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Old 03-29-2011, 05:33 PM
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Here's how to check and adjust your own toe-in that also includes how to center the steering wheel. Using the info in Basic Jeep Front End Alignment, set your toe-in so the fronts of the tires are 1/16" to 1/8" closer together in front than in the rear. This is done by loosening the clamps that hold the tie rod to the tie rod ends, then rotating the tie rod until you get the desired amount of toe-in.

If the tie rod is too tight to turn using pliers or vise grips, spray the ends with something like Liquid Wrench or PB-Blaster (no, WD-40 is not a suitable substitute) and use a pipe wrench on the tie rod to break it loose from where it is seized to the tie rod ends. Better yet, entirely remove the tie rod and put some Antiseize on its threads so it will never seize again.

For an easier and more repeatable way of measuring your toe-in than measuring between the tires, use a pair of 1" square aluminum tubes as in the below photos and use them to measure between. Center and hold the square tubes to the rotors with spring steel clamps after marking them at points equal to the diameter of your tires.

Using just a little care, your toe-in setting will be just as accurate as an alignment specialist can produce using an alignment rack. Plus you can be done in 5-15 minutes from start to finish, quicker than you can even drive to the alignment shop. Not to mention you can do this on your own for free vs. the $70-90 an alignment shop charges for something that is far easier to do than most people would ever guess.

This is all that an alignment shop can do to your t TJ, this is the sum extent of an alignment where a TJ is concerned. Neither your caster angle nor your camber angle is adjustable without aftermarket parts so without those, only your toe-in is adjustable. There is no real need to waste your $$$ by paying an alignment shop for an alignment since all they're going to do is set your toe-in and center your steering wheel. Both of which are too easy to do for anyone here to pay for.

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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This is the method I used a few months ago and just last week I got my alignment done and The tech that done it told me it was dead on he didnt have to do much but recenter the steering wheel.Take your time and a small adjustment on the tierod sleeve makes a big diffrence on the Tape

this needs to be a sticky

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
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this needs to be a sticky
It is in the TJ/LJ Faq Sticky....now getting people to look or read them....

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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Nice Jerry internet high five

I am gonna center my steering wheel to its a little off.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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ok heres my question. once your wheel is straight and aligment is close can someone give me a measurement of their drag link? say from the center of your stabilizer to your grease fitting where it attaches to your pitman arm.. heres my issue some has worked on my jeeep and the wheel is 90 degrees off to the left and im trying to decide of its a pitman arm location problem or adjustment of the drag link. alignment itself is good but the wheel is off. not sure if they did the repair by taking the pitman arm off anf not putting it back on right or if its a mis adjusted drag link hopefully someone gets what i mean. this is a stock supsension 1 inch body lift tj so number should be close to a stock measurement.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:24 PM   #6
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I haven't measured the drag link distance but when I installed a lift on my LJ this past weekend my steering wheel was almost upside down. Once I followed these above instructions and performed an alignment, my pittman arm was pointing straight towards the back. I finished the job by straightening my steering wheel and I think as long as your drag link doesn't bind up on full turn in either direction then it really doesn't matter.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:17 AM   #7
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Thanks Jerry. This is going on the list of things to do very soon.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:50 AM   #8
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Me and my 5 year old daughter did this in my driveway 2 years ago, Now she helps me every couple of months to check it out. It's kinda our Jeep thing to do together. Very simple and very acurate. Take your time and small turns. Thanks Jerry
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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It is in the TJ/LJ Faq Sticky....now getting people to look or read them....

LOL, did you just call Jerry a newb for reposting a sticky?
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:18 AM
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Actually I didn't post this thread. It was reposted as a separate thread by one of the mods after he added it to the Stickies section yesterday.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #11
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I've been told by a shop I respect that my newly acquired '98 TJ with a 6" lift needs a new track bar and tie rod. There is a definite shimmy that's most noticeable between 40-50 mph. My question is how hard is this to do for me and my 20 year old son? I'd consider us average in mechanical abilities. We do our own tune-ups, oil changes, brakes, alternators, etc., but we've never tackled any suspension issues beyond replacing shocks. I've always been afraid of running into a stubborn nut requiring air tools. However, with the lift on the jeep, theres a lot of room under there and I think we might be able to pull this off. Your thoughts would be welcomed.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:31 AM
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It sounds like you'd have no problem replacing either. The track bar is only held in place with two bolts so it's be an easy swap. Once you get the old track bar off, you'll just need to set the length of the new track bar which needs to be adjustable where its length is concerned.

Setting the track bar length is easier than it may seem at first. Once the old track bar is off, the suspension's coil springs will mostly self-center the Jeep over the top of the axle. Holding the axle centered is the track bar's job. So once the old track bar is off and the Jeep has kinda self-centered itself over the axle, jump up and down on the front bumper to finish the job... jouncing it to sound technical.

Once you have done that, bolt up the driver's side of the track bar and then simply adjust the length of the new track bar so its passenger-side mounting bolt hole matches the hole in the axle's mounting bracket. Tighten the frame-side mounting bolt to 85 ft-lbs, tighten the passenger side to 55 ft-lbs. I would replace the passenger side mounting bolt with a new metric 12.9 (its hardness rating) and I seem to recall it's size is a 10x1.5mm bolt. The factory passenger-side mounting bolt is not all that strong and since it really needs to be tightened down firmly, a new hardened bolt there is a very good idea.

If anyone knows that bolt size for sure, please post it up. That area of my TJ is no longer stock so I can't look at mine to know any more.

For the tie rod, that's not much more difficult though you need to set the toe-in per the above once you're done. Getting the tie rod ends off is only slightly more difficult physically but with the right technique, they can be popped off in just a few seconds.

Once you get to that point, post up here or PM me and the technique will be explained.

And with a 6" lift, I'm betting you're running 35" tires. For that big and heavy of a tire, I'd stop running the OE size tie rod and drag link. What you really need for at size tire is something like Currie's steering kit as you can see at Currie Enterprises TJ heavy-duty steering kit. There are cheaper sources for that kit like from Savvy Offroad.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:17 PM   #13
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Thanks

You're right about the 35's, and the drag link is beefier than oem, but the tie rod does not appear to be upgraded. Thanks for the info, and it'll obviously be a few days for me to research and order parts. I'll be in touch.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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To the OP this was very helpful last night after my Currie Currectlync install this made all the difference in the world one I had the proper Toe in it drives great..Big thanks Jerry B.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #15
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Hi All! i cannot get the tie rod to break loose, liquid wrench,pipe wrench, the whole works, it looks like it might have a slight bend in it,not bad though,would i be better off to remove the tie rod,put in a vice, and get it all loosened up, if so i guess i will have to remove the tie rod ends also , right. Thanks for any info! Kimball2
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:28 PM   #16
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Jerry i talked to u on the phone the other day,i done what u said, but cant get it to break loose, Thanks Again.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #17
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Ive been trying to figure out my front end since i got hit three weeks ago these articles help alot but i still have questions. The alignment chart read -.3 on drive and -.5 pass so if you look at the front end the drivers side shows more negitive then pass. drives straighter then before and toes out now. What would be bent on the passenger side that is causing this? Keep in mind i have a new axle housing new ball joints and rods new hub on that side so whats the deal i feel confused because ive had to take it back to the dealer that i work at 4 times because the alignment was extremely off and there was super deathwobble at speed which the tech said it was a spring or something. no one said anything to me about the rim being bent and there is no frame or body damage
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:14 PM   #18
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subscribed. I need to look at my alignment since the wear is uneven badly on both front tires. THX!
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:21 PM
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Ive been trying to figure out my front end since i got hit three weeks ago these articles help alot but i still have questions. The alignment chart read -.3 on drive and -.5 pass so if you look at the front end the drivers side shows more negitive then pass. drives straighter then before and toes out now. What would be bent on the passenger side that is causing this? Keep in mind i have a new axle housing new ball joints and rods new hub on that side so whats the deal i feel confused because ive had to take it back to the dealer that i work at 4 times because the alignment was extremely off and there was super deathwobble at speed which the tech said it was a spring or something. no one said anything to me about the rim being bent and there is no frame or body damage
Alignment machines are set up for IFS (independent front suspension) axles so if the steering wheel isn't positioned properly, it can show a misleading slightly different toe-in for the left & right side... but they aren't adjusted separately on a TJ since it has a solid front axle... rotating the tie rod adjusts them both equally.

Adjusting (rotating) your tie-rod so the toe-in has the tires 1/16" to 1/8" closer in front than in the rear is what you want. You don't want toe-out for a rear-wheel drive vehicle, toe-out is what you set when it's a front-wheel drive.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:59 AM   #20
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Great thread and information. Love the idea of the square tubing!
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:58 PM   #21
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Good info, thanks.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:53 PM   #22
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Ive done it this way many times using this method,pretty much same idea:





My question is why not just have the measurements the same instead of setting it 1/8" towed in?
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:09 PM
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RWD vehicles require a little toe-in since the the tires tend move a little toe-out a tad while driving. Having a little toe-in at rest compensates for that so while cruising, the tires are pointing straight ahead as much as possible.

It's the opposite with FWD vehicles that generally require a little toe-out during an alignment.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:44 PM   #24
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A little toe in keeps it from wandering and following every slight contour on the road

It adds a little rolling resistance and tire wear but helps it maintain straight and not wander so much so they want just a little toe in

For what it is worth looked up PT cruiser FSM front wheel drive and is calls for small positive toe in not toe out

.10 degrees with acceptable range 0 to .20 degrees

Not saying no cars want toe out but I don't recall any and the one fwd car I own calls for front toe in
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #25
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The ford focus guys do say a little front toe out as Jerry mentioned

Also discuss wandering

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industrie...ican-made-car/
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:59 PM   #26
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Wow I just checked mine after replacing the drag link and tie Rod ends and it was toed out 1/2". And I've driven it that way for a bit! I set it right at 1/16" toed in using the above method. Is it better to be closer to 1/16" or 1/8" toe in?
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:12 PM   #27
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Wow I just checked mine after replacing the drag link and tie Rod ends and it was toed out 1/2". And I've driven it that way for a bit! I set it right at 1/16" toed in using the above method. Is it better to be closer to 1/16" or 1/8" toe in?
it all depends on tire size, as that measurement is an approximation based on a degree.

IIRC ~1/8" for 35's and ~1/16" for 31's.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:57 PM   #28
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I realize that this is an old thread. Sorry to revive but it is one of the the most helpful in Jeep alignment world.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:45 AM   #29
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I realize that this is an old thread. Sorry to revive but it is one of the the most helpful in Jeep alignment world.
I use Jerry B's method, but leave the tires on because it's much easier. Been doing it that way for many years and it works perfectly.

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