Q: What are Upper Control Arms (UCA)?
A: The Upper Control Arm pivots off the frame and locates the spindle/hub assembly along with steering to keep the suspension/steering cycling properly.
Q: When do you need aftermarket UCA’s?
A: Typically when you want to lift the front suspension more than 2″, you will need a aftermarket UCA.
Q: Why do you need aftermarket UCA’s with a lift?
A: Aftermarket UCA’s help achieve proper alignment and allow for most suspension travel without binding or encountering other issues.
Q: What happens if you dont get an aftermarket UCA with a lift taller than 2″?
A: You will most likely experience issues with alignment and the coilover hitting the stock UCA.
Q: What type of control arm joints are available at the spindle end of the arm?
A: Balljoint and uniball
Q: What type of control arm joints are available at the chassis end of the arm?
A: Stock bushings, urethane bushing and heim joint
Q: Pro and Con of each style of joint at the wheel?
A: Balljoints are greasable, quiet and will last a long time. Uniball joints are very strong, however they are not serviceable and tend to squeak after a while.
Q: Pro and Con of each style of joint at the chassis?
A: Stock bushings are very quiet, maintenance free and durable, but can deflect a lot under hard driving. Urethane bushings are stiffer than stock and are inexpensive, but they can squeak if not maintained. Heim joints offer the best handling and are usually adjustable, but they can wear out quickly and squeak if not sealed.
Q: Which type of control arm would be ideal for racing vs daily driving?
A: Control arms with balljoint and urethane bushing (or OEM Bushings) are the most popular for daily driver/weekend warrior applications. Uniball and heim joint arms are usually the best for racing applications where strength is most important.
Q: Do I need adjustable upper control arms?
A: Adjustable UCA’s guarantee that lower control arm position is ideal to fit large tires (285’s and 35’s) while maintaining alignment specs.
Q: What types of adjustable control arms are available?
A: Some control arms are adjustable while on the vehicle with double adjuster at the chassis side using heim joints. Other heim joint style control arms will need to be unbolted to make adjustments. There are also control arms that are adjustable at the spindle end of the arm where you can adjust where the ball joint is positioned.
Q: What type of material is used on upper control arms?
A: UCA are usually made from tubular steel, boxed in steel and billet aluminum