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Hello everyone, 2010 FJ 4x4 checking in for roll call. I'm hearing a loud pop from my passenger side UCA when I turn the wheel hard. I took it to a shop for diag and they said I had a busted ball joint on the passenger side UCA. I just put these SPC light racing UCA's on about 2-3 years ago, is this normal for them with only 20k miles them? They haven't been used off road, or even left pavement. My truck is probably about 2-2.5" lifted all around. Suspension mods are - In the front: Toytec\Boss adjustable coil overs, 285 tires on the TRD "beadlock" rims and these SPC light racing UCA's. In the rear; Icon medium duty springs and Fox shocks.

It looks like I can get a replacement ball joint from SPC, I need to call them to be sure they will fit, unless there is a better option. I don't want to do this every 25k miles.

The real kicker is they said my pinon steering gear is worn and will need replacing, and my power steering pump has a slow leak. While I have that being replaced, are there any preventive measures I should take of? I want to do what is best for long term ownership, I hope I never have to part with this truck, its survived me after 2 major wrecks and left me without harm. Not to mention, this is the very first mechanical issue I have had to deal with in 110k hard driven miles.


Cheers and Thanks in advance!

Dave

older pic: (my 'move I got this' pic, which of course* ended up in getting winched out)


*edit for speling
 

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Please clarify what this means: "... its survived me after 2 major wrecks and left me without harm."

Are you saying THIS vehicle has been involved in two major wrecks?

Either of them after the SPC control arms were installed?

25K miles out of an SPC ball joint would not be typical if the rest of the suspension geometry was set up correctly.

Is the ball joint itself "worn out", or was the ball joint loose in the control arm because the nut was not properly torqued ?
 

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Time to get a second opinion. I put like something like 60k on my original SPC UCA ball joints before replacing them with the new grease-able versions.(these are a direct fit btw) I don't see how these could produce a popping noise otherwise unless they were completely blown out which would be pretty obvious.

Regarding the rack and pinion I would also be looking for a second opinion on this. The racks seem to either work , or start hemorrhaging fluid when they fail. If you have slop in your steering check the inner/outer tie rod ends, and the lower steering shaft first.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Are the balljoints the greaseable version and were you greasing? Before I got the greaseables, I had trouble with the non-greaseables failing prematurely. At 110k mi you’re at a point where a few things start to fail, including steering rack, pump (mine did). As for the pop sound with turning, is that at any speed? How are your cv axles?
 

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My driver side just failed a week ago. Less than 40,000 miles on them. My mechanic said they shouldn't have done that, but it did. He said the other side is going as well. SPC wouldn't warranty them, because they were over a year old. Actually I have had them on for 3 1/2 years. I guess Limited Lifetime warranty only means 1 year. I find it hard to believe that they made a product that wasn't greasable and didn't expect it to fail. Guess they saw the error of their design, because noiw they are greasable. Because of the high cost to replace the whole UCA, i feel like I'm stuck getting the greasable joints. I would never buy their products again, just based on customer service. JMO
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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My driver side just failed a week ago. Less than 40,000 miles on them. My mechanic said they shouldn't have done that, but it did. He said the other side is going as well. SPC wouldn't warranty them, because they were over a year old. Actually I have had them on for 3 1/2 years. I guess Limited Lifetime warranty only means 1 year. I find it hard to believe that they made a product that wasn't greasable and didn't expect it to fail. Guess they saw the error of their design, because noiw they are greasable. Because of the high cost to replace the whole UCA, i feel like I'm stuck getting the greasable joints. I would never buy their products again, just based on customer service. JMO
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with their customer service. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with them over the years. They’ve made a number of changes/innovations such as eliminating the non-greaseable balljoint and developing the xAxis bushings, both of which make their UCAs amount the best on the market (especially if you live in the salt belt). Hope it works out for you.
 

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@debFJVT my SPC UCAs are greaseable. Will they have the xAxis bushings? Or did that come after they went greaseable? I remember a post where you had to do the bushings..

edit: don't know if you can tell from this pic

IMG_0013.jpg
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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@debFJVT my SPC UCAs are greaseable. Will they have the xAxis bushings? Or did that come after they went greaseable? I remember a post where you had to do the bushings..

edit: don't know if you can tell from this pic

View attachment 1097744
Those look like the rubber bushings - xAxis have an irregular side profile. SPC stopped using the poly bushings over a year ago after so many complained about the squealing :rofl: I replaced my poly bushings because I was over-zealous and installed zerks....which caused them to fail because only the inner sleeve is supposed to move. I visited SPC in Colorado after Summit ‘18 when they were completing testing on the xAxis and I was one of the first to receive them. They’ve been excellent, but you shouldn’t have an issue with good old fashioned rubber bushings :wink
 

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Not swapping out my UCAs was probably the best decision I've made - I'm still rocking the OE UCAs. I have a good 2mm clearance between the tire sidewall and the UCA, and alignment is OK.
Rubber bushings all around - Only had to replace the rear upper arms (with OE) after the original bushings perished - cheaper overall to replace the arms than press the bushings out & replace, and the bushing on the front shocks. I've also had to replace the outer tie rod ends - again OE parts.
 

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Those look like the rubber bushings - xAxis have an irregular side profile. SPC stopped using the poly bushings over a year ago after so many complained about the squealing :rofl: I replaced my poly bushings because I was over-zealous and installed zerks....which caused them to fail because only the inner sleeve is supposed to move. I visited SPC in Colorado after Summit ‘18 when they were completing testing on the xAxis and I was one of the first to receive them. They’ve been excellent, but you shouldn’t have an issue with good old fashioned rubber bushings :wink
Deb,

any idea if the older rubber bushings can be replaced/retrofitted with the new xAxis bushings and how difficult is that job? I still have a pair of SPC UCAs that I picked up new in a group buy a number of years ago and havent bothered to install. These were pre the greasable ball joints....so I picked up a set of those.....and now....I am reading that the bushing design isnt the best...
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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Deb,

any idea if the older rubber bushings can be replaced/retrofitted with the new xAxis bushings and how difficult is that job? I still have a pair of SPC UCAs that I picked up new in a group buy a number of years ago and havent bothered to install. These were pre the greasable ball joints....so I picked up a set of those.....and now....I am reading that the bushing design isnt the best...
Yes you can retrofit with xAxis - that’s what I did, but it helps to have access to a press to get them in. The rubber bushings are actually good and should last longer than the poly so you might want to just run them. Hope you get the greaseable balljoints in...that would be more of a priority - if they’ve been sitting in storage for years the grease may be totally caked up inside. Ive had personal experience with this :thinkerg: :|
 

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トヨタ Master
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@debFJVT my SPC UCAs are greaseable. Will they have the xAxis bushings? Or did that come after they went greaseable? I remember a post where you had to do the bushings..

edit: don't know if you can tell from this pic

View attachment 1097744
Yes you can retrofit with xAxis - that’s what I did, but it helps to have access to a press to get them in. The rubber bushings are actually good and should last longer than the poly so you might want to just run them. Hope you get the greaseable balljoints in...that would be more of a priority - if they’ve been sitting in storage for years the grease may be totally caked up inside. Ive had personal experience with this :thinkerg: :|
All of the ones I've ever seen were greasable. OP didn't state which ball joints were bad on this either. Lowers fail too. Technician may be trying to take him for a ride or there's the possibility of the 2% failure rate that can happen with any new parts. There are a lot of different things that can describe a popping sound too. I've never seen an SPC fail, but again, I've only installed hundreds of sets, of which all were greasable. It's also possible that they were never greased to begin with if it is an upper BJ failure.
 

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MOAB SUPERSTAR
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All of the ones I've ever seen were greasable. OP didn't state which ball joints were bad on this either. Lowers fail too. Technician may be trying to take him for a ride or there's the possibility of the 2% failure rate that can happen with any new parts. There are a lot of different things that can describe a popping sound too. I've never seen an SPC fail, but again, I've only installed hundreds of sets, of which all were greasable. It's also possible that they were never greased to begin with if it is an upper BJ failure.
I bought mine from a member here - old style non greaseable, never installed but had sat in storage for a long time. Within a year the BJs failed. Did an autopsy and found grease inside was a solid chunky mass. I’ll see if I still have the pic... Found it! Eeeeewww!!!
 

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トヨタ Master
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I bought mine from a member here - old style non greaseable, never installed but had sat in storage for a long time. Within a year the BJs failed. Did an autopsy and found grease inside was a solid chunky mass. I’ll see if I still have the pic... Found it! Eeeeewww!!!
Yeah, I figured there was some early style you guys were talking about that didn't have the zerks, which is weird, because Specialty Parts Company makes a lot of OE parts found in GM, Ford, older Chrysler/Jeep etc, as well as Moog, McQuay Norris and others. Most of the HD stuff had zerks from the factory but 1/2 ton chassis trucks started coming without them in the '90s. They(SPC) also make 90% of the alignment parts that we use on a daily basis and are of the best quality.

The dumb thing is that I didn't even know they were making these UCAs until they had been in circulation for a few years. I had one come in and I saw the SPC logo on the BJ, I went to my friendly catalog and to no avail. Our catalogs were mostly printed for the service world and not real problem solver aftermarket parts for the general public. I went online and there they were. I felt like a douche! :rolleyes: I expressed that to my rep at the time and he said his marketing team at the time wasn't the best. Soon after, everything they made were in our catalogs and our online ordering system.
 

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I had a ball joint with play about 1 1/2 years in with non serviceable ball joint and replaced both right and left with the ones that had zerk fittings. At 3 years my bushings had play and I just replaced them with the rubber bushings. I don't wheel as hard as deb but do put it through its paces and I thought the issues were premature but I like the control arms so was willing to rebuild them. So far so good with the new joints and bushings.
 

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@debFJVT my SPC UCAs are greaseable. Will they have the xAxis bushings? Or did that come after they went greaseable? I remember a post where you had to do the bushings..

edit: don't know if you can tell from this pic
Those look like the rubber bushings - xAxis have an irregular side profile. SPC stopped using the poly bushings over a year ago after so many complained about the squealing :rofl: I replaced my poly bushings because I was over-zealous and installed zerks....which caused them to fail because only the inner sleeve is supposed to move. I visited SPC in Colorado after Summit ‘18 when they were completing testing on the xAxis and I was one of the first to receive them. They’ve been excellent, but you shouldn’t have an issue with good old fashioned rubber bushings :wink
Nah those are definitely the spec-ride urethane bushings. You can even see they included the silicone grease for the sleeves in those silver packets. Same bushings I have.
 
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