Sunday 2 June 2013

E21 316: More negative-camber on the front? Adjustable Top Mounts.

They had to be ordered from Poland so took a couple of weeks to arrive, but it was worth it for the £105 delivered as they are very nicely machined and finished. They are an easy straight swap with the stock top-mounts, I've covered the process at the bottom, and I only encountered one snag where the silver steel bush, in the centre of the top-mount bearing, wouldn't quite fit over the top of the strut-insert. Using a bolt as a drift I managed to gently tap the bush down onto the strut-insert with a hammer. This mushroomed the top of the bush, so once it was very tightly fitted to the strut it would no longer fit into the bearing! A lot of reaming later using an old file and the bush would just about fit enough into the bearing to get the top-nut on and draw the bush up as it was tightened on. If it wasn't for that one snag, the plates would have been fitted in 20 minutes per side, so a good bit of advice would be to use a bit of oil or WD40 when fitting the bush to the strut-insert, or heat it first to get it on and allow it to cool again before slotting it into the bearing.

Now fitted, they're a doddle to adjust with the allen-head bolt setup, even with the wheel on and without lifting the car. As the new plates don't have a rubber shock-mounts like the stock items, I figured there would be a lot more road-noise with just metal on metal and there is, but not nearly as much as I expected. There's a bit of a knock going over big bumps, but I don't know if this is just a louder transmission to the body than the stock mounts, or if the giant spring-pan of my stock struts is hitting the body when it flexes enough. The big spring-pans mean I can't run the camber-plates fully over to the negative side and to get the amount I have now they are sitting awfully close to the body while the car is stationary, so I can imagine them contacting with enough rotation in the suspension. The only solution to this problem is smaller diameter spring-pans, i.e GAZ coilovers and another £700... watch this space, probably for some time.

Silver Project are an independent engineering company in Poland and make these along with a lot of other cool bits for different cars, check them out on Facebook [] or their store on eBay [].

Quick video of the plates in action and showing the amount of tilt:


1. Lift the front of the car, remove the corresponding wheel.
2. Grip the strut-insert to stop it from turning and remove the top-nut using a 19mm deep-socket.

3. Push the wheel-hub down using your foot so the top of the strut-insert drops out of the top-mount and can be moved to one side.

4. Support the top-mount from below, undo the three nuts holding it in place using a 13mm wrench and lower the top-mount out of the wheel-arch.

5. Fit the camber-adjustable top-mount from below and replace the 13mm nuts and washers.

6. Undo the four allen-head bolts on the adjusting-slider of the top-mount so it moves freely from side to side, using an M4 allen-key/socket.

7. Apply grease or a little oil to the smooth part of the strut-insert just below the top-thread so it can be easily drawn into the bearing.

8. Pressing the hub down with your foot again to allow the strut to be moved around, locate the top of the strut-insert into the silver bush of the top-mount.

9. Once the strut-insert is about 1mm into the bush, there should be enough of the threaded part poking out of the top to get the top-nut on and draw the strut up into the bush as the nut is tightened with a 19mm deep-socket. [The strut-insert will likely need gripping further down to stop the whole thing turning with the wrench.]

10. With the wheel either on or off, slide the camber-adjuster to gauge the angle and make sure the spring-pans on the shock aren't contacting the body-turret, then tighten up the four allen-head bolts with an M4 allen-key/socket to hold it in the desired position. [There is not a lot of headroom in these smaller BMWs, especially if you're using larger stock struts.

11. Replace the wheel, drop the car and enjoy your new crazy-cambered or nicely straightened-up front wheels! There are a few steps to this one, but provided you don't hit any fitment snags, it's a quick and easy job if you know the suspension setup.


  1. This might be what I need to do to get the wheels to clear the arches properly in my E21... hmm.

  2. Yeah they do open up a bit more clearance at the top, can't tell if they're 16s your running, are they 7ser wheels? I'd say a decent tyre stretch makes the biggest difference to fitment though.

  3. Do you subscribe to any other websites about this? I'm struggling to find other reputable sources like yourself

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