Wes Duenkel
October 18, 2017

Did you know can align your car in your driveway? All you need are a few simple tools and a little patience. Using strings to set the alignment on your car is a quick and dirty method to get you down the road after lowering your car or adding negative camber before hitting the autocross course. You’ll need four jackstands, some string, a tape measure, and a level parking space. With the steering wheel pointed straight ahead, let’s get started!

First, place a jackstand at each corner of the car and stretch strings between the jackstands on each side. (We used plumb bobs from our local hardware store.)
Then make sure the font and rear pairs of jackstands are at the same distance from each other (Measurement A in Figure 1).
Adjust the jackstands until the strings are parallel to the car (Figure 1, Measurements B and Measurements C, equal on each side). We used a ruler between the strings and the wheel center caps to get this measurement.
With the strings set up, measure the distance between the front and rear edges of the wheel rim and the strings to measure the front toe. With your wrenches handy, you can adjust the length of the outer tie-rod ends to change the toe. Make sure the steering wheel is straight ahead after you make each adjustment. (You can also use this method to check the rear thrust angle and toe on a car with an independent rear suspension.)