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2008 BMW 130i Manual
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up an FSTI at the weekend and its a beast of a machine, however there a couple of small niggles that i need to get sorted:

1. Passenger door lock doesn't work with central locking. Have read some posts on post 05 cars that this can happen and is usually the actuator. Anyone experienced this? It works fine manually.

2. When accelerating hard, the car pulls a bit to the right and then when lifting off pulls back to the left. I've heard various expelanations of this from allignment to tie rod ends or wishbone bushes. Anyone else experienced? Checked all tyre pressures which are fine, but the tyres are new so not sure if this has anything to do with it.

Cheers
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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6,570 Posts
I haven't had this in any of my cars but reading in a 205 forum about someone posting the same question, possible culprits are wishbones bushes and maybe track rod ends?
How many miles does the car have?
Post some pics up!
 

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Emeritus Forum Staff
2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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Would probably be worth getting the geometry checked properly (full 4 wheel alignment). I've just swapped my suspension out and it's now not tracking quite true (noticeable more on acceleration that at a constant speed). The tracking hasn't changed but the camber will have done I'm sure.
 

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2008 BMW 130i Manual
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Anyone know how expensive these items are? Car drives nice and tight in all but hard accelleration. Odd, as I've had a couple of beemers before with wishbone bushes gone and you can tell something is definitely wrong with vague steering and knocking etc. None that here, so hopefully not too serious....

Car has 28k on the clock and dates from Nov 2005.

Will post some pics a little later when i get home!
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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At 28k any suspension components should still be very fresh so it might be worth checking the wheel alignment as said.
 

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2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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The garage should be able to check all the bushes etc when it's up on ramps having the geometry checked... much cheaper than swapping out parts if it's just the setup that's out.
 

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07 Forester XT
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6,759 Posts
Would probably be worth getting the geometry checked properly (full 4 wheel alignment). I've just swapped my suspension out and it's now not tracking quite true (noticeable more on acceleration that at a constant speed). The tracking hasn't changed but the camber will have done I'm sure.
Having swapped my suspension every spring/fall since 2007 and done my own alignments I can tell you right now your alingment is totally off. Get it fixed before you wear out your tires as they'll cost more than a simple alignment. It wont take long to happen.
 

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2008 BMW 130i Manual
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice. How can alignment become so far out?

Got it booked into my local garage this week to have a look. Got a long trip ahead this weekend and would rather get it sorted!
 

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07 Forester XT
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In the case of swapping out suspension you've undone/reinstalled the bolts/struts which in itself will move everything. Add to that aftermarket suspension is usually lower (shorter) than OEM so the angles at whcih everything mounts up will now be different thus the distances will change. Typically I've found the alignment (toe) will be off by about 4-8mm per side once I do this. Doesn't sound like much but keep in mind Subaru spec is +/- 3mm per axel, 1.5mm at each corner. Even when I've adjusted camber a degree or two in the middle of the season it can have a 2mm effect on toe on one corner alone.

Now as for how does alignment get out of whack from just driving around doing your shopping.... Its all held in place with nuts & bolts and many parts have rubber bushings. Bushings wear over time and flex/get mushy, hitting pot holes, smacking a curb will force parts to move, repeated general road impact does the same thing over long periods of time. As the owner of a car you generally don't notice because the changes are gradual over several years.

When I swap my suspension over and go for a test drive the first thing I notice is the car is all darty. Not that it necessary pulls hard to one side or the other but it seems to track everywhere like a young dog on a leash. I'm constantly putting in little course corrections to the steering wheel to keep straight. Then I'll do an alignment and the car track much better. You can coast down the road with the wheel loose in your hands and it doesn't seem to do much. The car may slowly start to veer to the shoulder but that's usually the designed grade in the road so rains runs off to the side and doesn't pull in the middle. On the highway if you change lanes it should pull towards the shoulder closest to you (at least in Canada that's how the roads are designed).

Curious, what do they charge for a 4 wheel alignment in the UK ? Its about $80-100 here, takes them an hour to do it. I need at least 2 alignments a year plus extra if I put something new in there, thus the reason I do them myself. I can get within 0.5mm of accuracy if I take my time, well within the 3mm margin of error as per Subaru spec.

IMO for Joe average, doing your alignment every 5 years should keep things in check. It pays for itself with reduces tire wear alone.
 

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2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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Having swapped my suspension every spring/fall since 2007 and done my own alignments I can tell you right now your alingment is totally off. Get it fixed before you wear out your tires as they'll cost more than a simple alignment. It wont take long to happen.
Indeed, it's booked in for tomorrow... only swapped suspension out yesterday.
 

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2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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As per Legacy's last post, with all the pot holes in the UK at the moment, it doesn't surprise me that the alignment is out... one knock on a pot hole can be all it takes.

Should cost £50 - £100 depending on how much time they need to spend adjusting things.
 

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2008 GRB 20th anniversary 6 MT
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Legacy, how do you do your own alignment?
Do you have your own equipment and a level platform?
As you said, people don't realise that a good wheel alignment can really transform a car.
In UK the cost varies from 50 pounds to 125 pounds but I have paid 50 pounds and noticed nothing and paid 125 and got a totally different car to drive.
Cheapest is not always better.
The satisfaction of driving a well sorted and responsive car doesn't compare with anyhting.
 

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Premium Member
07 Forester XT
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Legacy, how do you do your own alignment?
Do you have your own equipment and a level platform?
As you said, people don't realise that a good wheel alignment can really transform a car.
In UK the cost varies from 50 pounds to 125 pounds but I have paid 50 pounds and noticed nothing and paid 125 and got a totally different car to drive.
Cheapest is not always better.
The satisfaction of driving a well sorted and responsive car doesn't compare with anyhting.


I basically follow what's written up here: HowTo: 4 wheel alignment (toe and thrust angle) - NASIOC

I only use the strings method on one side. Once I've zero'd that side I use toe plates on the other side since I know my starting reference is already at 0, originally we used ones made of wood which was confirmed as perfectly flat,this year I came across toe plates from Longacre for only $60 so we'll never have to replace them again. They work like a charm.



I do mine in the garage, the more level the floor the better but you can level out each corner using floor tires stacked up .

For slip plates we bought a set of 4 of these vvvvv You can make your own out of wood (as seen in Nasioc thread) , we did that for a season then I went in with a friend and bought these which just makes life easier doing it 2x @ year.




Its not hard at all to do, I'm by no means a mechanic. It takes a bit to get the concepts but once you've done it a couple of times its pretty easy. Look on youtube and you'll find a ton of videos with guys showing how to do an alignment, how to "level" out each corner etc.

A good alignment is dependant on the tech taking his time to do it right. There's not a lot to it, but if they rush it it won't be as accurate as it could be. There are cheap places in town here to get them done, like you said , you wind up with a cheap alignmetn as they're just out to make a quick buck vs the shops that charge more and do it right the first time.
 

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..now Maidstone
MY14 Audi SQ5 8AT
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Is that your car in your avatar? Just wondered as it has fog lights....
 

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2008 BMW 130i Manual
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Well, my two minor 'issues' don't seem to be rapidly sorting themelves!

Seems that the door lock actuator is confusing the people at Subaru as after several days they still can't give me a definitive answer on the part required. Relunctant not just to get a UK spec one now after Don's astute comments that they have deadlocks here and hence are not the same unit.

Also, had the garage do my alignment yesterday and whilst both offside wheels were out, and accordingly rectified, a test drive showed that the car was still doing exactly the same thing! The mechanic had the car up on the ramp and looked at the suspension and couldn't see any apparent issues. So now i'm completely baffled. Is there any other explanation as to why a car would drive perfectly straight at normal cruising speed and then pull right when accellerationg and going left when lifting off? :confused:
 

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Emeritus Forum Staff
2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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Is there any other explanation as to why a car would drive perfectly straight at normal cruising speed and then pull right when accellerationg and going left when lifting off? :confused:
On a FWD, pulling to one side under acceleration (torquesteer) is just a fact of life so could it be something to do with the front diff, possibly?
 

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2008 BMW 130i Manual
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194 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I've driven a Saab Viggen so I know all about torque steer!

This is only moderate acceleration. Think i might have to book it into a specialist and 'pray' that it isn't anything too sinister.
 

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Don, King of the parts diagram
MY11 WRX STi Sedan 6MT
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5,870 Posts
Would be interesting to see the alignment figures...............
 
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