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How to Determine If UCAs are Needed...

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by jmed99, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:10 AM
    #1
    jmed99

    jmed99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have an 09 DC TRD OR 2 x4. I'm going to be putting a 3" lift on it and will run 17" wheels (not sure what kind yet) and 285/70/17 BFG AT's. I may do a little off roading but not much. :)

    -Is there a way to determine if I will need aftermarket UCAs before I put the lift on?

    -I would think it's better to install them while putting the lift on but in all the reading I've done it seems like some people have aftermarket UCAs and some don't so is there a way to determine if I will need them or not ahead of time?

    -Is it dependent on the type of wheels I go with (ie. stock sport rims with a spacer or Motos with -12mm offset)?

    -Does it depend on the type of lift I decide to go with (ie. spacer/AAL, Ultimate kit, etc)?

    Thanks for the help guys! I've been reading and learning a lot but still got a lot to learn! :cheers:
     
  2. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:15 AM
    #2
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    IMO: Put the lift on and get it aligned. If the shop can't get the caster in, then you need new UCA's.

    It's dependent on the amount of lift.
     
  3. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:46 AM
    #3
    jmed99

    jmed99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I plan to get a 3" lift....does that mean I'll need one? What amount of lift makes it such that I would most likely need one? :)
     
  4. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:54 AM
    #4
    gtmiller1001

    gtmiller1001 Well-Known Member

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    BHLM, Painted Stock 17" sport rims black, 3" Toytec coil overs with 5100's, AAL, black bull bar, TRD filter, parrot bluetooth, anytime foglights, debadged, removed mud flaps, added bed lights, grillcraft, Wet Okole's, Weather Tech's.....and traded in for a Tundra
    I have the same set up you do but an 06.

    I put on 3" spacers and AAL and it was able to be aligned perfectly, no UCA's necessary.

    I'm switching to coilovers this weekend and should have the same luck.

    I'd definately agree with the above, do the lift and get it aligned. If you can get it in spec and keep it there don't worry about UCA's.

    If you get it aligned and it's good, wait about 200 miles or so and go get it checked again. If it's still in spec you're good to go!

    OH...and i do have some 3" spacers for sale if you want to go that route! PM me if interested!
     
  5. Mar 31, 2010 at 6:59 AM
    #5
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    ^^^ Voice of experience there
    Don't purchase them unless you need them. The only way you will know is lift then alignment.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2010 at 7:05 AM
    #6
    jmed99

    jmed99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Ok...Great....questions answered!

    Thanks guys!
     
  7. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:06 AM
    #7
    TacoSupreem

    TacoSupreem Dirty Trucker

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    Dude there's no way you can have a 3" lift and a perfect alignment. Just not possible! You should expect to have to get new uca's. Unless you don't mind white knuckle driving.
     
  8. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:34 AM
    #8
    Canadianboy

    Canadianboy Taco love in East Van

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    Agreed. If you want it done right, get the UCA's. Your truck will drive much better and you'll be happier. Look into the Light Racing uca's, they are not that expensive and will be perfect for a little offroad.
     
  9. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:38 AM
    #9
    FlawedXJ

    FlawedXJ mall crawlin', web wheelin', concrete cowboy

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    I actually have a jeep now. Imagine that.
    I have a 3 inch lift, stock uca's and its been fine for over a year now.
     
  10. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:58 AM
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    jmed99

    jmed99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Are you able to align it perfectly? Or is it off just a tiny bit?
     
  11. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:02 AM
    #11
    bigguy78619

    bigguy78619 Well-Known Member

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    just got my truck lifted, got new rims and tires with stock ucas last weekend and the ride is rough, but the alignment is within spec/
     
  12. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:02 AM
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    Simon2150

    Simon2150 Well-Known Member

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  13. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:03 AM
    #13
    bigguy78619

    bigguy78619 Well-Known Member

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    sorry i got 285/75/16 with 5100s set @ 2.5
     
  14. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:05 AM
    #14
    Simon2150

    Simon2150 Well-Known Member

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    post your spec sheet if you don't mind with your stock ucas. i bet caster is not within spec.
     
  15. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:06 AM
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    FlawedXJ

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    I actually have a jeep now. Imagine that.
    As far as I can tell alignment is good. Tracks straight.
     
  16. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:35 AM
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    jmed99

    jmed99 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So the first page of this thread made it sound like the aftermarket UCAs may not be needed but this page (2nd) sounds like all 3" lifts need an aftermarket UCA if you want to get the alignment right.

    If they are for sure needed with a 3" lift to get correct alignment then I should buy them and have them installed while the ultimate lift is being put on it sounds like.

    Is this correct??

    Thanks guys!
     
  17. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:38 AM
    #17
    Simon2150

    Simon2150 Well-Known Member

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    If i had to do it all over again, i would've had my light racing ucas installed the same time as my lift, yes.
     
  18. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:43 AM
    #18
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    They are not mandatory, you can still get your camber and toe within specs so your tires wont wear out or pull to one side or the other. To some that is "perfect"
    However without new UCA's your CASTER will NOT be in spec, causing your truck to track wierd and make it "wonder" a little more on road.

    I had the toytec 3" lift and my caster was NOT in spec and it sucked driving on the highway in the truck lane, there were grooves in the road and my truck wondered around very badly.

    I have 2.5" of lift now and its alot better, not perfect but alot better.
    So when someone says they have a 3" lift with stock UCA's and their alignment is perfect, they are 99.9% wrong:rolleyes:
    If you want to debate this, then post up your alignment chart first
     
  19. Apr 1, 2010 at 10:07 PM
    #19
    nvdeserted

    nvdeserted Well-Known Member

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    Electric Dynolock tailgate, TrailGear Slides, , 285/75-16 Yoko Geolanders on Wheelers Type B, SAW 2.0 front and back, Camburg b/j UCA, 1.5" AAL, Ubolt flip, ARB bump.
    I have my c/o's cranked up only 2" and I need UCAs.

    Jmed99: I'm gonna do a how to on some Camburg Ball Joint UCAs in a couple weeks (if they ever get here). Supposedly they offer the same amount of extra travel as the Uniball UCA (nice racing de$ign) but needs no maintenance, reuses your OEM ball joint (which is my purpose for the how to: swap ball joints) and needs no maintenance.
    n
    It is $60 less than the Light Racing UCA and offers more travel while correcting your caster the same as the LR UCA does. It's also $260 less than its big brother, the Camburg Uniball UCA which is an amazing design but not needed for a daily driver IMO; the trade off is the Uniball design is MUCH stronger than the ball joint, but the ball joint is plenty strong for most wheeling needs and is maintenance free.

    Also a side note regarding the Light racing UCA, if you do the Camburg balljoint UCA and want to have a shop swap the ball joint for you it will cost $60 to $80, and basically make the Camburg the same or more $ than the Light Racing one. You'll only save if you do it yourself... if you even care.
     
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