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Sup guys, FJ#8 got his Donahoe UCA's in the other day so it was install time today. Since we haven't really seen any write-ups for the Donahoes we figured we would do one. First off here's a list of tools and supplies we used,
- Donahoe UCA's "of course"
- Jack and jackstands
- 10mm, 12mm, 17mm sockets with rachets or wrenches
- 19mm deep socket
- 13mm "12 point socket"
- 1/2 drive torque wrench
- allen wrenchs
- loctite red
- balljoint seperator "pickled fork"
We decided to start off with the passenger side. First off of course would be to jack up the truck and secure it on jackstands. After that you'll see the wheelwell area with what I call dirt flaps. These 2 flaps are secured in place by some clips, all you need to do is pop off the clips I marked and let the flaps hang down for the time being.
Here's what it will look like when the clips are removed with the flaps hanging,
Next remove the 2 10mm bolts securing the rubber brake. One is on the stock UCA and the other is on the top of the strut mount.
After that remove the 2 12mm bolts securing the brake hardline to the frame. You need to remove these to gain clearance to the pivot bolt.
Now use a piece of string and tie the spindle to the coilover to keep it LCA from collapsing when the balljoint is removed. You can also put a jack under the LCA as well. We decided to do both lol.
To get enough room for a socket to remove the balljoint nut you need to remove the swaybar endlink from the spindle using the 17mm socket.
Next would be the ball joint. We removed the codder pin and 19mm nut using a breaker bar.
Next use the pickled fork and place it between the spindle and stock UCA and hammer away at it until they seperate. Don't be afraid to pound away at it, these things are a PITA to get apart. Also don't worry about destroying the balljoint boot cause your not gonna need it with the Donahoes.
Now in the engine bay theres a ac line the is secured by a clip. You can easily pop the ac line out of the clip giving you clearence to remove the UCA pivot bolt. NOTE* the clip isn't visible in the picture, it's located under the big ac line the general area where the arrow is pointing. You can easily see it in the engine bay.
Now remove the 19mm nut "yellow arrow" from the pivot bolt. It's much easier to pull the bolt out from the top of the engine bay. The washer that I mark with the green arrow doesn't need to be pulled out with the bolt. It doesn't clear the body and just falls off when you pull the bolt out anyways, After that just pull on the stock UCA and it should come right out.
Here's just a picture of how it should look with everything you just removed.
Here's a comparison of stock and Donahoe UCA's. Much beefier and not to mention sick looking.
Now its on to assembling the new Donahoe's. The following items are needed in put together each UCA. Everything comes as a package so no worries.
- Uniball assembly "yellow circle"
- Dust cover "green circle"
- Pivot Spacers "red circle"
First off is the Uniball male end. This just slides into the bottom side of the UCA.
Now slide the Uniball cap into place on the top side of the UCA. Use red loctite on the 12 point 13mm bolt and bolt the Uniball assembly together. Tighten to 35ft/lbs. It helps to go ahead and use the balljoint nut and put it on to help torque the Uniball bolt in. You can remove the balljoint nut again afterwards. NOTE* Topside of the UCA has the 4 holes for the dust cover.
Now there should be 4 spacers left, the small spacers are inbound and the larger ones are outbound on the pivot mounts. They easily slide right in. This is how it should look when the UCA is assembled. As I noted before the side with the dust cover is the top. As you can see one arm is longer than the other in relation to the Uniball. The longer arm goes towards the front of the vechicle. So the UCA pictured here is the passenger side one. You can also go ahead and use a allen wrench to put on the dust cover now if you like.
Now it's time to install the Donahoe UCA. It helps to have a friend to push the bolt in from the engine bay while you line up the UCA mounts to the frame. You can reuse the washers if you like, we opted not to because its not necessary and looks cleaner without them. Retighten to 85 ft/lbs. Don't forget resecure the ac line into the mounting clip.
Next push down on the UCA and guide the uniball into the spindle. Make sure everything is seated nice and evenly. You'll notice now that the hole for the codder pin is now well below slots on the 19mm balljoint nut. Use some loctite and tighten them together. We decided to reuse the codder pin anyways. Next reinstalled the 17mm nut for the swaybar endlink and tighten. Here are the torque settings we used.
- pivot bolt "yellow arrow" - 85 ft/lbs
- Uniball "red arrow" - 100 ft/lbs "I know the fsm says 81ft/lbs, but it just didn't seem tight to me. Especially with the codder pin basically being useless now"
- swaybar endlink "green arrow" 52 ft/lbs