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Control Arms/Bushings etc.

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by OSTATECRUISER, May 17, 2018 at 11:23 AM.

  1. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    My 2000 has been making a grinding/rubbing/squeaking noise from the front end for a few weeks. I poked around yesterday and noticed the upper control arm bushing ball joints on both sides were torn. The PO had the TB's cranked up to level the truck. Maybe this caused them to tear? Or maybe the wear of 225K. Regardless I cranked the Tb's down when I put new tires on for some sweet front droop since I think it rides better this way, suspension is OEM set up.
    I guess my questions are can I replace this bushings by themselves($8.64 a piece from Camelback Toyota) or is there some reason I need to replace the whole control arm and the bushings that come with it($46.10 a pair). I am placing an order for OEM parts soon, OEM shocks, rear sway bar links/bushings and would like to order everything I need in one order.
    Thanks for any feedback/opinions.

    bushing.jpg bushing 2.jpg
     
  2. 2001LC

    2001LC

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    What I see is tron upper ball joint boot. They need replacing with a boot kit.

    If ball joint itself is bad, replace them, and they come with boot included. Toyota will not sell us upper or lower ball joints, except as part of control arm (either upper (UCA) or lower control arm LCA). Most everyone uses the aftermarket 555 ball joints as replacement here.

    Here's a test for LCA ball joint. Top can be done same way, but can be difficult to detect movement. To make easier to detect you can removing tire with bottle jack under lower control arm, pry bar between frame and upper control arm pulling down.
    Any movement in ball joint and they are bad.
     
  3. AllLC

    AllLC

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    Ive been thru the same thing with my 99. I thought id save a bunch of money and time and just press in new ball joints both uppers and lowers. Long story short, replace the whole assembly. it doesn't really save you any time and in the long run the complete assembly will give you many more years of reliable SAFE support.
     
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  4. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    Thank you so much 2001. Everyone appreciates your vast knowledge and willingness to always help. It's guys like you that make this forum incredible! Cheers!
     
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  5. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    Awesome. Thanks for the response. I'm a novice for sure, but trying to learn. One of the reasons I bought a higher mileage 18 yr old cruiser is so I could fix things and learn.
    So when you say whole assembly, I assume you are referring to the ball joint and boot kit like the 555's that 2001LC mentioned above? kit.jpg
     
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  6. DirtDawg

    DirtDawg "It'd be alot cooler if you did" SILVER Star

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    I believe he’s talking about the complete arm. Which IMO is not necessary. There’s no safety issue from just servicing the parts yourself. However in my case, I serviced my lower balljoints and bushings and will replace the upper arm and joint with an aftermarket unit.
     
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  7. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    HMMM. okay seems like a lot of dough to spend, $307 a piece OEM for the new upper arm that structurally should be fine? Right? I'm not lifting the vehicle so I am not going with total chaos or other aftermarket arms fabbed for lifted trucks. Like I said I am a novice. So if I need to spend $700-$800 for new OEM control arms that come with bushings etc. compared to $120 for a double pair of 555 ball joint kits and re-use control arms please let me know. Thanks.
     
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  8. ga12r1

    ga12r1

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    There is absolutely no reason to buy a complete arm. Get the 555s and a loaner press from the parts store and save a ton of money. Simple stuff.
     
  9. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    Thanks for the reply!
     
  10. nissanh

    nissanh

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    I know there will be a lot trying to comment about this post.
    I personally do not like 555 products. If you plan to keep the truck forever, why not get UCA and LCA's? Many on the 4runner forum and I myself have experienced the low quality of 555. The 3rd generation 4runner and 1st gen tacomas have a failing front lower ball joints. All aftermarket ball joints including Moog, 555, NAPA etc., lasts 20K miles (and definitely pops the ball out of its housing) while OEM lasts 150K miles without any issues.
    If the ball joints are good and are OEM, then replace the boots.
     
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  11. Porter

    Porter

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    In the case you choose to install entirely new UCAs and not just the ball joints do not trust the boots to last long, unless they're OEM. The only non OEM parts on my truck are the Dorman UCAs I installed. The boots rotted within 18 months. Crap.
     
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  12. bwell

    bwell SILVER Star

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    Honestly, I went went with some cheap moog complete replacements due to some time constraints at the time. Honestly they have been completely fine for the time I've had them installed. I did keep my originals to rebuild later on down the road. Think I've had them on for about 18 months now, and no issues.
     
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  13. AllLC

    AllLC

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    I am definitely talking about replacing the complete arm but it doesn't have to be oem.

    There our two huge problems with recommending a self described novice to press in new ball joints. 1. have the ball joint already been pressed into this control arm before? hard to say unless you're the original owner. 2. we assume the new ball joint will be pressed in perfectly aligned to the control arm opening.

    I have had one upper ball joint come out while on the trail that was professionally installed (moog 555). I have had one lower ball joint go bad do to a torn boot from rotted rubber Also moog.

    Based on my own experience i can not recommend a novice to press their ball joints in their self. I think there's a reason Toyota only sells the complete assembly.
     
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  14. 05JLX470

    05JLX470

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    Keep in mind that the advantage of replacing the complete UCA & LCA is that you're not only getting new ball joints, your getting new bushings in the A-arms that tie to the frame. All these parts will need replacing at some stage, if you replace both UCA & LCA, everything is done at once. (granted it's a pricey repair in one shot). Just my 2-cents.
     
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  15. suprarx7nut

    suprarx7nut The YotaMD Guy Supporting Vendor

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    I recently ran into some bad ball joints and decided to get the SPC arms from Slee. They were around $600 for the pair. My thought process was that I want new ball joints AND bushings. The cost of OEM bushings and 555 ball joints was $250-300 I think. For an extra $250-300 I got brand new arms, saved myself a couple hours of pressing bushings and ball joints out and got the added benefit of lift-friendly arms should I choose to do a lift anytime soon.

    If you're a complete novice without a press, buying the entire arms is a lot less opportunity for screw ups. I'm a somewhat experienced home mechanic with a press in my garage shop and I still felt it valuable to skip the DIY pressing actions and just buy the entire arm. Either way, it's a good learning experience if you haven't done ball joints or suspension work before.
     
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  16. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    Excellent point. The more I read and research this is the conclusion that I have come to. About 95% of what I have read points me in the same direction you have.
    So now the question is which route do I go? OEM UCA's & LCA's. Or others like the SPC arms from Slee? I haven't come across any non OEM LCA's. I need some direction and opinions. Thanks
     
  17. OSTATECRUISER

    OSTATECRUISER

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    Great info! I have decided the ball joint press is not something I want to get into right now, haha.
    So what is your recommendation for new UCA's and LCA's? I see the lift kit on Slee that includes the SPC UCA"s is an option and seems intriguing. HMMMM.
     
  18. suprarx7nut

    suprarx7nut The YotaMD Guy Supporting Vendor

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    If you're planning on a lift at any point, the adjustable UCAs are a requirement in my mind. The OEMs don't allow much adjustment for caster and with a ~2" lift or more you'll simply be out of spec with no recourse. The SPCs from Slee are low price and have a replaceable ball joint, adjustable caster to keep a lifted rig aligned and nice new bushings. I think the other aftermarket ones could be advantageous, especially if you're lifting over ~2.5in, but I'm not planning on that so didn't look too thoroughly.

    For lower arms, I would consider just replacing the ball joint with an aftermarket and pressing in new bushings. I don't think there's much advantage to any aftermarket LCAs. I would definitely not buy a cheap complete arm from autozone/advance auto unless you're in a pinch. Go OEM with a complete LCA or piece together the ball joint/bushing replacements as needed.