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Everything you need to know about Upper Control Arms (UCA)

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by csuviper, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Mar 29, 2016 at 3:13 PM
    #1
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    Starting this thread because i was doing some research that started from a FB post and i wanted to know the facts behind each.

    What is a control arm suspension?

    In automotive suspension, a control arm, also known as an A-arm, is a hinged suspension link between the chassis and the suspension upright or hub that carries the wheel.

    The inboard (chassis) end of a control arm is attached by a single pivot, usually a rubber bushing. It can thus control the position of the outboard end in only a single degree of freedom, maintaining the radial distance from the inboard mount. Although not deliberately free to move, the single bushing does not control the arm from moving back and forth; this motion is constrained by a separate link or radius rod.

    This is in contrast to the wishbone. Wishbones are triangular and have two widely spaced inboard bearings. These constrain the outboard end of the wishbone from moving back and forth, controlling two degrees of freedom, and without requiring additional links.

    Most control arms form the lower link of a suspension. A few designs use them as the upper link, usually with a lower wishbone. The additional radius rod is then attached to the upper arm


    What is the upper control arm used for:
    • Free-er movement vs stock arms.
    • Wider range of movement = increased travel.
    • Helps to achieve alignment specs. They provide more caster because of the placement of the pivot point being moved upward. This helps you out because when you lift, you lose caster, without caster your truck will want to wander.

    There are two types of upper control arms; Ball Joint and Uniball

    Difference between ball joint and uniball....
    Ball Joints are the same as what comes standard on the Tundra. Aftermarket are typically stronger and provide additional travel.
    Uniballs are really just a version of a heim joint.

    Upper Control Arm Manufacturers
    • Toyota Stock UCA - Ball Joint
    • SPC Light Racing - Ball Joint
    • Total Chaos - Uniball
    • Camburg - Uniball
    • All-Pro - Uniball
    • Icon tubular steel - Uniball
    • Icon machined aluminum - Uniball
    • Pro Comp - Uniball
    • MCM Fab - Uniball
    • Fabtech – Uniball
    • Tuff Country
    • JBA - coming soon
    • PRG - Uniball
    • Mevotech - Ball Joint
    • Zone Offroad - Ball Joint
    • ReadyLIFT - Uniball
    • Rogue Racing - Uniball
    • Blitz Auto - Uniball


    SPC Light Racing Ball Joints
    [​IMG]

    Manufacturer -
    Part Number -
    Size - 36mm (1.417")
    Type of lubricant -
    Adjustment range:
    Camber ±2.0°
    Caster -1.0° to +3.0°
    Greaseable ball joint and SpecRide™ bushings
    • A new Greaseable design
    • A new hybrid 2-piece race and internal spring compensate for wear and maintain turning torque and OE lash requirements for life of vehicle
    • A massive 36mm ball that is highly polished and Electroless-nickel plated to provide a hard, smooth wear surface for a long service life
    • Sealed boots to retain grease and protect from the elements
    • 80 degrees of joint articulation to maximize travel without bind
    • These ball joints are a direct replacement for the original joints that came with many of our Toyota and Nissan truck upper control arm sets.


    Camburg Uniballs
    [​IMG]

    Manufacturer - FK Bearings
    Part Number - COMH-24T
    Size - 1.5" ID
    Type of lubricant -

    COMH which stands for Commercial series, low carbon steel.
    The body is 52100 Steel Heat Treated Hard Chrome Plated.
    The race is low carbon steel oil coated.
    • Increases usable wheel travel
    • Corrects camber & castor
    • Eliminates weak factory joints
    • Stainless steel heat-treated uniball spacers
    • FK 1.50 Uniballs
    • Made in the USA
    • Designed for 1″-3″ Lift Suspension Systems

    Total Chaos Uniballs
    [​IMG]

    Manufacturer -FK Bearings
    Part Number - WSSX16T
    Size - 1" ID
    Type of lubricant -

    WSSX-T series stands for Wide series, stainless steel, self lubricating.
    The ball is 440C Stainless Steel Heat Treated
    The race is 17-4PH Stainless Steel Heat Treated
    • 4130 chromoly tubular upper control arms are 100% bolt on and hand crafted in the U.S.A.
    • UCA's are designed with added caster to aid in retaining factory alignment specs when aftermarket lift kits are installed. This reduces the darting or wandering in the vehicle's steering when 2.5"-3" lift kits are installed.
    • CNC machined tapered spindle adapters convert the factory ball joint to a 1" uniball for added component strength & maximum wheel travel.
    • TOTAL CHAOS includes 1" I.D. uniballs that feature a heat treated stainless steel ball & heat treated stainless steel race for maximum corrosion resistance and component longevity. These uniball's also features a military grade PTFE woven fabric liner that helps prevent noise.
    • Custom profile upper and lower hi-misalignment spacers maximize droop wheel travel and are machined from heat treated 17-4 stainless steel.
    • Upper control arms combined with extended length coil over shocks will allow for up to 2" of additional wheel travel.
    • Urethane bushings reduce bushing deflection compared to stock rubber bushings.
    • Control arm pivots include zerk fittings to grease the urethane bushings & inner sleeves without disassembly.
    • 2 stage powder coat process includes a durable clear coat to provide a long lasting finish.
    • Complete grade 8 hardware kit is included.
    All-Pro
    Manufacturer -
    Part number -
    Size -
    Type of lubricant -

    Icon tubular steel - uniball
    image.jpg

    Manufacturer -
    Part number -
    Size -
    Type of lubricant -

    • 1026 Thick Wall DOM Seamless Tubing
    • CNC Bent Tubing
    • CNC Machined Bushing Housings and Sleeves
    • 4130 CNC Machined Uni-ball Cup
    • 1" Stainless PTFE Lined Uniball Bearings
    • 17-4 High Grade Stainless Steel Uni-ball Adapter System
    • High Precision CNC Machined Pin Provides OEM Like Fitment
    • Professionally Precision Welded

    Icon machined aluminum - uniball
    image.jpg

    Manufacturer -
    Part number -
    Size -
    Type of lubricant -

    • 6061 Billet Aluminum
    • Precision CNC Machined
    • 1” PTFE Lined all Stainless Uniballs
    • Easily Adjustable on the Vehicle for Perfect Wheel Alignments
    • 17-4 High Grade Stainless Steel Uni-ball Adapter Pin
    • High Precision CNC Machined Pin Provides OEM Like Fitment
    • Forged PTFE Lined 3/4” Rod Ends
    • O-ring sealed uniball cover cap
    • Made in the USA


    MCM Fab - Uniball
    Uniball Manufacturer - FK Bearings
    Uniball Part number - could be WSSX16T
    Uniball Size - 1"
    Uniball Type of lubricant -

    Our uniball UCAs are made from 1.5" DOM tubing and TIG welded. Energy suspension bushings, and only use 1" stainless FK bearings for the best corrosion resistance in all weather conditions.
    MCM Fab Uniball Upper Control Arms for the 07+ Toyota tundra. These arms are designed to increase caster for lifted applications and improve drivability both on and off the road. Combined with an aftermarket bolt in coilover, 12.5" Of travel is possible. These come with a standard satin black powdercoat finish. Includes UCAs, High Quality FK Stainless bearings, and all neccessary hardware for installation

    JBA
    [​IMG]

    PRG
    The control arms have heim inner pivots (instead of polyurethane bushings) for alignment purposes, and a 1" uniball to replace the stock balljoint. prgproducts.com


    This is a work in progress. Stay tuned for more info.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  2. Mar 29, 2016 at 3:26 PM
    #2
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Mar 29, 2016 at 5:25 PM
    #3
    Virgils12

    Virgils12 New Member

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    Camburg Fox factory 2.5" lift Xd monsters with 295/70/18 nitto terra graplerrs Corsa cat back Weather tech liners Wet okole covers
    Awesome right up Brian. Camburg had ball joint uca's also.
     
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  4. Mar 29, 2016 at 5:27 PM
    #4
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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  5. Mar 29, 2016 at 5:28 PM
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    zcarpenter92

    zcarpenter92 Yotas, Coronas and 'Merica

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    Glad you made a write up on this. Explains it to the know-nothing's like myself lol.
     
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  6. Mar 29, 2016 at 7:42 PM
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    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Great thread, I'll be following..
    Thanks for taking the time to write it.
     
  7. Mar 30, 2016 at 4:04 AM
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    TRON

    TRON The Game Has Changed

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    Subd. I grabbed some MCM Fab uniball uppers for mine but it's all basically the same thing
     
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  8. Apr 6, 2016 at 7:48 AM
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    Gregman

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  9. Apr 6, 2016 at 10:03 AM
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    YotaDan

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    Nice Write Up!
     
  10. Apr 6, 2016 at 10:18 AM
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    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Its still in the works. Really haven't fine tuned anything yet.
    Still missing the differences, why you need it, further list of companies and trimming the verbiage from the websites on each UCA description.
     
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  11. Apr 6, 2016 at 5:33 PM
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    Sefferston

    Sefferston #35sandlongtravel

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    Forgot about the heim joint option from TC. Not really sure many people would run them over bushing but I've been looking into it....
     
  12. Apr 6, 2016 at 5:40 PM
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    LOTSOFTOYS

    LOTSOFTOYS New Member

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    Good lord Brian you have alot of spare time.....
     
  13. Apr 6, 2016 at 5:44 PM
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    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    You won't. You will be putting on my UCA's soon enough. Money tree is starting to bear fruit. (Which one's to get???....still thinking SPCs)
     
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  14. Apr 6, 2016 at 7:38 PM
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    LOTSOFTOYS

    LOTSOFTOYS New Member

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    I dig spc for normal drivin trucks. Rugged enough for the occasional offroad and low maintenance for the dd's
     
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  15. Apr 6, 2016 at 9:39 PM
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    PlatinumPro

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    before i got my tundra i had a great little tacoma that i installed a set of total chaos uca's on. a couple things i could say about them is that they were very time consuming to install but allowed me to correct my camber once aligned following a 3" lift. it doesn't hurt that they looked fantastic too.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Apr 12, 2016 at 6:06 PM
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    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    Apparently new SPC LR's are shipping with greaseable ball joints for around $540. Hmmm.....
     
  17. Feb 13, 2017 at 7:49 AM
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    Backslider

    Backslider Thirsty...

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    I'm an alignment and lift noob. I have a 3/1 level with front coilovers and rear shackles. I would like to install control arms as my caster is a little out of spec. Will the SPC control arms provide the additional suspension travel that the TC UCAs advertise as well? Additionally, I have read that uniball UCAs require more frequent maintenance and wear out faster. Is that a rebuildable item on the TC UCAs? What kind of additional maintenance are we talking about?

    I want to pull the trigger on a pair today, but I'm trying to figure out what is best for me. The majority of my driving is on the street, but I do go offroad a reasonable amount. I would like to be well-equipped for desert driving on both hard and occasionally soft substrate..

    Any help from some of the pros is appreciated!
     
  18. Feb 13, 2017 at 8:40 AM
    #18
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, slightly less than the TC.
    Wash out often and I thought apply dry lube. Someone recently said TC doesn't recommend the dry lube but I thought they did.

    Yes if the ball wears out it can be pushed out and replaced. It's held it by a retaining ring.
    You can replace with a standard 1" stainless uniball from FK Bearings or pay the premium from TC. $80-$180 for replacement pair.
     
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  19. Feb 13, 2017 at 10:12 AM
    #19
    aramirez73

    aramirez73 The Ayatollah of Rock n Rolla!

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    Jus got edgemicated wow!!! I will look further into n get me a pair thanks Brian!!!!
     
  20. Feb 13, 2017 at 11:56 AM
    #20
    CaptTyler

    CaptTyler www.fishcharlotteharbor.com

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    Good write up Brian, not sure how I didn't see this earlier. I'm thinking about the SPC UCA's also. I just want something with low maintaince.
     
  21. Feb 13, 2017 at 3:13 PM
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    TruckinIt

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    I really needed something like this. I'm thinking on the ToyTec 3/1 leveling kit. I have stock UCA's, will I need new UCA's in order to get an alignment after the 3/1?
     
  22. Feb 13, 2017 at 3:37 PM
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    Backslider

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    You won't absolutely need them, but I think at 3" it's a really good idea. It's hard to get an in spec alignment without aftermarket UCAs on a 3" lift.
     
  23. Feb 14, 2017 at 6:42 AM
    #23
    MotoTundra

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    Great thread idea.
     
  24. Mar 7, 2017 at 12:39 PM
    #24
    SikYota

    SikYota New Member

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    • Brand-----------------------Type-----------------Alignment
    • SPC Light Racing-----------Ball Joint----------------Adjustable
    • Zone Offroad---------------Ball Joint----------------Fixed
    • Camburg--------------------Ball Joint----------------Fixed


    • Brand-----------------------Type-------------Alignment-----Sealed or open top-----Uniball size
    • Icon machined aluminum--Uniball--------------Adjustable-----Sealed top------------------1"
    • Total Chaos Heim-----------Uniball-------------Adjustable-----Open-------------------------1"
    • PRG--------------------------Uniball-------------Adjustable-----Open-------------------------1"
    • SVC Offroad-----------------Uniball-------------Adjustable------Open------------------------?
    • Pro Comp--------------------Uniball-------------Fixed-----------Sealed top-------------------1.5"
    • CST--------------------------Uniball-------------Fixed-----------Sealed top-------------------1.25"
    • Icon tubular steel-----------Uniball-------------Fixed-----------Sealed top-------------------1"
    • ReadyLIFT------------------Uniball--------------Fixed-----------Sealed top-------------------1"
    • Camburg--------------------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------1.5"
    • Total Chaos Urethane------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------1"
    • All-Pro-----------------------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open-------------------------1"
    • Fabtech---------------------Uniball--------------Fixed-----------Open-------------------------1"
    • Rogue Racing---------------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------1"
    • Tuff Country----------------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------?
    • MCM Fab--------------------Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------?
    • Dirty Deeds Industries-----Uniball--------------Fixed----------Open--------------------------?



    Added some more info to what you already had. We should keep this list updated, very useful.

    - Just realized this post doesn't look nearly as nice on mobile or tapatalk. May want to view it from a pc
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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  25. Mar 13, 2017 at 6:50 PM
    #25
    trayday

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    Since I need an alignment, I figured I might as well order UCA's and get that outta the way but I've read a few times that people have been having trouble aligning with Camburg's. Is there a reason why? Are people having problems with TC and Icon's? I'm leaning towards these over the TC and tubular Icon's due to price, durability and size of the balljoints.
     
  26. Mar 13, 2017 at 10:57 PM
    #26
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Awesome man. I will update the OP.
     
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  27. Mar 13, 2017 at 10:58 PM
    #27
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    I have the 3/1 Toytec Boss lift with TC UCAs. Did not have any trouble with alignment.
     
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  28. Mar 14, 2017 at 3:54 AM
    #28
    Patriot

    Patriot "Platinum Pro"

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    Same lift, no UCAs and honestly no issue with wandering at highway speeds...I must be lucky. Alignment at factory numbers no, but all in the green.
     
  29. Mar 14, 2017 at 8:20 AM
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    Dustydirt19

    Dustydirt19 Hoghead

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    I'm getting a UCA from toytec with my complete lift kit...which is the better option...SPC or TC? Mostly just a road driver but will go wheeling as well. Not to the extent that some of you guys do or even close to it but every once in awhile. Pros and Cons of both those 2 please
     
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  30. Mar 14, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #30
    ToyTec Lifts

    ToyTec Lifts New Member Vendor

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2014
    Member:
    #7
    Messages:
    117
    Northglenn, CO

    Total Chaos arms: Full tubular design, Grease-able zerks for the poly bushings, 1'' stainless steel uniball. Great flow and durable control arm, but they will require more maintenance. More aimed at the off road enthusiast.

    SPC: Factory style control arm, Factory style ball joint, made to be adjustable to insure your alignment is spot on. Grease-able ball joint is the only maintenance you will have to worry about with those. These arms are more for the Daily driver/weekend warrior style driver.

    Shoot us a call anytime if you have any questions!



    -David
     
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