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Old 11-30-2022, 02:19 PM #1
bayaz bayaz is offline
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Component Wear

Folks, curious how you guys have dealt with component wear on modified 5th Gen?

I run 3Ē lift with some armor. 33Ē tires. Re-geared to 4.88s. Truck is a daily driver with 50k miles (approx 20k miles per year) but also does rock crawling on occasion.

Issue 1: alignment
Even though I have SPC adjustable UCAs, the truck never tracks straight. Iíve been re-doing alignment Every year. It helps at first (maybe first month or less) but then keeps coming back to a consistent pull to the right. I have to continuously exert some strength to keep it tracking straight. The insides of the tires are more worn than outsides. Not going to lie, I occasionally feel sketched out on any kind of quick turns on the highway, as the truck doesnít feel super stable ( usually going no faster than 68mph).

Issue 2: ball joint wear
The UCA ball joints became loose within a year of installation of SPCs. Replaced them and starting to show wear again within 5 months. Iíve seen that others have this issue with SPCs, but this is too quickly. Lower ball joints seem fine, but doesnít make me feel warm and fuzzy that the wheels wonít fall off.

Issue 3: UCA and LCA bushings
Both my SPC UCA axis bushings and LCA stock bushings are shot and have tons of play. Itís quite a bit of work and cost to replace all of those, but thereís a consistent metal clunking sound on front passenger side any time the truck hits a pothole.

Issue 4: wheel bearings
Upon inspection, identified that the front passenger wheel has some back&forth movement when holding it at 12 and 6. Can fit 1-2 fingers into the gap where the wheel bearing fits.

Issue 5: KDSS bushings
Are nearly gone and all twisted up. Doesnít seem to impact the ride, but have some concern.

As you can see, thereís been a bunch of issues related to the IFS, and my truck is only moderately lifted and only does moderate wheeling. Is this common? How do you prevent this / extend the life of parts? I see people put 35s (and more) and do extensive wheeling, yet their trucks donít seem to have as many problems. What am I missing here?

Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:44 PM #2
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Check your alignment tabs on the LCAs. If you do much of anything off road, you're going to flatten the tabs the cams ride against. You need to put in gussets, or weld them if you want to stay in alignment. Also make sure those bolts are to spec, like 150 ftlb or so, IIRC.

I know others have had good luck with them, but I found the SPCs to be worthless and I threw them away in under a year of fighting ball joint and bushing problems. Been running Total Chaos for the last quarter million miles since getting rid of the SPCs and no problems other than regular uniball replacements.

The stock lower bushings have a lot of play in them by design. Mine lasted like 250k miles with lots of abuse before one actually broke free. Unless it is visibly torn through and sitting on metal at rest, it's probably fine.

Wheel bearings are going to have a lot to do with your wheel and tire choice. If you run lots of neg offset, you're going to go through bearings often. I run 35s on 0 offset and have only replaced front wheel bearings once in 320k, and they weren't bad, I just misdiagnosed a tire problem.

Front KDSS bushings are a frequent wear item with a lift.
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Old 12-01-2022, 03:48 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy556 View Post
Check your alignment tabs on the LCAs. If you do much of anything off road, you're going to flatten the tabs the cams ride against. You need to put in gussets, or weld them if you want to stay in alignment. Also make sure those bolts are to spec, like 150 ftlb or so, IIRC.

I know others have had good luck with them, but I found the SPCs to be worthless and I threw them away in under a year of fighting ball joint and bushing problems. Been running Total Chaos for the last quarter million miles since getting rid of the SPCs and no problems other than regular uniball replacements.

The stock lower bushings have a lot of play in them by design. Mine lasted like 250k miles with lots of abuse before one actually broke free. Unless it is visibly torn through and sitting on metal at rest, it's probably fine.

Wheel bearings are going to have a lot to do with your wheel and tire choice. If you run lots of neg offset, you're going to go through bearings often. I run 35s on 0 offset and have only replaced front wheel bearings once in 320k, and they weren't bad, I just misdiagnosed a tire problem.

Front KDSS bushings are a frequent wear item with a lift.
Thanks! Iím surprised to hear about Total Chaos since the uniball is not protected from the elements at all. Did you wheel the truck with that setup? Agreed that SPCs seem to have degraded in quality. Replacing those axis bushings that I have play in is both tedious and expensive.

Also, how much play is acceptable for the LCA bushings? We put a pry bar between the frame and the bushings and were able to move the LCA pretty easily - must be too much play, right?

As to wheel bearings, Iím running stock TRD wheels with a bit positive offset. So I canít imagine how it would affect the bearings,
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Old 12-01-2022, 06:05 AM #4
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I wanted a low maintenance, quality UCA and did not like the adjustable SPCís. I went with Nolathane UCAís since I just replaced my Pro suspension after 4 years of great and maintenance free use. I would consider replacing the factory front wheel needle bearings with the ECGS bushings. I still run the oem Pro wheel with 33ís and donít have any issues, although, I only have 30k miles.
Here are some videos that may help. ECGS bushings: Toyota Needle Bearing Swap for ECSS Bushing- Clamshell Front Differential - YouTube
Cam tabs, gusseted spindles, LCAís, and other good front end information: BIG Upgrades To Our Lifted Toyota: 4Runner, Tacoma, FJ Cruiser: Beyond 3" Lift Kit - YouTube
Nolathane UCAís: Nolathane Upper Control Arms for your lifted 4x4 - YouTube
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:07 AM #5
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I have to give a +1 on the ECGS bushing if you have a lift.

It wasn't long after I installed the lift to my 4th Gen when it went bad, and as luck would have it, it occurred during the winter. Luckily, the cold weather broke for a spell and I managed to find a decent day to replace it.

If you decide to replace it, either pre-emptively or out of need, be sure to get their extraction tool. It makes the job MUCH easier. There might even be a forum member or two out here who will loan you the tool and save you $45. ;)
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Old 12-01-2022, 04:53 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayaz View Post
Thanks! Iím surprised to hear about Total Chaos since the uniball is not protected from the elements at all. Did you wheel the truck with that setup? Agreed that SPCs seem to have degraded in quality. Replacing those axis bushings that I have play in is both tedious and expensive.

Also, how much play is acceptable for the LCA bushings? We put a pry bar between the frame and the bushings and were able to move the LCA pretty easily - must be too much play, right?

As to wheel bearings, Iím running stock TRD wheels with a bit positive offset. So I canít imagine how it would affect the bearings,
The TC uniball is stainless, which I guess helps, plus I live in the desert, which also helps, but I still replace them every 20k miles. I didn't wheel the SPCs a whole lot, IIRC I got them in fall or winter back in 2012 or 2013.

The LCA bushings are soft and move a lot, easily with a prybar, even brand new. I just replaced mine a year two ago when one finally did tear through the rubber.
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Old 12-01-2022, 07:06 PM #7
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dirt king ball joint UCA.

check cam tabs, might need gussets

DR kdss sway bar adaptor to help the angle of the bushing on the LCA. itll save the bushing. for new ones, i've had good luck with siberian bushing replacements.
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