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Old 03-17-2012, 06:07 PM   #1
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Question How to properly adjust Team Z upper control arms?

Got the rear end rebuilt and bolted back in the car today but how do I properly adjust the team Z upper control arms?

Team Z Conventional Upper Control Arms

they adjust from the top and the bottom and they are currently bolted on ( not torqued yet) but do I just need to measure the bolt hole distance from the stock control arms and make sure the same length is for the Team Z ones as well? And do I adjust the length from by the upper portion or lower portion of the control arm b/c both ends can be adjusted.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:22 PM   #2
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They are double adjustable. Meaning you turn the tube and it will adjust the length. On end is left hand thread and the other is right hand. You adjust axle location with the lowers and pinion angle with the uppers. You want about -1 degree for your pinion angle.

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Old 03-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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how do I know if I have -1 degree of pinion angle? Ive never done anything with adjustable control arms or setting the pinion angle. I have all solid bushings if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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Dave will be back in shop monday, they are racing, call him
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #5
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you want the pinion "nose down"

pinion angle shoud be negative, how much depends on what type of tires you are running, what type of bushings, drag only or street, etc
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:41 AM   #6
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Thanks Steven and Costal. Ive been reading up a lot on how to set it. I'll give dave a call when I can this week to get more details on exactly where it should be set. Its a street strip car with solid bushings.

I currently have the front on jack stands on the frame rails and the axle tubes supported by jack stands as well. From what I have read this is fine just as long as the rear suspension is loaded?
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
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Yes, you need full weight on the rear suspension just like it will be driven.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thanks, from what I have been reading this is how it should be done, let me know what I'm missing, forgetting or have wrong.

1. Magnetic protractor

2. when adjusting the pinion angle use the upper adjustment on the control arm

3. set the angle of the drive shaft and the angle at the flange so that you end up with your desired number at the pinion flange. Such as if you want -2 you will have to have the drive shaft set at +2 ? (this is the area I'm still unsure on )
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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the driveshaft angle is set.....that is based on your k member, engine mounts, tranny mount, etc. for what you need and doing your not going to worry about adjusting that, that is a fixed number for you.

what i do is measure the angle of the driveshaft as shown in the photo, i then remove the ds from the rear flange and read the angle on the flat part of rear flange. now subtract the ds # from the rear flange #. if using the pic above you can see it is at -4*, now lets say with your car being street/strip with radial tires and solid bushings i would set it at -1.5 to -2.0. In order to achieve this you would want to rotate the rear flange upward by adjusting both upper control arms evenly, it doesn't take much to get 2* out of it, adjust/measure, adjust/measure until desired setting is achieved.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #10
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ok that makes sense, thanks costal. Does it matter if both sets of control arms are adjusted exactly the same or just as long as it comes out to the desired reading? Or will it not come out to that reading unless both ends are adjusted the same?
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
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ok that makes sense, thanks costal. Does it matter if both sets of control arms are adjusted exactly the same or just as long as it comes out to the desired reading? Or will it not come out to that reading unless both ends are adjusted the same?
Both control arms must be the same length. Get them the same length then adjust both the same amount of turns.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
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I picked up a magnetic protractor today from home depot. I'm going to wait to set the pinion angle until I have the motor mounts fully bolted down along w/ the trans cross member bolts. Both are undone or loose b/c I had been test fitting long tube headers.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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Here is what i do. Along with the directions you have already been given. I make the upper control arms the same length as stock. I then install them in the car. I use a sharpie marker and mark the portion of the middle adjustable sleeve so I know that is the starting location of each control arm. That way I can be sure I adjust both evenly. They need to remain the same length.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:12 PM   #14
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I set the length the same as the stockers when we put them on. I'll double check to make sure they are both still the same.

Dave said to start at -2.5 and to go from there.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:56 PM   #15
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what size wrench fits the nut and center section on these control arms? The adjustable is just not cutting it. I cant get the damn things adjusted right. I adjusted both sides so the bottoms had the same number of threads showing. When I tried to adjust the top to change the pinion angle it kept moving on the bottom
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:57 PM   #16
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Like the other guy said. just turn the nut in the middle it either pushes out or pulls in. The work just like a turn buckle one thread is left hand the other is right hand.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:59 PM   #17
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what about the nuts at each end, do they have to be at the bottom or top of their respective threads or does their position not matter? On the passenger side I could only get the bottom of the arm to adjust, when I turned it in the middle it gave me more threads on the bottom, and when I turned it the other way it gave me less threads on the bottom. I could not gain any more or less threads on the top part of the arm which is what I was trying to do to adjust the angle.

I also want to double check to make sure I did this part right. I loaded the rear end suspension so it was being held up by the jack stands. I bolted down both motor mounts and both trans mounts (bolts were out due to test fitting long tube headers) I then took the measurement on the drive shaft and came out with this... but is this -4 or +4? I know my pinion angle has to come down more its just adjusting it so it goes that direction.






and I take the reading from there on the DS and adjust the angle of the rear end so that when both numbers subtracted from each other I come out with -2.5 (which is the # dave told me to set it at)
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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When you set the pinion it will read 1.5 from the right of 90*. That will give you -2.5* of pinion angle. If you set the pinion to the same reading it would be 0* of pinion angle. Does that make sense? 0* is in line with the driveshaft. Negitive is down from centerline and positive is up but you don't want positive.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:33 PM   #19
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so is the reading I got from my DS being connected at a -4 or a + 4 though? I know my rear end needs to be tilted down further I can tell just from looking at it so I know Im to much into the + side of it now so I need to adjust it so it goes down until I get my -2.5 correct?

so all I need to do now is set it so w/ the DS disconnected it reads 1.5 to the right of the 0* mark on the flange?
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #20
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-4 or +4 doesn't matter how you look at it.....

lets call it +4, in order to achieve the -2.5 you want, the rear needs to be adjusted so that the flange reads +1.5

(+1.5) - (+4) = -2.5

The nuts on the control arms are 1 1/4" or 1 1/8" I don't remember right now, and the center is I think 1". Each nut spins the opposite direction. Loosen both nuts off the center. The same number of threads should be shown on each control arm as long as the rear is square in the car and that there aren't any other issues
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:24 PM   #21
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alright sounds good, thanks costal. I'll take another shot at it later this week if I have time to. I'll pick up the right size wrench's the biggest ones I have are just a bit to small. Might make this process a bit easier.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #22
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Did u take off the drive shaft and measure the diff angle? Some people use a socket to get it squared so u can find the measurement (stick it in the nut of the pinion)
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #23
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I had done that but then I messed up the number of threads on the bottom of the control arm so I have to get each side back to the same measurement then I'll go and re take the angle of the differential. Thanks for the socket tip I'll try that. There is no much for the protractor to stick to just on the flange
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #24
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I have both control arms bottomed out on the bottom threads that are on the differential end. The threads at the top part of the control are vary greatly. I have 5-6 threads on the passenger side and a ton of threads on the drivers side. No matter what way I spin the center section all I can gain or loose is threads on the bottom part of the control arm. I need to adjust the threads at the top but every time I spin the center section it either gains more threads on the bottom or it bottoms out and can not be turned anymore. This is getting really frustrating. I know where I need to get the angle on the protractor but I just cant get the control arm to adjust the way I want it to. How the hell do I keep the bottom section where it needs to be but gain on the top end? Im way to the left of 90* right now, the differential needs to be pointed down more.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I have both control arms bottomed out on the bottom threads that are on the differential end. The threads at the top part of the control are vary greatly. I have 5-6 threads on the passenger side and a ton of threads on the drivers side. No matter what way I spin the center section all I can gain or loose is threads on the bottom part of the control arm. I need to adjust the threads at the top but every time I spin the center section it either gains more threads on the bottom or it bottoms out and can not be turned anymore. This is getting really frustrating. I know where I need to get the angle on the protractor but I just cant get the control arm to adjust the way I want it to. How the hell do I keep the bottom section where it needs to be but gain on the top end? Im way to the left of 90* right now, the differential needs to be pointed down more.
Before you installed them you should have screwed both ends in all the way and then turned the center section while not allowing either end to turn while setting the inital length, then after install adj. w/ center nut. It sounds like you started w/ uneven threads at one end. You may have to drop one end loose and do this.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #26
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OK I get it now! you need to take both arms out, and adjust them like BLK Snake said turn the adjusters all the way in and the heim all the way in, from that point hold the heim and the U bracket and only turn the adjuster until they are the desired length, then install them and set pinion angle, If your drive shaft is running DOWN to the pinion 4 degrees and your pinion is pointing DOWN 4 degrees you have a pinion angle of -8 as you adjust your uppers both the pinion and drive shaft angles will change so on every adjustment check both the drive shat angle and pinion angle!
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:46 AM   #27
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alright thanks guys, I'll take them both out and start over.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:01 PM   #28
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Got it all set to where it should be, got the protractor to read 1.5 so my total pinion angle is now at -2.5

Id like to thank dave and everyone here that helped me figure this out. It was really easy once I had the arms adjusted right. I disconnected them from the axle and put all the threads in on each end and then adjusted the length by twisting the center section and then adjusted each side an equal amount of turns until I got to the 1.5 reading on the protractor. Should be good to go, now I just have to get it running
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:26 PM   #29
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Thumbs up

Glad to hear that. So anything u want to say on how to do it? Never did it before. Besides screwing in the control arm.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #30
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its pretty simple actually. Just make sure you have both ends of the control arm screwed all the way in as far as they will go. Then adjust the length by turning the center section until you get the length to reach the axle. Like dave said dont let either end spin just spin the center section. It takes very little adjustment to move the pinion angle. I did a lot of back and forth adjustment b/c the first time I spun it more then I needed to.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:19 PM   #31
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hmmm good read
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #32
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you didnt post a pic of your protractor on the rearend yoke .. is it pointing down?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #33
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sorry to hijack : i could also use some help i measured my pinion angle on saturday i have 2* down on the transmission tail and 2* up on the pinion flange .... do i need to adjust the pinion flange so it's pointing down ?
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #34
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Venom- In post #6 you mention that the car was sitting on the frame rails in the front and under the axle in the rear. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but if it's sitting on the frame rails in the front, wouldn't that mean that it is supported BEHIND the front wheels? What I mean is; when I put my car on stands in the front, and they are behind the front wheels (on the frame rails as you mentioned), when I follow by putting the rear stands under the axle, the rear suspension doesn't settle all the way because the front weight is supported behind the front wheels, making it sit nose heavy.
Bottom line: The rear will sit high on the stands because the front weight is hanging over the nose.
Am I making any sense?
I guess a lot easier way of asking this is: Shouldn't the front weight be supported directly under the front tires so that the weight is distributed as it would if it were sitting on the ground? Your pinion angle measurement would be off if the rear isn't sitting in the right spot because of improper weight distribution.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:07 AM   #35
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Yes the rear end was pointing down. I can tell the difference from where it was before.

I placed the jack stands on the only logical place on the front which was behind the rear wheels. Not sure of what you mean as far as someplace else to put them. The rear end was supported on jack stands and the suspension was loaded which from what Ive been reading is the real important part.
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