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So I need some advice. I just got back from Moab (awesome trip!) and while I was out there my passenger side UCA slipped on me twice. First time was out on a trail called the Steel Bender, when I got back to camp I noticed that my passenger side upper control arm had slipped and messed up my alignment. I was able to get it get it back in position at camp and cranked it down tight using my hi-lift handle as a cheater bar. That was on Thursday; Saturday I was running Hell’s Revenge and the same thing happened. I was able to get it back in position again, but I am really getting sick of this.
Some might remember that I had the same problem with my driver’s side a few weeks ago. So I have had both control arms slip on me twice! Not cool, and really not cool when you have to drive 400 miles while the alignment is out of whack. Also the first time it happened I did drop into a hole deeper than I thought and hit fairly hard when it moved. Out in Moab nothing was hit hard, and it still slipped…twice.
Is the light racing control arms not meant for heavy off-roading? Would I be better to switch to a uniball? I really do not want this to happen again. I am to the point where these have put in a potentially bad position twice and I think if I let it happen again I would be really upset with myself.
I installed the control arms and used the red lock tight and torqued to 120 as directions said. I think the directions said 120, if it was something else I would have torqued to whatever the directions said. We were also using a newer Snap On torque wrench so I am pretty sure it was reading accurate.
I did paint them silver after I got them and have wondered if this has contributed to my slipping issues.
Any help would be appreciated!
 

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When i was in the market I didn't like the adjustable "feature" of the LR. I didn't think it was needed and one more thing to fail. I didn't want the hassle of a uni ball either since my FJ is my DD. i went with Camburgs. They use a ball joint. And a factory ball joint at that.:bigthumb: Hopefully someone can chime in and help your situation, if not, and you don't want a uni-ball check them out. Good luck! :cheers:


Picture 015 by cnckart, on Flickr
 

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I'm not sure why people make the uniball sound like it need hours of maintenance monthly or weekly for that matter. I spray mine (Camburg Uniball) once every 6 months with grease and I'm set to go, nothing that isn't DD about them.

Personally I would go with the uniball over balljoint for a number of reasons that have been highlighted in other threads. Never been a fan of the LR UCA's, but most seem to love them for their price.
 

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Since I've never run the Light Racing UCAs, I can't speak to the problems you've been having, but based on your description, I'd say it's time to look for something else. Brad recommended the Camburgs and I can personally recommend the Man-A-Fre UCAs. Both of these options are a uni-ball design and have greasable zerk fittings to help eliminate the typical annoying squeaking you often find with polyurethane bushings. Although I did have some issues with the REAR links from MAF, I've been very happy with the performance of the MAF FRONT UCAs.


Jeff

Edit: I misread Brad's post. Apparently he's running the Camburgs with the ball joint design. But AFAIK, Camburg offers their UCAs in both designs.
 

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I have never had any issues with mine either. I haven't pushed them overly hard either like the trails in Moab.
 

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I have never had any issues with mine either. I haven't pushed them overly hard either like the trails in Moab.
Same.:cheers:
 

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Are you talking about the part where it connects to the shock tower or the adjustments? If it's to the shock tower, you can put another nut in there. Loctite it red as well. Draw a line through the 2 nuts so you can do a quick visual check to see if anything moved. Icruiser cued me to this and I thought I'd share.
 

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I haven't had any issues with my LR UCAs, but haven't put them through anything too rough. Mine are not painted.
 

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In some respects, slip is not a bad thing...consider how many folks have bent their spindles. That slip might be acting like a fuze. I would rather have a part slip, that I can reposition and re-tighten, rather than have to replace a part.

It is hard to tell, maybe you are hitting them harder than you realize to cause them to slip?

Good luck, but I wouldn't throw the towel in just yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all of the help. I think I have decided to pick up some new control arms. The FJ is going into the shop for a custom bumper in the next few days and I think at the same time I will have them upgrade the UCA's.

Personally I would go with the uniball over balljoint for a number of reasons that have been highlighted in other threads. Never been a fan of the LR UCA's, but most seem to love them for their price.
I honestly can’t remember why I was so dead set on a ball joint in the first place; it was probably more of the price of the light racing ones that attracted me to them. I will most likely pick up a new set that utilizes a uniball design.


Are you talking about the part where it connects to the shock tower or the adjustments? If it's to the shock tower, you can put another nut in there. Loctite it red as well. Draw a line through the 2 nuts so you can do a quick visual check to see if anything moved. Icruiser cued me to this and I thought I'd share.
Mine is slipping where the adjustment nut is, but none-the-less that is a good tip.


In some respects, slip is not a bad thing...consider how many folks have bent their spindles. That slip might be acting like a fuze. I would rather have a part slip, that I can reposition and re-tighten, rather than have to replace a part.

I actually thought the same thing the first time it happened. However the past few times it has happened I have did not hit anything hard. Just lots of crawling over rocks, running on washed out trails, etc.
 

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Were you in town on Friday the 25th? I saw a few lifted FJ's there, you wouldn't have seen me since I was driving a highlander at the time.
 

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I had the same problem with mine. Last year at Moab both sides slipped in all the way. Some guys in the group I was with noticed it first. They thought I had broken both spindles. It happened on Monday before the Summit. Here's the video where I assume it happened (it's still a little painful for me to watch:mecry:)


I didn't have any jack stands and I couldn't get in to any of the shops in town and had to drive to Grand Junction with the camber and consequently everything else out of alignment. Made the drive very interesting. They finally got it fixed (that's a whole other story) and I haven't had any problems since. I made it through Summit including Poughkeepsie Gulch as well as the Lonestar Toyota Jamboree. I obviously hit pretty hard (see video above.) I haven't hit anything that hard since. I also painted mine and do wonder if that isn't part of the problem.

I think I will hold on to mine for now, but I keep an eye on the spacing. We'll see.
 

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Mike, one of the socal fj members had LR UCAs on her rig and they kept slipping, so toytec replaced them, and then the new ones slipped, so they replaced them again, and since then they have been fine. Maybe there is a bad batch or something, I would contact toytec if that is who you purchased the UCAs from.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mike, one of the socal fj members had LR UCAs on her rig and they kept slipping, so toytec replaced them, and then the new ones slipped, so they replaced them again, and since then they have been fine. Maybe there is a bad batch or something, I would contact toytec if that is who you purchased the UCAs from.
I forgot about that. I actually talked to her when I was getting ready to install mine and posted a thread if anyone had any problems with the LR UCA. You had directed to me to her back then as well. :bigthumb:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/suspension-steering-tech/105034-light-racing-uca-alignment-problems.html

I think it is more of a design flaw than anything else. I know some have torqed the he!! out of them, but I am concerned about having that much stress on the threads of the ball joint. I know over tightening can be just as, if not more, dangerous than under torqing them. I know a lot of people have had good luck with them, and the only other issue I have heard about them is from bobonel. I think they will work well for most, but I have lost faith...
 

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I'm not sure why people make the uniball sound like it need hours of maintenance monthly or weekly for that matter. I spray mine (Camburg Uniball) once every 6 months with grease and I'm set to go, nothing that isn't DD about them.
For real! I've had my ICON UCA's since Sept. '09 and do the same maintenance schedule as you do. No squeaking or anything.
 
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