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Q: doing own front-end alignment, questions about alignment

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About to replace struts and lower ball joints on an '03 Mazda Tribute. Love my little manual Tribute, but after doing the work I can either do my best to do a front-end alignment or take it to a professional? If recommend doing it myself, any tips or tricks? Thanks, really dig your channel Scotty!

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Alignment can be very tricky to get exactly right without a proper alignment machine that the professionals use. You can do your best to get it close by measuring between the center of the front tires on the forward side and the back side, and make them the same, but the measuring should be done on the ground with the weight of the vehicle resting upon itself. That also only sets the toe. Setting camber could be done with a magnetic level, but you would need to start on a perfectly level surface for that to be accurate. It’s really best to leave this to a qualified professional. If you end up needing help with the suspension work prior to the alignment, you can contact a technician from YourMechanic, who can come to your home or work to solve your suspension issue.

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