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TC UCA clunk

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by wobble, May 9, 2013.

  1. May 9, 2013 at 8:20 AM
    #1
    wobble

    wobble [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I installed a set of TC UCAs a few months ago and have been trying to track down a clunking sound since. It's very annoying to hear a clunk every time I hit a bump. My friends say it's pretty loud outside too. Is there anything that can be done to quiet these things down?

    At first I thought maybe it was because of running 5100 front struts w/886x springs. So I bought OME 9000 front struts. That didn't help, but did give it a much nicer ride. I also bought some Tri-Flow lubricant for the uni-balls and Super-Lube grease w/PTFE as the instructions say to use.

    I then started replacing items continuing to track down this clunk. This includes LCAs (including ball joints and bushings), steering rack, and outer tie rods. These items were worn, so it wasn't wasted money, but I still have the clunk.

    I removed the sway bar to eliminate that as a cause. The clunking is not as bad now, but is still there.

    I had it aligned yesterday again after installing these items. The mechanic couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from either. He suspected the UCAs, but has never seen a set of TC before, so he didn't know anything about them. He assured me the LCA bolts are balls ass tight and are not moving. He also convinced me to run it with 3.6 caster, but I think it pretty much drives like a limo now, so I may have him put it back closer to 3.

    If anyone can give me some advice on how to stop this clunking sound, I would be VERY appreciative. I'm not positive it's the UCAs, but since I've replaced everything else, I think it must be them making the noise.
     
  2. May 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    FlimFlubberJAM
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    make sure theY are installed properly. there should be washers on each side of the bushings when installed, for a total of four washers on each side.
     
  3. May 9, 2013 at 9:29 AM
    #3
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    Grab the UCA arm and pull back and forth, if you can feel movement its the uni-ball cup and is oversized compared to the unibal.

    I have had this happen in a past set(s) of Camburg and TC UCA's
     
  4. May 9, 2013 at 10:32 AM
    #4
    wobble

    wobble [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think I have it installed correctly.

    [​IMG]

    I just grabbed the UCA arm and pulled back and forth. It shook the truck, but i felt no movement. Do I need to do this with the wheel off the ground so there's no load on it?
     
  5. May 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM
    #5
    SoCaltaco65

    SoCaltaco65 Well-Known Member

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    nope youre good, almost sounds like the ball joint at the spindle to LCA.
     
  6. May 10, 2013 at 5:17 PM
    #6
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Staff Member

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    I was thinking the uniball to spindle connection could be loose.
     
  7. May 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM
    #7
    wobble

    wobble [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was able to stop the clunk. Hopefully this will help others in the future.

    Here's what I did:
    - Loosen UCA bolt/nut until there was about 1/2" of thread showing on each side
    - Squirt a fair amount of SuperLube in each zerk
    - Remove zerks
    - Torque to 85 ft lbs
    - Put a jam nut on to prevent the stock nut from backing out
    - Re-install zerks
    - Clean up excess grease

    I went in the hills yesterday playing around and it was so nice not having to hear that clunk anymore :D
     
    proven21 likes this.
  8. May 12, 2013 at 10:25 AM
    #8
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Glad you fixed it. 99% of the time, clunks are either something not torqued to spec or a trashed bushing or bearing. Tq wrench is always the first thing I break out for diagnostics.
     
  9. May 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM
    #9
    wobble

    wobble [OP] Well-Known Member

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    There was lube in there from the initial install. Yes, I think the nut loosened up slightly.
     
  10. May 1, 2014 at 1:47 PM
    #10
    Chakraj

    Chakraj Well-Known Member

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    Badgers, I don't need no stinking Badgers.
    I had the same exact issue, needed a jam nut, on top of the stock nut so it wouldnt loosen up.
     
  11. May 1, 2014 at 1:49 PM
    #11
    08pretaco

    08pretaco Almost there

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    You also should tighten the bolt when the truck is resting at ride height.
     
  12. Oct 16, 2015 at 6:57 PM
    #12
    bmyers8

    bmyers8 New Member

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    I have this exact same setup and problem currently. Glad I am not at the alignment shop paying for no answers. I will try and do what it was recommended on here. My thought is that when going over a bump, it isn't the wheels traveling upward that is creating the problem, but rather the travel when the wheel moves below resting height. I believe that this is when the ball joint side hits the side of the UCA, and you can hear that "clunk" sound. Could this be the possible problem? I just see the angle of the UCA in the picture above and it looks the same as what I have and I think it is this higher angle that is causing the problem. Hope this explanation can further help!
     
  13. Oct 21, 2015 at 9:14 AM
    #13
    Westside

    Westside Southbound

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    I would also recommend checking the torque on you LCA pivot bolts. Especially if you had it aligned after the UCA install
     
  14. Feb 6, 2016 at 5:21 PM
    #14
    proven21

    proven21 Well-Known Member

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    do you remember or know by chance what size jam nut you put on it? I am having this same issue installed my TC UCA's on my 3rd gen today and its noisey as hell.
     
  15. Feb 8, 2016 at 9:16 AM
    #15
    wobble

    wobble [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I don't. I took the bolt to a local hardware store and found one that fit.
     
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