Before measuring for your steering system you need to make sure the front end is in fairly close alignment. After installing your system yo need to make sure your front end is perfectly aligned to insure maximum tire life and handling.
ALIGNING THE FRONT END IN THE VEHICLE FOR THE TRACK BAR MEASUREMENT
Before measuring for your track bar length, you first need to insure that your front end is correctly and even positioned underneath the body or frame in order to provide us with accurate measurements.
There are several methods to achieve this, depending on what current state your vehicle is in. We will cover some of these methods in order of preference, based on what works the best and is the easiest and most accurate. You choose which method will best apply to your situation.
POSITIONING THE FRONT END WITH A TRACKBAR ALREADY INSTALLED Take a level / straight edge and place it against the outer side wall of the front tire and with the straight edge 90 degrees perpendicular to the ground (vertical), measure the distance from the side wall to the fender or inner frame rail. Then measure the other side in the same manner. The difference subtracted between the two measurements divided by two, is how much your new track bar needs to be shortened or lengthened. Now measure the existing track bar center to center and taking into account the amount the body needs to be relocated, this is the measurement your new track bar needs to be made as illustrated here.
POSITIONING THE FRONT END WITH OUT A TRACKBAR ALREADY INSTALLED If you do not have an existing track bar on your vehicle, you can "jack" the vehicle into alignment by using a come-a-long hand winch attached from the frame to the axle positioned diagonally under the vehicle. Once you pull the vehicle into alignment, simply follow the above procedure and take all the necessary measurements needed as illustrated here.
NOTE: DO NOT PLACE STRAIGHT EDGE ON UPPER AND LOWER SIDEWALL Use only a level equipped straight edge. Using just a straight edge placed on the upper and lower sidewall can result in an inaccurate measurement due to the bottom of the tire budging outward and the camber of the tire leaning inwards or outwards. This inaccuracy will then be magnified even further as the straight edge extended upwards to the fender line.