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The truth about Uniball's

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by High-Gear, May 3, 2010.

  1. May 3, 2010 at 7:27 PM
    #1
    High-Gear

    High-Gear [OP] Zombie Killer

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    Hello All,

    I'm about to pull the trigger on a UCA. I've read several opinions on the ball joint arms vs. the Uniball arms. Just how long do the Uniballs last (years, miles?) before having to be replaced. Now I know this is a subjective question depending on how you wheel your truck, but I'm only looking for a ballpark number.

    I am building a truck for overland travel (expedition vehicle). I want a solid reliable setup, but don't plan to be jumping the truck...much.;). However I don't want to be replacing uniballs every 20K. I also don't want to listen to a bunch of squeaking.

    Again I am just looking for the straight dope on how long they last, and how much work they are to maintain.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. May 3, 2010 at 7:55 PM
    #2
    Coolidge

    Coolidge Well-Known Member

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    I dont know shite personally, But the LR UCA's that Toytec sells look like they have some sort of sealed/covered uniball? I wish I knew for sure? Since my truck is my DD, I havent been able to pull the trigger either due to long-term wear questions.
     
  3. May 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM
    #3
    gupster88

    gupster88 Well-Known Member

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    I had the LR uca's and liked them because they were adjustable. I did however replace the boots because they began to tear. I called up the manufacturer and got some shipped to me for free.

    Ive heard get LR for street use and camburg or total chaos for offroading.
     
  4. May 3, 2010 at 9:28 PM
    #4
    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.
    The uniball option is the strongest setup. As far as longevity I'm of no help, never had them. I do think that as far as the sqeeking goes, if you keep a can of spray on silicone lube ($4) in your kit and just apply that every other day while overlanding there shouldn't be any noise from them. They will need maintenance but not much, just an occasional rinse and lube.

    The best thing about the BALL-Joint UCAs, IMO, is that you don't need to do anything to them, there is no noise, and they are plenty strong for most everything but baja style wheeling. Plus, even with a Uniball setup you still have a ball joint on the LCA.

    The ball-joint and uniball replacements are close in price; I'm guessing the uniball is a bit easier to replace (no press needed) but I could be wrong, just a guess.

    Like I've said in other posts on this subject, the Uniball design is a RACING design and daily driving/ high mileage was not a factor in their design; strength is the ultimate purpose of the uniball; longevity and no maintenance is the focus of ball-joints.

    I've been riding the Camburg BALL JOINT UCAs for several weeks an I'm thoroughly impressed... but I've never driven the Uniball UCAs for comparrison.
     
  5. May 3, 2010 at 9:30 PM
    #5
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    a dry teflon lube on the balls will keep them from squeaking for a while:D
     
  6. May 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM
    #6
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    with uniballs you are able to get the most out of your suspension. they allow for more articulation when wheelin. I dont know about the squeeking though, ive only had mine for a couple weeks. when washing the truck after wheelin, i get in there and clean out all the mud and shit out of the uniballs with toothpicks and Qtips, then after its all dried i lube the uniballs with "SuperLube" a teflon based lube. Im doing everything i can to prevent the squeekin down the road.
     
  7. May 4, 2010 at 5:38 PM
    #7
    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 agree, however, even with my Camburg ball-joint UCAs other compnents limit my suspension before the UCA does. At full tuck/droop my ball joint UCA has miles of room left to move but the LCA/CVs are now my limiting factor.

    So while the ball joint UCA 'freed' up my suspension articulation it still can't work at it's full potential due to other components that are still stock.

    I think the greatest benefit of the either type of aftermarket UCA will go to those with mid or long travel kits.
     
  8. May 4, 2010 at 5:39 PM
    #8
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    Yes thats true to, I made sure to put lots. You could always take er apart and regrease the bushings. PITA though.
     
  9. May 4, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #9
    shitroc

    shitroc Master of War

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    Agreed. good point there for sure.
     
  10. May 4, 2010 at 6:15 PM
    #10
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    40k miles on my TC arms, still silent, and not in need of a re build.
     
  11. May 4, 2010 at 6:20 PM
    #11
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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    I had to take mine apart to grease them properly. Wasnt too bad, but it sure help! I do have a little squeeking from the bushings, but It doesnt really bother me. I just rell myself its from having aftermarket racing parts, and there ganna make some noise. But everything will be ok, as long as you keep them lubed and clean.
     
  12. May 4, 2010 at 6:23 PM
    #12
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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    Chris, you just do everything right the first time and dont have any issues!:p.... :D
     
  13. May 4, 2010 at 6:26 PM
    #13
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Trust me....I RARLEY do things right the first time. Fortunately, I learn, and try to pass it on.
     
  14. May 4, 2010 at 6:42 PM
    #14
    RelentlessFab

    RelentlessFab Tacoma offroad armor fabricating beast Vendor

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    Had tons on the old Taco's.... new Tundra is pretty stock
    I've got the LightRacing UCAs and I like em alot. Never had any issues after about 8 months and 10,000 miles. I jump and wheel my truck as much as the rest of my suspension allows, the UCAs arent the limiting factor. I did notice though, that after one particular afternoon of mobbing my truck on logging/fire roads and hitting a few good water bars that the UCA had actually contacted the top of my fenderwell. To me, this shows just how they do actually add some travel in combination with the rest of my suspension.
    I chose them over the uniball camburgs/TC's simply due to having the adjustability the others lack, and the sealed ball joint over the open uniball. Here in the PNW I encounter quite a bit of rain, mud, snow, etc and I didnt want to deal with constantly cleaning and lubing the Uniballs (I had experienced heim joint a-arms on my TRX450 race quad and I just couldn't keep them cleaned and lubed enough, so I ended up gaving them up and got other arms after a few months because I was sick of them)
     
  15. May 4, 2010 at 6:44 PM
    #15
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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    Well, me along with many others, have learned by your learns. And are verry thankful!:)
     
  16. May 4, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #16
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    Thanks man! Glad to help :)
     
  17. Jan 9, 2013 at 8:12 PM
    #17
    Milowilli

    Milowilli Milowilli

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    Chaos and Camburg Uniballs 4 months and they are done!!! Mud, slush, Sand.. Dry lube wears off in minutes. First sign is loud squeeking with eventual rattle. The Austrailians have made a sealed uniball for this reason.
     
  18. Jan 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM
    #18
    PMK

    PMK Well-Known Member

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    Living 90 miles east of you, that just narrowed my decision.

    PK
     
  19. Jan 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM
    #19
    PLC721

    PLC721 Well-Known Member

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    You can opt for a stainless uniball
     
  20. Jan 13, 2013 at 4:59 PM
    #20
    PMK

    PMK Well-Known Member

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    It's not really a corrosion issue. We have similar problems with anything that is in the dirt here. The sand and shellrock silt, get wet and make a potion similar in effect to valve grinding compound.

    The east coast company that builds a suspension pivot on quality arms that can hold up to all conditions with minimal maintenance will do very well.

    PK
     
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