1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Ball joint brand recommendations?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by Mods2Travel, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. Oct 4, 2021 at 12:27 PM
    #1
    Mods2Travel

    Mods2Travel [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Member:
    #333933
    Messages:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Fort Worth, TX
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    DIY bed/drawer slideout Bed Mounted Deep Cycle Battery/Fuse Box/Inverter/Isolator Yellow Wire Mod Rear Diff Breather Mod DIY Roof Rack Leer 180 Shell Bilstein 6112, Circlip #4 Bilstein B8 5160 Remote Reservoir Level 8 MK6, 16x8, 6x5.5, +0 Offset Rims 285/75/16 (33") BFG KO2 tires Firestone Ride Tite Rear Suspension Airbags Camper Shell Radiator Fans for sleeping in warmer climates
    2015 DCLB, Bilstein 6112/5160, 33" tires. Running heavy with topper/slideouts & gear.

    After an off-roading trip and a few too many washboard roads, I've got a clunk I'm about to go searching for in my suspension, and I'm suspecting the UCA ball joint first.

    This got me wondering: For the ball joints on UCA/LCA, sway bar links, & tie rod ends, is there a preferred brand that seems to hold up better to off-road abuse?

    What about bushings for the UCA/LCA (Or is it better to just buy full assemblies?)

    I typically use rockauto and just stick with brands I recognize for daily drivers, but they don't see the abuse the truck sees. Any advice/experience on something that will last would be appreciated.
     
  2. Oct 5, 2021 at 9:20 AM
    #2
    CLVol1255

    CLVol1255 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2018
    Member:
    #269644
    Messages:
    1,568
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Tennessee
    Vehicle:
    2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4, 2018 Chevy duramax crew cab 4x4 z71
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CN9BZ0
    You checked your body frame mount bushings? These are pretty infamous about wearing out and producing a metal to metal clunk sound when they do so

    btw I’m on bilstein 5100 front and rear with rear AAL that got me 2.6” in front and 1.5” in back. Basically leveled it. I’ve got a fridge and softtopper with lots of ball equipment in rear at all times. I’ve also got dual battery setup underhood with full sound deadened butyl, ccf, mlv and 33.1” Toyo Open Country AT3 255-80-r17 tires. Stock UCAs. I’ve replaced sway bar bushings and replaced sway bar link with overland customs link. I’ve also recently replaced body mount bushing with above linked energy suspension universals and it got rid of a metal on metal clunk since doing so. Sway bushings and body mount bushings were the culprits in my setup
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  3. Oct 5, 2021 at 11:09 AM
    #3
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Member:
    #172832
    Messages:
    1,043
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Iowa
    Well, depending on where you have your lift set at you probably should be running aftermarket UCA's. Upper ball joint's tend to wear faster than lower ball joints, but thats not to say to disregard checking them. It's the same process either way.

    I've always stuck with OEM for suspension parts on cars I want to keep, Moog is usually pretty good but generally doesn't last as long as OEM. I've heard hit and miss about MevoTech, but that's on their lower tier products, I think the higher tier should be good.

    I've been considering the Rough Country (gasp!!!) UCA's due to their price and assuming they can't screw those up too bad. lol I made a thread on them, so far only a couple members have admitted to using them with good luck, but they are still in their infancy.

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/rc-forged-aluminum-ucas-hear-me-out.732286/
     
  4. Oct 6, 2021 at 8:49 AM
    #4
    Mods2Travel

    Mods2Travel [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Member:
    #333933
    Messages:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Fort Worth, TX
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    DIY bed/drawer slideout Bed Mounted Deep Cycle Battery/Fuse Box/Inverter/Isolator Yellow Wire Mod Rear Diff Breather Mod DIY Roof Rack Leer 180 Shell Bilstein 6112, Circlip #4 Bilstein B8 5160 Remote Reservoir Level 8 MK6, 16x8, 6x5.5, +0 Offset Rims 285/75/16 (33") BFG KO2 tires Firestone Ride Tite Rear Suspension Airbags Camper Shell Radiator Fans for sleeping in warmer climates
    I did make sure they were tight last night, but I'll have to wash the truck before I can see the rubber clearly...Aren't they the typical culprit for low speed squeaks? If so that may motivate me to go ahead and swap them out regardless.

    Sounds like a pretty similar setup. :) The sway bar bushings passed the rubber hammer test with the front of the truck in the air, but I'm not sure what it would take to make it rattle if bad.

    I'll check out overland customs for the sway bar associated items. Thanks for the recommendation. The only thing on my hit list for those parts is finding sway bar end links that have a flat spot on the ball side to put a wrench on so it doesn't just spin when removing the nut. I'll probably be in that for a re-gear soon so I may just stock those and do it at the same time.

    After removing the drivers side UCA ball joint nut to inspect the ball joint, putting that nut back on after not feeling any play, and removing/replacing the factory skid, tightening LCA cam bolts and body mounts, the clunk has gone away. Seems that the rattle from the CV's are normal, and there's some play in the steering system that sounds like its coming from some control box above the skid, but it's not the sound I was chasing. So for now, I may have to ignore it until it comes back.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2021 at 8:56 AM
    #5
    Mods2Travel

    Mods2Travel [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Member:
    #333933
    Messages:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Fort Worth, TX
    Vehicle:
    2015 DCLB 4x4 SR5
    DIY bed/drawer slideout Bed Mounted Deep Cycle Battery/Fuse Box/Inverter/Isolator Yellow Wire Mod Rear Diff Breather Mod DIY Roof Rack Leer 180 Shell Bilstein 6112, Circlip #4 Bilstein B8 5160 Remote Reservoir Level 8 MK6, 16x8, 6x5.5, +0 Offset Rims 285/75/16 (33") BFG KO2 tires Firestone Ride Tite Rear Suspension Airbags Camper Shell Radiator Fans for sleeping in warmer climates
    I've got the Bilstein 6112's set at #4, so about 2" lift in the front. I haven't invested in aftermarket UCA's yet, but I've been reading about SPC and JBA, and trying to figure out which route to go. I believe I recall reading that JBA uses Moog, and the ball joint itself can be easily swapped.
    Haha, hadn't heard about rough country. If the price is right it can't be much worse than some of the stuff on rockauto.
     
    TacoFergie likes this.
  6. Oct 6, 2021 at 10:22 AM
    #6
    TacoFergie

    TacoFergie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Member:
    #172832
    Messages:
    1,043
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Iowa
    So far from my research most of the "sealed" UCA's use 3/4 ton GM ball joints except the ones that advertise they are Uni-Ball. I haven't called to confirm the Rough Country ball joints are 3/4 ton GM ball joints, but they sure seem like it. On top of that the bushings for the chassis mount are cheap too. I honestly don't think they could screw up a forged piece of aluminum that bad, so that would leave the ball joint and bushing to be the only items that can fail. Even if you installed a brand new ball joint and new OEM or Poly bushings before you install them you'd still come out over $150 cheaper than any other reputable brand. That's hard to beat if you ask me. Not trying to sell anyone on them, I don't even own them, that's just my rationale.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top