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I've got new tie rods to install so I'll try this. Not sure just where I might be able to measure to frame though because the UHMW skid plates pretty much cover everything up.

You our don't need to measure off the frame if you make a whole box around the car. Square all you corners. If the box is square. No need to measure off the frame. Also. If you just bounce it and roll it forward and back a foot or two. You will be fine. That's what we do when we set up our race cars for quarter mile oval.
 
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You could, but I don't really see the need. The thing is though, in order to rotate the wheel you'd have to move the car forward or backward, or jack it up and spin the wheel. BUT, by doing either of those you are moving the car from the string and going to lose the base line measurements you got from the beginning.

Big thing is jack it up first. Spin all your wheels make sure none are bent. When we use toe plates. We always check for run out in the tire and put the high point at the top. This method does not require that since you are measuring off the rim. Just make sure it's not bent at all. No reason to rotate the tires if all runs true.
 

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Might be a stupid question but after making adjustments to the tie rods should you rotate the tires before measuring again?
See above note that I posted
 

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You our don't need to measure off the frame if you make a whole box around the car. Square all you corners. If the box is square. No need to measure off the frame. Also. If you just bounce it and roll it forward and back a foot or two. You will be fine. That's what we do when we set up our race cars for quarter mile oval.
My experience is bouncing it does settle the suspension some, but not completely. Under normal conditions when my car is parked in the garage there is about 1" space between the ceiling and the top of the radio antennae. If I raise the rear suspension, then drop it, the antennae is bent over from hitting the ceiling. After vigorously bouncing the rear of the car, and I'm no small guy, the antennae still just touches the ceiling. I don't think rolling it back and forth will drop it another inch. I plan to take it around the block, maybe hit the dirt lot before I do my alignment.
Making a 'box' string around the car is a good idea, I'll look into doing that. I was also trying to thing of a way to find the centerline of the car front to back and measure off that.
 

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Same trick I did. Works great

Here is a video of a guy doing it on a commander




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My experience is bouncing it does settle the suspension some, but not completely. Under normal conditions when my car is parked in the garage there is about 1" space between the ceiling and the top of the radio antennae. If I raise the rear suspension, then drop it, the antennae is bent over from hitting the ceiling. After vigorously bouncing the rear of the car, and I'm no small guy, the antennae still just touches the ceiling. I don't think rolling it back and forth will drop it another inch. I plan to take it around the block, maybe hit the dirt lot before I do my alignment.
Making a 'box' string around the car is a good idea, I'll look into doing that. I was also trying to thing of a way to find the centerline of the car front to back and measure off that.


The the reason that happens is because when u jack the suspension up. The wheels go down and in. When u let the jack down the wheels grab the ground and will not slide out to a relaxed position. This is suspension bind. Jump on it all day. It will not settle all the way cause there is tension pushing out on the wheels. Move it forward and back a little. Then brunch it. Your antennae wil be right back where if u took it around the block and rolled it in. Guarantee it.
 

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The the reason that happens is because when u jack the suspension up. The wheels go down and in. When u let the jack down the wheels grab the ground and will not slide out to a relaxed position. This is suspension bind. Jump on it all day. It will not settle all the way cause there is tension pushing out on the wheels. Move it forward and back a little. Then brunch it. Your antennae wil be right back where if u took it around the block and rolled it in. Guarantee it.
That does make sense and I'll try it. Probably be anal and drive it around the block right after too. LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
So we got a couple more ideas for Do It Yourself wheel alignment. Dan's "box" method and the video Stiffler posted. The Box method would probably be accurate, but would take more time to set up all 4 strings. Initially, when I did my first DYI alignment, I was in the desert with limited tools.


When using the single string method I described...I wanted to elaborate where on the frame I'm measuring from.
-On each side of the car, there are 2-1/2" square frame tubing running front to back.
-In the front (under floor boards): there is a section of the square frame exposed about 12" maybe.
-In the back section (where rear sway bar is attached): there is only a very small egde of the frame exposed because there is a bracket wielded on the frame. Be sure to measure off that little frame edge NOT the wielded bracket. I can try to post pics later, if that will help.
Hope this helps. Greg
 

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You should either find the center of the machine front and rear and measure out to set up your string line or measure off the frame. I don't like the method in the video only due to him setting the line from the rear wheel. Most of us upgrade the rear radious rod to be adjustable ,worn bushings or a bent radio us rod would really throw off the string line from being parallel to the machine.
 

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The box method doesn't mean everything is fine either. You can have a perfect square but is the machine sitting perfectly straight inside the square?

Easiest way is to change 1 rod at a time. Measure the spacing between wheels before you pull anything apart.

Remove 1 rod and install new one. Adjust the rod and measure between wheels and make spacing the same as it was. Now that wheel is good. Do the same for the other wheel now. No alignment needed.
 

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I noticed my car was starting to dart more, so I tried this string method. Come to find that both of my rear tires where toed in 3/8". The fronts where toed out about a 1/4". This is how it came from the dealer. I picked up 2 mph. 78 now stock. Check your ride! I have never seen so many lose bolts, fasteners,shocks,cage,etc.
 

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You should either find the center of the machine front and rear and measure out to set up your string line or measure off the frame. I don't like the method in the video only due to him setting the line from the rear wheel. Most of us upgrade the rear radious rod to be adjustable ,worn bushings or a bent radio us rod would really throw off the string line from being parallel to the machine.
I thought the same thing when I saw that video. Figured if someone here didn't know that then they wouldn't be attempting the job in the first place. I'll be measuring off the center line on mine due to the skid plates blocking the frame measuring points. Should work good though. My only new question is a matter of measuring the toe in. I plan to set rear at 0 and front at 1/8". Now since this method uses outer wheel diameter to measure this, that means 1/8" is different on a factory 12" wheel than on my new 14" wheels. Maybe I'm being anal here but I do think it makes a difference. Measuring 1/8" on a 12" wheel would probably be closer to 1/4" if you did it on an even larger 15" wheel. Aren't professional wheel alignments measured in degrees to avoid this stuff?
 

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I bought mine used. The guy put 100 miles trail riding on it. Said he never touched the back end and I could tell first drive the rear toe was off. Just because of the way it darted around. So it doesn't mean because it came from the factory it's right.
 

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Remember 1/8 inch is at the front of the tire. If you are measuring at the wheel lip you will be off. Also, on a four wheel drive vehicle that is used in 4wd a lot it is not uncommon to set the front slightly toe out. That is because in a 2wd car the tires are being pushed and tend to toe out a little due to tolerances in the suspension. 4wd cars the front wheels are pulling which tends to make them toe in a little. It is a trade off either way depending on how much you drive your car in 2wd or 4wd.
 

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Remember 1/8 inch is at the front of the tire. If you are measuring at the wheel lip you will be off. Also, on a four wheel drive vehicle that is used in 4wd a lot it is not uncommon to set the front slightly toe out. That is because in a 2wd car the tires are being pushed and tend to toe out a little due to tolerances in the suspension. 4wd cars the front wheels are pulling which tends to make them toe in a little. It is a trade off either way depending on how much you drive your car in 2wd or 4wd.
If that is the case then what size tire. I've done my alignment quick and dirty before measuring only off the tires. Works good enough in the field. Then I set it at less than 1/4" which worked good but like I said above, if people are measuring 1/8" toe in using a 12" wheel they will be well over 1/4" toe in on a 30" wheel.
 

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Finished up my alignment Saturday, setting rears at 0 and fronts just 1/16" toe in off the wheels. Sunday ride was awesome. Car handled like it was on rails through all terrain after all the front end work. Over the last week I had rebuilt the steering rack, installed new tie rods from 2X Motorsports that had inner clevis and bump steer correction as well as doing the full alignment. Thanks to everyone for good info.
 

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Bringing the thread back from the dead. When you guys are measuring the front toe, are you measuring1/16" on both sides to equal 1/8" of total toe?
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Bringing the thread back from the dead. When you guys are measuring the front toe, are you measuring1/16" on both sides to equal 1/8" of total toe?
Yeah, back from the dead... I'm trying to remember what I did. Honestly I don't think it matters all that much for dirt/sand. We're only taking +/- a 16th inch. If I was driving on pavement then I'd be concerned.
 
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