Stop the Shake: Using Axle Shims to Conquer Driveline Vibrations

Off-road vehicles are built to conquer challenging terrain, but modifications like suspension lifts may cause unwanted consequences. Enter axle shims: thin wedges of metal used to adjust the angle of certain suspension components. But when exactly do you need axle shims for your off-road vehicle? Let's explore the telltale signs.

The Signs Your Rig Needs Axle Shims:

  • Driveline Vibrations: After a lift kit installation, you might experience vibrations at certain speeds. This can be a symptom of improper pinion angle, where the angle of the driveshaft doesn't line up correctly with the axle. Axle shims can help adjust this angle and eliminate vibrations.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Premature or uneven tire wear on the inner or outer edges can indicate a problem with caster angle. Caster refers to the slight tilt of the steering axis, and axle shims can be used to adjust it for optimal tire wear and handling.
  • Steering Issues: Difficulty centering the steering wheel or a feeling of wandering after a lift can signal steering geometry issues. Adjusting caster and toe angles with axle shims can help improve steering precision and stability.

Beyond the Signs:

  • Lift Kit Recommendations: Many lift kit manufacturers recommend specific axle shim angles based on the lift height. Consult the instructions or contact the manufacturer for guidance.  We offer universal axle shims for many applications, and our rear lift blocks come pre-tapered to bypass the need of axle shims!
  • Professional Input: If you're unsure about axle shim installation or the cause of your off-road vehicle's symptoms, consider seeking help from a qualified mechanic experienced with suspension modifications.

The Benefits of Getting it Right:

  • Smoother Ride: Eliminating driveline vibrations ensures a more comfortable and enjoyable off-road experience.
  • Extended Tire Life: Proper tire alignment thanks to adjusted caster and toe angles translates to longer tire lifespan.
  • Enhanced Handling: Precise steering control through proper caster and toe settings leads to improved handling and safety on challenging terrain.

Axle shims are a relatively simple solution to a common off-road problem. By staying alert to the signs and seeking professional guidance if needed, you can ensure your off-road vehicle remains a reliable and comfortable companion on your adventures.

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