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Dealer alignment and negative camber

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

Dealer alignment and negative camber

 
Old 08-29-2015, 03:22 PM
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Dealer alignment and negative camber

Hey everyone.

Well, I've been reading up in the forums and decided to go in for a dealer alignment on my w211 E 350. I just replaced all four tires with Continental DWs and don't want to take chances with all the new rubber. Here are my questions for you:

My car has obvious negative camber on the front wheels (top in/bottom out) and tires had what seems to be a typical MB wear pattern with the inside edge worn down to nothing. Can anyone tell me what the factory camber spec is supposed to be?

I'm going to the dealer for accuracy and for availability of offset camber bolts. I know that MB makes them (at an insane price, naturally), but can anyone confirm that camber adjustment is a routine procedure at a dealer?

This is my 3rd MB, and all have had this inward-lean appearance and have worn the tires' inside edge seemingly prematurely. If MB calls for negative camber, will a dealer allow me to have them set at neutral?

As background, the car is rather new to me. I bought it a few months ago at 32k miles (on a 2007!) and I haven't touched the suspension. It's a stock sport package suspension, so it has 18" wheels and 245/40/18 front and 265/35/18 rear. New tires are Continental ExtremeContact DW.

Mercedes Benz of Sarasota is socking it to me for $229 for a 4 wheel alignment, if you can believe that.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:45 AM
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2007 E350, sport & P1
camber bolts

My 2007 e350 needed three bolts replaced.
I found this out after having an alignment done at a tire shop and they told me they don't do camber adjustments on a mercedes.Informed me after the fact that only the dealer does a proper alignment. Wasted $80.00 on that alignment.
If my memory serves me the total was about $350.00 for the alignment, three camber bolts, additional labor. This was done at the dealer and no problems after that.
Dave
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:04 PM
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I always had a uneven tire wear pattern until I sold the car.

Last edited by vettdvr; 08-30-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:55 PM
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I think factory should be 1.4 degrees of negative camber but I may be completely off on that, just recalling from memory since my last alignment. I had to have one camber bolt replaced at one point, but I have always had an even wear pattern on the three sets of tires I've gone through on this car for the 3 years I've owned it. Never once have I had the insides wear out, that is not "normal" MB tire wear that means you have a suspension issue
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:49 AM
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I just had my cdi done two weeks ago. I had inside tire wear. My indie ordered two camber bolts. The left side went in with no issues, but he said that the right side did not change (something with the way the bolt went in?). Anyway, he said that I will be looking at lower control arm(s) (or bushings) if my tire wear persists. I did notice that the toe measurement was way off which I am hoping caused the inside tire wear. I am attaching my alignment sheet for information.
Mike T.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Alignment_August_2015.pdf (286.1 KB, 769 views)
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:42 PM
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If I remember correctly, camber bolts will only adjust your camber by some 0.3 degrees or so and the dealer will charge you an insanely stupid price for 2 simple bolts. If your other suspension parts are looking good and tire wear persists, K-MAC bushings might offer a reasonable solution but they aren't cheap either.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:48 PM
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I agree with Lemon, I see it like this: If you do camber bolts and it gets you close to spec, then I would just stop there. If you can do it without them that's even better. That's what I did and it worked fine for me even though one wheel was off by .1, and I haven't had any tire wear issues. If you continue to have bad inside tire wear, then consider the KMAC bushings, but those are overkill if you're within reasonable spec.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:15 AM
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K-MAC bushings +1
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:53 PM
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Just got a MB of Boerne TX factory alignment for $109.... A $30 discount promo.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice, guys. This is now my fourth MB (3rd E Class, with a CLK thrown in along the way), and they've ALL had inside edge wear, so I'm sick of it.

I had the alignment done yesterday, and they did need to replace my left side OE bolt with an offset to bring it back into spec. My Sarasota FL dealer didn't charge me extra for the bolt. It was pretty far out of spec, and the alignment makes a world of difference in on-center feel.

I've read elsewhere in the forums that factory alignment is frequently out of spec, so it's nice to get it where it's supposed to be.

Hey, come to think of it, since I have the sports package with larger rears than fronts, and tires are unidirectional, I should be able to have an unconventional tire "rotation" done by dismounting the tires from the wheels, spinning around 180 degrees, and placing on the opposite side right?
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:47 AM
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If you have inside wear either somethings bent, bushings are bad or the alignment is off. You don't need kmac bushings fix the problem. Start with the alignment specs. If your camber is more than negative 1.5 then start looking at bad lower/upper control arms followed by ball joints.

If toe is set correctly -1.5 is not going to shred the inside of the tire. If it is...something is moving while your driving.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:06 PM
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I just had alignment done on 4M and looks like $180 service at dealer adjusted toe only.
I still have 6 numbers out of specification and when I call SA he says it is quite normal.
Shall I put up with it? I don't see big deal in level slightly out of spec, but I had inner front tire wear and looks like the technician made the camber worse than it was.
Could be within measurements error, but I am not happy.
No wonder the cashier did not want to give me the spec sheet and she called SA to give it to me.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kajtek1 View Post
Shall I put up with it?
That is a hard call to make. I would try talking to the technician if you can to see why he could not get it within specs, and get his opinion on what needs to be done to get everything within spec. I am thinking he just gave up on it. In my opinion, **** poor work from a "certified" Mercedes tech.
My camber is out on one side even with the bolt kit. My toe was way out and at least that is in spec and hopefully will stop my tires from wearing on the insides. If my tires still wear, my next thing is to replace the lower control arm(s), and will probably change the struts since the car is approaching 125k.
Please post your before and after alignment sheets.
Mike T.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:10 PM
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'99 and '05 E55 AMG
For code 489, air suspension versions '03 to '09 E-series.

Front: negative 1.4 degrees +/- 0.3
Rear: negative 1.7 degrees +/- 0.5

The rear wheels on a non-AMG E-series can be adjusted by installing Specialty Products Company (SPC) adjustables. I believe it is part number 28860. It's for the 12mm bolts. Won't work on the AMG versions since those use 14mm bolts in the rear. SPC does not make a product for the front.

FWIW, I just pressed a set of new-style KMac bushings into a new set of control arms. Will see about installing them at the next service that is due in 1400 miles or so...I'll let you know how it works out for durability.

On my W210 E55, the "eccentric" bolts brought the front camber into spec but I had to give up some caster to do so. On the rears, the only thing that worked was to install adjustable camber bars.

Last edited by bbirdwell; 11-13-2015 at 04:19 PM. Reason: SPC info
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:55 PM
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The above might be for RWD.
The sheet for 4M says
Front left : -0.55 +/-0.20
Front right: -0.52 +/- 0.20
Rear left : -1.26 +/-0.30
Rear right : -1.20 +/- 0.30

I will go to talk to SA this afternoon, so will post outcome later.
They use strange math at stealer.
Front left with this tolerance should be between 0'35 and 1'15. Mine is 1'01 and shows in red.

Last edited by kajtek1; 11-13-2015 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:28 PM
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Spoke to SA this afternoon and he took the Test sheet to other room, what I think was repair shop manager.
They spend about 20 minutes making the notes in pen on the side.
Looks like computer (?) doesn't know how to add minuted to the degrees
Still -I have another appointment next week to correct remaining issues.
Attached Thumbnails Dealer alignment and negative camber-dsc01103.jpg  

Last edited by kajtek1; 11-13-2015 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:52 PM
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'99 and '05 E55 AMG
My post referred to non-4Matic cars. RWD only. I seem to remember that a member posted here who had one of the twelve (12) 4Matic AMG E55s and those were the W210 body style IIRC..
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kajtek1 View Post
Spoke to SA this afternoon and he took the Test sheet to other room, what I think was repair shop manager.
They spend about 20 minutes making the notes in pen on the side.
Looks like computer (?) doesn't know how to add minuted to the degrees
I still think it is not a computer issue, but the technician's issue. Hopefully, you will get a different tech to re do the alignment.
Mike T.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:12 PM
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Hey guys this might be a dumb question but I'm trying to figure out on the mb alignment chart that you posted I have same alignment sheet from dealer, I can't figure out for some reason if my front camber is off or my rear camber I'm assuming it's my front camber but just wanted to clarify before I proceed with ordering parts. I will post a picture any help is appreciated

Last edited by BenzGuy83; 10-22-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BenzGuy83 View Post
Hey guys this might be a dumb question but I'm trying to figure out on the mb alignment chart that you posted I have same alignment sheet from dealer, I can't figure out for some reason if my front camber is off or my rear camber I'm assuming it's my front camber but just wanted to clarify before I proceed with ordering parts. I will post a picture any help is appreciated
If the car has 166K miles on the original suspension as per the document, and it were my car, I would pull out the credit card and replace the front control arms, thrust arms, tie-rod ends, and upper ball joints. Then I would go the rear of the car and replace the rear control arms and bushings and consider replacing the multi-link suspension pieces. Cheap? No. Then I would have the suspension calibrated to ensure the control arms' angles are within the factory recommendations.

Or, you can just try calibrating the suspension. Looking at yours, *assuming* the bushings and ball joints are not destroyed, I would hazard a guess that your right front suspension needs to be raised, and the rear suspension needs to be raised. Search under my screen name and "W211 suspension calibration". My car's camber readings looked just like yours; an hour of my time recalibrating the right-front and the rear suspension and camber fell right where it should.

This is the third thread you've posted that same document. Can you resize it smaller so I don't have to scroll multiple times to get through it? Air suspension?

EDIT: read your other thread. Coil overs. Suggestion for you: raise the rear so the fender roll is ~26 3/4" to 27" off the ground; that should put you around -1.6 or -1.7 degrees camber assuming new bushings. Adjust the coilovers in the front so fender roll is ~26 1/2" off the ground and you should be around -1.6 or -1.7 degrees camber assuming good bushings and ball joints. If you had Airmatic I would tell you to not sweat 1/4" difference side-to-side. Now would be a good time to corner weight the car if you want to do so.

All of the above is based on my W211 E55 AMG with airmatic suspension and RWD. If your car is similar, you want the front control arms between 3.1 (lowest front end) to 4.1 degrees (highest front end). The rear stub axles should be between -1.5 (lowest rear end) to -0.9 degrees (highest rear end). That will put you into the factory ride height. Adjust front and rear depending upon how you want the car to "rake". I have my suspension angles centered in the rear and lowest in the front it looks tail high and head low; sort of like a cat getting ready to pounce.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:54 PM
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I have arnott coil overs front and rear non adjustable ... Come to think I got 2rims and tires in the trunk and bunch of tools I forgot to take out that might mess with my rear hight😂🤔😭 Not sure how to raise the car to factory specs otherwise 🤔.... Even with front camber the way it is it never ate the front tires I did front inner outer tie rods and lower ball joints but my main concern was rear toe... I hit a pothole and it was eating my passenger iner rear tire... Replaced the toe arm because the adjustment plate on toe arm was bent but according to dealer the arm was 1/2 inch to short unlikely because I measured the arm before I changed it.. but whatever I ordered UPD adjustable toe arms from shardul which should be able to fix the toe ...

Last edited by BenzGuy83; 10-22-2017 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BenzGuy83 View Post
I have arnott coil overs front and rear non adjustable ... Come to think I got 2rims and tires in the trunk and bunch of tools I forgot to take out that might mess with my rear hight😂🤔😭 Not sure how to raise the car to factory specs otherwise 🤔.... Even with front camber the way it is it never ate the front tires I did front inner outer tie rods and lower ball joints but my main concern was rear toe... I hit a pothole and it was eating my passenger iner rear tire... Replaced the toe arm because the adjustment plate on toe arm was bent but according to dealer the arm was 1/2 inch to short unlikely because I measured the arm before I changed it.. but whatever I ordered UPD adjustable toe arms from shardul which should be able to fix the toe ...
I had to adjust camber on my 2005 W211 and W164 at a frame shop. They were both out of spec and beyond the adjustment range. Wasn't expensive and both cars drive great now.
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