The pinion angle is a specific angle between the driveshaft and the differential of the lowered trucks. An angle of around 3° to 5° is standard to keep the driveshaft and suspension intact.
How to Set Pinion Angle on Lowered Truck? You can set the pinion angle on the lowered truck by calculating the exiting angle and subtracting it from the standard value. Also, install shim kits, put leaf springs, add specific spacers, and re-tighten the bolts of the suspension housing.
Trucks with low riding height are lowered pickups. They have low frames and better road visibility with optimized ground clearance.
Moreover, they have minimum chances of accidents and sudden tooling at challenging enclosed corners.
You cannot drive a lowered truck with an incorrect angle of pinion gear because it results in faulty steering and sudden failures of built-in U-joints.
Furthermore, excessive vibrations are frequent due to an incorrect alignment. They are adjustable on different trucks with the following techniques.
I have explained the comprehensive methods to align the angle between the driveshaft and the gear.
Calculate the pinion angle of a lowered truck
The incorrect pinion angle is dangerous for the lowered truck and leads to sudden accidents. Also, it causes premature failure of different parts of the drivetrain.
Furthermore, it results in the wearing of the wheels, and you can feel excessive vibration while driving the truck.
However, excessive vibrations from the rear end for the lowered pickup indicate an incorrect alignment that requires a quick adjustment to secure the frame and other driving parts.
To set it, you can calculate the value of the existing angle with a protractor or a digital meter. Also, measure the dimensions of the driveshaft.
Access its length and calculate the tallness of the rear axle of your truck. You can achieve the precise value by dividing the length of the driveshaft by the size of the rear axle.
For example, with a long driveshaft of around 40 inches and an axle size of 20 inches, you can divide them with an arc tan formula.
For the procedure, measure the wheelbase of your truck by calculating the distance between both the front and rear axles.
To calculate the height, check the distance between the rear axle and the ground. Then, subtract the value of riding height from the wheelbase and achieve the existing value.
Then, adjust the suspension according to your desired value. Check the adjustment with a digital gadget or measuring tape to reduce the problems. With the protractors, you can set them within seconds.
Set pinion angle with shims and leaf springs on lowered trucks
You can install high-performance shim kits on your pickup trucks to set it. The shims are steel-based components with a non-complicated design and quick installation techniques.
They have different cuts according to strategically designed that can align the driveshaft.
Furthermore, they provide optimized performance after their adjustment and support the suspension.
Moreover, these kits come with an instruction manual that guides the procedure. The shims inside the kits comprise different wedges that can go between the back ends.
Also, it has leaf springs to align the angle at the correct position. For their installation, use a hydraulic jack, adjust it under the frame and lift it.
Then, stabilize it over the jack stands and unbolt the driveshaft from the frame. Check the existing angle of the pinion gear with the digitally controlled protractor. The standard level is around 2° to 4°.
Install the shims in the rear end and reassemble the driveshaft. Decrease the height of the truck and drive to check its non-vibrational performance.
Their installation is easy and consumes less than 15 minutes. You can remove the U-bolts of the internal assembly of the rear axle. Then, fix the shims inside and re-tighten them.
The rear axle has a parallel direction as the leaf springs. In these conditions, you can weld the leaf springs and shims with the factory-installed housing.
The springs can rotate and move the housing in a lower and upward direction. To lower it, adjust the thicker side of the wedge in the rear end.
To raise it, adjust the similar edge to the front. You can select shims according to their corrective angles and adjustment abilities.
With them, you can reduce it from 5° to 3° and remove the vibrations from the system. In such circumstances, you can protect the suspension and drivetrain from internal wear.
Furthermore, reduced vibrations provide smoother rides on bumpy and rough road surfaces.
Install spacers on the lowered truck
You can add spacers to change and align the pinion angle on these lowered trucks. You can raise it to 5 degrees, but it can cause vibrations during the riding conditions.
Also, it can damage the U-joints due to internal wear. You can purchase specific kits that contain the spacers. However, the spacers have a particular design and appealing fitting properties.
You can adjust and mount them between the truck’s chassis and transmission system.
Their addition facilitates more ground clearance and road visibility.
However, the spacer kits can monitor the vibrations of the driveline and reduce the clicking sounds due to incorrect alignments.
Check the length of the tail shaft in closed and open positions. You can fix the misalignment with these tiny spacers. For the installation procedures, adjust a 3.8 inches nut.
Then, drill the threads on the outer side with an electric drill machine. Then, adjust the spacer in the suspension system. Furthermore, slide the pin of the spring and check the reduction of vibrations.
Re-tighten the housing and set the truck
The angle of the pinion gear fluctuates due to variable cycles of the suspension system and drivetrain components.
With the built-in leaf spring system, the springs of the front side are due to the rotation of the rear axle under pressurized conditions.
Due to the power supply, they change their position, which results in misalignment. However, the raised pinions are not beneficial for the lowered trucks because they reduce the performance of the suspension.
The bolt adjustment is one of the quickest ways to align the angles to their standard and original positions.
For this purpose, check the raised value of the springs by measuring them with a digital gadget or measuring tape.
Furthermore, examine the U-bolts of the system that holds the pinion with the driveshaft. Inspect the tightening of these U-bolts manually or with digital meters.
The over-tightened bolts can produce excessive vibrations due to a lower angle from the standard value. Moreover, the loose universal bolts cause its misalignment.
In such circumstances, you should adjust the torque of the built-in bolts. Tighten them according to the calculated values and readjust the pinion angle.