Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 12/15/2009
I've tried to teach this tip to several Tech's over the
years, but only a few took to doing it this way. You need to
be good at Math and have either a good memory or paper and
pen handy. This method is also faster when your comfortable
doing it this way.
Most tech's adjust Toe by using the bar graphs on the
alignment machine along with a steering wheel lock. The
problem with this method is that accuracy is lost whenever
there is any looseness in a gear box or steering column.
Also sticky turn plates will contribute to error when using
the bar graph method.
The alternative method I use to adjust toe with greater
accuracy is done by referencing total toe only when
The procedure goes as follows:
1. After camber and caster are set, start the engine and
center the steering wheel. Shut the engine off and carefully
exit without disturbing the wheel position.
2. Note the exact Toe readings and write them down or
remember them. For this example they will be LF= -.65, RF=
-.50, Total toe= -1.15
3. Divide Total Toe setting you need to achieve by 2.
Example: If final toe setting is to be .10 then .10/2 = .05
4. Adjust the tire that is the farthest out of spec first.
If in this example we are going to adjust the LF tire first,
we will take the reading the toe was at initially on the RF
and we will add to that reading .05( 1/2 of total toe
desired). So if the initial reading was -.50 on the RF wheel
we get -.50 + .05= -.45 We will adjust the LF wheel and stop
our adjustment when total toe = -.45
5. Adjust the other tire (RF in our example) and stop when
total toe = desired total toe spec(.10 in our ex) and your
It will not matter if the steering wheel moves while your
doing the adjustment and the readings of toe on each wheel
change. Ignore the reading on each wheel and focus only on
your total toe live reading while adjusting. Total toe only
changes when you adjust toe on either wheel, unless of
course you move the tires so far that toe out on turns
changes total toe. So keep them reasonably straight ahead.
Using math to make your moves is more accurate because you
will be moving each tire the exact amount of change needed.
Your steering wheel position will come out straighter more
often using this method IF you understand how this works and
do the math properly.
David from Michigan
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