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robT

F11 Seized rear camber alignment bolts

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I have been trying to get my alignment sorted on my F11 now for a few weeks and keep on running in various issues. I wont go into details but I am now on my 3rd garage to try and carry out the alignment! It also definitely needs doing. Last set of rear tyres wore badly on the inner edge, plus readings from hunter machine showed a lot of red...

 

Last garage I took it to told me that the rear camber alignment bolts were seized. They said that they tried to release them with a mixture of penetrating oil, heat via a gun and a breaker bar and no luck. The car was on their ramps at the time with Hunter machine, so was weighted. They said that I needed to release the bolts and then come back to them.

 

Is this something that I can do myself, or should I try and get (another!) garage to do it for me? I was told by a mate that the bolts would more likely move if the car was un-weighted, i.e. put up in the air using the jacking points, as less pressure on the bolts then. I have also been spraying the bolts with some plus gas penetrating oil once a day for last couple of days to see if that might help.

 

Suggestions for places to take the car (another alignment centre or a "proper" garage), things to try myself and any other tips or tricks would be appreciated. I am basedin Birmingham by the way.

Edited by robT
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The bolts in question have a cam shaped head and with eccentric washers provide the adjustment necessary to move the lower arms in and out.

 

What I would do would be to buy a set of new nuts, bolts and washers. Parts #6, 7 and 16 x 2 (as an example on the lower wishbone) and then use a grinder to cut the old nuts and bolts out, carefully so you do not damage the aluminium ribs on the subframe that the eccentric washer cams against.

 

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=FR72-EUR-01-2013-F10-BMW-535i&diagId=33_1453

 

Fit the new bolts and get the wheel alignment done and fully tighten the bolts when the car arms are at their normal position so as not to stress up the bushes.

 

Soaking them in penetrating oil will help. As would heat, an impact gun and a big beefy breaker bar with an overweight mechanic hanging off the end.

 

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Thanks Andrew. 
 

Would cutting the bolts not potentially cause damage to the bushes? Or are you suggesting to just cut the nut and bolt head off (if stuck) and then to hammer the remaining section of bolt out? 

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Last time I had some new tyres fitted I took the car to a decent local garage for alignment. I've previously had another car aligned there without a problem but after messing about with my F11 for half an hour they told me the adjusters were siezed and I'd need to rebook the car in so they could try to free them off. I'd had the aligment done last year at a BMW specialist in Glasgow which is 60 odd miles from me. They'd had a bit of trouble doing the job but managed ok in the end after about three hours of struggle and coarse language. I decided to just take it back to them instead of going back to the local lot. An hour and a half on their lift this time and the car was sorted.

 

In short I think it makes a difference who's doing the job. Hope you can get it sorted easily, and if you can do it yourself then all the better.

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No, if you cut off the nut carefully you aren't anywhere near the bush. Then hammer/drift out the bolt. Cut the bolt thread that protrudes beyond the nut to prevent the nut if and when it does begin to undo from locking itself solid on the rusted bolt threads. 

 

They are tighted to 165Nm plus 90 deg.

 

TIS says to allow for a break loose torque of over 400Nm.

 

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f10-535i-lim_201301/repair-manuals/33-rear-axle-rear-wheel-drive-guide/33-32-trailing-arms-struts/1LcZlEXI

 

I recently replaced my front spring, I used a wire brush in my drill to clean up the lower bolt threads as doused them in WD40, 18 hours prior to undoing it with my electric impact wrench, it came out o.k. not as tight though. 

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Thanks guys. Not sure I am going to be able to do this myself, as I dont have a cutting tool and don't want to mess anything up.

 

Looks like I will have to wait for my local BMW indi to fit me in so that they can have a go at it. What a pain in the arse!

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3 hours ago, apples12 said:

Surprised the tracking place didn't just ask you to get the new bolts and they'd remove the seized ones and fit?

 

Hope it gets sorted for you

Thats the sort of thing that I was hoping that they would suggest, but it appears that alignment places around Birmingham just dont want to sort out seized bolts. I called another place today and like the others they just say to get the bolts sorted and come back to them.

 

I dont have a jack at my house at the moment or any axle stands etc else I would just get under the car myself and have a go with a breaker bar.

 

If someone has any tips or sure fire ways of getting these bolts to move then I'm willing to have a go myself and collect my jack and stands, but if everyone thinks its a pig of a job and best leave it to a decent garage with access to big toys / tools then I will leave it to them.

Edited by robT
wording wrong

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You would really want it up on a ramp to be able to get enough room to swing a long enough breaker bar to undo these nuts. Up on axle stands might not be high enough. You might need to pay a garage to replace the bolts and then pay the wheel alignment specialist to then adjust everything. Just don't get the first garage to tighten them up fully.

 

9 hours ago, robT said:

Maybe I just need to buy myself a new electric impact wrench toy!

 

I bought a Dewalt DCF894n as my "I survived Coronavirus" present to myself. Made life much easier when working on the car recently.

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9 hours ago, robT said:

Thats the sort of thing that I was hoping that they would suggest, but it appears that alignment places around Birmingham just dont want to sort out seized bolts. I called another place today and like the others they just say to get the bolts sorted and come back to them.

 

I dont have a jack at my house at the moment or any axle stands etc else I would just get under the car myself and have a go with a breaker bar.

 

If someone has any tips or sure fire ways of getting these bolts to move then I'm willing to have a go myself and collect my jack and stands, but if everyone thinks its a pig of a job and best leave it to a decent garage with access to big toys / tools then I will leave it to them.

Hang fire!

 

Which garage in Birmingham? 

 

I'm also in Birmingham and can recommend a good few places

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On 6/3/2020 at 8:10 AM, apples12 said:

Hang fire!

 

Which garage in Birmingham? 

 

I'm also in Birmingham and can recommend a good few places

I normally take my car the NCB Autokraft as Noel and his team seem to know their stuff and have it booked in to go there next week to get the bolts loosened or replaced. 
 

Am still open to options with regards to where to get the alignment itself done. Would be a lot easier for me if I can just find a single garage though that will both loosen the bolts and do the alignment all in one go. So if you have suggestions I’d be happy to hear them.

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typically the bolt shank will be seized in the bush centre sleeve, having weight on the car or not wouldn't make any difference, I'd get some bolts and nuts ordered ready, whoever is going to do the alignment should be able to sort the seized bolts, they deal with that day in day out, not just adjust stuff!

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On 04/06/2020 at 23:23, robT said:

I normally take my car the NCB Autokraft as Noel and his team seem to know their stuff and have it booked in to go there next week to get the bolts loosened or replaced. 
 

Am still open to options with regards to where to get the alignment itself done. Would be a lot easier for me if I can just find a single garage though that will both loosen the bolts and do the alignment all in one go. So if you have suggestions I’d be happy to hear them.

Wheel alignment centre oxhill road, he'll deal with the bolt and align it in one go. They've got the hunter alignment machine so same as BMW 

 

Also, I've sat in sytner service reception while their tech did an alignment and there was not a single weight in sight. 

 

 

Oxhill road will do the lot.

 

I've used Noel in the past but last couple of experiences have put me off now. 

 

Have found a new garage in tyseley, not the prettiest but definitely experienced mechanics and honest. 

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As a bit of an update. I took the car to Noel today and they could only get 1 camber alignment bolt moving, and said that the other bolt was definitely seized. They spent about 30 mins time between both bolts.

 

Suggested that to fix could cut the bolt out, but would damage the bush, and that you can't source a bush on its own from BMW, and would need a whole new (very expensive of course!) arm if did that. If I could however source a bush on its own, then they could fit that, but would still mean having to take the arm completely out and probably several hours labour to do that. No mention of being able to cut and knock the bolt out without affecting the bush?

 

Apples12 - Unfortunately I had already taken the car to the Wheel Alignment Centre on Oxhill Road. It was those guys who told me the bolt was seized, and I was hoping that NCB could free it up.

 

Not sure about next steps? Maybe find someone who thinks they can replace the bolt without affecting the bush?

Edited by robT

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2 hours ago, robT said:

As a bit of an update. I took the car to Noel today and they could only get 1 camber alignment bolt moving, and said that the other bolt was definitely seized. They spent about 30 mins time between both bolts.

 

Suggested that to fix could cut the bolt out, but would damage the bush, and that you can't source a bush on its own from BMW, and would need a whole new (very expensive of course!) arm if did that. If I could however source a bush on its own, then they could fit that, but would still mean having to take the arm completely out and probably several hours labour to do that. No mention of being able to cut and knock the bolt out without affecting the bush?

 

Apples12 - Unfortunately I had already taken the car to the Wheel Alignment Centre on Oxhill Road. It was those guys who told me the bolt was seized, and I was hoping that NCB could free it up.

 

Not sure about next steps? Maybe find someone who thinks they can replace the bolt without affecting the bush?

That is a shame, he managed to deal with a seized bolt on the rear of mine a year or so ago. 

.you can obtain the bushes on their own, in which case any garage should be able to change it for you. Have a look at the lemforder webcat and cross reference the lemforder part number with eBay/Kms often stock them

 

Good luck chap

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On 6/6/2020 at 2:31 PM, apples12 said:

Wheel alignment centre oxhill road, he'll deal with the bolt and align it in one go. They've got the hunter alignment machine so same as BMW 

 

Also, I've sat in sytner service reception while their tech did an alignment and there was not a single weight in sight. 

 

 

Oxhill road will do the lot.

 

I've used Noel in the past but last couple of experiences have put me off now. 

 

Have found a new garage in tyseley, not the prettiest but definitely experienced mechanics and honest. 

Can you let me know the name of the garage in Tyseley mate.

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The bush is in the arm, which then sits between two brackets if you like which are attached to the subframe.  The bolt head and the nut sit outside the subframe brackets so to cut the bolt on the outside of the subframe bracket will not damage the bush in the arm.  Unless he doesn't have a grinder with a cutting disc and can only cut things with a gas axe, then there is the potential for the heat to damage the rubber.

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On 10/06/2020 at 20:31, robT said:

Can you let me know the name of the garage in Tyseley mate.

One stop autos on redfern road

 

Let him know the guy with the 520d you did all 4 shocks and sings on recommended

 

 

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Thought I'd give anyone interested a quick update as I finally managed to get my alignment sorted! :)

 

In the end I bought a replacement Lemforder bush for the swing arm just in case the bolt broke when trying to get it out, but Noel at NCB Autokraft, the local Indi BMW garage, managed to get the seized bolt out for me, and for good measure I got him to change the bolt on the other side and apply some lubrication so that I (hopefully) shouldnt have an issue on the other side going forward.

 

Then got a local alignment specialist, A Line based in Dudley, to sort the alignment this morning.

 

I'm very happy to now have a print out showing all in the green!

 

Thanks to all for your help and advice.

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