Skip to main content
Use the Driveline Operating Angle Calculator to find the operating angle of each u-joint in your drivetrain.

Measure the angles of each component in your drivetrain—driving member, driveshaft(s), driven member—to find your u-joint operating angles.


Measure the angles of each component in your drivetrain—driving member, driveshaft(s), driven member—to find your u-joint operating angles.

A universal joint operating angle is the angle that occurs between the driving member and driveshaft, and between the driven member and driveshaft when they are not vertically aligned.

NOTE: This calculator does not address compound drive angles (horizontal offsets).

You’ll need a spirit level or digital protractor accurate to ¼ degree. You’ll be measuring angles at various points:

  • From the transmission
  • Along the drivelines
  • Back to the rear axles

Enter the angle to the nearest ¼ degree, along with the slope (up or down):

  • Up: Rises from front to rear of vehicle
  • Down: Descends from front to rear

Three ways to measure:

  • Use an adapter for a digital protractor that allows for measurement of slopes directly off bearing caps in light duty or quick disconnect applications
  • Remove bearing cap and take measurement directly off yoke
  • Remove snap ring and take measurement off bearing cap using adapter

Measurement tips:

  • Measure along actual center line of output shaft
  • Measure on flat surface 90 degrees to or parallel to output shaft of transmission
  • Measure true center line

Basic rules:

  • Universal joint operating angles at each end of a driveshaft should always be at least one-half degree
  • Universal joint operating angles on each end of a driveshaft should always be equal within one degree of each other (one half degree for motor homes and shafts in front of transfer cases or auxiliary devices)
  • For vibration-free performance, universal joint operating angles should not be larger than three degrees. If they are, make sure they do not exceed the maximum recommended angles.
Driveshaft RPM Max. Operating Angle Interaxle
Parallel Intersecting
5000 3.2°
4500 3.7°
4000 4.2°
3500 5.0°
3000 5.8°
2500 7.0°
2000 8.7°
1500 11.5°

Points to remember:

  • The angles shown on the above chart are the maximum u-joint operating angles recommended by Spicer engineers and are directly related to the speed of the driveshaft.
  • Any universal joint operating angle greater than 3 degrees will lower universal joint life and may cause a vibration.
  • Remember to check maximum safe driveshaft RPM by using the Critical Speed RPM Calculator.

How to use this calculator:

Find a Spicer parts distributor today, or find where you can place your order now on Dana’s streamlined eCommerce platform,

These tools provide mathematical calculations only. The instructional videos are intended only to provide guidance on how the calculators operate and are illustrative only. Neither the calculators nor the associated videos are intended to provide advice or information on vehicle operation, maintenance or safety. Dana makes no representation as to what equipment or use is appropriate for any specific vehicle.