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UCA's Uniball vs. sealed ball joint

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by wilsonpj, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Aug 12, 2010 at 3:57 PM
    #1
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this has been discussed, I searched around and found some info scattered....

    I wanted to hear peoples opinions/thoughts on uniballs (like the total chaos or built right) vs a sealed ball joint (like the stock or LR uca's).

    I have heard and read that the uni ball gives better movement but is also a PITA to maintain, it will make noise over time, require lubbing.... and unless you spend a good amount of time off road that a sealed ball joint is fine.

    Any thoughts...?
     
  2. Aug 12, 2010 at 4:02 PM
    #2
    chris4x4

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

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    FlimFlubberJAM
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    My TC's are quiet, and just over 3 years old. I have lubed the Uniballs only 3 times. Last I had them apart (about 4 weeks ago), they were still tight in the housing.
     
  3. Aug 12, 2010 at 4:09 PM
    #3
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Did you replace the bolt that holds the UCA up? I'm thinking it might be easier to order new ones then struggle to get it out.
     
  4. Aug 12, 2010 at 4:16 PM
    #4
    whippersnapper02

    whippersnapper02 Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't see a need for uniballs if you don't intend to do high speed desert runs. I will be going with sealed unit just to avoid any noise.
     
  5. Aug 12, 2010 at 4:19 PM
    #5
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Good point.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2010 at 4:59 PM
    #6
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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    I have the Light Racing UCAs. They have a heavy duty ball joint but do not provide as much articulation as the uni-ball ones.

    The LR UCAs have adjustments for caster so you can get your alignment dialed in. If not, your lifted vehicle may wander at highway speeds.

    However, most Uniball UCAs have +2 degrees of caster built in so they also may correct caster but cannot be dialed in like the LR UCAs.
     
  7. Aug 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM
    #7
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Is there any info out there on how much articulation the uni-balls give over the LR UCA's?

    Are we talking an inch or two difference or like 5?
     
  8. Aug 16, 2010 at 8:38 AM
    #8
    chris4x4

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

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    They give about the same.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2010 at 8:40 AM
    #9
    colinb17

    colinb17 If at first you don't succeed, don't try skydiving

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    I don't know an exact number to answere that question, but i'm asuming that it's probably well under 2 inches difference.

    edit: chris beat me to it...with a more educated answer

    on another note, i jacked up the front end of my truck a few weeks ago for a little suspension travel experiment and i found that my shock maxed out before the ball joint did (2.5 inches of lift with LR UCAs) so even if i had a uniball, it wouldn't benefit my down travel untill i get longer coilovers.
     
  10. Aug 16, 2010 at 1:21 PM
    #10
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So what's the big benefit of a uni ball style UCA if they require more maintenance and don't provide more articulation then a closed ball joint?
     
  11. Aug 16, 2010 at 1:35 PM
    #11
    chris4x4

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

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    I dont see how they require more maint. They do ofer more articulation than a ball joint, just the LR's use a different style of ball joint. The uniball is also much stronger.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2010 at 1:40 AM
    #12
    Manlaan

    Manlaan Well-Known Member

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    I know its been kinda answered, but I'll put it this way. The LCA stops long before the UCA bottoms out with my setup, even with the sway bar removed. (Light racing UCA, stock LCA, Camburg coil overs)

    While Light Racing may or may not give less articulation than a uni-ball, unless you have a long travel LCA, you wont notice anyway.

    Personally, I think with the ball joint mounted under the UCA instead of inside the UCA, overall articulation could potentially be more, or at least the same as a uni-ball, but it all depends on how the ball joint was made.
     
  13. Aug 17, 2010 at 6:09 AM
    #13
    chris4x4

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

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    On the second gens, the UCA BJ bottoms before the LCA BJ.
     
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