Do I Need A Slight Toe-in Or Toe-out For Front-wheel Alignment - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My steering wheel was not centered perfectly so I want to
adjust the position of the outer tie-rod end on either side
to compensate for this. Should the two front wheels be
a little bit toe-in or toe-out when the car is not moving?

The information in this site confused me.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...e.jsp?techid=4

http://www.aa1car.com/library/wheel_alignment.htm
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You want a little bit of toe in which is shown quite well in the diagram your cite supplied (formula one car?). Takes two to measure for toe, just use a metal tape measure and check when the wheels are straight ahead on level ground. Check about one third of the way up on the tire tread in front cause you can't check very high at the rear of the front wheels. The measurement at the rear of the wheels should only be a few sixteenths of an inch more at the rear of the wheels. The caster and camber should be fine unless the car was in a bad accident and not re-aligned correctly afterward. If your front tires are wearing hard on the insides you might also want to keep the tire pressure in the front tires a little higher than in the rear and rotate them at least every 10,000 miles.

As far as steering wheel alignment goes, you usually have to adjust both wheels one way or the other unless the toe-in is off and you can kill two birds with one stone, or be able to adjust just one side in this case. Helps to have a four post lift to do this if only because you'll probably have to adjust the steering rack ends more than a couple times before you get it right.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First replace your inner and outer tie rods. A little bit toe out is best if it's being driven to the alignment shop only. If it's toed in, you can't control the direction. Lock or strap the steering wheel with the seatbelt in the straight ahead position tight (very important). Use a rope or electrical extension cord to wrap around the back of the tires as close to halfway up as you can. This is called stringing. The two ends of the rope or cord should be at the front of the car. Use this as your straightedge. Balance all tire pressures and don't jack the front wheels off the ground, it won't come out right. Car ramps work great. Look at the gap on the front tires to determine adjustment direction but like I said don't toe in and test drive carefully (and repeat as needed) before making a trip for a proper alignment. A screeching noise from one side means it's toe'd out to far.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I scrutinized the 1st site again.
It says if the car is front wheel drive, you should get a little toe-out, and it is rear wheel drive, toe-in.

Since my Sable, like most Taurus, is FWD, I should give a little toe-out initially.

QUOTE (jndejure @ Jan 7 2010, 08:47 PM)
Quote:
You want a little bit of toe in which is shown quite well in the diagram your cite supplied (formula one car?). Takes two to measure for toe, just use a metal tape measure and check when the wheels are straight ahead on level ground. Check about one third of the way up on the tire tread in front cause you can't check very high at the rear of the front wheels. The measurement at the rear of the wheels should only be a few sixteenths of an inch more at the rear of the wheels. The caster and camber should be fine unless the car was in a bad accident and not re-aligned correctly afterward. If your front tires are wearing hard on the insides you might also want to keep the tire pressure in the front tires a little higher than in the rear and rotate them at least every 10,000 miles.

As far as steering wheel alignment goes, you usually have to adjust both wheels one way or the other unless the toe-in is off and you can kill two birds with one stone, or be able to adjust just one side in this case. Helps to have a four post lift to do this if only because you'll probably have to adjust the steering rack ends more than a couple times before you get it right.[/b]
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you will look around this Taurus/Sable site you will notice a lot of talk about the front tires wearing hard on the inside. This is generally caused by too soft inflation and/or excessive toe out. And, if you look at the sites that talk about toe adjustment they will tell you that a slight toe in will give you better straight line tracking. I understand the argument about front wheel vs rear wheel drive. I don't believe anyone will dispute that with a rear drive car the front wheels should be set with a slight toe in because the front wheels are being pushed forcing the rubber bushings to give a little and allow the wheels to roll down the road parallel with near zero toe in. And, with a front wheel drive car the use of a slight amount of toe out will result in the front wheels pulling themselves forward and in a little. Hence, the object is to have the front wheels roll down the road under power with little or no toe at all. That being said, it is still better to have a slight amount of toe in when under way for good tracking and even tire wear. So, in my opinion if you decide to give your Taurus a little toe out when stationary make sure it is very little. And conversely, if you want to give it some toe in make sure it is very little, which might mean that for all around performance a front drive car should have neutral (or no) toe at rest.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I always just shoot for zero lol.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just to add a little info, the Haynes manual does not talk about the settings for toe, nor does it even tell you anything about what settings might be proper. But, the Chilton manual does give the desired setting at 0.1 inch toe in plus or minus 0.15 inches. Which means at the outer limits the proper setting should be no more than 5 hundreds of an inch toe out to a quarter inch (0.25 inches) toe in for the maximum in that direction. And, out of more than a half dozen cars I looked up on my library's Chilton reference site the Taurus was the only car that even went ever so slightly into a negative toe out area for the initial setting. Other FWD cars also fell into this category.

It seems that the only reason you would want a toe out situation is in a race car on a short track where hard turns would be quicker with some toe out. Although, this condition would make the car a wanderer at speed on the highway. Not a good thing. And, on older cars with steering and lower ball joints wearing the toe out increases leading to excessive inside front tire wear and a car that will not hold a line on the highway.
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