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best LCA?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by TacoTuesday1, Apr 19, 2022.

  1. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:21 PM
    #1
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Had to have a reputable shop do some work on my truck that included an alignment;
    they claimed my LCA's are too short resulting in bad positive camber and the adjuster cams maxed out. I believe them.
    The current alignment printout confirms positive camber and you can see it by eye looking at the truck.

    I have it lifted too much in the front, OME 887X which I think is 3", bottoming out my shock (5100) and taking out downtravel so it doesn't ride as well, and honestly might not even wheel as well.
    Because up on stilts, sure the truck might glide over an obstacle, but will otherwise tilt like a ricer taking a speedbump sideways, instead of drooping a tire to fill in the gap.


    So, by taking an inch out of the front by switching to 6112 set to a different height, I planned to fix that.
    Unfortunately supply threw a wrench in that; it seems nobody can get 6112's.
    Maybe I have to order some 1" shorter springs, whether that be OME 885 or 883, and go through the pain that is compressing and removing the stock springs to shock them out, and keep running the same shitty pencil-thin 5100 up front that doesn't match by better feeling 5160 rear (Bilstein does have those in stock)

    And to replace the junk arms. Shop said OEM is best, to find some worn ones and re-bush them if I can.
    I'm scared of that because last time I tried it before, it was a pain, labor intensive, bushing didn't wanna go in, was tricky to even set it up in a press, and I hear if you try the bottle jack method it will bend out of shape the arm.
    I've heard mixed reviews about Moog ball joints too.

    What's everyone's thoughts? What are the best LCA's?

    Reason I'm perfectly open to the possibility mine may be too short is they are aftermarket no name brand cheap crap. Quality control was probably lacking. Ball joint and bushings are probably weak and torn by now despite being torqued at ride height.
    It was on eBay for like $70, probably from China.
    At the time I oversimplified it, thinking "how hard could it be to get the design right, it's just a stamped metal arm."
    But I am reminded of the quotes, "What can go wrong, will go wrong" "Buy nice or buy twice" "Do it right or do it twice"

    Is it even worth finding someone's junk LCA about to be thrown away, to restore it with bushings and ball joint? I'm sure it will look rusty.
    I'm guessing most of you have been through this, because the LCA's tend to wear by now re: miles and age

    I am strongly considering going new Moog from RockAuto, $110/ea
    MOOG CK623263 {#4806804040}
    For some reason it only lists right side. Under "Premium" section, typically higher quality.
    Though under "daily driver" they have Mevotech left side, for $120
    Although I don't want to spend the money, I don't think I have a choice at this point.
    Everything else on the truck is gonna be decent. High quality wheel bearings. IEDLS carrier bearing. Etc.
    -really sucks to ruin it all with some knockoff LCA's causing problems and maybe even clunking.

    Is this the way to go?
    IIRC, bushings kit is $50+, and ball joint $20+,
    so for only a couple bucks more, it saves a lot of labor and sweat to just get a whole arm already pre-assembled and slap it in

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:25 PM
    #2
    Toy4me

    Toy4me Well-Known Member

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    New oem. Done.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:42 PM
    #3
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You got a point. Totally forgot about that. I hear it's the best option out of all of them.
    I wonder what people are paying for new OEM arms; I'll have to look up a good place to get them
     
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  4. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:50 PM
    #4
    Brian422

    Brian422 I fell into the pit that is TW

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    Had moog replacement arms on for about 5k and wheeled them hard. No complaints yet. If i get 30k out of them ill be happy. couldnt justify 4 times the price for oem
     
  5. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:55 PM
    #5
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Did you get them from RockAuto or Autozone or something?
    I'll try to track down the part numbers from their site catalog direct and find out what places sell it/have in stock
     
  6. Apr 19, 2022 at 2:57 PM
    #6
    Brian422

    Brian422 I fell into the pit that is TW

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  7. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:00 PM
    #7
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    Did you change the UCA? Can’t you lower the 5100’s?
     
  8. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:00 PM
    #8
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    yes they're good

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:04 PM
    #9
    rnish

    rnish Well-Known Member

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    I suggest getting the same brand as the UCA’s. Assuming they are a known brand, not knock-offs.
     
  10. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:07 PM
    #10
    acdubstaco

    acdubstaco Well-Known Member

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    I looked at all of the aftermarket ones Moog, TRQ, Mevotech, all of them had mixed reviews, most lasting between 15k and 40k miles. I'm off-road pretty frequently and LT wasn't in the plans so I decided to stick with OEM. I have no regrets spending the $700 for the pair with new alignment cams, sure it's not cheap but I trust OEM, and ball joints are something you generally don't want to mess with. My old set lasted 185,000 miles, hoping to get similar results out of these.
     
  11. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:09 PM
    #11
    Toy4me

    Toy4me Well-Known Member

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    Kinda doesn't matter. I mean yeah I know it does matter but if the alignment is out enough to cause tire wear that leads to needing new tire too well then the hole gets deeper. The sooner you get new arms in and get good alignment numbers the better. Rebuilding them, as you discovered, is a pita. I tried that route once with moog bushings. Not only a lot of work, they popped out and I got to do the job again. That's when I wised up and bit the bullet and just got a set of new oem lcas.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:41 PM
    #12
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The ball joints are the easy part, it’s the bushings that are a pain

    I wonder what steel welded ones are
    Probably $2k
     
  13. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:53 PM
    #13
    acdubstaco

    acdubstaco Well-Known Member

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    I mainly meant quality, not ease of install but you are right! Yea I looked at TC and some of the other high end stock lengths but they were way pricy.
     
  14. Apr 19, 2022 at 3:56 PM
    #14
    nd4spdbh

    nd4spdbh Well-Known Member

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    Who makes those?!
     
  15. Apr 19, 2022 at 6:26 PM
    #15
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    JD Fab. They make a ton of great stuff. Got them during the group buy. May have been better priced than every other one

    I believe it’s sealed and greasable zerk fitting. So no exposed uniball to squirt oil into. I already have a grease gun with red n tacky I use on other stuff like propshaft etc
     
  16. Apr 19, 2022 at 6:28 PM
    #16
    crashngiggles

    crashngiggles Tacomaworld's Resident Psych Dr.

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    Dirt king....FTW
     
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  17. Apr 19, 2022 at 6:30 PM
    #17
    Gunshot-6A

    Gunshot-6A Not A Fed

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    Toyota of Dallas had a good price on the OEM arms when I bought a replacement set.

    Their price plus tax and shipping was considerably less than the dealer down the street wanted for the OEMs before they were even rung up.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2022 at 7:31 PM
    #18
    mk5

    mk5 Probably wrong about this

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    A bunch of stupid crap
    I rebuilt my LCAs last year, trying to solve front suspension noise, in principle it's not too bad of a job. You can make modest improvements to the stock arms by installing urethane bushings with grease fittings, and welding on reinforcements to weaker areas.

    Here's my suggestion for that route: Unless you are certain your bushings are OEM, go for the Whiteline bushings, not the Energy Suspension. Nothing wrong with ES, but if someone already swapped your OEM bushings out with Moogs or other aftermarket, those have undersized inner sleeves vs. OEM, and won't work with ES. But, if you DO have OEM bushings, then I think the ES ones might be easier to install.

    I encountered this problem last year and have been trying to find some OEM inner sleeves ever since. In fact that reminds me, I should bump that thread...

    I didn't have time to source the correct sleeves (or alternative bushings) so I just smoothed over the jagged parts of the improvised sleeve with a lathe, as best I could, and threw them back together. As for the rest of the rebuild, I tapped in grease fittings for the bushings, bored grease channels into the urethane, welded reinforcements over the bushing eyes, blasted and POR15ed the arms, and pressed in new ball joints.

    So except for this stupid and bizarre problem with aftermarket inner sleeves, it's pretty easy to rebuild the stock LCAs, so long as you have a bottle jack, a torch, and a press with ball joint adapters.

    In fact I'd say the ball joints are the bigger pain in the ass than the bushings. They're an odd size. I bought and returned a couple of "master" ball joint press kits and not a single sleeve fits these control arms. In the end I had to buy a piece of steel tube and bore it to the correct ID in a lathe. You also need heavy-duty snap-ring pliers, the interchangeable-tip ones from Harbor Freight aren't strong enough, or at least mine weren't.

    I'll see if I can find a picture, but so far all I could find is this post from rebuilding the UCAs which was also delayed by needing to machine the press adapter. Similar story with the LCAs, but if I recall, I needed a piece of 2-3/4" OD tube, bored to slightly over 2.5" ID to clear the lower joint. I'll update this if I can find it.

    20220419_205244_resized.jpg

    Edit: Here's what worked for the LBJ, bore the ID to 2.520" A regular ball joint press kit will work for the other side (the basic kit with only a handful of sleeves). The "master" kits were useless for me on this job.

    Note that this is for the 4x4, and also might be specific to my choice of aftermarket ball joints. I bought the most expensive ones you can buy on Rock Auto. OEM ball joints are excellent too, but as far as I know, you can't buy OEM replacements. You have to get the whole control arm. I would not recommend Moog parts here, I chewed one of their ball joints in under 10k miles, and am still pissed about the bushing sleeve thing. I've got about 15k miles on the new ball joints and they are still nice and tight. Mostly off road.

    I recommend either OEM control arms, or rebuilding yours if you are looking for modest improvements including urethane bushings, grease fittings, and whatever reinforcements you want to weld on there. You could even have them powder coated, and still spend less than new arms, and thousands less than the fancy welded steel ones. I'm sure those are great, but if I was spending that much money on lower control arms, I'd want to buy the extended length ones (and the rest of the kit) for a more tangible benefit.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2022
  19. Apr 19, 2022 at 7:36 PM
    #19
    Accipiter13

    Accipiter13 Well-Known Member

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    New OEM LCA’s can be had for a reasonable price from the online Toyota retailers. Just takes a little looking.
     
  20. Apr 19, 2022 at 10:45 PM
    #20
    steveo27

    steveo27 Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    I got about 40k miles out of my Moog LCAs before they needed new balljoints.
     

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