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UCA Mounting Bracket


pulxar
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I have been running the AC upper control arms for a long time now and my truck eats up ball joints like its cool. I also have had other front-end problems that I think may be related to problems inherent in those UCA's. So, in an attempt to alleviate these issues, I picked up some Rough Country UCA's to give me a better angle on the ball joint and hopefully end those issues once and for all. Everything is great with the new arms (especially the ball joint angle), however, they cannot get one side in alignment. It's close, but both the left caster and camber are slightly out of spec, and from what Schwab tells me, there is no more room to change things on that side. I'd not worry about it except that my truck now pulls to the left as a result and I'm sure it's going to kill my tires over time. I never had any alignment issues with the AC arms, so I'm thinking I may have screwed something up when I replaced 'em. My question is whether the bar that mounts the UCA to the frame could be incorrectly installed. I noticed that some writing on it is upside down, so I'm thinking maybe I put it in backwards. Do they have a specific direction that they need to be in order to line everything up? And if they do, is there a way to tell which way is correct?

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You are talking about the spindle for the UCA, the one that has two bolts and gets shimmed to set camber and castor, right?

I recently put two new ones on my Pathy and as far as I could tell, they were symmetrical. I believe there was a stamp on them so I faced that out, but that's all. I'll look again tomorrow when there is light...

 

The 4 possibilities I can think of is that you have a bent spindle, that RC arm isn't correct, your pathy was in a wreck and is not straight, or the strut rod (comression rod) bushing for the LCA is wasted and allowing the LCA to shift, throwing things off.

 

B

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Yea, that's the one. I never thought about those other bushings, I'll check them out when I get off work this afternoon. I took a closer look at that spindle last night and it has an f on the back side of it (currently on the rear side). It looks pretty symmetrical me too, but... That f has me thinking that side should be forward?

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I just looked at mine and I don't see any marks, but it is hard to see the whole thing back behind the shock and all. Where exactly is the F? And yes, I suspect it can't hurt to orient it that way.

 

As for the other bushings, that is one bushing that is often in really bad shape and would allow the LCA to move. AFAIC, that bushing should be a 60,000 mile service item..

 

B

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The F is on one side of the spindle just outboard of one of the bolt holes (in my case its on the inside, behind the rear bolt, between the frame and the spindle, where you can't see it when it's bolted to the truck). I'd take a picture, but that'd involve taking the whole mess apart again.

 

I looked at the compression rod bushing and it does have some small cracks in it but doesn't look nearly as bad as some I've seen searching around here. Looking at the Chilton manual, it appears you simply remove the rod with the truck sitting on the wheel to replace the bushing? Seems deceptively simple... Or do you need to lift the front end and unload the torsion bars, etc.? In which case might as well do the LCA bushings while it's apart - probably haven't been done in the life of the truck...

 

Thanks Precise1 for all the pointers. It is much appreciated.

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OK, I just found a write-up that called them strut rod bushings and it answered my question about needing to unload everything... I'll give that a shot and see if it changes anything. Beauty of Schwab alignments is the 30 day warranty (and I wonder why the cringe when they see me coming).

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So while I was working on the bolts for the tension rod, I pulled the spindle arm off and took a pic of the F I was talking about. On the other side (which they could align) it is forward and facing out, so I made the drivers side match. But you're right, there doesn't appear to be much difference between any of the sides.

 

Here's the F I was referring to:

a-arm.jpg

 

Any ideas of if it has a meaning regarding orientation?

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I'll look in the FSM about the F when I get home tonight, now you have me wondering what I did... :rolleyes:

Thanks for the picture of the F, that helps!

 

I'm pretty sure that didn't jack up the truck to change the compression rod bushing, I'm certain I didn't unload the torsion bar. Yeah, they usually look a lot worse inside than what a visual inspection shows.

 

Yep, I have the Firestone lifetime alignment but they aren't shy about my returning. They generally tell me to bring it in every 6 months whether I need it or not. Hint: Bribe them, bring a box of donuts... ;)

 

You are welcome to any help I can provide, that's what this place is all about! :beer:

 

B

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