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When are UCA’s really needed?

Bird dog

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I’m going with OME suspension with 255/85r16 tires. Do I have to replace the UCA’s?
 

0uTkAsT

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There's a difference between necessity and just doing it because it's the right way to do it. You should, yes. You will only gain wheel travel from your setup and gain additional caster if you use aftermarket UCAs, as well as adding strength and reliability to the whole system at the same time.

That being said, I suppose you don't *need* them if you're able to get it aligned properly without... In that case, you may choose to stick with the stock UCAs at the expense of all of the above.
 

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I’m going with OME suspension with 255/85r16 tires. Do I have to replace the UCA’s?
With this question I generally ask one thing first: Is the money the deciding factor for you?

If it absolutely is, you don’t need them.

But if you afford it (they’re not that much more expensive), you defintely should for the reasons 0uTkAsT mentioned. Doing the lift and tires is the best time to do the UCA’s and will totally help with potential tire rub.

Similarly, the ECGS bushing to replace the carrier bearing in your front diff is not needed, but it’s a cheap investment with a large benefit, so you should do that now as well.
 

0uTkAsT

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With this question I generally ask one thing first: Is the money the deciding factor for you?

If it absolutely is, you don’t need them.

But if you afford it (they’re not that much more expensive), you defintely should for the reasons 0uTkAsT mentioned. Doing the lift and tires is the best time to do the UCA’s and will totally help with potential tire rub.

Similarly, the ECGS bushing to replace the carrier bearing in your front diff is not needed, but it’s a cheap investment with a large benefit, so you should do that now as well.
Good point on the bushing!
 

BlueFalconActual

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I didn't replace mine when I did my "lift" but that's because I only leveled it out in the front by 1 inch and I was trying to keep the price down because divorces are really expensive.
That being said, I plan to replace them down the road because it is the best way to do it.
 

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Again, thanks. I am convinced. UCA’s do not need to be replaced, but without the upgrade you aren’t able to use the full potential of the suspension.
Your input really was a help guys. What I want to do is get it dialed in once, so I don’t have to fuck with it. I like the trail more than shop work.
 

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Again, thanks. I am convinced. UCA’s do not need to be replaced, but without the upgrade you aren’t able to use the full potential of the suspension.
Your input really was a help guys. What I want to do is get it dialed in once, so I don’t have to fuck with it. I like the trail more than shop work.

Someone is selling lr ucas for 375$. I have ome and first did not get then. After horrible alignments i quickly bought them and it fixed it immediately. Also allows me 33’s no rubbing.
 

ROCdermody

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There's a difference between necessity and just doing it because it's the right way to do it. You should, yes. You will only gain wheel travel from your setup and gain additional caster if you use aftermarket UCAs, as well as adding strength and reliability to the whole system at the same time.

That being said, I suppose you don't *need* them if you're able to get it aligned properly without... In that case, you may choose to stick with the stock UCAs at the expense of all of the above.

This is interesting to me. I've never heard the connection between aftermarket UCAs and suspension travel. I have stockers with 2.5"ish lift and 285/75R16s. I get some rub at full compression and steering lock, and my alignment is (just) inside the green window, but was unaware travel was being limited by the stock UCAs.

Do you mind expanding on that?
 

0uTkAsT

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This is interesting to me. I've never heard the connection between aftermarket UCAs and suspension travel. I have stockers with 2.5"ish lift and 285/75R16s. I get some rub at full compression and steering lock, and my alignment is (just) inside the green window, but was unaware travel was being limited by the stock UCAs.

Do you mind expanding on that?
Sure, this is where the "mid" in "mid travel" comes from:
Standard travel = stock arms,
Mid travel = aftermarket UCAs,
Long travel = aftermarket UCAs and LCAs.

In a nutshell, lifting IFS changes the geometry of the arms and raises the angles of the joints. This causes binding, usually at droop or sometimes they're effectively maxed out at ride height. On top of the aftermarket arms correcting this geometry for lifted applications, the joints themselves offer significantly greater range of motion. The OEM arms have about a 45- to 50-degree range of motion, uniballs typically fall in the 55- to 65-degree range, and the best ball joints on the market offer 80- to 90-degree range of motion. This allows the suspension to articulate freely rather than binding.

Obviously travel is not just a function of the joints, suspension geometry, shocks and spring length, etc. It's all part of the same system so you have to know how everything interacts with each other in order to get the desired results right down to the brake lines and CVs and wiring and stuff that you wouldn't otherwise consider being a limiting factor.
 
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ROCdermody

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Sure, this is where the "mid" in "mid travel" comes from:
Standard travel = stock arms,
Mid travel = aftermarket UCAs,
Long travel = aftermarket UCAs and LCAs.

In a nutshell, lifting IFS changes the geometry of the arms and raises the angles of the joints. This causes binding, usually at droop or sometimes they're effectively maxed out at ride height. On top of the aftermarket arms correcting this geometry for lifted applications, the joints themselves offer significantly greater range of motion. The OEM arms have about a 45- to 50-degree range of motion, uniballs typically fall in the 55- to 65-degree range, and the best ball joints on the market offer 80- to 90-degree range of motion. This allows the suspension to articulate freely rather than binding.

Obviously travel is not just a function of the joints, suspension geometry, shocks and spring length, etc. It's all part of the same system so you have to know how everything interacts with each other in order to get the desired results right down to the brake lines and CVs and wiring and stuff that you wouldn't otherwise consider being a limiting factor.

Thanks for spelling that out. It hadn't occurred to me that there would be that big a difference in range of motion between the two.
 

eldedo

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Side note, stock alignment numbers go out the window when you lift. In particular is caster, typically target around 4°.