Adjusting A Car Track Bar – Complete Guide

Adjusting A Car Track Bar – Complete Guide

Have you ever wondered how to adjust your car track bar? Is it difficult?

What’s interesting is that you don’t have to be a mechanic. With some effort, you can do the job at home.

Adjusting a Car Track Bar guide

As we all know, the front wheels of our vehicles must be properly aligned because if they’re misaligned, the life of your tires will be reduced.

You should know a few things before you adjust your car track bar. You want to ensure that you get all of your information correctly to get the best results.

Nevertheless, this article will take you through the process.

Necessary Tools For Adjusting A Car Track Bar

  • Tape Measure
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Straight Wooden plank or a metal

Tips To Consider

  • You always need to ensure you have parked the car on level ground before starting the procedure on your suspension system. It will prevent uneven adjustments that could damage your car’s frame.
  • Your front wheels have to be tightly secured in place. You don’t want to receive the wrong measurement leads from car wheels that are not tightly secured.
  • Before adjusting your car’s track bar, find out what type of track bar your vehicle has. There are two types of track bars: ones that have an adjustment screw (turnbuckle) and ones that do not. It doesn’t matter which type you have because they both work in the same way. But, knowing which one you have will allow you to determine what kind of tool is required for each job.
  • A trackbar has a turnbuckle that will let you make the adjustments without unscrewing the swivel mount. In that case, you’ll make your adjustments from the turnbuckle.
  • If your trackbar has no turnbuckle, you will need to unscrew the swivel mount end. Turn the trackbar in or out based on the side you are adjusting, refit it, and take the measurements from the wheels. When done and satisfied with the measurements you get, tighten your jam-nut, and you will be good to go!

How To Adjust Your Car’s Trackbar?

Step 1 – Take The Measurements

Before adjusting a car track bar, the first thing you should do is take measurements.

You need to measure everything accurately to determine how much space you have available for your adjustment.

You need to find a straight piece of wood or any tall piece of metal. The wood or metal should be taller than your car’s wheels.

Step 2 – Prepare A Piece Of Wood/Metal

Position the metal or wood horizontally against the wheel top and bottom. Find a fixed spot on the body or the frame.

Whether you decide to use the frame or the vehicle’s body, make sure you use the same part on the opposite side.

Using a tape measure, check the distance between the positioned wood and the frame (or body) depending on the part you chose. Note the range you get.

For instance, if you started on the left and found a length of 4 inches, note it to avoid forgetting.

Step 3 – Take The Measurement On The Opposite Wheel

Repeat the same procedure as in Step 2. Note the distance between your fixed spot and the horizontal wood/metal against your wheel.

Step 4 – Compare Your Readings

The readings you got from the tape measure will help figure out the trackbar’s adjustment position.

For instance, if on the left side you had 4 inches and on the right side you had 2.5 inches, note them down. It will help in the next step.

How to adjust a Car Track Bar

Step 5 – Figure Out What Side To Move The Frame

You need to adjust the body and the frame towards the side with the longest measurement from our readings above. In this case, it will be to the left side.

In your case, it should be to the side with the bigger reading as well.

Note that when adjusting the bar, as the body moves towards the longest side, the axle moves in the opposite direction.

Therefore, the position you rotate the trackbar to determines which side the body moves. It will depend on your readings (side with the longest measurement).

If you rotate the trackbar clockwise, you’ll shorten it so that the body will move towards the swivel end.

At the same time, if you rotate the trackbar anticlockwise, it’s like lengthening the bar. So the car’s body moves towards the frame mount end of the trackbar.

Step 6 – Put The Car On A Jack Stand

Using the floor jacks, you need to lift the vehicle at a height fit enough for the jack stands.

While putting the jack stands in place, you must remember that any misalignment can damage a sensor or the brake line.

It would be best to be quite careful where you situate the stands. You should also remember that you will be below the car if anything happens.

I bet you don’t want to imagine what would happen if it fell off the stands.

So once set, you can taste the stability with a slight shake test just for your assurance.

Step 7 – Adjust The Trackbar

If your car’s track bar has a turnbuckle, you’ll unscrew the mid-clamps without touching the swivel and frame mount ends.

You can then rotate the trackbar using an open wrench based on the side you adjust to.

If your car’s track bar has no turnbuckle, you will need to unscrew the bolt on the swivel mount side.

Although it depends on the model of your vehicle, a socket and ratchet may be the best openers for this purpose. You can also use a box/open-end wrench.

Step 8 – Retake Your Measurement

After a slight adjustment, you need to move to the wheel and repeat your measurement as in step one.

Checking the measurements on both sides of the wheels will help determine how close you are to your desired position.

Remember that your measurements from both sides of the vehicle must be equal for a perfect adjustment. For instance, let’s say you found 4 inches on the shortest side.

Then both sides have to measure at 4 inches each based on where you took your measurement.

Step 9 – Fit Back The Track Bar To The Axle

(Only if you unscrewed one end for the adjustment. If you didn’t unscrew the end side, skip to Step 10)

Once satisfied with your adjustment, fit the trackbar back to its swivel end. Tighten the nut using a ratchet to maintain the track bar in position.

Step 10 – Fit The Turn-Buckle Clamps

(If you skipped the step above)

Fit the clamps back to position, and tighten them using an appropriate ratchet. And your trackbar will be good to go.

Conclusion

You must note that adjusting a track bar is different for every vehicle. Still, it usually involves loosening the respective bolts on the track bar brackets.

It may, however, be unfortunate if your car has a non-adjustable trackbar.

You may have to replace the whole trackbar personally or at a trusted mechanics store in such a case.