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Front UCA's Upper Control Arms

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Old 01-10-12, 07:02 AM   #31
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It was on the bag when I bought them but I can't remember for the life of me what the name was anymore. I replaced mine last spring.
You can always order them from NAPA and when you see them make sure the ball joints are built right and then take'em or return them.
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Old 02-13-12, 03:18 PM   #32
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1998 ls400.

I bought Arnotts UCAs two years and 20k miles ago @ about 200k. I have been hearing bad clunks for months and finally investigated this weekend. I was SHOCKED that the problem was these crappy, crappy UCAs. I assumed that, being relatively new, the problem was surely somewhere else in the suspension. The bushing on the rear side of the UCA is all but gone. I can shake the whole assembly by hand and there is a ton of play. I can also see shreds of the bushing falling out. This is completely unacceptable. It's hard to believe anyone sells something so poorly made.

Arnott is going to send me a new set this week, but now I'm not only worried about how long they will last (my hopes aren't high), but now I'm worried the ball joint taper will be incorrect as you all have been discussing in this thread.

Oh...and when I installed the first set, it was a HUGE HUGE pain in the you know what to get these arms in. I was so frustrated. The arms were slightly too small to slide into their respective mounts. I thought I was going to have to send them back....called Arnott and their tech support basically told me I was an idiot. I finally forced them in place with a ton of elbow grease...

The only bright side (if I can really call it that), is that this is pushing me to go ahead and replace some other suspension components at the same time. I'm still on factory shocks @ 216k. Even though I think the car still rides well, I figure it's time for a replacement. The tires are wearing funny up front, so something is getting old for sure...

I plan to replace shocks, strut mounts, strut boots and bumpers, and sway bar bushings. The lower ball joints and tie rods I put in two years ago are fine. Anything else recommended while I have everything apart?

Last edited by Live4brew; 02-13-12 at 03:22 PM..
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Old 02-13-12, 03:35 PM   #33
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It would GREATLY help in the search for original quality UCA's at a bargain price, if any of you more savvy LS400 mechanics could positively identify who was the original manufacturer of the factory UCA's

case in point, by knowing the manufacturer of the factory upstream O2 sensors (Nippondenso) and the part number, which are $150 each at the dealership, I was able to find the exact same O2 sensor online for $50 each!!
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Old 02-13-12, 03:49 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by LScowboyLS View Post
It would GREATLY help in the search for original quality UCA's at a bargain price, if any of you more savvy LS400 mechanics could positively identify who was the original manufacturer of the factory UCA's

case in point, by knowing the manufacturer of the factory upstream O2 sensors (Nippondenso) and the part number, which are $150 each at the dealership, I was able to find the exact same O2 sensor online for $50 each!!
lol there's a big difference between a sensor that's made by many companies and a uniquely casted suspension piece, which is usually made by just ONE company. Most likely it was casted by Toyota itself, or possibly Sumitomo as they also cast most of toyotas Brake calipers/rotors. Regardless, afaik there's no other source for them.
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Old 02-18-12, 08:49 AM   #35
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I have been looking at every picture I can find of these control arms and I have a question that I haven't been able to answer- Is it possible to press the old ball joint out of the factory control arm? If so it may be possible to find a suitable replacement. I assume that this has been discussed but I can't find anything through the search function.

Also, from what I can tell from the pics of the Arnott arm it was pretty clear that the taper was way off when compared to the original. If someone has a set of originals in hand it would be great if they could measure the taper just above the stop and at the top of the taper. That would make it pretty easy to tell if the aftermarket ones you just bought will fit before you take your old ones off.

I am confident that I need to replace mine at 137K and I am sure that they have been pretty sloppy for some time now. The thought of spending over $1000 for the factory replacements just doesn't seem prudent considering the age, value of the car, and the fact that the originals don't seem to me that they last as long as they should have. I can't imagine what materials Lexus has put into these parts that makes them so expensive. For that price, they should be indestructible.

My apologies if this has been discussed before but I am very curious as to why we can't just rebuild the factory arms.
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Old 02-18-12, 04:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Goofaroo View Post
I have been looking at every picture I can find of these control arms and I have a question that I haven't been able to answer- Is it possible to press the old ball joint out of the factory control arm? If so it may be possible to find a suitable replacement. I assume that this has been discussed but I can't find anything through the search function.

Also, from what I can tell from the pics of the Arnott arm it was pretty clear that the taper was way off when compared to the original. If someone has a set of originals in hand it would be great if they could measure the taper just above the stop and at the top of the taper. That would make it pretty easy to tell if the aftermarket ones you just bought will fit before you take your old ones off.

I am confident that I need to replace mine at 137K and I am sure that they have been pretty sloppy for some time now. The thought of spending over $1000 for the factory replacements just doesn't seem prudent considering the age, value of the car, and the fact that the originals don't seem to me that they last as long as they should have. I can't imagine what materials Lexus has put into these parts that makes them so expensive. For that price, they should be indestructible.

My apologies if this has been discussed before but I am very curious as to why we can't just rebuild the factory arms.
apparently it isn't possible to press them out of the factory arms, though you may need a machinist's opinion on this.
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Old 02-18-12, 08:30 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Max Power View Post
Arnott control arms just have the wrong ball joint in them. The Ball joint is too thin, allowing the steering knuckle to slide all the way up, squeezing the boot real bad. This makes them wear out within 3 months and tears the boot to shreds.

Here is a picture of the stock ones compared to arnotts. I tore the boots off so you could see what I mean.

Click the image to open in full size.
great PICS Max Power. "seeing is believing"...haha

thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
apparently it isn't possible to press them out of the factory arms, though you may need a machinist's opinion on this.
I used to be a machinist but I still can't tell anything by the pictures. Somehow it was installed in the arm so there must be a way to remove it.

Is the bottom of the ball joint visible or is it covered by the arm? I can see see that there is a protrusion there but I can't tell if it is the arm casting or the ball joint.

If it is covered by the arm casting, then how is the ball joint held in place? If you remove the boot completely I'm guessing that maybe there is a circlip installed as backup to a press fit. Maybe it could be heated and removed with a puller.

If we could get one out of the arm we could probably find a suitable replacement and potentially save everyone a lot of money.
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Old 02-20-12, 11:45 AM   #39
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I would assume the ones on Lextreme would have new ball joins as well... Surprised they haven't been mentioned in here. $440 for a set.

http://www.lextreme.com/Lexus-Control-Arms.html
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Old 02-20-12, 04:19 PM   #40
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that's a bushing rebuild service, not new arms. afaik those use the old ball joints.
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Old 02-21-12, 02:03 AM   #41
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Yeah, I messaged him a couple weeks ago with questions about the arms, but no response... Wouldn't it make sense that he replaces the ball joints too? Why rebuild all of that, clean them up and re-sell a half-done project... I'm sure someone as well known as Lextreme wouldn't half-*** an order/part.

Of course, all my assumptions and guessing?
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Old 02-21-12, 05:31 AM   #42
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because the bushings died earlier than the ball joints on the control arms.
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Old 03-13-14, 04:09 AM   #43
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OP here.My APX control arms still appear running safe BUT the squeaking coming out of the ball joint on road elevation changes and steering makes you and everyone within 50 ft cringe - like fingernails on a chalkboard. We have tried but cannot get grease or lubricant into the ball joint . My carsounds like a |Model T.

Think I'm gonna buy another pair or passengers side at least it continues squeaking bad.

Installed mid 2010 - now nearly 4 years old
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Old 03-13-14, 06:40 AM   #44
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you can buy the real Toyota upper control arms here for $192 each, brand new

takes a couple of weeks to arrive from Japan
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Old 03-17-14, 06:56 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LScowboyLS View Post
you can buy the real Toyota upper control arms here for $192 each, brand new

takes a couple of weeks to arrive from Japan
I entered both left and right UCA for (1993-94 LS400) in above link, but the price is $318 each, before tax and shipping.

the part numbers I used were (left, right): 4863050020, 4861050020

for anyone that needs an OEM UCA, $318 is still a great price if one could buy it this way from Japan.
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Old 03-17-14, 06:56 AM
 
 
 
 
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