Re: NJ State Inspection 83' 300TD ... Failed "toe in" test?

Toe-in is simply the front wheels' parallelism. The front rim of the wheels ought to be about 1/8 inch closer together than the rear edge of the wheel. That's so that when the rolling resistance of the tires is
applied to the steering linkage the two front wheel are pushed to be almost exactly parallel to each other.
Your car's front wheels are not parallel to each other, therefore the tires are being worn by steering against each other. Toe-in is a simple adjustment of the tie rods' length that most alignment shops will do without a 4 wheel alignment etc.
Hitting a curb hard or turning the wheel against a parallel curb can distort the toe-in.
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No. But my '79 300D would have failed NJ inspection for the very same reason if I had not replaced the tie rods. In my case you could see wear on the inside of the front tires. I never noticed any symptoms. My long time mechanic picked it up on it's every 5 year "OK. Should I keep damn the thing for another few years checkout". The job ran about $200. And yes, I'm keeping it.
Toblin
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Maybe I missed something (T.G. ??)
How/why does a car fail a 'toe in' test. Surely its just an advisement to get it checked. Surely they'd only notice it if the front tyres were worn unevenly across the tread area. As long as the tyre tread is above the legal minimum, its a pass. No??. If the joints on the tie rod have excessive play, that's a fail, without question. Similarly if the tie rod is bent. In the UK, we have an annual inspection on all cars over 3 years old. I've failed on a number of things, with various cars over the years, but this seems outragious, and I'd appeal.
Just curious......... Rob.

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Hi Rob,
Some states inspect their residents cars; New Jersey is one, California is not. The headlights' aim, toe-in, exhaust system and brakes are checked and either pass or fail. Any failure needs to be corrected and the car reinspected. The inspection must be passed to register the car for the next year.
I lived and drove cars in New Jersey and now in California. IMHO, such inspections are a waste of time; very few wrecks occur because a car's mechanical parts fail. These inspections stem from the time when cars were not reliable, had mechanical brakes, dim headlights and their mufflers rusted away in three years time. Today, cars are much safer and are better maintained by a more affluent driving public.
Terrible waste of time, not so much the 5 minute inspection, but the hour of waiting in long lines that I recall.
Tom
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Blighty!
DAS --
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Thank You!!!! Upon a complete inspection of the tire tread, there is indeed some wear on one edge, but it only seems to be on one tire. It's really minor, but I don't think I was failed for a visual on that. They put a device on each wheel that hung off and those sent signals to a computer. Likely a pretty expensive test. I doubt most private garage inspection places would have had the equipment to do it.

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