How to Perform a Front End Alignment Yourself – Easy and Free

How to Perform a Front End Alignment Yourself – Easy and Free

– Hey, what’s up, YouTube? Welcome to yet another video
by Ratchets and Wrenches, and today I’m gonna show how you can do a front wheel toe
alignment on your vehicle. All you need to do this is
basically a piece of rope, some random objects to tie this to, a basic set of wrenches
to do your adjusting on your tire rods, and also a pair of jag stands and a jag if you have to lift up your car to gain access to your
inner and outer tire rods. Okay, as you can see, I’ve already raised the front of the vehicle
and put it on jag stands. That’s because I want to
get the camera underneath and show you how you do the
adjusting on your tire rods, but if you can access your tire rods with the wheels on the ground, you know, you don’t have to
raise the front of the vehicle. You can just leave it on the ground. Just probably a good idea
to put a piece of cardboard or maybe even a tile underneath your tires so that when you do the adjusting it can move a little bit easier. Also, you want to roll your
vehicle about a yard or two while holding the steering wheel straight, so that way you relieve any tension that’s on your steering or
suspension components, okay? Okay, what I’d like to do next is to get underneath the vehicle and loosen this locking nut, which is on our inner tire rod. And we’re gonna be doing
this on both sides, and we’ll need a wrench. In my case I’m gonna be using this adjustable locking wrench. It makes life a lot easier, okay? There we go. Also, after you loosen this make sure this can move freely, okay? If you’re doing this
on an old tire rod end there might be corrosion here, and as you go to lock this back on you’re gonna be turning
your inner tire rod and then throwing your
adjustment off, okay? So make sure this can move freely. Okay, same thing on this side. There we go. Okay, after loosening our locking nuts we wanna get in the car and straighten out our steering wheel. Just make sure you just turn
it a little bit a couple times so you get the play out of it, and then just straighten
it as much as you can. And obviously after you do this you don’t want to touch
the steering wheel, you don’t want to touch your wheels. When you go to adjust it make sure you only grab the inner tire rod and you don’t touch nothing else so you don’t throw off this steering wheel from the center position, okay? Okay, what you’re gonna do
next is to just tie a rope to whatever you can get your
hands on that’s sturdy enough and also it’s high enough that when you tie the
other end to another piece that this travels through around the center of the wheel, okay? Okay, next you straighten out the rope and then you just take up measurements and you’re gonna do adjusting
until the measurements on them both, the distance between the rear
side of the wheel to the rope is equal to the distance between the front side of
the wheel to the rope, okay? And also, if this rope is moving around you might want to wait a couple seconds for it to stop moving so you can get an accurate
measurement, okay? Alright, here we go. So on this side we got about, we got exactly actually
half an inch on the rear. Okay, on the front we’re 1/16 short, so we’re gonna do some adjusting, okay? Alright, we got it now. We got half an inch on this side, and exactly half an inch
on this side as well. Okay, so next we’ll just do the same thing on the right side. Okay, next we go over to the front wheel and we’re gonna take
our measurements here, and as you can see on the
front side of the front wheel we got about 5/8, and on the rear side we
got one inch and 1/16, so we’re way toed out on this wheel, so we gotta get underneath the car and adjust our toe in, okay? Okay, and then where we
adjust your toe is on this car since the inner and outer tire rods are located in front of the wheel hub, if you turn the inner tire rod clockwise instead of your outer tire
rod you’re pulling it in, and if you turn it counterclockwise
you’re screwing it out, therefore creating more space. So since we need to pull this side in and adjust your toe in, we’re gonna be turning this clockwise. And since our toe measurement is way off we’re gonna turn this about one full turn and then go out and
measure it again, okay? Okay, so now on the front side we got 3/4, and on the rear we’ve got 15/16, so we still need to turn
that inner tire rod in more. Also, as you’re adjusting make sure you roll back this locking nut, because if you don’t
then you’re gonna end up moving the wheel and throwing
everything off, okay? So make sure there’s a lot of space here. Okay, so now we got 7/8 on the front and we’ve got 7/8 on the back as well. Okay, we got exact
measurements on both sides, but as a general rule of thumb you want your front wheels to be toed in for a total of 1/8, which means 1/16 toe in on this side and 1/16 toe in on the other side. That’s to help keep your car
going straight down the road, because if you’ve got
them exactly centered on the exact measurement and your wheels are exactly straight there’s a chance where
you’re able to wonder, but if they’re toed in a little bit it’ll help keep it go
straight down the line, okay? Wanna do maybe quarter turns, and then keep checking until you get the perfect measurements
overall, 1/16 toe in. Okay, so we got 13/16 on this side, and we got pretty much
exactly 7/8 on this side, so perfect, there is toe
in of 1/16 on this side, and we’re done on this side. Now we’re just gonna do the
same thing on the other side. Okay, and the last step is
to tighten our locking nuts. It’s a very important step. Make sure you don’t forget this, okay? Again, here’s this side. Alrighty, so next we gotta lower the car and go for a test drive, and hopefully we’re gonna be able to drive straight down the road, okay? Alrighty, here we are on our test drive, and as you can see we got
the steering wheel straight and we’re also traveling straight. And we’re running red
lights, but we’re okay because we’re doing a
very important video. Okay, and that’s all there is to how you do a front wheel
toe adjustment on your car. Now depending on how picky you are it might not be perfect, but you know, you can
do this adjusting again. On most vehicles you can adjust
the toe on your front wheels with the car sitting on the ground, so you can just reach in there
and make some adjustments to get it exactly right. Okay, so yeah, hope this
video people out there. If you like the video
please give it a thumbs up and subscribe if you
want to see more like it and I’ll see you next time, thanks a lot.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. You should have the tires supported on a solid object, not hanging in the air. You could use a block of wood, which would allow clearance to work under the car, and still have the weight properly on the suspension parts.

  2. lol .. racing through that yellow light… if i was a cop.. i will represent the badges of todays standards.. and say .. you got lucky… wouldve got a swat team upon you and id lead by example… <– how cops think before anything .. remember that!… as a pig "____" as charged. but im a law abiding citizen.

  3. how do you know where to place the string holders. Wouldn't moving the crate in 1/8 make the string closer to the wheel its next too then the opposite wheel. Seems like your method is a good baseline to make it to the alignment shop but there must be something im missing

  4. You can do toe pretty easy, like on my straight axel k10, but especially if you are doing caster chamber and toe you do not jack it up, the weight needs to be on the springs. You also do not want the exact same measurement, you want about 1/16 toe in

  5. Wrong! All vehicles have a toe-out. Usually 1/16" – 3/16". The easiest way is to tie your string to the front bumper and run your string all the way around the car. Tie the string to a bungee cord and hook it on the front bumper.

    Check your toe before you even change your tierods. This will give you a good idea what to replicate. Most tires sit outside the rim. Your string will touch the front of the tire at 9 o'clock. The back side of the tire 3 o'clock, you'll see a small gap between it and the string. That's what you want to replicate.
    No tape measure needed. Set your steering wheel, do the driver side then the passenger side. It doesn't hurt to double check your work.

  6. I didn't know you have to toe inward a lil to keep the car driving straight. But now we know, and knowing is half the battle!

  7. Didn't really run red light he was already committed into the intersection lol but good video overall man !!!

  8. Idk but I kinda get oddly satisfying vibes from this video… So I take it as I'm destined to be a car mechanic? But I'm doing my CA 😂😂😂😂😂

  9. Help please I long time subscriber and always following your instructions
    But hel me here I did I was a bit off my car explorer now is exactly like you sad just 1/32 3 mmm in on the front and still pulling that I have to hold the pushing to le left to keep straight , what did I do wrong?

  10. 1:19 adjustable locking wrench. Why could i not find this sooner???? Why have i not seen it till now? I need to get out more.

  11. This is the first time I have seen your video I have to say like everyone else has said the red light was funny we are running a red light but it is ok because we are making important video🤣🤣🤣

  12. The main reason for taking your car to an expert is to have the front end checked for mechanical wear problems first then proper alignment equipment is used for final accurate adjustment Every person to their profession that they have been trained to do and have experience at and the correct equipment This is a potentialy DANGEROUS VIDEO

  13. You can't do a front toe alignment by yourself. My alignment has a 1/2mm tolerance. Impossible to do by eye.

  14. i think you should string first, check measurements then jack up. when car is jacked up, toe is off because the suspension links/arms are not level to the ground.

  15. So if I can run the red light, it means my wheel alignment is perfect and nothing needs to be done! Checked!

  16. Outer clamps on rubber boots need to be loosened or they will twist like in the video. Then tightened after alignment.

  17. Also, need to hold outer tie-rod with wrench while tightening nut on inner tie-rod (that locks tie-rods together) at the end of alignment .

  18. To do the rope alignment, how do you know your rope line is absolutely straight (perfectly parallel to the car) and not slanted slightly either way?

  19. If you try this you will smoke your tires, lol.
    I can show you how to play eruption on the guitar.
    Can you preform the song now? Hell no, so why do you think you can do this?

  20. Is the rule of thumb to have a 1/16" toe in or toe out on each side? You mentioned that it should have a 1/16" TOE IN. However, by the looks of things, you apparently performed a 1/16" TOW OUT. If the rear side of the front wheel measures 7/8" and the front side of the front wheel measures 13/16", then that would be a TOW OUT.

  21. All 4 wheels MUST be on the ground. Having the car off the ground impacts on toe on standard passenger vehicles with single pivot control arms

  22. 2:51 that dry rot is no good. Dont want to have a blow out while on the highway or something. Safety is z number won priority.

  23. After doing wheel alignment, the front left camber is -0.15 degree and front right is -0.25 degree, and the car usually pull left. Do you think that difference in camber might cause that pull ?

  24. how do u know u have the rope setup right on both sides? like same distance from back tire to front?

  25. Um??? The weight of the vehicle should be on the tires, on the ground. When you lift the front of an ifs vehicle, your camber is off. However, if you stacked a few pieces of cardboard together under the tires and put it down, then this would prob work. And your tires would be able to toe in or out as needed. Might work ok for a solid front axle setup like a Jeep? Because by having the weight of the vehicle on the axle should be doable. If you put the jackstands under the front axle.

  26. When tightening the locking nut, hold the tie rod from turning….. you’re so usually right, I hesitate to point this out, but you undid the correction by 1/8-¼ turn

  27. Bruh but it's not properly aligned In an alignment shop they have lasers to check the angle and have machines do the alignment

  28. Put 2 pcs of cardboard or plastic tiles/lids with gobs of grease in between will make a good turntable for the wheel if on the floor.

  29. Did my last alignment like this. It works. It actually took lot longer than I anticipated, but I tend to be grossly ana about the work I do.

  30. My car runs straight now, but that cop said it’s gonna cost me $287 bucks for that red light I just blew thru. I told him I was just following instructions. LOL Great vid

  31. Give me a break. Don’t do it this way unless you want to buy tires fast. This is NOT how to perform a alignment. Don’t forget the caster and camber. Stop being cheep.

  32. I've seen in the comments a lot about how the wheels need to be loaded (aka on the ground) in order for this to be a more accurate alignment method. My question is; can't you just drive the front end, in this case, up on ramps to make this method more accurate? You would have room to work under the car while also keeping the tires under load so it seems like a win win. It might be a little harder to get the strings aligned with the center of each tire that way but tying the string to jack stands set to different heights could be a solution there. I'm no professional mechanic so maybe there's a reason no one seems to have mentioned this but I'd still appreciate a response to the question of whether or not driving it up on ramps would be a more accurate alignment method than using jack stands. Regardless thanks for an awesome and informative video and comments section everybody. Definitely one of the more useful and productive post I've seen on YouTube. Think this comment ran on too long? " It's ok because we're doing a very important video" 😂

  33. the car needs to be on the ground while strut under the cars weight then turn the tie rods
    not while in the air or recheck what you did when car is on the back on the ground

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