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I am going to have inner and outer front tie rods put on my vehicle soon. The right front outer tie rod is wobbly so I know it needs replacing. I was wondering about places that have a machine to "check alignment" vs. "the old fashioned way." What exactly is the old fashioned way?
 

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There have been machines involved with front end alignments as long as I can remember.
(you can get a 4 wheel alignment, useful on front wheel drive vehicles with independent rear suspension) Some what older technique: Front wheels are placed on a plate that rides on bearings. Wheel can easily be moved by tech. A bubble level is attached to both front wheels. If it is not true adjustments can be made to the suspension system. The wheel is then checked to see if it is in line with the opposite wheel. The wheels are jacked up slightly. A marking device is used to make a mark in the tread as the wheels are rotated by hand. A measuring rod with a pointer is aligned with the marks on the front of the wheel, then moved to the back of the wheel to measure the marks from there. The suspension can be adjusted if the marks are not even. All these marks fall in a range and may not be exactly what it looks like they should be. Bear in mind the vehicle has to drive correctly loaded and unloaded.

Newer machines use some variety of laser measuring devices with a screen for viewing as adjustments are made.

If a vehicle has been wrecked and the frame bent, it is necessary to take it to a body shop to bend the pieces back in alignment. Sometimes a vehicle is wrecked to the point that the damaged part, maybe half the vehicle, has to be cut off and a clip off of a car that does not have that part wrecked welded in place. Properly done, the vehicle will work fine and a normal service life can be expected. The value of the vehicle is less and if buying one the price should be seriously adjusted, so if buying a used vehicle have someone knowledge check for repairs.

COWS
 

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I am going to have inner and outer front tie rods put on my vehicle soon. The right front outer tie rod is wobbly so I know it needs replacing. I was wondering about places that have a machine to "check alignment" vs. "the old fashioned way." What exactly is the old fashioned way?
The old fashioned way is a "scuff gauge" and you can get close using a roll of toilet paper. Lay out a strip of toilet paper in front of both wheels and push the car down them. (smooth floor) if the paper "crawls" out of place your toe in is off. If the paper spreads out behind the tire as you roll it forward, you need to toe it out a bit, if the paper creeps to the middle, toe them in until the tires no longer scuffs the paper either in or out. Once you have it down to where the tires roll over the paper without scuffing..... get your car to a pro and have it done correctly.
 

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was wondering if you should get alignment with worn out tires or with new tires....
also would a 2010 jeep patriot need 4 wheel alignment or just two.
 

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was wondering if you should get alignment with worn out tires or with new tires....
also would a 2010 jeep patriot need 4 wheel alignment or just two.
It will make no difference if an alignment is done with old or new tires, the angles are not affected by tire wear. As far as alignment on any jeep, I wouldnt worry about it... they arent going to last long enough to wear out a set of tires anyway. ;)
 

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this is the second set of tires and are wearing out on inside of all four,,,,...
replaced front lower control arms at 50,000 miles way before any other vehicle i ever had///////////
 

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this is the second set of tires and are wearing out on inside of all four,,,,...
replaced front lower control arms at 50,000 miles way before any other vehicle i ever had///////////
that sounds about right.... get some new tires, have it aligned properly.... then sell it!
 
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