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Old 06-10-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
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UCA's and Alignment

Disclaimer!!

Please understand that a set of UCA's are "NOT" required!!
But if you want to lift your truck correctly? then please read.


OR? If your truck feels "Squirrelly", feels like it "Floats" at high speed, and your steering feels a bit loose after a 3" lift??
Then this is for you!!



Sometime I feel like a broken record. So I figured I'd just make a post that people who search can find and read:

A lot of people seem to think that lifting a truck only involves buying spacers, or coils?

But what they don't seem to realize is that when you change the ride height of your truck? You put your suspension in a position it was never meant to be in for extended periods of time.

Because YES! the suspension is designed to articulate into this position! But it is not meant the be driven for extended period of time at these new angles.

It's like a women walking around all day on the tip of her toes. (To be 3 inches taller) Yes! Her foot is designed to articulate into this position. But overtime she will have some serious problems. Because her feet wern't designed to walk that way, for extended periods of time!

But do it correctly? And give her a comfortable pair of pumps to wear? Now she is 3" taller and the risk of injury or complications is now greatly reduced!

Remember this phrase? Good enough? Is NEVER good!!

Do it right the first time and you will save yourself a lot of headaches in the future!!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you plan on installing a 3" lift then be aware to do it correctly you need a good set of UCA's in order to have your alignment set at the "ideal" settings.
(It doesn't matter which lift you choose, Toytec, All Pro, DR's, Or some type of spacers?)

I highly recommend "Total Chaos" UCA's only because of my personal experience with both Camburg and TC.
(As for All Pro?? I cannot comment because I have never had the pleasure of using a set on my truck)

This is an example of what to look for when having your alignment done:


This is from my truck. And as you can see I personally selected the optimum settings for my driving.

Camber you would like to have it set at, or near 0*
Caster you would ideally want it set at 2.4* (Optimum) Too low and your truck will wander. To High and you will have "Bump steer.

To understand Alignment better here is a link:
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete...e.jsp?techid=4

http://www.familycar.com/Alignment.htm

Hopefully this will help??


Some people may tell you that their truck drives good with a 3" lift and the stock UCA's. And that their alignment #'s are in factory spec.

But! They don't actually know how good their trucks can drive.
And just being in factory specs isn't always good.

For example:
If your alignment #'s are at the minimum, or the maximum? Then your truck is just barely drivable by the factory standards.
This would be in factory specs:


This would be IDEAL!




The best handling you will have is to set the truck at the "ideal" settings.

Now this "ideal" will change! Depending on the tire size, and your driving habits.

Ideal Camber for the average driver is 0*.
If you like to corner, and take turns fast? Then you would like your Camber a bit more negative. /---\

Ideal Caster: (Now this will change depending on tire size)

-Stock tires "ideal" would be 2.1*Positive Caster

-33" tires "ideal" would be 2.4* Positive Caster

-35" tires "ideal" would be 3.0* Positive Caster

****UCA INSTALL DIY!****
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=315831
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Good post!
FWIW, The Caster is not dependant on tire size. The more positive caster you have, the more the wheel is moved back in the fenderwell. This can be an issue with larger tires.
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
Good post!
FWIW, The Caster is not dependant on tire size. The more positive caster you have, the more the wheel is moved back in the fenderwell. This can be an issue with larger tires.
Well actually, it is the other way around. Because you run larger tires, you will need a bit more caster to keep the tires from over powering the steering. So with larger tires if you have a higher caster your truck will drive better.

As for moving the tire towards the back of the fender? Hopefully you will have enough lift to clear the tires you choose.

And even in the best case scenario? It is a good idea to have your cab mounts trimmed back. Because 285's fully stuffed will make contact.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #4
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so out of curiosity...when you say "high speed" how high are you talking...like average highway speeds?? cuz i want the 3 in toytec lift but can only afford it if i dont have to buy UCA's
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spadresurfer91 View Post
so out of curiosity...when you say "high speed" how high are you talking...like average highway speeds?? cuz i want the 3 in toytec lift but can only afford it if i dont have to buy UCA's
well depending on the condition of the road. Can be from 60 mph.
It's not really bad, just annoying.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:19 PM   #6
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My settings are a bit off:

Caster = 4.1 on both sides
Camber = left is -1.2 and right is -1.4
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:14 PM   #7
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NOTE: PLEASE PM ANY REPLIES TO THIS POST. THANK YOU!

This is good information. Thank you for the write up.

To fuel the fire...let's talk lifts in detail! I am essentially a lift n00b, so bear with me and try not to cringe...

I've been doing research for a while now on what to do when I lift my truck. This is still some time away, but it's going to take a while for me to get my facts straight and decide on exactly what I want to do. I want to "do it right the first time" as you so endorse. I am planning on a three inch lift. Here is my plan so far:

- New Front Shocks/Coils
- New Rear Shocks/Toytec TSB AAL (I have had the TSB done)
- TC UCAs
- Diff drop (perhaps half the height of the lift? feedback welcome)
- TRD FJ Wheels with 33s
- Regear to 4.10s to get the power back with the larger tires.

I pretty much plan for all of this to go down at once.

Questions I have at this time:

1) What would be optimal for the diff drop? Same height as the lift or less (like a .5" drop for every 1" of lift ratio)? I realize true ground clearance increases only come from larger tires, but I figure a high diff is one less thing to scrape on a protruding rock or some such. What's the best drop height balance between maximizing undercarriage clearance and putting as little extra strain as possible on the CV joints?

2) What kind of wheel spacers am I going to need to keep 285s from rubbing during normal driving? I can deal with a little rub when stuffed...but I'd prefer to avoid it at full lock if possible.

3) I have noticed some people here (the more "hardcore") are swapping out steering links along with suspension mods. What are the risks, if any, to the steering links/arms from a suspension lift?

4) I'm going back and forth between Icon and OME for coils and shocks. The Icons seem nice, but damn they're expensive. Can someone please explain to me why Icon coilovers are about 5x the price of OME parts? Is the quality/performance that much better? I'm willing to pay the extra dough if it is indeed that much better, but I have a hard time believing that...OME seems very well regarded...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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Snipped double post.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toku58 View Post
You do know there is a completely different thread dedicated to lifts?
Yeah but why not add some length to this sucker? Get postin!
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #12
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#1. Im not convinced a Diff drop has any benafit. A 1" drop is only dropping the axels 1/2" (as only the front of the diff is dropped), and that 1/2" drop, spread out over the length of the axel equals a very small change in the angle.

#2. If your gonna run the TC UCA's, I dont think spacer will be needed.

#3. No idea

#4. Most CO's are machined from aluminum, while other shocks are pressed from steel. Aluminum is more expensive. Between the OME and the Icon, it all depends on what your looking for. The Icons come with a 650# spring rate, while the OME's are either 590# (884/885) or 650# rate (886). Personally, I have found the Icons a little too stiff, and valved firm for the driving I do in my Tacoma (Mostly desert roads, and street). I chose the OME for the 590# spring rate, big hit capability, and good street maners.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:28 PM   #13
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Thanks Chris. I'm tryin' to move this into PMs to keep from crowding the thread per Toku's request.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jandrews View Post
Thanks Chris. I'm tryin' to move this into PMs to keep from crowding the thread per Toku's request.
Better off starting a new thread to avoid poluting this one.




Toku, Hope you dont mind me giving an answer.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris4x4 View Post
Better off starting a new thread to avoid poluting this one.




Toku, Hope you dont mind me giving an answer.
No problem. Just didn't want it to get off topic.
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #16
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:13 PM   #17
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I just had a set of toyo mt 265 70 17 tires installed. I have noticed that
the tires in the front are slightly toed in on the bottom. Looks like this \ / but not that bad. I had it checked for alignment at 2 different shops and they both say the alignment is ok. I am getting a slight pull to the right as well.
Camber Left 0.7 Right 0.6
caster 3.0 2.9
toe 0.04 0.03
sai 11.6 11.5
included angle 12.3 12.1

cross camber 0.1
cross caster 0.1
cross sai 0.1
totoal toe 0.07

Do this look good to you?
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:39 AM   #18
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2005 D/C 4X4 Sport
265/70/17
5100/5125/AAL
(5100 Set @ 1.75)

Left and Right are set the same..
1 1/4 Caster
+3/8 Camber

Just had both my CV Axles and Diff replaced last week. Do these setting look ok?
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #19
toku58 [OP] toku58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer78 View Post
2005 D/C 4X4 Sport
265/70/17
5100/5125/AAL
(5100 Set @ 1.75)

Left and Right are set the same..
1 1/4 Caster
+3/8 Camber

Just had both my CV Axles and Diff replaced last week. Do these setting look ok?
No Caster and Camber are measured in degrees not inches.
Did they do your alignment manually? (Not on a machine)
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:03 PM   #20
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Sad to say but Im not sure... The guy that did it, does the alignment stuff for National 4X4 around were I live. I figured that he was recomended by them so I was in good hands and thought he's done a ton of set up's? Dont get me wrong, seemed like a pretty good guy, Im just not sure how many Tacomas they do.. What should I look for in a shop that will understand the offsets required for the added lift? Will their equipment pick up the new settings? Can they use the stock numbers still, Im guessing not...?

I have minimal knowledge about this stuff..

Thanks
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