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When are UCAs needed? (5th gen)

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by totmacher, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Jun 14, 2018 at 10:13 AM
    #1
    totmacher

    totmacher [OP] New Member

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    At what amount of lift are UCAs usually needed on a 5th gen?

    Am I about right in thinking this:
    2.5" or more: UCA needed.
    ~2": maybe, maybe not. Individual vehicles and opinions vary.
    1.5" or less: OEM does fine.

    I'm planning to do a 2" front / 1.5" rear lift.
    Don't want to spend money on UCA if I don't really need them.
    But, I also don't want to decide after a few days that I should've gotten them and have to work on it again and get another alignment done.

    If I get UCAs and want low maintenance, stick with balljoint style UCAs?
     
    ckon likes this.
  2. Jun 15, 2018 at 10:31 AM
    #2
    JBTRD

    JBTRD Hunting, Fishing, Lovin' Everyday

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    Jeremy
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    More people know more than me on what lifts require what. However if you decide you need them. You have to greese them and sometimes take them apart. The one i just ordered for my 3” is SPC adjustable, only need 5 pumps of a certain type of greese every time you change your oil. Thats is about as low maintenance as you get.
     
  3. Jun 15, 2018 at 10:37 AM
    #3
    P226Navy

    P226Navy 2016 T4R

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    I read and watched some reviews on SPC’s and LR’s after a year or so reviews that they easily gets break. Most customers were satisfied with Camburg for quality and price wise, Total chaos and Icons. That’s according to reviews I read and watched. Thinking of getting the Camburg performance ball not uniball.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2018 at 10:40 AM
    #4
    JBTRD

    JBTRD Hunting, Fishing, Lovin' Everyday

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    Hmm i havent seen anything bad on them. Other members will know more on those other brands, i have no experiance with them.
     
    P226Navy likes this.
  5. Jun 15, 2018 at 5:10 PM
    #5
    gdvan01

    gdvan01 New Member

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    Bilstein 5100's (fr-0) ~ Dobinson C59-302 front (2.5"), C59-505 rear (1.5") ~ JBA UCA's Cooper Discoverer A/T3's - LT265/70R17
    My lift up front is ~ 2.5", I went with the UCA's by choice. I don't think it's "purchase justification" or anything like that but I did notice the front end was behaving better.

    From most of what I have read, once you hit the 3" mark you should probably count on the UCA's being needed.

    YMMV...

    ETA - I chose the JBA UCA's because I was able to get them in red, same with the Dobinson's coils.

    IMG_20180309_141517.jpg
     
    Backslider likes this.
  6. Jun 15, 2018 at 7:04 PM
    #6
    PCRIDE4RUNNER

    PCRIDE4RUNNER New Member

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    I was told by many 4 Wheel shops you don’t need them below 3”. Also keep in mind that unless your beating your runner up and down rocks /wheeling taking multiple wheeling trips, again you need the added strength.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2018 at 7:42 PM
    #7
    chon79

    chon79 New Member

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    I have the same setup! They match perfectly.
     
    gdvan01 likes this.
  8. Jun 15, 2018 at 8:42 PM
    #8
    totmacher

    totmacher [OP] New Member

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    I had the SPC on my Tacoma. Held up just fine.
     
  9. Jun 20, 2018 at 7:54 AM
    #9
    elnip

    elnip New Member

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    Same here.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2018 at 3:39 PM
    #10
    tackleberry1145

    tackleberry1145 New Member

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    While I don't have dobinson's (I'm running a Toytec/bilstein 3" suspension lift) I also chose JBA UCAs. There was no way I was going to deal with racket from uniball UCAs and the roads around here get absolutely drenched in salt/treatment in the winter. The ease of replacement and fairly inexpensive ball joint cost was another factor in the JBA decision.

    4Wheel Parts in Richmond, Va easily got a decent amount of caster out of my 4r recently when I got new tires.

    I've put SPC UCAs on a friend's FJ before. They seemed decently built enough. Everything was properly torqued during install. He got involved in a crash a few months later and got t-boned. Wasn't super high speed, but it was enough to unseat the upper adjustable balljoint. It basically just slid out of position.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM
    #11
    soflot4run

    soflot4run New Member

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    I know this is a stupid question but please bare with me....

    When you install new UCAs and set the caster at anything over 3 degrees, does it decrease ride height since you are theoretically pushing the wheel forward?
     
  12. Oct 10, 2018 at 6:40 AM
    #12
    totmacher

    totmacher [OP] New Member

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    The amount of height change due to spindle angle is negligible.
    What can cause some height change is turning the alignment cams a lot. Original factory setting has the cams nearly centered which is pushing the end of the lower control arm away from the frame. As you rotate the cams, it brings the arm closer to the frame which is essentially lowering the truck just a little. Even with that though, I'd expect no more than maybe 1/4 inch possible change in height.
     
    ready6delta likes this.
  13. Oct 10, 2018 at 9:17 AM
    #13
    soflot4run

    soflot4run New Member

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    Thanks for your response!

    Would trying to reach a high caster number be a reason why an alignment tech would turn the alignment cams too much??? I requested to get the caster as close to 4 degrees as possible on the aftermarket arms. I ended up with 3.6 on the drive side and 3.7 on the passenger side. Would bringing the caster back to factory specs (2.9-3.0 degrees) help in gaining some lift back?
     
  14. Dec 3, 2018 at 5:42 AM
    #14
    Rguest3

    Rguest3 2018 TRD Off-Road Premium

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    I have the JBA on my 2012 FJ. They look great and are Beefier than stock. Tech that installed them said the alignment was very easy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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