinan ones. My goal with the ride height is to try and get it below stock but not have rubbing issues over most bumps with 4 people in the car. The last question is corner balancing. Yes, I'm screwing with ride height which will screw up any balance it did have, but it is currently still just a street car, and even though it is on BC coilovers the springs are still pretty soft it seems. Any thoughts?
 

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Thought #1, don't go back to the same place for an alignment.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Rob. I will make sure to avoid the dealer in the future, lol.
 

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Makes me wonder just how Bob would react if you called and told him that you are raising the ride height and it will need to be re-aligned. hiha
 

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That wear is definitely caused by misaligned toe setting. Basically the toe is forcing the tire to slip to the outside. wheels and tires fit fine, but it needs an alignment.

As an FYI, having a bit of camber won't shred tires like having misaligned toe will. On the fronts, I generally like a very very slight toe in, and the rears to be as close to 0 as possible. The tires can generally take quite a bit of camber before they wear poorly, but a lot depends on how/what roads you do most of your driving on. If you're constantly canyon carving, 0 camber would probably wear faster than a decent 3* of camber.
 
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