UCA Comparison Guide - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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UCA Comparison Guide

Ok, similar to the other 2 spreadsheets I've created, here is one for upper control arms. The other two: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...son-guide.html & Lower Link Comparison Guide

Why would you want aftermarket UCA's?

1) The most common reason is to improve your alignment when adding a lift to your FJ. When you lift, an alignment is required to get your FJ to handle properly again. Basically an aftermarket UCA will put your adjustment range back to normal and will allow the alignment shop to put your alignment closer to stock than without an aftermarket UCA. Check out @Briareos 's comparison of different UCA's to get a feel for how this works. https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/foru...ml#post2093725. You will also have the ability to change your alignment and space your tires further away from your body mounts if you go 35's.

2) More clearance from larger tires. The factory UCA's do not offer the most clearance. With wide tires and factory spaced wheels, your tires might rub your UCA's while turning. Aftermarket UCA's offer more clearance away from your tires. Even with my Total Chaos UCA's and 34's I still rub slightly with factory backspaced wheels.

3) More suspension travel. With an aftermarket control arm you can now run extended travel coilover front suspension. The extended travel coilovers give you about 7/8" more droop at the wheel compared to the regular travel coilovers. The UCA's give you more strength for the added droop and clearance from the larger springs found on the 2.5" diameter shocks and allow you to get away with more travel.

4) Greater strength. There are quite a few posts on here where members have troubles with the OE ball joint UCA's failing in lifted applications. Not only are the aftermarket's joints stronger and safer, but the overall steel construction is much stronger as well. For reference, 4130 is slightly stronger than 1026.

Maintenance:
You can't have a UCA thread without talking about what to do when they squeak. If you go with uniball UCA's, prepare to occasionally have to lube them with Tri-Flow which also comes in aerosol form. A couple drops on the uniball will stop the squeaking, in my case my TC Uniballs which have 35k on them squeak often when they get dirty, that's how I know to clean them and add some Tri-Flow. They can go for a month or more without squeaking if I keep it on the street. The ball joint type UCA is not prone to squeaking as they are more sealed, but are also not quite as strong as the uniball. I've seen Super-Lube recommended the most to grease the bushings.

If you have stock UCA's and the ball joints are failing (lifting the FJ accelerates their wear) you have a few options depending on year:
1) If you have a 2010+ FJ you are kinda SOL because you will have to replace the entire UCA assembly. The OE balljoint cannot be removed. You can either replace them with the factory parts which is going to cost you just over $500 for P/N 48610-60070 and 48630-60040. Or you can go aftermarket with one of the options listed in the spreadsheet below.
2) If you have a 2007 - 2009 FJ you can replace just the UCA balljoint after removing the old one from the UCA assembly. The MOOG replacement P/N's is Moog-K500018 for about $30 each. Or you can go aftermarket with one of the options listed in the spreadsheet below.

Click at least twice on lower attachment to view full screen. Hope its helpful!
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

I've always liked my Total Chaos UCA's. They use an off-the-shelf SS uniball that's fairly inexpensive. Feel free to converse down below! There are a ton of different brands to choose from. I know a ton of people run the Light Racing SPC UCA's with really good luck as a reliable budget option. Does anybody have the Ebay arms?
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 10:10 PM
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Quote:
Iconic_ previously said: View Post
I've always liked my Total Chaos UCA's. They use an off-the-shelf SS uniball that's fairly inexpensive. Feel free to converse down below! There are a ton of different brands to choose from. I know a ton of people run the Light Racing SPC UCA's with really good luck as a reliable budget option. Does anybody have the Ebay arms?
Lol with eBay arms ur just pushing luck and on a really tight budget.

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 10:43 PM
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

G'Day Iconic,
Well done..and a concise write up....
It could be worth including OE specs n costs, as a base line... to show the perspective...
07-09 i believe you can replace the BJ, but +2010 you have to replace the whole UCA...

Cheers
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Quote:
SuperSiick previously said: View Post
Lol with eBay arms ur just pushing luck and on a really tight budget.

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eBay "special"

Quote:
bazross previously said: View Post
G'Day Iconic,
Well done..and a concise write up....
It could be worth including OE specs n costs, as a base line... to show the perspective...
07-09 i believe you can replace the BJ, but +2010 you have to replace the whole UCA...

Cheers
Baz
Good idea I'll have to add that.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Forgot to mention about the Icon uniball. When replacing them, not just any off-the-shelf FK COMH16T spherical bearing will do. You must buy the ones from their website or from an authorized Icon retailer. They have these bearings custom made by FK to have a stainless steel race and steel bearing, as opposed to all steel. Therefore they cost a little bit more $$ as reflected in the chart.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 08:55 AM
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Thanks Iconic. In your first post you say you can supposedly run extended travel 2.5" front coil-overs and get more travel. I have the 2.5" Rad Flos, but I'm running a LR ball joints. Should I have gone with a uniball, if I wanted to get the benefit of the extended travel?
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Quote:
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Thanks Iconic. In your first post you say you can supposedly run extended travel 2.5" front coil-overs and get more travel. I have the 2.5" Rad Flos, but I'm running a LR ball joints. Should I have gone with a uniball, if I wanted to get the benefit of the extended travel?
That was worded a little confusing. You can definitely run extended travel coilovers with the LR UCA. The reason you need aftermarket UCA's with extended travel coilovers is because the factory ball joint is weaker than the aftermarkets and you would run the risk of binding and breaking it with the droop the extended coilovers give you. LR's Ball Joint is sufficient, Wheelers Offroad even says it can be run with the ext coilovers: https://wheelersoffroad.com/product/...-arm-set-1717/
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:37 AM
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

Quote:
Iconic_ previously said: View Post
Ok, similar to the other 3 spreadsheets I've created, here is one for upper control arms. The other three: https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...son-guide.html & https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...son-guide.html

[Hope its helpful!
Nice job Iconic, your comparisons are great...just puzzling 3 others? Two listed?
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: UCA Comparison Guide

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Zero'sFJ previously said: View Post
Nice job Iconic, your comparisons are great...just puzzling 3 others? Two listed?
Ha! Because I don't know how to count. I guess I was thinking three combined.
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