Hey guys! ChrisFix here, and today, I’m gonna show you how to install an angle kit in your car.
Now an angle kit consists of cut knuckles, and you can actually see where they cut and welded where the tie rod attaches.
And it also consists of modified control arms, you can see where they notched the control arm here to make more room for your tires because you’re gonna get a lot more steering angle with the angle kit.
Now I am also installing a bump steer kit, some brand new wheel bearings, and stiffer springs, all supporting mods to go along with the angle kit so that we can have a solid setup.
Now angle kits are used on drift cars so you can steer and control the car when you’re completely sideways.
And some of these drift cars, the steering angle so crazy, the car can almost steer completely sideways! Now back to my Mustang, using my homemade angle finder, the stock steering angle is about 30 degrees.
And if you remember, I did a video and how to get a little bit more angle by removing steering rack limiters and that got me an extra 9 degrees.
But I need more angle for drifting on the track.
Right now when I drift, I have very little more room for error, and it’s super easy to run out of angle and spin.
So to fix that, we are gonna go full shopping cart with the DriftStang’s steering angle, even more angle than that.
And we are gonna set this car up as a proper drift car.
And to do that, here is everything that we need.
So how does an angle kit actually work? To help you visualize the difference, here’s a stock knuckle, and here’s the cut knuckle.
If you look at where the tie rod attaches an each knuckle, you can see the stock tie rod mount is about 5.
5 inches long, while the cut one’s about 3.
5 inches long.
So it’s 2.
5 inches shorter.
And to show you how that affects how much each knuckle turns, I have two equal length tie rods that I am gonna attach the each knuckle.
And when I push both tie rods same exact amount, you could see how much more angle the cut knuckle has compared the stock knuckle.
And all we changed was the length of the tie rod connection.
So just by cutting and moving that tie rod connection point inwards, the same amount of input turns the knuckle a lot more than stock.
And that’s how a cut knuckle works.
And the second part to an angle kit are the custom control arms.
So this is the stock control arm from my Mustang.
And this is a custom control arm.
It’s stock, but they cut out a notch in the control arm right here, and welded in a piece of metal for structural support.
Now look at the difference side by side.
All of this metal here is cut out.
And what that allows is the tire to come in here and not make contact with the control arm.
The thing is we have to cut out the sway bar mount so we can’t run a sway bar.
So with all this extra space, plus the cut knuckles, we’re going to have a ton of angle on this car.
And this is fairly easy to do! We’re going to be using all common hand tools, and with the car safely supported by jack stands, and the rear tires chocked off, let’s get started by removing the wheel! So with the wheel removed, just to give you an idea, we’re going from this.
So we’re going to be removing basically everything, so let’s start with the brakes.
But before we can get the brakes off, we have to remove the wheel spacer.
And if we try to remove lug nuts, it just spins.
So a trick is to grab a screwdriver and slide it in the cooling vanes of the brake rotor.
Now when you remove the lug nuts holding that wheel adapter on, it doesn’t spin and you can get all five lug nuts out.
With the lug nuts removed, use that screwdriver and help pry that wheel adapter off.
Next, I’m going to grab the suspension and turn it so I have more room to get to the two bolts holding in the brake caliper.
So let’s start by removing the top one.
And then the bottom one.
And once the bottom bolt is out, the brake caliper is free.
So grab a bungee cord, or something similar and connect it to the brake caliper.
And now we can pull the caliper off the rotor, and I’m going to hang it from the frame of the car so it’s out of the way.
And now, we can remove the brake rotor.
So with the brakes out of the way, next, let’s remove the tie rod end.
Now, we are going to be installing a bump steer kit.
I’ll explain how this works when we install it.
But it’s going to replace the tie rod end.
So we need to loosen up the jam nut first to get the tie rod off.
So get a 21 mm wrench and hit it with a hammer because these jam nuts could be on here tight.
Sometimes, they’re so tight you need to use heat to get them off.
Good, and with the jam nut finger loose, you don’t want to loosen this jam nut any more than you have to.
Keep it up against the tie rod end because that’s going to hold our alignment.
Now, we’re going to remove the tie rod from the knuckle.
So unbend the cotter pin and pull it out.
Good, and unscrew that castle nut all the way.
And once you remove the nut, flip it upside down and screw it back on until it’s flush with the stud.
And what that does is it allows us to use a hammer and pop the stud out of the knuckle without mushrooming the stud.
Once the tie rod breaks free, unscrew the nut, and the tie rod should come right out.
Now, we can unscrew the outer tie rod off the inner tie rod.
And we don’t need that anymore! But we’re still using the inner tie rod, so make sure you keep that jam nut where it is.
With the tie rod end removed, now we’re going to remove our coilover.
So we’re going to start with these two bolts down here.
So grab your wrench, and use it to prevent the bolt from spinning as we loosen the nut.
And once we break this free, like that, we can loosen it up the rest of the way.
And I really like these extendable ratchets for leverage.
So that’s the top nut, let’s remove the bottom.
And there we go, that’s the bottom nut.
Now we can get the bolts out of there, which might take a little wiggle to get loose.
And finally, we can pull the knuckle off the coilover, like that.
Now with the bottom bolts removed, we can come to the top, grab our wrenches, one goes on the nut, and the other holds the stud in place as we try to loosen this.
And once it’s loose, it should loosen the rest of the way by hand, like that.
And then we can go back under, and completely remove the coilover.
And with that coilover removed, we are almost done disassembling everything.
All we have left is this lower control arm.
In order to get to that and get that out, we need to remove this sway bar.
So get a wrench on the flat end of the N-link to prevent it from spinning, and get a deep socket on the nut and unscrew the nut.
Once it’s loose, you can unscrew it the rest of the way by hand, remove the top bushing, and push the control arm down to disconnect it from the sway bar.
Next, we need to remove the sway bar body mount so we can remove the sway bar completely, because it’s going to get in the way of the tire with all this extra angle we’re going to have.
So unscrew both nuts.
And with both of them removed, I already removed the mount on the other side so we can slide the sway bar right out.
And with that sway bar completely removed, the last thing that we need to do is remove this control arm.
There’s a bolt there, and a bolt there, and this’ll come out.
So grab a wrench, and let’s remove the left bolt first.
Get that ratchet on there and break that bolt loose.
And so I have more room to swing the ratchet, I’m going to hold the control arm down with my foot.
And there we go, let’s slide that bolt out! Ugh, you’re kidding me, right? So we ran into a bit of a snag getting that bolt out.
It’s something that shouldn’t even happen, but it did, so let me show you what’s going on.
As you can see, we can’t remove the bolt because the tie rod boot is in the way! So hopefully removing the boot would do the trick.
Nope! And would you look at that? This is contacting the top of the steering rack and the side of the steering rack right there! That is a bad design! All I want to do is get this bolt out, and I have to remove the steering rack in order to do that.
So let’s remove the steering rack bolt by unscrewing this nut.
Good, remove the washer as well.
And then the bolt slides right out.
Finally, let’s wiggle the bushing out of there.
Now I want to try something, so instead of removing the whole rack, I think if I jack up the rack just enough.
Just a little bit more.
Perfect! That gives us enough clearance to get the bolt out.
And we don’t have to completely remove the steering rack.
Alright, so with our bolt out, that’s what I call bad engineering.
This bolt should come right out without having to move the power steering rack.
But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, so let’s move on the next bolt.
And break this bolt free, like that.
And now hopefully this one comes out without a problem.
*giggle* You’re not going to believe this.
So this bolt should come out, right? Nope! It’s going to hit the K-member bolt.
So now we need to remove this bolt, and then hopefully it clears.
And beautiful! The control arm bolt is out, and finally, we can remove the lower control arm.
Alright, with our lower control arm removed, we have completely gutted our front suspension; Everything is out of here.
And although it seems intimidating, it’s really not that bad.
It’s just a couple of nuts and bolts.
And that gives us room to install our angle kit and supporting parts.
And while this is a kit specifically made for my generation Mustang, just talking from experience, whenever you’re doing modifications or a customization like this, be prepared because you might have to make little adjustments to make sure everything works together.
And with that being said, let’s grab our lower control arm and get started installing everything! Remember those little adjustments I was talking about that you might have to make to make things work? Well, here’s our first one.
This spring perch right here gets into the way of the tire.
And it actually completely stock the tire rubs against here.
That’s why they have this rounded instead of a sharp edge so it doesn’t damage the tire if it does flex and rub into it.
And when I’m drifting, you can hear the tires rubbing when the wheel is turned all the way.
Listen to this.
Now rubbing slows you down and throws off the balance of the car, which can cause you to spin out.
And if you can’t tell, that gets frustrating.
So right now, even if we install the angle kit, we can’t get any more angle than stock because this is in the way.
And I talked to a couple of drifting buddies of mine who drift Mustangs, and they all cut this out right up to the frame.
And in my situation, I’m not using the spring anymore, so it’s okay to trim this spring perch.
So enough talking, let’s draw the line where we’re going to cut this flush with the frame for maximum clearance.
And as always, safety is important, so be sure to wear a dust mask and eye protection.
So we’re using an electric cut off wheel, and I’m working my way from the top moving down to the bottom.
Now it’s almost completely off.
And there we go! Now I’m going to deburr and smooth the edge with a flat wheel so it’s rounded and not sharp.
So there’s the first little modification we had to make, cutting out this little bit of metal.
so that we can get the tire in here and it doesn’t rub.
Now I’m going to clean this off, and don’t forget to paint this so it doesn’t rust.
Okay, with the paint dry, now let’s go and install the control arm and get the suspension in.
Remember, we have to jack up the power steering rack to get clearance to fit the bolt in.
Just like that.
Now we can lower the steering rack back down, and get that bushing in there.
Add the bolt, then the washer, and then some medium-strength thread locker which is going to prevent vibrations from loosening up the nut.
And this gets torqued down to 40 ft-lbs.
Perfect! Finally, push the boot all the way back on and reinstall the breather tube like so.
Now we can add the other bolt to the control arm.
Use some medium-strength thread locker on each bolt and hand tighten the nut on each bolt.
Now whenever you’re tightening down control arm bolts, this metal in here pinches and binds that bushing.
So you want to set up the control arm so it’s at the height of where the car’s going to be while it’s driving.
And once you do that, slide something like a jack underneath so it doesn’t move.
Now each control arm gets tightened down to 150 ft-lbs.
And that’s the other.
And we can’t forget about this K-member bolt, which I added a little bit of medium-strength thread locker to, and this gets torqued down 65 ft-lbs.
So now when we remove the jack, you can see this stays where it is because these bushings are pinched together.
So you don’t want it to be down low, and then when you put the tire on and jack everything up, the bushings spin and potentially tear.
Now with the control arm bolted in, let’s go install our knuckle, which connects to the lower ball joint.
Then we can get the nut on there and tighten it down.
This gets torqued to 130 ft-lbs.
With the knuckle in, now we can install the coilover.
But before we do that, since we removed the sway bar permanently, we need to add a stiffer spring to the coilover.
This is easy to do, just remove that top spring hat, pull the old spring out, and install the new spring.
Piece of cake! So the old spring is a 225-lb spring and the new spring is a 600-lb spring.
That’s a big difference, it’s going to make the front end stiffer.
It’s also going to compensate for that sway bar we removed.
So let’s go install this coilover! Now the top of the coilover goes right through the hole in the camber caster plate like that.
Then add some thread locker to this, screw on the nut, And we’re going to tighten this nut with these two wrenches as much as we can, since we can’t use a torque wrench here.
Good, and with the top of the coilover tightened down into camber caster plates, let’s go back under the car.
And I’m going to use a breaker bar to help me hold the control arm down as I align the knuckle so it could slide right into the coilover.
Then let’s get the top bolt in which is going to hold this in place, and then the bottom bolt, add some thread locker to the threads, and get those nuts threaded on there so we can torque each one down to 150 ft-lbs.
That’s the top.
And that’s the bottom.
Oh man, we are so close to being done, so now let’s install our tie rod.
Now this is the factory tie rod and it has no adjustment for bump steer.
So instead, we’re going to be installing our adjustable bump steer tie rod.
What makes it adjustable for bump steer are these washers right here.
Right now we have it at the lowest setting.
But if we remove the washers and install this like that, now we have it at the highest setting.
So we could either move it down low, or bring it up top, and that adjustability is going to help us get the steering geometry just right.
Now I can make an entire video all about bump steer, and how to correct it, and where to put the spacers, and how to measure your suspension, and get the correct steering geometry.
But that’s not what this video’s about, so what I’m going to do, I’m going to install this bump steer kit and let the alignment shop correctly adjust for bump steer.
Now it’s convenient that the stock and bump steer tie rods are both the same length.
Since we didn’t move the jam nut at all, we could tighten the bump steer tie rod all the way to the jam nut like that and maintain our current alignment.
Then let’s fit the tie rod end into the knuckle like so, add a washer, and the nut, and torque it down to 40 ft-lbs.
Finally, get a wrench on the flat side of the tie rod to hold it in place, and a wrench on the jam nut, and tighten the jam nut against the tie rod so it won’t loosen up.
So with the tie rod done, now we can install our brand new wheel bearing.
And a little trick so the wheel bearing could easily come off if ever needed to replace it, just add some anti-seize right to the spindle, so the wheel bearing won’t get rusted to the spindle.
Next, push the new bearing all the way in against the knuckle.
Add some thread locker to the threads, and it’s important that you use a new spindle nut any time you replace a wheel bearing so that it doesn’t come loose as you drive.
Now spindle nuts are typically large.
This is a 35 mm.
And it’s important that you use a torque wrench to get the torque accurate.
That way the wheel bearing seats properly and doesn’t wear out quickly.
And we’re going to have to tighten this down to 250 ft-lbs, which is a lot! And a little trick is keep your arms straight, and bend from your legs, not from your back.
That way, you’re using your powerful legs to tighten this, and you won’t hurt your back torquing it down.
With the bearing installed, let’s get the brake rotor on there.
Then let’s slide the caliper over the brake rotor, and tighten down our two bolts.
These get torqued down to 95 ft-lbs.
And that’s the other.
And now we need to add some thread locker to each of these studs so that we can install the wheel spacer.
Now let’s get a screwdriver in the cooling vane, and torque the lug nuts in a star pattern to 100 ft-lbs.
And don’t forget to remove the screwdriver.
Now let’s tap the dust cover over the spindle nut to seal out any water and dirt.
And finally, we can get the wheel on here, hand tighten all five lug nuts, lower the car, and finish tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern to 100 ft-lbs.
Now let’s see what kind of angle we got using our angle finder.
So slide it under the tire, lower the car to the ground again, and turn the wheel to see the angle.
Remember, the stock steering angle maxed out at 30 degrees.
So we passed that already.
And check it out, holy smokes! We have 50 degrees of angle! That is a huge improvement! And now that is impressive, the angle kit gave us over 20 degrees of angle compared to stock.
That is so much, we’re going to have some serious angle for when we go drifting.
Speaking of that, we have to get to the track, but before that, we need to get this car aligned so we can have a perfect alignment.
So we’re at the alignment shop, and the DriftStang is on the alignment rack getting taken care of.
The camber, caster, and tow are all getting adjusted so the car can be driven on the street, but also drifted on the track.
And a few minutes later, we are ready to go test out the new angle kit! So just driving around on the street, you can totally feel a difference when you make a turn because now, when you turn the wheel just a little, the car turns a lot more than it used to.
And so you can get a visual difference between our stock angle and our new angle, we’re in the culdesac, and here’s a shot of the car with the stock steering angle.
The stock turning radius is really wide, at about 19 ft.
That’s how wide my truck turning radius is! Now let’s compare that to our new turning radius.
And look at this, this is insane! The new turning radius is less than half the stock turning radius! Oh, man.
After seeing that difference, I can’t wait to get this to the track, so let’s head there right now! Alright, now the track is closed for the winter, but I got permission to test the car out in the track parking lot.
So let’s see what she’s got! What a difference! Holy smokes! You are shredding, shredding! Yes! Oh man, what a difference that is! Holy smokes.
That is insane.
I’m like– I’m like shaking at how good that is.
Dude, I got this down.
I got this down, baby! Yeah! Yes! Dude, I’m so happy for you, you have no idea.
You have no idea how happy I am right now, like– This is insane! So there you go.
That is how you install an angle kit at home with common hand tools, and check out these results! Hopefully, you enjoyed the video, and if you aren’t a subscriber, definitely consider subscribing because it’s just going to keep getting better and better! And as always, all the tools and products I used in this video are linked in the description.