There is no magical "one size fits all" engine height/engine angle/driveshaft angle/slip yoke angle/pinion angle profile that will work with every car combo. "Drag race only" cars generally can use a different driveline angle profile than a car that only sees street/highway use.
"Street/highway" driven cars. For long U-joint service life under the never ending/constant/repeated partial loading-unloading "hammering" a street driven car's driveline sees for 1000's & 1000's of miles, both front & rear U-joints need a few things to help them live........
1 - Both U-joints need to be operating in "phase" with each other (being at/as close to "equal but opposing operating angles" as possible).
2 - Both U-joint's operating angles them selves need to be at least enough to (A) insure enough cap/needle-bearing rotation & self lubrication during use. But (B) not be at too much of an excessive operating angle where the U-joints are operating at/close to being in a bind at a given driveshaft RPM range.
This generally means that this "repeating partial loading" profile has (A) the pinion's centerline pointing at the same/similar angle as the crankshaft centerline (in relation to the ground), while at the same time the pinion height off the ground vs the crank height off the ground has enough difference that it gives you equal but opposing U-joint operating angles (or interference angles if you want) at both U-joints. The actual U-joint operating angles needed really depend on the rear suspension type used. A rear suspension that has limited pinion/housing upward rotation potential (like say a 4-link with stiff bushings) could get away with somewhere around -2.0* operating angle between the driveshaft & the pinion, and around +2.0* operating angle between the driveshaft & the slip yoke. Having "equal but opposing" U-joint operating angles on a car with a lot of pinion rotation potential (like say a leafspring car without a traction device) can sometimes be a can of worms to deal with. On one hand the leafspring's increased possible pinion rotation can sometimes call for more U-joint operating angle (at the pinion). But putting the same increased operating angle at the slip yoke U-joint (to stay in phase) can sometimes cause it's own problems.
"Drag race only" purpose built cars driveline profile (ladder bar & 4-link). Generally speaking on a drag only car you are less worried about a U-joint's "long service life" over 1000's of miles & more worried about reducing U-joint friction under heavy launch loading. So in this application they are looked at more as a periodic replacement maintenance item. As you build the car (while sitting at the proposed ride height) you in effect mount the engine/trans in the chassis so it's crank centerline points directly at the pinion's centerline & the pinion's centerline points directly at the crank centerline. This in effect gives you front & rear initial mock-up U-joint operating/interference angles of 0.0 degrees at both U-joints. Then after the car is finished & on the ground you adjust in a small amount of downward operating angle back at the pinion U-joint. So in the end (with say a 4-link) you might end up with only around -1.0* (one degree) operating angle back at the pinion, and only around +0.5* (a half a degree) operating angle at the slip yoke U-joint. The theory is that under heavy launch loading the pinion will rotate upward a small given amount (under load) making both U-joints operate at as close to 0.0* as possible (again under load) for the least possible amount of frictional losses through the driveline.
460 street '66 Ranchero.......................finished someday.
460 race '70 Maverick..........................finished someday.
All 'glass Top Sportsman '69 Mustang......ummm, check back when I win big playing the Texas Lotto, or online poker.
page. Some ancient & newer local race video.
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