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  • Writer's pictureJustin Turner

Total Chaos Upper Control Arm Uniball & Bushing Replacement

If you run the Total Chaos uniball upper control arm (Part 96504), you'll eventually have enough miles on them to warrant a refresh of parts. Luckily Total Chaos sells replacement parts, tools, and provides good video tutorials to make the work easy.


Parts you will need:


I consider myself a decent DIY'er, but I am not super mechanical. I had never performed this work, and it (personally) took me about 4 hrs per side. That included jacking the truck, removing the tire, removing the UCA, removing the old bushings + old uniball, cleaning the UCA, re-installing new bushings + existing inner sleeves, pressing in the new uniball, and reinstalling everything. I am sure a more experienced mechanic could do it a lot faster.


Here are two great videos from Total Chaos that helped me perform the work:

  • Uniball swap - This video shows you how to perform the uniball removal & replacement while on the truck.

    • If you don't need to replace your bushings, this is the only video you need.

    • The method shown in the video utilized TC's new aluminum press tool

  • Full UCA service - This video shows how to remove the UCA and replace both the bushings and uniball. The uniball removal & replacement in this video utilizes the previous method. If using their new press tool, please refer to the other video.


Here are a few pics from my service:




Pivot washers, inner sleeves, mis-alignment spacers post-cleaning


After removal of the UCA



UCA in vice, ready for uniball to be pressed in Refreshed UCA re-installed on the truck


Tips:


  1. The UCA bolts can be tough to remove.

    1. The driver-side was the easier of the two. It slides out toward the front of the vehicle, but it's tight. I was able to free it without removing anything.

    2. The passenger-side was a LOT more difficult. It too slides out toward the front of the truck, but there are multiple items in the way. Brake lines, sheet metal from the wheel well, etc. I was able to get it out (eventually), but I re-installed it from the front to ensure that the next service is easier. I added a torque pen mark to the bolt/nut so that I can check for loosening in the future.

  2. The UCA can be difficult to re-install to the spindle.

    1. Once you detach the UCA from the spindle, the suspension components will drop and fall back a bit (although they are still connected to the suspension, as the shock is not removed). I found that all of the lower suspension stuff was difficult to move around when trying to align the lower mis-alignment spacer with the spindle.

    2. It helped me a lot to attached a ratchet strap to both the front lower crash bar and the spindle. I could then ratchet the spindle exactly where I needed it so that I could align the lower misalignment spacer with the spindle (using both hands), and get the bolt installed.

  3. The uniballs were easy to remove and install

    1. Key was having the Total Chaos press tool

    2. Well made and easy to use

  4. Greasing the bushings using the Zerk fittings is easy

    1. Even easier if you have a LockNLube grease gun

    2. Make sure to use Super Lube synthetic grease

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