How to Align a Jeep Cherokee in the Driveway

by Derek Odom

NOTE: PLEASE CHANGE HEAD TO: How To Align a Straight-Axle 4x4 in the Driveway

Paying a shop to align your straight-axle four-wheel-drive vehicle gets expensive fast. Although the shop has precision equipment to do the job within very small tolerances, a decent job can be done at home with common household tools and a little time.

Measure from the front center of the passenger-side tire to the front center of the driver-side tire, and write down how many inches apart they are. Get as close to center as possible.

Measure from the back center of the passenger tire, to the back center of the driver side tire, and write that down, too.

Loosen the ends of the tie rod (shown circled in red for the article photo) with a socket or hand wrench. A few turns will do; there's no need to completely remove them.

Using large vise grips or a pipe wrench, turn the rod itself. Some will turn by hand, but this is highly unlikely. Rotate the bar a little at a time, measuring after each turn. The goal is a tiny bit of "toe in," meaning the front of the tires should be about one-eighth of an inch closer together than the rear of the tires. This will cause the vehicle to track straight.

Tighten the rod ends, and give it a test drive.

Items you will need

About the Author

Derek Odom has freelanced since 2008 and is also an author of the macabre. He has been published on, and various other websites. Odom has an Associate of Arts in administration of justice.

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  • photo_camera Derek Odom