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The Master UPPER control arm thread

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Old 11-12-13, 09:07 PM   #1
Shmee
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Default The Master UPPER control arm thread

I replaced my Upper control arms today on my 96 with a set of Moog UCA's.
I snapped a few pics in the process...


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr

Everything is in the right position and fitment is perfect, there are retainer tabs for the brake sensor wires in the correct place There is an obvious look of beefiness the Moog arms lack compared to the stock arms but this appears to be cosmetic, the Moog arms are quite sturdy. But most importantly, the cone on the balljoints are the same from the start of the taper to the end of it.


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr


image by ZX3Tuning, on Flickr








So for the $120-135/arm, so far these seem to be a legitimate replacement option.
If anyone has done this with other UCA's, please post them


I should also say that these also give any extra ~1/2 " of clearance on the top side, as not to hit the strut tower.
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Old 11-12-13, 11:30 PM   #2
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why did you decide to change them out?
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Old 11-13-13, 01:13 AM   #3
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When I installed my BC's and did the coilover how-too last fall, I noticed that one of my upper ball joints was basically shot.
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls40...r-install.html
Inspection today showed even worse play on the same side and play starting to develop on the other side as well.


I ordered the new UCAs last winter but got bogged down with life and didn't have time to change them, or all the rest of the suspensions parts that were needed, until today! Good thing I did because I was maybe one good pothole away from the ballpoint seperating from the arm!
(I also swapped out my front LBJs, inner and outer tierods, front swaybar links and bushings, rear swaybar links and bushing, rear carrier bushings, installed a LED flood light under the rear bumper aimed at the curb as not to damage my wheels when parallel-parking at night. But that's besides the point of this thread.)
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Old 11-13-13, 01:36 AM   #4
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hmm, not beefy enough. i disapprove.

oem for me
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Old 11-13-13, 05:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmee View Post
I replaced my Upper control arms today on my 96 with a set of Moog UCA's.
Shmee,

your post comes just in time as I ordered a set of Moog upper control arms for my -91 this week.

Although they seem a bit slimmer than the originals I believe that a reputable company such as Moog has taken everything in consideration when designing these.

I would like to ask if you could tell if the upper ball joints in the Moogs can be changed if necessary and if so, do you perhaps know part number for it?
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Old 11-13-13, 07:49 AM   #6
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seems like the rigth side also doesnt have as much as a curve as oem?
I too do not like the fact they removed that nice big fillet there as is in the oem version. Seems to me you would have bending moment created there(not too big as the arm should move up), but either way not liking it. However, is moog a steel version, and OEM aluminum?
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Old 11-13-13, 11:26 AM   #7
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PD,
My hope was that this thread could serve as a database for what control arms work and what done on out cars.
I'm not saying they are better or worse, I changed too many things once to be able to definitively say anything of the sort, just that they fit, have the correct shank diameters and taper, and are a reasonable price as an option.

Finn,
they could probably be pressed out but I did not look to see if that was an option or not. For the $120ish/each these cost, I'd rather just spend the 15mins and replace the arm rather than mess around trying to press out the UBJs.

Greg,
The curve is a matter of an illusion of perspective in the picture. The OEM arms are wider at the chassis mounting points and the extra gusset behind the UBJ as well as having small stiffening ridges that run down the lengths of the arms. However, the MOOG arms are steel and the stock appear to be cast and machined aluminum, so there are material properties which account for some of the design variation. I do not think there would be much of a bending moment anywhere on these arms after looking closely. The arm is free to rotate in its plane so all loads through the arm would be a stretch or compression along its length. You'd need a pretty big load/force/strike to put either arm in a bending/sheering moment.
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Old 11-13-13, 11:44 AM   #8
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it seems like from previous UCA threads, that Moog is not the best choice for the money spent on a set of UCA's, and if the quality of their other suspension parts in recent years is any indication, that will not be a brand I will be considering seriously any time soon. Too many folks are still thinking of them as the old Moog who used to make the best aftermarket suspension parts, but that was a while ago, and many old big names are apparently cutting corners these days and riding on their old reputation.

It would be nice to have a 1 or 2 or 3 year update from some of the CL members who have tried various aftermarket brands of UCA's
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Old 11-13-13, 12:14 PM   #9
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The originals cost over here around 900 bucks a piece - - so Moog will have to do for now.
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Old 11-13-13, 12:30 PM   #10
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i was thinking aftermarket adjustable UCA when i entered this thread. i am surprised at how small the factory UCAs are to begin with and seeing the Moog versions makes me cringe as well. of course the ball joint is the important part here which looks appropriate.

so the factory balljoints on the UCAs can't be pressed out?!
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Old 11-13-13, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
so the factory balljoints on the UCAs can't be pressed out?
not easily, and even if they could be, no one is making high quality aftermarket balljoints for this application
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Old 11-13-13, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn View Post
The originals cost over here around 900 bucks a piece - - so Moog will have to do for now.
there are a lot of other brands of these besides OEM Toyota and Moog - we just need more recent feedback on which brands have been performing well and have been holding up well
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Old 11-13-13, 03:01 PM   #13
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Just did searches for "MOOG control arm" and "MOOG" and the only negative comments, on this forum, about them come from you, cowboy....

I have 10+ years of first hand experience (the journeyman I originally apprenticed under, with another 15years before that) with MOOG stuff on all of my cars and the tens of thousands of customer cars that have come through my/our shops, and personally never had an issue with any of their parts failing prematurely. Come to think of it the only time I have ever come across a prematurely failed MOOG part was due to physical damage, lack of lubriction through the grease nipple or someone bottoming out the grease nipple into the joint (which usually means no grease and often impact with the ball itself). A quick google search appears to back up that statement as most forums seem to praise MOOG stuff aside from random outliers where people are using them for extreme applications or the end-user/installer was an idiot!

I'm not saying it is the best stuff on the planet, but it is hardly a poor option that should be neglected on hearsay and conjecture from people with little to no first hand experience...

I do agree that there needs to be more long term testing and feed back, which is the intended point of this thread
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Old 11-13-13, 03:23 PM   #14
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well if we are going to use this thread to keep up with various brands, how was the fit of the Moogs, did they install nicely or were they a pain in the azz? - what country are they made in, how was the fit and finish, I see the photos of you mic-ing them, but that doesn't tell us the overall impressions
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Old 11-13-13, 03:47 PM   #15
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Fit was perfect, everything was in plane, and all joints and bushings were in the same spots as OEM, they were easy to install with zero fiddling: pull out OEM, check parts vs OEM, install took <15mins from start to finish and that is with about 10mins of comparing the parts. They have the same infinite rotation inner bushing so you don't have to worry about clocking and torquing the arms at ride height. Overall finish was really good, the visual differences gave me pause at first but after closer inspection it was less of an issue than I made it out to be in my own head. They were heavier than stock and I could not twist or bend them, although I did not put them in the vice and really try to.

Forgot to note the origin when I tossed the box last year but I know they were not Chinese or Taiwanese.
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