How to do Front Wheel Alignment

alignments are easy on 2002's. here is one simple way to approach the job.

Other who have done this or want to add the “string method” chime in. here is a 5min how to on setting alignment on a 2002.

If you are starting from a recent suspension assembly, eyeball the front wheels straight, put the steering box in the middle, and the steering wheel centered. Make sure the tie rods are the same length.

If checking toe on an intact car or have completed the above on new front parts..

Center the wheel. Jack up front and loosen the adjustment bolts on the tie rods. (don’t need to jack up if you can get your hands under there to loosen’em.)


Put car back down. remember to roll the car forward and back a few times after jacking to allow the tires and suspension to "relax".

Now get two tape measures and


your choice of “plates”.



Or what you have in the garage..


Set the plates against outside of front tires

Run one tape in front of wheels, one tape behind.


Hook dumb end of tapes on far plate.


Read tapes on near plate. Make sure plates are against tires and tapes are tight. If front measurement smaller than back you have toe in. front bigger equals toe out.



If you want to adjust, spin the adjusters on the tie rods (if old tie rods, you may have to spray some penetrant on the threads.)

After each adjustment, roll the car back and forth a few feet and measure again.

Once you have the toe where you want it, jack front back up and tighten the adjuster lock bolts back up. Done.

Suggested settings (basic…ymmv)

Normal street – 1/16in toe IN

Track – zero

Auto-x – 1/16in toe OUT

Option three….longacre toe bar



Then get out your digital camber/caster tool….


Nevermind…another time….

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Only one comment. Each time the vehicle is jacked up and down, it is important to roll it back and forth and bounce susp. to re-settle. There is major camber change through the travel arc and if the front end isn't re-settled, your toe reading will be incorrect.

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yes, there is a comment in the article about that already.


"After each adjustment, roll the car back and forth a few feet and measure again."

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Good information. Something to keep in mind since you are dealing in sixteenth's of an inch is that the toe plates should be centered on the tire, you should use the same opening on each end to hold the tape measure and it will be more accurate if your tape measures are identical as shown. I wouldn't assume any old pair of mismatched tape measures would be exactly the same with any degree of precision. For track purposes I assume the forces pushing the wheels back will attempt to straighten the wheels, therefore I start with 1/16 of Toe In. For Autocross I've used as much as 3/16 Toe Out as I want the car to be turning in before I reach the corner. Of course different tires will have different slip angles and may require a different setup.

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Great article. Just received my toe plates from Summit and followed this article as I dialed in toe after my front end rebuild. Just enough detail to get the job done without getting bogged down in the details. Thanks!

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