Why UCA(Upper Control Arm)? - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 01-11-2013, 01:37 PM
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Why UCA(Upper Control Arm)?

The other day I went to a wheel and alignment shop showed then the PML I have and I asked them what their thoughts werr on adding new calmini UCA's and how they are able to provide a proper front lift. What I was surprised to hear was they though I was crazy and did not recommend it or any lift, only by adjusting the tosion bars. They think that by adding new UCA will not provide addional lift. Are full of sh*t or not? What is the proper way of getting 3-4" of lift on the front? If calmini selld the kit,it should lift it up right? Could someone elighten on on this topic. Thanks
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#2 Old 01-11-2013, 02:12 PM
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adding the uca on their own will do nothing other than give you new uca and ball joints. You have to adjust the torsion bars to raise the front up once you get the uca. The new control arms have a slightly different geometry that allows you to both lift the truck higher than you could with stock ones and still get an alignment after raising the front up.

As for how far your going to get the front, 3 inches is it, and maybe not that much. 3 inches is what they claim, but in reality you can raise it until you have .5 inch bumpstop gap, and that is with the stock bumpstops. Any more than that and your going to throw the front geometry off badly. You wont be able to get an alignment, you are pushing the cv joints beyond what they are designed for and will eventually destroy them.

So they are partially right in that you can only raise it through the torsion bars, but the uca allows you to crank the torsion bars more.

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#3 Old 01-11-2013, 06:32 PM
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What the UCA's do is allow a proper alignment once lifted due to altered upper ball joint angle. Without them you can lift 3" but you will not be able to properly align the front end.

-Kelly- Build Thread

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#4 Old 01-11-2013, 08:49 PM
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^^^^^what they said^^^^^^^

also, you will probably have to re index your torsion bars

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How To: < Remove Rear Sway Bar > < PML > < Re-Index Torsion Bars > < Lokk and Drop >
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#5 Old 01-11-2013, 08:58 PM
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If you committ to buying upper control arms, I would encourage you to also getting a front diff. Drop kit and low profile bump stops and stiffer torsion bars. If you're going to do a 3 inch lift, do it right.
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#6 Old 01-12-2013, 06:49 AM
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Low profile bump stops are nice for added wheel travel, but they aren't required for the lift.

I haven't seen anyone with a diff drop kit, though it would maintain the stock drive shaft angles...do you know where you can get one? I think most people have just left it in place and let the universal joints take care of the angles.

You really don't need stiffer torsion bars for a 3" lift though. It mainly depends on how badly you beat up your truck. Whether you lift you truck 0 inches, 1.5 inches, or 3 inches, your torsion bars are under the same load. If you are driving off drops or jumps and crashing down on your front suspension a lot...heavy duty torsion bars are nice...but the lift itself isn't need for stiffer torsion bars unless you just want them.


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How To: < Remove Rear Sway Bar > < PML > < Re-Index Torsion Bars > < Lokk and Drop >
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#7 Old 01-13-2013, 06:56 PM
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120K miles on my X, SLR UCA's, 33's, winch and winch bumper, and I've absolutely beat the ever loving s*** out of it on the trails. Still on the factory t-bars, CV's, and no diff. drop.

Am I saying don't bother with new t-bars? No. Just saying that they are not critical to have right from the start. I've planned for a while to get new/stiffer t-bars but my factory ones just keep putting up with the abuse. Once they finally give up the ghost, I'll either replace them or SAS.


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#8 Old 01-13-2013, 07:10 PM
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So I'm confused. Do you need new UCA's then when doing a PML to get a proper alignment? I've been reading about it and now I'm just really confused.

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#9 Old 01-13-2013, 07:15 PM
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To add to what everyone else said- the control arms also provide more room to lift with respect to the bumpstop. If you think about it, with the PML you get pretty close to the upper bumpstop- you couldn't lift another 1.5" without crushing the bumpstops. I'm running at PML height and I had about 1/2" bumpstop gap. I installed control arms and re-indexed to get an additional ~1" of height, and I still have a good 1" bumpstop gap.

Also, on the tbars, I've seen just as many accounts of aftermarket bars breaking as stock ones.

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#10 Old 01-13-2013, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehlectric View Post
So I'm confused. Do you need new UCA's then when doing a PML to get a proper alignment? I've been reading about it and now I'm just really confused.
No you do not. Only when you go to a 3" lift do you need the UCA's in order to get a proper alignment.

Some folks, Drake did and I did, installed UCA's when we did our PML's, or shortly after, because we knew we would be moving on to a 3" lift at some point.

-Kelly- Build Thread

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