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My 02 has been sitting a little cockeyed for some time so i thought i'd try and figure out what was going on.  The left rear has been sitting around 0.75" lower that the right side.   The springs are Ireland stage 1 with Bilstein HD's. Springs are about 9 years old and there hasn't been a tremendous amount of miles put on it.  No accidents either.  I'm new at this stuff, but pulled the springs out this morning ( without too much effort) and the left spring is not sitting straight, as you can see in the pic below.  The lower pads are also looking a little worn, so will probably get new ones. 


Do you think this is causing the uneven ride?  and should I be looking at new springs?  The guy that installed them had issues with them fitting well on the pads.  Is this unique to IE?  I originally was looking at H&R.  any thoughts?  Is there anything else i should be looking at if this isn't really a problem...





Leaning Left Rear Spring.JPG

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If you are asking that a spring sitting tilted sideways while off the car is the reason for your height difference .... no. Not it is not. 


Probable causes to check out:

1)Spring pads   -  Are they the same? (the upper pads are designated by dots)

                          -  Are they worn?


2)Trailing Arms  - Are they bent with age?  What are the alignment settings?


3) Chassis  - Once the other things are known, check the chassis.  They weren't always super precise.  

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AceAndrew:  I wasn't sure if i had a faulty spring or not, or why it might have done that.  see below for answers to your questions.


1)Spring pads   -  Baron: Same 2 Dot upper pads in decent shape.  Lowers are cracked  and the left one ( lower side) is more worn.  i'll probably replace these....



2)Trailing Arms  - Baron: They appear straight and not bent or kinked anywhere.   Its a tii and are boxed.      Not sure i understand what you mean by alignment settings? 


3) Chassis  - Once the other things are known, check the chassis.  They weren't always super precise.  

Baron:  are there any specific dimensions i should check/compare?  

Edited by floatinghead
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that's strange, mine's been doing that too for a couple of years now. Same side.

My "fun" cars so far:                                                                                                                                                                                                            My restoration website:

     1976 BMW 2002a                                                                                                                                                                                                           http://www.2002and914.com

     1975 Porsche 914

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It is not uncommon for springs to sag.  That is why racers check the ride height of their race cars and have threaded height adjusters.  One person in the car will show a list to the driver side.  My TII does.  The next time I work on the suspension I will just swap springs side to side.  G

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... and I hate to say it, but I cannot tell a lie-

I have had Ireland's rear springs lose some height over time.  The RATE stays the same, and they

settled in eventually, but I ended up shimming them.   This was 15 years back, mind you.

Once shimmed, they stayed consistent for the next 10 years, until I sold the car.


As Gordon says, it's not particularly uncommon.  I also had Eibach 5" springs that I had cut do the same thing-

they didn't like the open tail in the perch, and took about a year to stabilize.  They shouldn't.  They did.





"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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I'll bet BMW designed them that way, so they sit level in spite of the crown in the road.;)


Mine sits half an inch lower on the driver's side (H&R).  I did find a bent trailing arm, but I don't think that has a lot to do with it.  I also know my big subframe mounts ( rear axle carrier rubber mounts) are very old, as in, probably original.  I am hoping it levels out some, when I swap in my refreshed subframe... one of these years. 


I like the idea of swapping the springs/pads side to side, to see if that helps; at least in the O.P.'s case, where the pads are in question... or in Gracer's case, to even out the way they wear. 


I am not sure I like the idea of rubber hose in place of the spring pads though.  I can see it in front, where the spring cups (name?) have a shape that fits the spring (and the original pad is just a thin little thing); but the pads serve that purpose in the rear, accepting the shape of the ends of the springs.  They also fill the void between the spring and the steel 'nub' inside of the spring.  Would the spring be properly indexed/seated, with just a length of hose slipped over the ends?



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Thanks for the comments.  I did swap the springs yesterday and took good care to make sure they lined up correctly on the pads.  I just checked this morning and it seems to be sitting better. maybe an 1/8"-3/16th off.   I'll get some new lower pads which should help as one was looking pretty compressed and cracked up.


I looked at the rear axle carriers when i was under there yesterday and they appear to be correct.  That is probably the newest item in that area, but still about 7 years old.  I'll post a photo in a little bit for feedback on orientation.


thanks for the help!



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Cool!  Thanks for the update.  I would call 1/8" off perfect enough.

It would be interesting to see what the alignment readings are now.

It is too bad they did not make the rear (or front) adjustable.

I am tempted to weld in adjusters, when I refresh/install the rear sub I have.

Mine is just a daily driver, not a track car, but adjustability would be nice; just to be able to dial it in on a forty year old car, that is probably no longer straight.

This thread has refreshed my interest in getting that stuff done. :) 



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For what its worth, here are the subframe mounts Left and Right.   Do mine look correct?  Is it true you can flip them to help minimize change in camber with lowered springs?  


As for my set up, i still feel like the rear sits a bit low compared to the front, but at least its more even left to right...



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