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Lifts and UCA's Confused!!!

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
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Lifts and UCA's Confused!!!

Seems as though there is a lot of confusion/misinformation regarding the need for new aftermarket upper control arms when you lift your Tacoma.

I've got a 13 Taco dbl cab TRD OR that I have been researching lift/s information on pretty much since I bought it about a month ago. The vast majority of everything I read said when you go over 2.5 inches of lift you need to also get new UCA's or you Taco won't align properly and it will drive bad and or wear the tires out.

I just seconds ago got of the phone with ICON Vehicle Dynamics and he told me UCA's were NOT needed for the lift height, 2.75-3.0 inches, I was looking at. The ICON tech I talked too said I would have NO problem getting my alignment, caster, camber, etc., set properly with their lift in the range I was looking for.

For my needs the ICON Stage 1 with their AAL's would be perfect and I could easily get the 2.75-3.0 inches of lift I needed to clear the 255/85/16 or 255/80/17 KM2's.

He did say that if I was looking to seriously off road my Taco that then he would maybe recommend the UCA's as it would give me more range of motion but in the lift height that I'm looking at that would pretty much be the only reason I would want to replace the factory UCA's.

I truly appreciated his honesty because he could have easily said I needed them and sold me something I didn't need. Instead, he saved me about $800. When I get ready to order my lift, it will definitely be an ICON lift.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:57 PM   #2
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That's all fine and well but he's incorrect about he need for UCAs at that lift height. You will be hard pressed to get a proper alignment with that lift with your stock UCAs. As far as range of motion, unless you're going with an extended travel shock, you aren't getting any additional range of motion with aftermarket UCAs. You can only go from full stuff to full droop, the UCA isn't limiting you therefore the UCA isn't going to give you any additional range of motion.

Talk to someone like Downsouth Motorsports.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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" in factory spec " is a pretty broad range

Just sayin
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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2.5" of lift is about the threshhold. if you stay at or below 2.5" you can get a good alignment. however, if you go above 2.5" and especially at 3" you will need new UCA's to get a proper alignment.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:03 PM   #5
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You will not be able to get your caster within spec without Uca's. You will probably achieve an acceptable level without them. My caster without Uca's is only .5 deg, it would be better around 2 to 3 deg. All of my other numbers are not only within spec they are quite good. And I don't have any issues with my handling.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
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You can run stock arms I did when I had my procomp3 in lift if your only gunna do street queen/mall crawling you'll be fine but if you plan on offroading I would definetly recommend after market uppers
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
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Double post edit;

To clarify, my .5 caster is Not within spec.

And there is a printout of my alignment in my build thread.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildlandtaco View Post
You can run stock arms I did when I had my procomp3 in lift if your only gunna do street queen/mall crawling you'll be fine but if you plan on offroading I would definetly recommend after market uppers
Why would alignment be more of an issue when serious offroading. Please explain.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildlandtaco View Post
You can run stock arms I did when I had my procomp3 in lift if your only gunna do street queen/mall crawling you'll be fine but if you plan on offroading I would definetly recommend after market uppers
I find stock uppers being more of a problem on the road since it causes the truck to wander at speed. Could be an issue for high speed off roaders.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:14 PM   #10
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I'd play it safe and get aftermarket UCA's.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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If you don't think that you need UCA's then you definitely don't need to spend $800 on icon UCAs, there is options for half of that. I agree with everyone else, play it safe and get UCA's. especially if you are willing to spend that much on coilovers
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #12
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Man those "Techs" at Icon sure know everything don't they
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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One note that has been mentioned on the multitude of other threads on this (I know, a lot to read through) is that each truck tends to be slightly different. My experience on my 2011 DCSB TRD OR TX:
OME w/885 coils required new UCA's
I had my alignment done 3 times with stock UCA's and it would be just within spec and 5 days later, way out of spec.
Added Light Racing UCA (Neutral position)
Alignment done and it was pretty much perfect, 6 months of driving and it stayed there.
Every truck is going to be slightly different, you can try to run the lift without new UCA's, but check your alignment more than once.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
" in factory spec " is a pretty broad range

Just sayin
This ^^^^^

They might be able to get the alignment "In spec", however, thats secs for a NON lifted truck. The alignment specs change when lifted, and need to be more precisley set, and at certain amounts of Caster/Camber.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:46 PM   #15
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I just installed Eibachs with 5100's set @ .85 and the 2" AAL. I got 2.5" of lift in the front. My toe and camber alignment is good but the caster is a little off, which makes it a little darty. I've been driving 70mph+ and it doesn't seem bad at all to me. Said all that to say, I don't believe you can get a proper alignment with stock UCA's if you go the full 3".
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:47 PM   #16
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I'm only running the 5100's in front at 1 3/4" up and they say that I am bordering the end of my alignment range... I am definitely considering the light racing uca's. As they have said, every truck is different, but that's my experience.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #17
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Now you all can see why my title said confused.

I'm actually not a big fan of how it drives in stock form right now. As it sits stock it feels to me like it needs more positive caster. I think it lacks directional stability and doesn't track forward all that great. If lifting it makes this worse because it loses positive caster I will gladly put ICON UCA's in when I lift it.

I'll call Downsouth Motorsports tomorrow and report back with what they have to say. Thanks for the tip on them, Pugga.

I want to be one and done when I do this. Last thing I want is to pull it apart multiple times.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #18
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Ran 2.5" of lift with stock UCAs for 6 months and regretted lifting my truck everytime I drove it (1.2* caster). Bought and installed LR UCAs...got 3* of caster and it drives great now.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B11 View Post
Seems as though there is a lot of confusion/misinformation regarding the need for new aftermarket upper control arms when you lift your Tacoma.

I've got a 13 Taco dbl cab TRD OR that I have been researching lift/s information on pretty much since I bought it about a month ago. The vast majority of everything I read said when you go over 2.5 inches of lift you need to also get new UCA's or you Taco won't align properly and it will drive bad and or wear the tires out.

I just seconds ago got of the phone with ICON Vehicle Dynamics and he told me UCA's were NOT needed for the lift height, 2.75-3.0 inches, I was looking at. The ICON tech I talked too said I would have NO problem getting my alignment, caster, camber, etc., set properly with their lift in the range I was looking for.

For my needs the ICON Stage 1 with their AAL's would be perfect and I could easily get the 2.75-3.0 inches of lift I needed to clear the 255/85/16 or 255/80/17 KM2's.

He did say that if I was looking to seriously off road my Taco that then he would maybe recommend the UCA's as it would give me more range of motion but in the lift height that I'm looking at that would pretty much be the only reason I would want to replace the factory UCA's.

I truly appreciated his honesty because he could have easily said I needed them and sold me something I didn't need. Instead, he saved me about $800. When I get ready to order my lift, it will definitely be an ICON lift.


I'd rather spend the extra 450-700$ Max and do it right the first time. I own the same thing, 2013 Double Cab and after spending almost 40K for the truck, what's another bit of cash to do it properly. JMO
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #20
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tsup74, I see you're from Alberta. Very close to Banff or Lake Louise area???
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