Early in 2021, I saw a post from Just Engineering on Facebook, advertising their super angle kit. This kit looked like something that I wanted to try – I had been designing something similar on my own, but lacked a lot of the skill necessary to make sure everything was going to work 100% how I intended it to. Late in 2021 I was able to get my hands on the Super Angle Kit from Just Engineering to do some testing and analysis.
First, I want address the elephant in the room – do you actually need 70+ degrees of steering angle on an AE86? For most people, that answer is no. I don’t even need it really. However… I wanted to test the extreme of AE86 stock style steering, without changing to S13 front steering and suspension bits.
If you’re more of a “video” person, check out the videos below where I overview the kit, install it, and test it out.
While the obvious first advantage is steering angle, it’s understanding how that angle is achieved while maintaining great suspension alignment where you’ll find all kinds of fantastic bonuses to this kit over literally anything else on the market. Nothing else can even compare to this angle kit.
First, we’ll cover the things that are easy to identify. If you look at the control arm, you’ll see that it has a bit of a “bend” in it for tie rod end clearance. This makes more room for steering angle. Combining this with a shorter distance from the ball joint to the tie rod end mounts on the knuckle is what gets you the insane amount of angle. You’ll also notice an allen head bolt coming out of the knuckle, this is an adjustable angle limiter/bump stop. This allows you to diaal in the steering angle for however much clearance you have or for things like steering overcentering. Overcentering is where you have too much steering angle for your steering rack position. Once you get to an extreme lock, the outer tie rod end will go past center, and it’ll lock/bind your steering up.
To continue on the topic of clearance, this angle kit is wide. It’s ~3-3.5″ wider than the stock control arms which gives your wheel/tire clearance with the chassis. You’ll also notice that the tension rod is incorporated into the control arm and is also designed for high clearance.
When you extend the track width by 3″, the minimum amount of negative camber you can run will be -8°. I know this, because prior to this kit I was running 3″ extended control arms. Luckily, the Just Engineering kit comes with new upper strut mounts that will push the strut out further to get your camber back to a better angle, like -4.5°.
Now for some of the more subtle and nifty advantages. The knuckles are adjustable for different Ackermann angles. Each shim has a different number of notches on them, so you can adjust your Ackermann based on the track or on your driving preference. It’s super neat, and it’s something that not many knuckles can do for an AE86. There is one other company that does something similar, but it isn’t executed as well as this (in my opinion anyway).
AE86s have terrible scrub radius. To run a wide enough wheel to maximize grip, you have to run low offset. This means that the wheel is dragged around the steering arc, which causes tire wear, drag, increased steering effort, etc. If you look at the ball joint position in the knuckle and compare it to a stock AE86 knuckle – you’ll see the ball joint hole is positioned differently – this gives you reduced scrub radius, which reduces steering effort, etc. This is such a neat thing to find that literally nobody else has thought of doing. It’s something I’ve often wondered why nobody corrected, so it made me excited to see it done on this kit.
Caster adjustment is done three different ways, by using the different shims on the heim joint for the control arm, adjusting the heim joint nuts for the tension rod mount, and by rotating the upper strut mount to one of the 3 different mounting holes. This is where most of the time will be spent for getting an alignment.
Now, bump steer. Bump steer happens when you hit bumps (obviously), and it knocks your steering around because of extreme ball joint and tie rod end angles. This angle kit has multiple bump steering corrections – the knuckle has a built in roll center adjuster, the ball joint comes with spacers, and the tie rod end comes with spacers. You can see how the toe rod end even at lock is perfectly in line with the control arm here. Probably the coolest and neatest thing about this kit is something that I had never thought about. If you look at the knuckle, it has a chamfer/angle cut from the bottom to the top. I didn’t understand what this was for, until Just Engineering sent me this picture.
If you’re using a standard “style” knuckle, you will 100% hit the knuckle on the tie rod end like in this picture. This is actually the prototype for the Super Angle Kit. They realized that in order to hit maximum steering angle without binding or clearance issues, the knuckles needed to have a chamfer/angle cut from the bottom upwards to make clearance for the tie rod end.
I’m not going to lie and say this kit is perfect, because it’s not. It’s pretty dang close though, if I do say so myself. It is at this point, the absolute best and most extreme angle kit ever made for an AE86. The disadvantages it has are because it is so extreme. The extremely wide stance means that you’ll have to run extreme flares like CBY style or cut fenders – regardless of if they’re widebody fenders or not.
I’m running +40mm Origin fenders, and I still had to trim them significantly for clearance. My front wheels are 15×7-8″ with a 0 offset. The tires in this picture are Kenda KR20A 195/55r15, which really fit more like a 205 or 215.
Another disadvantage is how heavy the steering is. I have a Flo’s Quick Rack, so combining the quick rack with the short knuckles makes for very VERY fast steering (2.5 turns lock to lock), which means very VERY heavy steering.
The last disadvantage is something that Just Engineering is working on a solution for (date marking this November, 2021). You can’t run a front sway bar with this kit just yet. However, it isn’t really necessary even with only 8k springs. The way the roll center correction and the wide stance works out, you end up with pretty good steering response without a sway bar.
Even with these disadvantages, this is an amazing angle kit. If you want to have the most extreme AE86 with more angle than you’ll ever find yourself using, I’d recommend ordering up this kit.