Front end driveline angle


Junior Member
Calgary, Alberta
I own a 1980 Chev 1/2 ton 4x4 with a 6" lift. I would like to place shims under the springs to rotate the differential to help with the driveline angle. How much can I rotate the diff before the steering gets affected? What size of shims should I use?



Endicott, NY
You'll want about 5 - 7 degrees of caster in your front axle. You can probably go +/- 1 degree of that number if you wanted to without issue, but between 5 - 7 is ideal. Adding shims to adjust d-shaft angle will definetly affect your caster. Could be a good thing, could be a bad thing. Get yourself an angle finder and place it on your axle C (where the ball joints go). On my CJ7, my pinion is level with the ground and I have about 7degree's of caster. For me this isn't a problem because it only see's 4wd at low speeds (under 35mph).

In order to bring the pinion up, and have proper caster, one must cut the C's loose on each side, rotate the pinion up, reset the C's to proper caster, then re-weld them in place. Tricking, but definetly doable provided you have the time, tools and shop to do it in.

If you're looking for a way to "rotate" the differential in relation to the springs, you may want to try wedges such as those available through Mr. Gasket. Search for part numbers Lakewood 20504, which are 4 degree units for GMs, or Mr. Gasket numbers 1606 (2 degree universal) and/or 1607 (4 degree universal). Might save you from cutting off, repositioning, and rewelding the spring perches on the differential tubes.


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