Properly aligning your 1997 BMW 318i is an advanced job recommended for expert mechanics. Remember to please use proper safety precautions when adjusting the alignment. Make sure that your approved wheels and tires are in good condition and make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure.
First, determine if your 1997 BMW 318i has the Sport Suspension upgrade or if the car comes with the standard or "normal" suspension. Such information is typically found in your owner's manual. This will determine the alignment specifications of the car.
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BMW 318i Front Wheel Alignment Specifications
The toe angle (total) for the 318i without the sport suspension package is 0° 18' ±8'. The camber measurement is -0 40' ±30'. There are two Caster alignment values---one at a 10° wheel lock and another for a 20° wheel lock. At the 10° wheel lock, the specification is 3° 50' ±30'. At the 20° wheel lock, use 3° 57' ±30'.
BMW 318i Rear Wheel Alignment Specifications
For the rear wheel alignment, use a toe angle (total) of 0° 24' ±6'. The camber is -1° 40' ±15'. There is a maximum allowable deviation between sides of 0° ±3'.
BMW 318i Sport Suspension Front Wheel Alignment Specifications
The toe angle (total) for the 1997 BMW 318i with Sport Suspension is 0° 18' ±8'. The camber measurement is -0° 51 ± 30'. There are two different alignment specifications for the caster---one at a 10° wheel lock and one at a 20° wheel lock. At 10°, the specification is 3° 50' ±30'. At a 20° wheel lock, the alignment is 3° 57' ±30'. Finally, set the front wheel displacement at 0° ±15'.
BMW 318i Sport Suspension Rear Wheel Alignment Specifications
Set the toe angle (total) to 0° 24' ±6' and set the camber to -2° 24' ±6'. Note that there is a maximum allowable deviation between sides of 0° ±3'.
Make sure to use the appropriate safety precautions when working on your car. Take your car to a certified mechanic if you do not feel comfortable with your abilities or if you do not have the proper equipment.
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