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Rear Beam not central to car! Any ideas?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Prawn, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Hi guys, I've just found out that my rear beam isn't totally central to my car!

    I've thought this in the past, but never bothered to check it out.

    I got some new wheels last night, and want to fit spacers, so went outside with a tape to measure things up.

    It appears, that my drivers side wheel sits around 15mm further inboard than the passengers wheel! 15mm is a serious amount!

    Anyone got any ideas why this would be? I want to fit spacers, but 15mm on the passengers side will be too much, and 15mm on the drivers side still wont look quite right.

    Also, when measuring things up, I noticed that my passengers side rear is roughly 20mm higher than the drivers side too!
    I want spacers, but obviously I cant fit different size spacers each side!

    Anyone else had this problem?

    Cheers
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  2. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  3. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    Dont say that! The car is fairly sound, and is definately HPI clear.

    That said, I do believe it's had a shunt of some sort on the offside rear quarter in the past.....
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  4. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sorry for suggesting that,I suppose its not what you want to hear






    how about cut and shunt?
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  5. Starry
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    Starry S3 amd map,coilovers,upgraded heldex,lcr spliter..

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    i thought the same thing with mine so i went and had all 4 wheels checked
    and found the rears had a completely differant camber. once this was adjusted it was ok. also if your getting your 20mm hight differance from the arch to the floor then it may be down to a week spring. either that or it could be as said cat D or a smash that never made the register.
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  6. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    Dont have a clue about the front sounds odd - i would imagine the adjustment of the arblinks could have something to do with it but im no expert

    have you had one spring replaced at the rear instead of two at some point? either that or one might be snapped right at the top/bottom probably worth getting in there and checking.
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  7. ash_s3
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    ash_s3 Active Member

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    Sounds like a bad accident repair job, get it up on a ramp and have a good look
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  8. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    This is the thing guys...... It's had brand new shocks and springs just a few thousand miles ago, and sat marginally higher on one side from the day they were fitted.....

    I've been under neath, and everything is straight, no creases anywhere, all the factory underseal is still there and undisturbed!

    Im stumped.....
    #8
  9. fingermouse
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    fingermouse thats me

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    for the height , have they seated the spring correctly??? as for your other problem im not acustomed to your set up but is it possible to bolt up the rear out of true. a bit like a old mini subframe if you get my gist ????
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  10. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    Ok, yours is 2wd, yeah?
    If so, and the rear has had a biff, then whilst the body is straight, it could be the axle got a wack and is bent. Where is the 15mm difference, at the wheel, if so are you measuring centre of the wheel to a plumbline off the top of the arch? That is the most accurate measure you can do at home IMO, but still not 100%. If you are measuring top of the wheel to body arch, camber will play a part, again your camber could be duff due to a wack, or just out of adjustment.

    If form under the car the actual beam can be seen to be offset 15mil something is wrong, but it could be totally shafted rear beam bushes letting the back move about under load, check them,on the 2wd a3 and golf, the stock ones last about 60k miles /3-4 years only.

    If the beam is central, check the trailing arms are not bent and the angles look the same. If not, it could be bent beam, or just tweaked arm. If you think the rear beam is not 100%, do yourself a favour, save about 100quid of your hard earned up, go to a scrappy and get a front damaged golf / a3 (I think they are the same??) and get it!

    You need to get a plumbline, a steel rule and take some careful measures from plumb off the arch and to the centre of the wheel. If the body is straight, these measurements should indicate where there is a problem.

    It has been known on here for a guys car who had a similar thing to find he had one replica aloy with a different offset!! Check that too!!
    #10
  11. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    thanks simch, mine is 2wd yea, or wrong wheel drive as many call it!
    I will do it with a plumb line properly on level ground at work tomorow. This was just rough in the street. It is however, very obvious from behind the car, that one wheel is WAY inboard compared to the other. I think I'll need to get under and take a closer look at the beam though.

    Can camber be adjusted on the mk4 chassis rear axle? I wasnt aware it could, except by means of camber shims. My camber looks pretty even, at around 1 degree neg on both wheels.

    The bushes are old and probably worn, but surely if this were the case then it would very which way its offset? This is always offset the same way.

    Wheel offsets are all the same, the wheels were brand new yesterday, and the problem has carried over 2 sets of wheels now.

    I'll take a good look again at the weekend.

    Thanks guys
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  12. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    You can do a simple chassis alignment check if you have access to an area with a smooth level surface. Basically you jack the car up and hang a plumb line from various chassis and suspension pickup points, compared to center lines down the car.

    Hassle, but it tells alot.

    Take the car to a body shop that has a jig. They have vehicle data for straightening cars. They can measure if it is out of spec.

    Also heard you can shim the rear axle to change its position........can't be sure on that one.

    My rear coilovers are at different adjustments to keep the rear level. This is common for the MK4 golf boys too.
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  13. HTC
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    HTC Active Member

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    Simch got there first. :) I type too slow.
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  14. jcb
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    jcb Active Member

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    what did you measure?more importantly where?
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  15. sitrials
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    sitrials Member

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    did you have a fat mate sat in it when you measured it nick???LOL!

    hope its not terminal!
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  16. JLA
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    JLA Member

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    Nick check your strut top mounts are ok, if they are anything like the front then they will go weak in time and make the car sag.
    As for the wheel issue, take a few measurements and compare them against your mates A3, this might show you where the fault lies.
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  17. ANDYTQ
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    ANDYTQ Member

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    My mate had a simular problem with a mk2 gti golf,he had hit a kerb and the car was crabbing slightly.Anyway the mounting plates for the axle were slotted and we could see how much it had moved from the witness marks,so we slackened it off and moved it back to where it was .It did the trick,i told him to get it 4 wheel aligned but i dont think he ever did.Hope this helps,cheers Andy
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  18. jomnhta
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    jomnhta Member

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    Prawn, my S3 has exactly the same problem and I am still looking at what happen. With all the alignments set at equal (-2deg camber, 0deg40" toe) for both sides at the rear, u can easily spot one wheel is sitting more inboard then the other. I measure the horizontal gap between the top of the wheel to the fender and its about 1cm of difference.

    I don't know if its related to the all-compressed Bilstein PSS spring problem or trailing arm bushing related. I am planning to upgrade the sway bar and change the non-coilover setup to see if it can solve the problem.
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  19. JLA
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    JLA Member

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    I've had another thought Nick, don't know if it would make a difference or not, but on the inboard edge of the axle bush it is tapered and needs to sit at the right angle, maybe yours has been put in at the wrong angle or come loose and twisted? If you have a look at it you'll see what I mean. I maybe be talking **** though!
    #19

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