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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
- pliers
- loctite red
- balljoint seperator "pickled fork"
- zipties
- hammer
- friend

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
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Reinstall the 12mm and 10mm bolts for the brake lines. You will notice that the bolt that used to secure the line to the stock UCA is no longer needed since there isn't a spot on the Donahoes to use it. No worries you can use some zipties and secure it to the Donahoes. To our surprise the stock mounting bracket sits perfectly on top of the Donahoes UCA's. I'm surprised Donahoe didn't already have one there for it. I wanted to drill and tap a hole for it, but FJ#8 would've killed me lol.


Clip the dirt flaps back in. And now its time to check for clearence of the brake lines. Have a friend or yourself get into the truck and turn the steering from left to right till full lock and check to make sure the brake line isn't obstructed. If everything looks good go ahead and put your wheels back on and tighten the lugnuts to 85 ft/lbs.

*Note this write-up was done on the passenger side. The install on the drivers side is identical except of having to unclip a ac line, your gonna have to remove the battery and tray. It makes removing the pivot bolt much easier. Here are some pics of the finished install.










Now its time to take it around the neighborhood for a test drive. Upon the finished install I notice that the camber now looked more postive than before, so I would suggest getting a alignment done of course. I'm sure FJ#8 will chime in and give his opinions of the new UCA's. Thanks for putting up with my first truck write-up and my lack of Microsoft Paint skills lol. If anyone has any comments and or suggestions to this write-up please feel free to post it up.

Thanks,
Wei
 

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Great write-up! I am thinking about some type of aftermarket UCA as my 33" mud grapplers are getting quite 'floaty' on me at highway speeds. Better UCAs should help that right?
 

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Great write-up.
Looks like you have the same wheels as me too, the 7089 Pro Comps.

I am running the Total Chaos ones.
I think all lifted FJs should go with aftermarket UCAs.
 

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Great write-up.
Looks like you have the same wheels as me too, the 7089 Pro Comps.

I am running the Total Chaos ones.
I think all lifted FJs should go with aftermarket UCAs.
Yea I've had the 7089's for a while, (I copied cruiserlarry:) ).I agree that while not necessary,I think aftermarket UCA's definetly add to the handling and overall driving of the FJ.I cant wait to switch out the rear shocks to donahoe now!
 

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very nice write up, bookmarked for future reference. I like the detailed arrows and socket sizes. It makes install so much easier.
x2 on the great write-up. :bigthumb: :bigthumb:

anumeric . . . . any objections to me reposting your install in the Technical Article section?? (This is the kind of detailed "how-to" write-up that we're looking for.)
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Glad you guys like the write-up and hopefully it comes in handy for those of you who are thinking about picking up the Donahoe UCA's. I like to do my write-ups as detailed as I possibly can with tools listed , socket sizes, etc. We're thinking about doing a build thread for FJ#8 and future write-ups for other mods even if they are easy ones. I figure that even if it's a easy mod, someone is bound to find it helpful.

Thanks for the nice comments,
Wei
 

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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...
The reason I am resurrecting this thread is because I am going to attempt this install, maybe this weekend.

THANK YOU! for the excellent install instructions.

The only question I had was on the pickle fork. Having installed my DR (actually LR) coilovers, I bypassed a similar step and threaded the shocks between the tie rod. No getting around it this time.

Would a puller of some type work better for this step, or is the pickle fork the ticket? I would need to go purchase either, so if one would work better than the other than any guidance on the type I should get would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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I just used a hammer and pounded on the spindle, you do have to hit it pretty hard but it came right out. Worked perfectly and I didn't have to purchase any additional tools. If I remember right this was in the instructions from Donahoe.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The reason I am resurrecting this thread is because I am going to attempt this install, maybe this weekend.

THANK YOU! for the excellent install instructions.

The only question I had was on the pickle fork. Having installed my DR (actually LR) coilovers, I bypassed a similar step and threaded the shocks between the tie rod. No getting around it this time.

Would a puller of some type work better for this step, or is the pickle fork the ticket? I would need to go purchase either, so if one would work better than the other than any guidance on the type I should get would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
I have seen ball joint pullers online before. I would think that they would do the job as well, but couldn't find any locally. I had originally tried using a pulley puller and it ended up breaking one of the arms of my puller. lol So we decided to go up to autozone and pick up the pickled fork, you can buy one for 12 bucks iirc or use their loaner one. We had a small hammerm it would've been easier with like a 3 lb. mini-sledge. But just hammer away and it will pop out. It wont come apart slowly once it pops it gonna drop, so be ready for it or tie up the spindle. Let is know how it goes.

Wei
 

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Installed these today and it was much easier than I had anticipated thanks to anumeric excellent install instructions!!

A couple things. The 10mm bolt on top of the driver's side strut mount broke off. It was not moving for me so I applied some WD-40 and heated it. Finally got it to move alright! It broke right off so I zip tied the mount when I put everything back together.

The real PITA was the passenger side lower 12mm bolt securing the brake hard line. I believe there is something about aluminum bolts and road salts that can weld them in place?!? This thing would not give. I had real good access and angle on this, heat, lube, different sockets, finally vise grips which chewed the head up but it would not budge so I went on without removing it, and leaving the brake line at that location was not really a problem as far as getting in the way in the install.

Finally, I did not really pay attention to the part of the install instructions where it says you need to remove the battery and tray...and guess what! You don't need to. It is really no more in the way than the AC line or whatever line is coming out on the front of the vehicle on the other side. You install both these long bolts from inside the engine bay, and if you get it generally in place, tight against the front of the vehicle and thread it by hand it will work its way into the mounts, then slides through the shaft.

Took a test drive it feels like tracks better, really! I will need to go get an alignment.
 

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im gonna be installing this same setup very soon and im wondering how everones alignments went. with my Bilstein 5100's the castor is always out of spec. im curious as to whether the heim joints need to be adjusted or if they are set in a good place for factory castor right out of the box. I really dont trust firestone messing with these aluminum upper control arms, especially where steel meets aluminum. im pretty sure they would cross thread or strip something out.
 

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Installed my full ICON setup the other day, 5-8645 extended travel in the front and basic ICON in the back.

a few notes from my ICON UCA install were:

1. I beat the crap out of the old ball joint with a 4 lb BFH and pickle fork and each side took about 15 mins of work to come loose. when is did come loose it seemed to explode everywhere. watch out for flying pickle forks.

2. You can not tighten the upper 12 point 13mm bolt on the uniball when suspension is fully extended, i.e. on jack stands, because the socket hits the side of the UCA. tighten as much as you can before placing UCA on truck, then fully tighten once lowered to ground and UCA moves up.

3. New versions of these UCAs have holes drilled for the brake like bracket.

4. Alignment was able to be put in spec in all areas but they were barely able to get my camber in. my heim joints are threaded in all the way so I cant get any more negative camber. the issue was that after install I was positive and they ran out of the adjustment on the lowers to get more negative camber.

I am very pleased with this setup
 

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Did the full Icon Stg 2 install today...

Going in to the dealer Monday morning for alignment... so I have a "dumb" question... How do they align the billet UCA's Do they have to remove the upper bolt to set the heim joints?

Really the question is - wiil the dealer have a clue on how to align this setup??????
 
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