Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Reversing UCA's (Pics)

BDS, ReadyLift, Smaxx... You name it, we know about it here.

by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:42 pm

Op Copied from my post on TrailVoy:


Enough speculation. I've humm'd and haaah'd over doing this for over 2 months. Free day = project.


Firstly...

Bill, you hurt me when you made fun of my wheel liners... this is for you.

Image



So...

Image

Some cutting required...




I don't know if this varies by year, but my uppers were already boxed.

Image

Image




Reversed AND exchanged side for side.

Image

Image

Stupid me forgot to take before pictures with the wheels off. I left my ball joints in the same position as when I took them off though and when reassembling them I had to return them towards center a bit, which supports the theory that we get some angle back. They do seem to angle a bit more to the rear of the vehicle, but not badly.

Wheels back on.

Image

Image

Wheels on, before shots:

Image

Image



I think I may have been wrong... and frankly, I couldn't be happier that I am.

Additional angle shots by request. Discuss! :D
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by SteveTB03 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:59 pm

It looks like you get a considerable amount of angle back!!! Wow if it drives well I might have to do that also.

So by what it looks like is if you were to cut out about 1/2" or less out of each side of the UCA you would effectively get back your ball joint angle.

How does it drive?
Do you project that doing this it will have some bad side effects?
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by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:06 pm

I haven't driven it yet. :)

It was a proof on concept since there was a thread on it over on the OS and I'd been talking about doing it for quite some time. I think we actually talked about it didn't we?

Getting angle back = I may possibly be able to do what I originally wanted to do.... stack shims.
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by SteveTB03 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:14 pm

fishsticks wrote:I haven't driven it yet. :)

It was a proof on concept since there was a thread on it over on the OS and I'd been talking about doing it for quite some time. I think we actually talked about it didn't we?

Getting angle back = I may possibly be able to do what I originally wanted to do.... stack shims.


Well get out there and drive it! :poke: :)

But yeah we talked about doing it a lot actually it'd be nice to stack shims :excited:

And how long did it take you? You need any special tools?
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by Trail X » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:18 pm

Sweet!

I didn't expect the front-back angle... but otherwise looks good!

You probably want to get an alignment now, you probably have some positive camber going on now. Should actually make alignment easier, from my recollection, the LCAs are stuffed into the frame in order to align when lifted.

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by MrSmithsTB » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:34 pm

Very interesting. I do look forward to progress reports, as this is something that I would like to try. And for some reason, I was not aware of this conversation until right now :shoot:
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by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:37 pm

SteveTB03 wrote:
fishsticks wrote:I haven't driven it yet. :)

It was a proof on concept since there was a thread on it over on the OS and I'd been talking about doing it for quite some time. I think we actually talked about it didn't we?

Getting angle back = I may possibly be able to do what I originally wanted to do.... stack shims.


Well get out there and drive it! :poke: :)

But yeah we talked about doing it a lot actually it'd be nice to stack shims :excited:

And how long did it take you? You need any special tools?


Impact tools, a sawzall and some determination... I was done in under an hour.


JamesDowning wrote:Sweet!

I didn't expect the front-back angle... but otherwise looks good!

You probably want to get an alignment now, you probably have some positive camber going on now. Should actually make alignment easier, from my recollection, the LCAs are stuffed into the frame in order to align when lifted.


(I'm not responding to the TV thread anymore!)



I'd rather discuss it here anyway. I'm going to remove my strut assembly on one side and test the full range of motion. I want to see where the limits are and how much the rearward angle increases as the suspension compresses.

The bolts on my front lift aren't welded in, so replacing them with some grade 8's and adding shims isn't a big deal for me. Score 1 for Rough Country's cost saving design I guess.
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by johnburgelin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:59 pm

I'm going to be anxiously awaiting a driving test of this, I'm hoping to do the same thing at work tomorrow (we'll see if I can get away with it). I've got a 20 mile highway drive home so hopefully the functionality of this on the road it acceptable, as well as off road. If so I'm all in!
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by teamred250ex » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:08 pm

You may have opened up a whole new world for TB's! I have my fingers crossed that it functions well, good luck!
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by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:43 pm

After checking steering travel and securing my ABS lines, I took a drive.

Ride and handling characteristics are unchanged, as expected.
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by MrSmithsTB » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:45 pm

How does the camber look as changed, without a new alignment?
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by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:52 pm

Image

Image

Image

May be hard to see... but looks like some positive camber.
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by MrSmithsTB » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:59 pm

Might have to tug on the bottom of the wheels a little bit, but that definitely looks doable 5deg +-. As long as that front to back angle isn't going to present an issue, I don't see any reason not to do this.
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by SteveTB03 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:17 pm

Your making me want to do this to my truck also now. It sounds like this is going to be a simple yet very effective way to reduce BJ stress for cheap without having custom CA's made.

Now what exactly did you have to cut?

Well be testing it offroad for sure on Thursday that way well know if anything breaks or not.
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by fishsticks » Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:41 pm

EXPERIMENT TIME!

The easiest one to do....and probably the one most people want to know the results of.


DATA:

Rough Country front lift spacer measurement: 1-13/16th inch
+
Smaxx Shim measurement: 8/16th (1/2) inch
=
Total of spacers between spring isolator and frame mount: 2-5/16th inch
-
Stock upper strut mount measurement: 6/16th (3/8) inch
=
Total lengthening of strut assembly: 1-15/16th inch


TEST:

Conditions: Front of truck jacked up. Wheels mounted but off ground. Top of strut tower unbolted from frame. Downward force (me) applied to wheel, moving wheel/suspension downwards until UBJ reaches limit of travel.

RESULT:

Image


I couldn't get a picture while holding the tape measure and the wheel, but there is an additional 7/8" from the top of my shim to the frame mount on all sides.

I don't know if the BDS kits measures out the same... But it seems that if everything else pans out, I could add another 1/2" to 5/8" in there and still be in the green zone ball joint wise.


Thoughts?


Edit: Just reread my own post and realized that my total spacer + shim length is not added directly to the strut assembly length, since part of it simply compresses the spring more. Ugh.
Last edited by fishsticks on Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by johnburgelin » Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:36 pm

fishsticks wrote:Thoughts?


Unless someone does this tonight, I'm going to officially be the second one to flip their UCA's first thing tomorrow morning, thanks for the driving test fishsticks :coffee2:
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by HARDTRAILZ » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:33 pm

Props for having the balls to try something different. Thanks for pics and report s well.
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by gotspeed1 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:51 pm

HARDTRAILZ wrote:Props for having the balls to try something different. Thanks for pics and report s well.

:Iagree: Nice work Fish!!!
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by Trail X » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:17 am

fishsticks wrote:

May be hard to see... but looks like some positive camber.


Agreed... and based on the UCA's geometry, it makes sense.

Based purely off my recollection, the LCA is pushed farther in, towards the engine when lifted. Positive camber should be able to be fixed... negative may not have been.
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by DZPearl » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:56 pm

Good to see this is working out. Now I think that I am in need of more lift since the balljoint angle can be corrected. Good job everyine for your input!
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