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Bent A Arms... what options would you recommend for upgrading?

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Old 07-07-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
redlight [OP] redlight is offline
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Bent A Arms... what options would you recommend for upgrading?

SO, after a totally awesome wheelin' experience in Wyo for the 4th weekend... I managed to drop my front passenger wheel into a ravine slightly larger and deeper than my wheel. I was able to hobble around without any problem, and only realized how bad it was when I finally got back onto pavement a couple days later. I drove it to get diagnosed, and was told my Upper Control Arms and lower control arms are both bent and need to be replaced at a cost of about ~$2300.

Sob story out of the way... I've been looking to make some changes to beef it up since I'm going to be spending a lot of money anyway. I first thought, hey, why not go Long Travel? But then I realized it's just not practical for my daily driver and really for my mountainous terrain. Plus I don't really want to spend the money to do the front and back (yeowch it's pricey!). Same with SAS... just overkill for my needs. I think just beefing up the mid-travel is the right option for me.

In my research I've only been able to find that Total Chaos makes a stock size aftermarket LCA/uniball assembly. While it looks solid, has the matching UCA and adds a second mounting point for another shock, it seems like I may also have to replace the stock TRD brakes.

Edit: I should also mention my setup, although it's in my profile...
'08 DC Shortbed w/Toytec Ultimate

So my questions are:
Any other options I should pursue?
Any other manufactures you're aware of that make a stock size (not LT) LCA?
Any other upgrades I should make while I'm doing this? (beefing up the steering system, spindle gussets, etc?)
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:10 AM   #2
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i have a pair of stock UCAs that you can have if you will use them (i dont want to give them to someone who will just turn around and sell them).

i live in westminster, co. let me know if you are interested.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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@ Oswego - I looked up the Moog ball joint and saw your other post about a few Moog parts... think I ought to put the Moog Tie rod in while I'm at it? I'm not more than an amateur with suspension, so do you think I could have damaged it with the A arms?

@ NetMonkey - did I meet you at Slapps a few weeks ago at the mod day? I may take you up on your generous offer (much appreciated!) if I decide to just replace w/OEM, although right now I'm thinking I want to put some aftermarket UCAs. We'll see what happens when I tally all this $$$ up!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlight View Post
@ NetMonkey - did I meet you at Slapps a few weeks ago at the mod day? I may take you up on your generous offer (much appreciated!) if I decide to just replace w/OEM, although right now I'm thinking I want to put some aftermarket UCAs. We'll see what happens when I tally all this $$$ up!
ya, i went to his place for one of the mods days, but it was a few months ago.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Get a second opinion. Have a hard time believing that you bent both the upper and lower control arms and didnt bend the shit out of your spindle and or break a ball joint completely off and even managed to drive the truck home. I think whoever diagnosed your truck is trying to rip you off. Have never never heard of someone bending a LCA or even a UCA for that matter.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswego View Post
If you have them out it's a great time to throw in the LCA ball joint. They are cheap and you can grease them.

Again, since your gonna have the one side apart it wouldn't be a bad idea to upgrade tie rods if you have high mileage. If you have less then 40k I would just check the old ones since your already dropping so much cash. The moogs can be greased. I would think your inner tie rod (inside the rack) might have gotten screwed up, but I have no clue. I haven't crashed hard enough to know yet
She's an '08 but just turned 60k, so might as well. I'll see if I can have some of the local guys take a gander to see if they can tell if the damage was more extensive.

I still am going to check in on the TC LCA vs brakes issue to see if that really is an option or not, although with your input, those good options I hadn't considered could really save me some money. Many thanks!
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRS 2 TiFJ View Post
Get a second opinion. Have a hard time believing that you bent both the upper and lower control arms and didnt bend the shit out of your spindle and or break a ball joint completely off and even managed to drive the truck home. I think whoever diagnosed your truck is trying to rip you off. Have never never heard of someone bending a LCA or even a UCA for that matter.
X2! Definitely choked on my gum with the quote they have me. I was hoping I could get away with an alignment, but it was pulling hard right. Also, whereas I was occasionally rubbing on the front fender liner before with the lift and ~33" tires, (even with cutting), I'm now rubbing the BACK of it and it's making some strange sounds when turning.

I'll try to post some pics just to show how hard I hit it, the video of backing out of it, and the result. Probably a learning lesson for those who have so far managed to avoid the gap.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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Because I know how people like pics... here's the truck in the ravine... couldn't see it at night, on a flat area and on the passenger side of the vehicle. Note to self: get more lights!



With full weight on, steering wheel STRAIGHT!


outside perspective:

top view, steering straight:


all weight off the wheel to show how it hangs:


back view, weight on:


I also took pics of the suspension with the wheels turned back and forth, and compared it to the non-damaged side. Not to say there isn't something tweaked on the drivers side, but it seems to be straight by my eye.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlight View Post
Because I know how people like pics... here's the truck in the ravine... couldn't see it at night, on a flat area and on the passenger side of the vehicle. Note to self: get more lights!



With full weight on, steering wheel STRAIGHT!


outside perspective:

top view, steering straight:


all weight off the wheel to show how it hangs:


back view, weight on:


I also took pics of the suspension with the wheels turned back and forth, and compared it to the non-damaged side. Not to say there isn't something tweaked on the drivers side, but it seems to be straight by my eye.
Might be a bent spindle. Thats what Aarons shit look like when he bent his. Well to a much worse degree.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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I do see that the sway bar is visibly bent on that side, which indicates the spindle could also be bent. I didn't get any closeup pics of that to look at more closely, but will try to compare the sides tonight.

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Old 07-08-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswego View Post
Get some used UCA's either stock or aftermarket (think I'm selling mine for $50) and get some used LCA's for about $200-300.

Add in some:
TC spindle gussets
TC LCA gussets
TC LCA skids welded to LCA
Moog LCA ball joints

The TC replacement kit is very nice, but way overpriced IMO.

TC makes LCA gussets?
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Take that sway bar off for good!
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #13
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The TC LCA gussets are more of a skid plate they can be either bolted or welded on.



Also, I believe the brakes the refer to that do not work with the TC LCA's are these:



Which I thought only came on X-Runner's?!
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theduck911 View Post
The TC LCA gussets are more of a skid plate they can be either bolted or welded on.


Also, I believe the brakes the refer to that do not work with the TC LCA's are these:

Which I thought only came on X-Runner's?!
Just to follow up for people researching this... I emailed TC and they said:
Thank you for your inquiry with Total Chaos Fabrication Inc. Our lower uniball conversion was designed using vehicles with the factory brakes installed. If you have upgraded your brakes to the TRD “Big Brake” package or something similar from a different manufacturer that uses thicker than stock rotors you may have some contact between the uniball bolt and the rotor. This can be fixed by grinding the end of the bolt at an angle to match the angle of the rotor at full up travel, we just like to let people know about this before they buy it. Please note, this is for the aftermarket “Big Brake” package, it did not come equipped on a Tacoma TRD truck from the factory.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM   #15
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Looks like its time for long travel
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswego View Post
Get some used UCA's either stock or aftermarket (think I'm selling mine for $50) and get some used LCA's for about $200-300.

Add in some:
TC spindle gussets
TC LCA gussets
TC LCA skids welded to LCA
Moog LCA ball joints

The TC replacement kit is very nice, but way overpriced IMO.
Got a part number for the moog LCA ball joints? I can't find them anywhere
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #17
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Those TRD Brakes are cool!

edit nvm they are super lame for 2g
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:30 PM   #18
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was the control arm bent our the spindle i am having the same problem don't no which one is bent. if you can tell it would help me a lot. i have had this problem for awhile
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlight View Post
I do see that the sway bar is visibly bent on that side, which indicates the spindle could also be bent. I didn't get any closeup pics of that to look at more closely, but will try to compare the sides tonight.

It looks like the spindle is touching the coilover near the bottom of the spring.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #20
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With those prices might as well lt
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