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· Registered
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On the cusp of ordering Belltech 3 inch lowering leafs for my 2000 EXT cab 4.3L. I chose spindles over blocks after reading the ride is better and it’s more worth it in the long run being able to drop it more later for cheaper etc etc. I just read that these lowering leafs do not leave you with the correct pinion angle. Is this true? If so what will I have to do to correct the angle? 3° tapered shims? Droppin my s has been a long time in the making I just got it running great again ( thanks to mpfi conversion ) and now I want to get it how I want it to look. What have you guys with Belltech p#5954 on EXT CABS do to correct pinion angle.

· time to get cereal
7,603 Posts
I think most people with drop leafs are also running blocks. If you're not planning on going lower than 3" then I would go with blocks. The leafs make the ride pretty harsh.

I've got 4" leafs and 2" blocks on mine. Has the tapered shim and the transmission mount and support bearing spacers also.

· LS3 Cruisin'
2,066 Posts
First, order a cheap magnetic angle finder from Amazon, this one or equivilant:

Then put your truck on axle stands under the axle tubes, after you've done your drop mods. Put the truck in neutral, you can then rotate the driveshaft and wheels by hand. Snap the finder to the driveshaft, and flats of the universal caps when they are rotated down on the opposite side, record all the angles, work out the per-universal angle differences.

You want the pinion to be about a half degree negative (pointed slightly down) relative to the tailshaft coming out of the transmission, it is more important to correct for tailshaft/diff pinion alignment than it is to correct for individual angles.

Generally, you can use degree shims to bring the rear diff pinion within a half degree negative of the tailshaft on the trans. If the intermediate angles are greater than 3 degrees, use a spacer block or stacks of washers under the center carrier bearing to reduce the intermediate universal angles.

Once you have the general idea of what your angles are, you can order kits from JTR:
This one:
or this one:

You can also get universal generic slide in u-shaped shims in 0.5 degree increments from Summit or Jegs.

Reason for pinion being slightly negative... torque causes rotation of the differential of up to ~0.5 degrees which brings the tailshaft and diff pinion into parallel alignment which means as all the universals rotate, the driveshaft does not change overall length, which reduces wear on a few things.
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