My wife's '93 YJ had developed an issue with wandering lately, so I decided to check the alignment. Jerry (JeepsOLot here on JF) came over to the shop & helped me out today, so we took some pics to show you how we did it.
We jacked the Jeep up & checked over the front end components for excessive play. Everything checked out fine, so we moved along to setting the "toe" adjustment.
Here's the main component of my high tech, state-of-the-art homemade alignment machine.
Yes, it really is a chunk of 2X4 with a 16 penny nail driven through it & then bent over a bit.
In this picture, the wood was moved back until the nail lightly contacted the tire, and then the tire rotated AWAY from the nail for a full rotation.
You will get a nice thin line completely around the tire like this one. Do this on both front tires.
Now measure the distance from one tire mark to the other. Measure on the front of the tires, and again in the rear. I usually measure right at the height of the leaf springs, so I know I'm measuring in the same place each time. It makes no difference what number is, only that you get an accurate measurement. Adjust the tie rod until you have 1/16" to 1/8" LESS in the front. This one measured the same front & back, so there was no toe-in at all. I adjusted it to 1/8" toe-in & it completely changed the way it drove. No more wandering, and the wheel returns to center (after turning) promptly.
I have a Rocky Road OTT high steer kit on this YJ, so I didn't go into making the adjustments in this thread, as the steering linkage is quite different than the stock setup.
Wow, that nail in the board is a great idea. A heck of a lot easier than measuring across the whole tires. I've always used this link in the past, even though it's a TJ, the adjustments are the same. I'm going to use the nail next time.
Looks like Max is off line right now, but if you don't have said '2x4', you can simply scribe a line with a knife or sharp nail in the center of the tire. Some chalk works better, but most tires are dirty enough to make a mark. Mark both tires at the same lug/spot/level on each side. Since the Jeep is/should be on jack stands, alll you have to do is, with the help of a buddy, is measure the front, then rotate the tires 180* to the rear. Take the rear measurements using the exact same mark. Repeat back and forth until toe is set. This is basically exactly the same thing as the full nail scribe and gets you the same results. Just another/different way of doing it.
'92 YJ, 4.0, 5sp, 8.8, Tera 4-1, SYE, BDS 5" on 35's. 4.56 locked F&R. <><
'05 LJR, 6" long arm lift, 5.13's w/37 MTR's.
Just a quick question here Max - wouldn't the measurement change with different sized tires or is it that small that it doesn't matter?
Yes it would, but I've had good luck with those numbers on 33" tires.
If you are inclined to do so, you could use more toe-in (like 1/8"-3/16") for larger tires, and less toe-in (like 1/32"-1/16") for smaller tires. As your tire diameter grows, the more exaggerated the toe-in measurement will seem.
Maybe a dumb question, but which Tie Rod end should be adjusted for this? Or should it be both of them? What's the easiest way to make sure its not just one wheel with a toe in instead of both of them being equally aligned?