DEPARTMENT OF: Cheap Tricks & Useful Tips …
Here’s an easy way to adjust the toe-in on your solid front axle. The example below is a view from the top of vehicle with the front towards the bottom. Using a tape measure you simply need to measure the same reference point at the front of the tires and at the rear of the tires. A good place to measure is the inner sidewall. Make sure you are measuring the same location at the front as at the rear and make sure you are measuring at the axle tube height at both front and rear.
- At rear of front tires measure X.
- At front of front tires measure Y.
- Loosen the tierod clamps and then adjust the tierod so that X – Y = approximately 1/4″. A little more than 1/4″ is ok but you don’t want much less than that. Shoot for 1/4″.
- Tighten the tie rod clamps.
- With the tires pointing straight ahead, adjust the drag link so your steering wheel is straight and then tighten the drag link clamps.
Keep in mind this is a backyard mechanic method, not an exact measurement as you’ll get at an alignment shop. It’s a great method if you constantly bashing your axles against the rocks every other weekend and you want to get it approximate.
Another method for getting a reference point to measure from is to bungee a straight object to the outer sidewall of the tire. I’ve actually used two 4 foot florescent tubes and lightly bungeed them (as not to break them) to my sidewalls. Then I butt the tape measure up to the tube on the opposite side of the vehicle and look straight down on the one I’m in front of to get my measurements. The glass tube is pretty straight though very breakable. But hey, it works and it was easier than butting up against the inner sidewall.