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My Front End Fix-UP! UCA's and.. LBJs?

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Old 03-03-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
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My Front End Fix-UP! UCA's and.. LBJs?

So its time for me to finally go back through my truck after a few months of Post Lift driving.

Issues:

-Terrible Pop noise from front end. Did this before lift, but slowly getting worse. Starting to scare me. Does this while: braking, turning, reverse after stopping, going over bumps. Any combination. I do not think its brake pads. Way too loud.

-Typical steering "wander" when driving on the highway

-Really bad creaking up front after my last Tahoe trip. When front suspension is compressed while braking

Plan:

- Get some Light Racing or Total Chaos UCAs for the wander

- Lower Ball Joints if I determine somehow that mine are currently bad. Advice on this?

- Wash then lube anything i can think of up front for the creaking. Thoughts on this? Sway bar?

Main questions:

When I get the UCAs and have my front end realigned, I have noticed people request certain numbers for their alignment. How is this determined, or what do I need to know to tell them before I get it done?

Best way to check your lower ball joints? What else would make a really loud POP noise? Iv read about the brake pads, i dont think that is it. I will check my LCA bolts, but it did this before and after the lift and first alignment, they should have tightened them if they were loose!


Thanks for taking a read!


Also, I bought the truck with 64k miles. I'm at 70k now. I don't drive it hard, but not sure about the previous owner.

The other weekend after a very snowy 60 miles on highway 50.
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Old 03-03-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
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Advice: Lift the front end of the truck off the ground and grab each tire and shake. If there is play, figure out where it is coming from and fix it. Obviously ensure the truck is on a very secure set of redundant jackstands.
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mxpatriot View Post
Advice: Lift the front end of the truck off the ground and grab each tire and shake. If there is play, figure out where it is coming from and fix it. Obviously ensure the truck is on a very secure set of redundant jackstands.
I will try this, I feel like it will be hard to get enough pressure on it though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by udy2554 View Post
Could the popping be coming from binding in the front axle joints?
Its a good thought, but the fact that is will happen while doing things that should not bind the axle makes me think otherwise. I wont rule it out though, how to check this or can i?
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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whats your lift setup?
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:20 PM   #6
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I have a basic toytec 3" lift. the 884 springs with AALs in the rear
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
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I have actually just replaced both wheel bearings in the last few thousand miles. The noise is one very large pop. I can feel it in my feet when they are on the floor.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:35 AM   #8
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Make sure all of your suspension bolts are tight. To check the LCA ball joint: Try to make the wheel (when truck is off the ground) and see if there is play in it, or you could check it by removing the 2 bolts the hold it to the LCA and move it around to feel if it rough. Make sure you torque it to spec (step 3 of pics, this is from the FSM) I also put some lock-tight on the bolts, because it looked like there was some from the factory and it can't hurt.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
Make sure all of your suspension bolts are tight. To check the LCA ball joint: Try to make the wheel (when truck is off the ground) and see if there is play in it, or you could check it by removing the 2 bolts the hold it to the LCA and move it around to feel if it rough. Make sure you torque it to spec (step 3 of pics, this is from the FSM) I also put some lock-tight on the bolts, because it looked like there was some from the factory and it can't hurt.
Ill recheck all of this over this weekend, thanks. Iv had the front end partially apart about 6 times now to replace CVs and the damn needle bearing on the driver side. So it shouldnt be the lower bolts but i cant remember checking the upper ball joint bolt there.


I think im going with the Total Chaos arms, just sold my stock wheels so i have some extra cash to throw towards them. About the alignment, do I need to ask/say anything special for them to get this right? I usually just go to Wheelworks here in CA... if thats good or bad i dont really know. They have always done an OK job.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:51 AM   #10
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Good news!

Got a chance today to check it over. The problem was the lower rear control arm bolts, they were both loose.. Only a few footpounds on them. Cranked both of those down, and everything seems to be good. I had my dad drive a few feet, jam on the brakes. Then reverse and step on them again. When it would pop, i could actually see the rear bolt on the back end of the right side LCA shifting up and down. It was wet here today so that seems to have quieted the creaky noise for now, but i think it was also coming from the LCA rear joint as well. Thanks for the suggestions guys, really appreciate it!

Now to buy some UCAs. Which ones? TCs look great but i cant figure out if its worth the extra cost over the LR. Hmmm I'm sure this one has been debated a few hundred times.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:09 PM   #11
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Well i found that sweet Group Buy from Metal Tech 4x4, decided to get my TC UCAs from there, and somehow got a set of extended travel ICON coil-overs for the front as well. I dont know what happened! They make it way too easy to buy things on the internet these days haha.

Should i wait to install the UCAs until i get the ICONs? They were shipped separate, 3 weeks out for the ICONS because of back order. I know i need to get an alignment after the UCAs, not sure if the new coil-overs will have any effect worth waiting is all.
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