Pinion Angle

Tired of breaking cases and drive shafts? There are many books that misled you on setting the pinion angle. For Drag Racing this is simple. You are trying to set the pinion angle to be parallel with the centerline of the engine & transmission on hard acceleration. To achieve this you must first figure out the parallel setting of the rear end to correspond to the angle of the engine & transmission, then add the proper amount of pinion angle. Add 1 deg. for 4-Link vehicles, 2 to 3 deg. for ladder-bar vehicles. Place stands under suspension to duplicate vehicle at ride height. Caution do not remove drive shaft without securing vehicle first. Take measurement with drive shaft removed. (shown below)

Operating Angle


Operating angles in a driveshaft are the angles between the pinion, driveshaft and transmission centerlines. The optimal angle for any driveshaft to run at is 0 degrees, where many vibrational and frictional problems are non-existent. In order to minimize power loss and vibration in an offset configuration, the pinion centerline and the transmission centerline need to be parallel. In general, the largest angle for racing applications should be 2 degrees and the centerlines should be parallel within 1/2 degree. If the centerlines are off too far, the u-joints travel at different speeds causing vibration (this is the same problem induced by poorly phased end yokes). This vibration is hard to distinguish from an unbalanced driveshaft.