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The BEST UCA's for our trucks... I think I've found them!!!

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by DrRabbitFurHead, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Aug 26, 2009 at 6:44 PM
    #1
    DrRabbitFurHead

    DrRabbitFurHead [OP] Yeah, there's a TSB for that!

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    OK, just as a warning... I'm not saying one word bad about any manufacturers UCA's. What I'm about to share may fly in the face of what many people on this forum have been led to believe and that's OK.

    So, here's the deal. I have the Light Racing UCA's and bought them for many reasons. One reason was the adjustability (duh), but before I get into the juicy part of the thread, let me digress.

    I have 17x9 wheels with a -12 offset (not the recommended 0 offset you'll see many people running), a 4.5 backspacing AND a 5mm wheel spacer. Couple all of that together and you get a wheel that sticks out pretty far, rubs the snot out of the fender, pinch weld AND the cab mount (all on the back side of the wheel). It also rubbed the front side of the fender liner with the larger 285/70/17 tires AND 2.5" of lift. (Imagine how bad it would have been without the lift)

    So, I decided to buy the All Pro front bumper to give me a mile of clearance on the front of the wheel well and it worked out really well. I had to have the cab mounts cut and welded just to get the steering wheel to turn past 120* in either direction and allow the truck to be "kind of" drivable around town. I also trimmed the wheel well liner and fender a good bit and the wheels STILL RUBBED! So yesterday I put together the last piece of the puzzle. I followed Toku58's advice and went to a Toyota dealership and asked the service advisor to have the technician move the LOWER Control Arm (LCA) as far forward as possible to help me with my clearance. This would not be a good idea if I had a UCA that didn't have adjustable caster. I then gave the 0* camber, 0* toe and 2.4* caster speach and went my merry way. Onto the good part...

    The Light Racing UCA's come with a total of 4* of caster adjustment (+2.0* to -2.0*). The technician was able to measure the setting of the UCA's as previously installed, subtract the current setting from the +2.0* max UCA adjustment and manually move the UCA to the extreme to hit the 2.4* caster. Research told me that if this was done properly, my front wheels would move FORWARD in the wheel well... but how much? The answer is about 1.5 inches. MY RUBBING ISSUES ARE LONG GONE. I now have a mile of clearance at full lock and appear to have a mile of compression available with the wheel turned. I'm really excited to find a steep ramp to test the full wheel compression.

    The Light Racing UCA's, and their built in 4* of adjustable caster is AWESOME. Not to mention the construction with the OEM style uniball that does not squeek or need lubrication, the price is the cheapest on the market, the camber adjustment is from 0* to 5* and the UCA's come preassembled so there are no bushings to grease and install, no zerk fittings or uniballs to squeek, no maintainance, etc. After doing a bunch of research, I firmly believe for the price, construction, design and adjustability, the Light Racing UCA's are the best on the market.

    One more thing... the alignment is DEAD ON and the truck drives better than the day I bought it. I'm so happy with this set up I could sing in public... :D You've been warned...
     
  2. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:01 PM
    #2
    r12rex

    r12rex Well-Known Member

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    Awesome review! Can't wait to get me a set!

    Kind Regards,
    Ryan
     
  3. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:04 PM
    #3
    Incognito

    Incognito μολὼν λαβέ

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  4. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:07 PM
    #4
    Canadianboy

    Canadianboy Taco love in East Van

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    What other aftermarket UCA's have this adjustability?
     
  5. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:09 PM
    #5
    DrRabbitFurHead

    DrRabbitFurHead [OP] Yeah, there's a TSB for that!

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    Total Chaos and ICON advertises caster adjustment but I can't find any information as to how much adjustment they offer. They are the most popular UCA on this site, but the price is more and there are a bunch of posts about them being noisy and needing maintainance from time to time. I'm not sure about Camburg and don't know about any other brand of UCA available.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:19 PM
    #6
    1BlkT

    1BlkT Mod'n on a Budget

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    My dad has the Camburg UCA's they worked for his situation but they are NOISY (or is it NOISEY? either way you get the point)
     
  7. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:27 PM
    #7
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    I have only heard of one TC UCA that made noise. ;) Keep in mind, you are also paying for a uniball, and a little more travel.,
     
  8. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:28 PM
    #8
    Canadianboy

    Canadianboy Taco love in East Van

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    Man I hope I do not have major rubbing issues. I'm about to put on Icons with TC UCAs and 285/70/17's. I really do not want bad rubbing issues. Minor I can live with, but it sounds like you had a pretty tough time
     
  9. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:40 PM
    #9
    SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Good review. The intermittent squeaking noise and maintenance factor from the TC UCA is certainly something I could do without. How much are these UCAs?
     
  10. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:43 PM
    #10
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Im not sure where you are getting the "All this maintinance" info from.....Mine have only been greased 2 times in 2 years, and are silent, and still nice an tight. :confused:
     
  11. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:45 PM
    #11
    SpaceMonkey

    SpaceMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I grease mine at every oil change. It's not that much work I guess but it looks like there are other UCAs that are maintenance free.
     
  12. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:49 PM
    #12
    Ridingontrd

    Ridingontrd Well-Known Member

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    I've hit(greased)the zerks once since they were instaled.No squeaking here.If they do start making noise,I'll fess up.:D... ps.Thanks Chris!!:headbang: You rock.
     
  13. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:50 PM
    #13
    Metallikatz3

    Metallikatz3 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up man.. I'm glad i just got mine in the other day!!! Now i just gotta install them and get the alignment done.

    The only thing i was confused about in the instructions is how to set the camber
     
  14. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:50 PM
    #14
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    :D
     
  15. Aug 26, 2009 at 7:51 PM
    #15
    cjimenRR

    cjimenRR Be Good or Be Good At It

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    I too had the same rubbing issue as the OP but the difference was I went with a wheel 17x9, -6mm offset, 4.5 backspacing sitting on Nitto 285/70/17. I had to do major trimming and by that i mean hacked off half the fender liners on both sides, grinded bottom front corner of bumpers a good 4 inches on both sides. All this with SAW's at 2.5 inches. Wonder if doing this would have prevented all the hacking i just did
     
  16. Aug 26, 2009 at 10:56 PM
    #16
    toku58

    toku58 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with this review!
    Here's a few tid bits I'd like to add.

    The issue that LR UCA's have had in the past are Bad ball joints, (Which they will correct with no questions asked) Outstanding CS!
    They also had a problem with the bushings being of the wrong type of rubber. So they were actually tearing. (But again they will take care of it 100% great CS)

    The adjustment may have a tendency to move during hard offroading. (But I have only heard of 1 case of this happening. (Could have been improper torque of the bolt)

    But don't get me wrong. They are very impressive UCA's.

    Because they sit higher than TC, Camburg, and AP. They actually offer better range of articulation, because the UCA's are level. The TC, Camburg, and AP all ride at an angle making their down travel limited.

    For the price, and if you'd like to manipulate your wheel position like "DrRabbitFurHead" and myself. These UCA's are the best thing out there at this time.

    They offer so much options and adjustments that it makes their minor issues almost non-existent.
    I have a prototype set of the LR UCA's that I have installed Poly bushings. This should actually allow them to articulate much more freely.

    Good Luck guys!
     
  17. Aug 26, 2009 at 11:25 PM
    #17
    Faskev

    Faskev Well-Known Member

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    You will find there are mixed reviews about all the available after market UCA's. Total Chaos seems to get the most positive reviews around here although some have complained of squeaking. I decided that all UCA's have their pro's and con's and went with the LR UCA's with absolutely no regrets! I heard talk about LR UCA's not being quite as heavy duty as some of the other units but if you compare them to the stock UCA's they are built like a tank. Now I could agree that if your goal is to launch your truck off of sand dunes then you may (I say may as there are crazy cats on this forum that do this without long travel!) want long travel suspension with obviously a hardcore UCA. I live nowhere near sand dunes so for hitting the trails in the mountains LR UCA's are plenty tough!
     
  18. Aug 27, 2009 at 2:43 AM
    #18
    DrRabbitFurHead

    DrRabbitFurHead [OP] Yeah, there's a TSB for that!

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    They run $449 through Wheelers Off Road. I paid ~$400 on one of the initial group buys. TC and Camburg are ~$650 from my research and ICON is even more than that. Also, I forgot to mention that SPC (makers of Light Racing) had AWESOME customer service.

    Well I don't care about the uniball, I'd rather have an enclosed system personally. Also your last statement is what I've searched and searched and cannot find evidence of... The Light Racing arms are the only ones that I can find that advertise Caster and Camber amounts. I also know Toku58 had troubles with his TC UCA's when he went 6" on his lift because they DID NOT have as much adjustment as he needed. He switched from Camburg to TC to LR and the Light Racing solved his problems too. If you could share the actual adjustment amounts, that would be a big help to others on the forum. :cool:

    My recommendation is to take the FORGED steel LR arms and give them a try. I'm happy to have the $200 to pay for a CUSTOM ALIGNMENT. My perfect alignment took Toyota 6 hours. Fortunately they only charged me $190 for 2.5 hours of labor.

    Also, I'm down from the initial high so the singing in public thing ain't going to happen!!! :D
     
  19. Aug 27, 2009 at 7:29 AM
    #19
    NwiTACO

    NwiTACO Big tars, little/no bed.

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    I disagree with this statement. Did he move the arms out or in?, as that is the only adjustment possible for the LCA. The LCA bushings sit between the tabs welded on the frame and I'm sure he didn't move those one bit.

    I'll keep my uni-ball arms and the extra 1" of articulation I get as well. It is common knowledge that a uni-ball articulates further before binding than a ball-joint does.
     
  20. Aug 27, 2009 at 7:56 AM
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    pataco

    pataco Well-Known Member

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