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Alignment issues with TC heim joint uca's

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by bermise, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. Jul 25, 2009 at 11:01 AM
    #1
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My new TC heim joint uca's are not correcting my alignment issues like TC said they should for my front setup. My shop has had my truck for 3 days trying to make adjustments and re-align it with no success. The arms not being able to be adjusted while o the truck is a real pain and very time consuming. They have also spoke with the owner and the engineer over at Total Chaos to try and help out with the problem. Granted, Total Chaos service has been excellent so far. They even worked with my shop on Friday when TC is normally closed and one of the owners gave their cell phone # to me and my shop doing the work in case we had more problems over the weekend. Very impressive service so far. I am supposed to get my truck back this afternoon and it is supposed to be aligned properly. The only bad thing is the front is sitting 3/4 inch lower than the rear, which is what TC recommended as a starting point to try and fix the alignment. I can not lower the height of my leaf pack in the rear so I need these arms to work with the front being level with the rear. I thought adjustable uca's would be capable of this. :notsure: I will update later today when I get it back. Lifting is fustrating sometimes.
     
  2. Jul 25, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    #2
    LBtaco

    LBtaco Thread killer

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    very interesting, I was thinking of getting the lift spindles too. How was it with just your old UCA's (they were TC right?)

    and not adjustable while on!!!?!!! that sucks :(
     
  3. Jul 25, 2009 at 11:25 AM
    #3
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    my old uca's were the regular TC uca's. I got their new heim joint arms to try and help my alignment.
     
  4. Jul 25, 2009 at 12:51 PM
    #4
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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    I figured that you would have issues, because of the design. (The fact you need to remove them to adjust.

    For any lift above 3", I've found the best option is the LR UCA's. The Icon UCA's have the exact same problem.

    Good Luck and let us know how it goes?
     
  5. Jul 25, 2009 at 1:36 PM
    #5
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The Icons can be adjusted on the truck like the light racing ucas I believe. I do not know why TC did not apply this into their arms.
     
  6. Jul 25, 2009 at 5:23 PM
    #6
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well I got it back today and the alignment is fine and better than before, thank God. The only problem I am having is the alignment shop said if I crank the coilovers up anymore, which I need to 1 inch more, they will not be able to align it. Going to fax TC my alignment specs and talk to a different shop on Monday. But as of now it is a much improved ride with the new uca's and the Deavers in the back. PICS!!
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  7. Jul 25, 2009 at 5:33 PM
    #7
    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, who was performing the alignment?
     
  8. Jul 25, 2009 at 5:42 PM
    #8
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Josh can you take a few pictures of your LCA alignment cams? I'm curious to see why they can't align it, if you lift it more???
    Maybe they just don't want to deal with it?

    Next time, try and buy 4 bolts about 6" long that can be use to temp. to hold the UCA's on while they ball park your alignment. by using 4 bolts (1 for each heim) they don't have to mess with the long main bolt. Should be easier. they can adjust 1 heim at a time without completely removing them.

    Have the alignment shop set the LCA adjustment cams to neutral, and work on the heim joints first with the temp bolts. That way once they ball park the top. They can install the main bolt and do the final alignment from the LCA's.

    That would be the best way.
     
  9. Jul 25, 2009 at 6:17 PM
    #9
    sincitytaco

    sincitytaco Well-Known Member

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    With your setup you really don't even need UCAs. Those coilovers have almost no preload so it is probably only 1 inch lift out of those coilovers.
     
  10. Jul 25, 2009 at 6:21 PM
    #10
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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  11. Jul 25, 2009 at 6:24 PM
    #11
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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  12. Jul 26, 2009 at 10:44 AM
    #12
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You do need aftermarket uca's to run Icon extended travel coilovers. And going back to stock will never be an option until it's time to sell it.
     
  13. Jul 26, 2009 at 11:00 AM
    #13
    sincitytaco

    sincitytaco Well-Known Member

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    Oh I did not know they were extended.
     
  14. Jul 26, 2009 at 11:02 AM
    #14
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A Firestone that several offroad shops near by send their trucks to get aligned, so I thought they would be capable.

    You are right, they pretty much told me that my kind of front end is different than most lifted trucks, as far as adjustments go, that they usually do. I do have a print out of the alignment specs that I will fax to Total Chaos and get their input. They have it aligned now and it rides much better than with my old bushing uca's. I am satisfied with it now but I need 1 more inch up front and I am being told if I go up any more the alignment will be out of whack. And Toku they eventually did use the 4 bolts to temporary hold the heims in on the 3rd day!! Trial and error I guess. Another problem is most alignment shops are not experienced with removing aftermarket uca's, heim joint adjustments and the torque specs of the bolts. I will try somewhere else next week. It rides so good now I am also hesitant to start taking it apart again.
     
  15. Jul 26, 2009 at 6:43 PM
    #15
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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    Well O.K. let us know what Pat says about lifting the front more. The UCA's look like they can go higher.
     
  16. Jul 26, 2009 at 7:52 PM
    #16
    TRDKenE

    TRDKenE DAMN GOOD DEAL!!

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    maybe i don't understand how these work? It seems to me with a hiem join on the upper control arm that would cause some caster movement even after being properly set. Caster does not affect tire wear but can dramatically affect the way the vehicle steers and drives...like I said I probably just dont understand how exactly these work.
     
  17. Jul 26, 2009 at 8:40 PM
    #17
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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    No once the heim joints are set they won't change the Caster.
     
  18. Jul 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM
    #18
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Pat says I should be able to go higher but he can't seem my heim threads or my truck so it makes it a little difficult over the phone. He did ask me to zoom in under the fender and send him some photos of how the heims are threaded now and I will send alignment specs and see what he says. I wish I could send my truck to them so they could tune it up.
     
  19. Jul 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM
    #19
    SC4333

    SC4333 Well-Known Member

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    I have a hunch that the culprit here is Firestone. Granted that not all Firestone's are the same, You get what you pay for with poorly paid 'techs.' I have had some absolutely terrible experiences with numerous Firestone's in the past.

    Adjusting heim joints to achieve a proper alignment is much more complicated then your typical alignment job. If I was you, I would take it a alignment specialist that has experience in off road, and or race car alignments.

    Also, Toku's suggestion about using separate bolts for each joint is a great idea. :thumbsup:
     
  20. Jul 27, 2009 at 1:08 PM
    #20
    bermise

    bermise [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I know now, that is my next step. I am bringing to a place that has been doing alignments on offroad vehicles in Houston for over 50 years later this week. It is an old shop with some even older guys running it but they know their shit and they are honest. Two very hard qualities to find in a shop now-a-days.
     
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