Initial Toe In

The toe-in is adjusted initially just to get the wheels pointing straight ahead. You need 4 jack stands or equivalent, a machinist ruler, a measuring tape and some string. You basically run a string along each side of the car from the rear to the front. The string will run parallel to the center line of the frame rails. Here's how to do it:

running strings

Running a string parallel to the frame down each side

  1. Find the center point between the two frame rails at the front of the car. There is a front crossmember right at the front of my frame rails and I used a measuring tape and marked the center.
  2. Find the center point between the two frame rails at the rear of the car. There is a rear crossmember right at the rear of my frame rails and I used a measuring tape and marked the center.
  3. Position a jack stand at the rear of car and one at the front. Run a string from one to the other at the same height as the center of the wheel rim.
  4. Position the rear jackstand so that the string is about 2-3" from the rim of the rear wheel. Measure the distance that the string is from the center of the rear frame (where you marked it previously). My measurement was 36 inches.
  5. Position the front jackstand so that the string is the same distance from the center of the front frame at the front (36" in my case). You now have a string running exactly parallel to the side of the car.
  6. You are now ready to set the initial toe-in of the front wheels. Measure the distance from the string to the front of the rim. Measure the distance at the rear of the rim. You want to adjust the tie rod so that both the front and rear rim distances are exactly the same. This is 0 degrees toe-in. Do this for both sides of the car.

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Copyright Jan 16, 2011 Eugene Blanchard