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Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help
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roni13130
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Feb 11, 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Surprise, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

I just added a rough country 3" level kit to a 2013 FJ. Rear went on fine sits perfect no issues.

After adding the spacer to the strut the upper control arm (all pro) now rubs against the strut coils.

What can be done to push the upper control arm from the coils?

I read that the spindle can be replaced but they seem to need welding etc. Also there were not any specs listed to see if they are longer then what is currently on the vehicle to push the control arm up and away from the coil.

Any suggestions on what one may have experienced or knowledge to share would be great. Taking the spacers off would work but I would rather look at other remedies before going backwards to take them all off and replace as it was.

Thank you.

Having a hard time uploading pics.
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glideraz
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Joined: Jan 18, 2010
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Location: avondale

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

The problem is the geometry between the coil and spindle is now screwed.
Does it still hit with weight on it? If not then that's all the clearance your gonna get if so remove the spacers.

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roni13130
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Feb 11, 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Surprise, AZ

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

Yes it's all put in place and full weight of the truck is on it. Thanks I figured the spacers would need to come out but after so much work hoping there was another viable option. I like how much higher it sits up.

Thanks Smile
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4GaugeSurprise
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Jul 16, 2013
Posts: 1971
Location: South Mtn-ish.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:42 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

roni13130 wrote:
Yes it's all put in place and full weight of the truck is on it. Thanks I figured the spacers would need to come out but after so much work hoping there was another viable option. I like how much higher it sits up.

Thanks Smile

If it's sitting that high, you've gone too far, you need to have some available up-travel for the suspension to work correctly. There should only be a light contact (if any at all) at full extension. The only thing you can really do after that is twist the spring in it's seat (if possible) to get less interference at full extension. But if it's rubbing regularly, the front is being overextended and there is potential for "very bad" things to start going wrong.

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roni13130
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Feb 11, 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Surprise, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

Gotcha, thanks.
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TOY4WD
Trail Runner
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Joined: Feb 15, 2013
Posts: 457
Location: Mesa

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

The front suspension is the same on all of the Toyota Tacomas (05-18 ), 4runners (03-18 ), and FJ Cruisers (07-14). It works out to be about a 2:1 ratio as far as lift compared to spacer thickness goes. So if you put a 1/2 inch thick spacer on top of your strut you will get 1 inch of lift out at the wheel mounting surface. The most it is recommended to lift the front of one of these trucks is 3 inches. You need to do a bracket/cradle lift if you want 4 or more inches of lift. If your a-arm is hitting the coil spring you are at or beyond a 4 inch lift up front. Measure the actual thickness of your strut spacer. If it is over 1.5 inches thick you need to take it out.

The only time to use spacers is the 1/4" thick aluminum top plate spacer for the front drivers strut and the 10mm poly spacer for the drivers rear spring that toytec sells. These 2 spacers get rid of the drivers side lean these trucks have weather you are using stock struts and springs or coilovers and lift springs.

I have had 3 FJs and a 2015 4Runner. 2 coilover lifted and 2 stock. They all had the drivers side lean and all were fixed with the above mentioned spacers. Using spacers for a lift is a bad idea if you plan to leave the blacktop ever.
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roni13130
Dusty Truck
Dusty Truck


Joined: Feb 11, 2015
Posts: 48
Location: Surprise, AZ

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

Thanks. The guy I talked to at Rough Country explained it different and advised to put the 3" spacers on. That's what I get for listening to someone I thought knew what they were talking about.

I will take them off this weekend and have ordered the 1/4" you discussed above.

Appreciate all the feedback. Live and learn Wink
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CeeFish
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Aug 14, 2010
Posts: 2108
Location: Flagstaff

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

Hold on folks.....

OP, what RC “kit” did you install?
Do you have photos or part numbers of the parts you installed?

Many budget kits use spacers for the front and achieve satisfactory results.

I ran spacers for the first two years of ownership with zero issues. Trails were accomplished, mud was conquered, all was good.

Spacers are not the best, but do lift a vehicle to allow larger tires.

Rough Country
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ratfink
Expeditioneer
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Joined: Oct 28, 2008
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Location: southern Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

I'm with CeeFish on this. I ran a spacer lift for over 3 years, did ;lots of wheeling and never had a problem.
I also agree that a lift is a much better option, but sometimes funding dictates the choices we make.

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4GaugeSurprise
Obstacle Crusher
Obstacle Crusher


Joined: Jul 16, 2013
Posts: 1971
Location: South Mtn-ish.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:39 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

I seem to remember some instances where the coilover was reassembled with something upside-down causing more "lift". Don't remember exactly what, but a decent search should bring up a thread or two.
Still, for the UCA to hit the spring while the vehicle is on the ground is a LOT of extra lift.

Like CeeFish said, what exactly was used, maybe put up a photo.

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IVAN10
Mall Queen
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Joined: Sep 24, 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Prescott, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

You need Sway Bar spacers.

toyteclifts.3dcartstor...p_904.html
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4GaugeSurprise
Obstacle Crusher
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Joined: Jul 16, 2013
Posts: 1971
Location: South Mtn-ish.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

IVAN10 wrote:
You need Sway Bar spacers.

toyteclifts.3dcartstor...p_904.html

Those are great to stop the swaybar from hitting the coils but will do nothing to stop the UCA from hitting the coils.

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BellyDoc
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Joined: Dec 04, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm hitting coils after level kit help Reply with quote

Suspension lift is poorly understood even by some of the people who make and sell parts to do it, because IFS (independent front suspension) is a complicated topic even before the lift.

The first thing to recognize is how the system is designed to function. If you look at the arrangement of the parts, you'll see a lower control arm which hinges parallel to the ground, and an upper control arm which hinges AT AN ANGLE. They're NOT parallel. That's why the knuckle mechanism that connects them together and contains the spindle assembly is mounted on ball joints. The knuckle has to turn side to side for steering, but it also has to rotate slightly up-and-back as the suspension compresses. The reason for this is to achieve something called "wheel recession" which is where the wheel absorbs some of the front-to-back force when it hits a big bump at speed. Suspension articulation is not just up/down. It's up and back/down and forward.

The second thing to note is that suspension lift doesn't change anything about the total travel capability of the suspension. Bottom out and top out are in exactly the same place as far as the lower control arm (and the knuckle and the spindle) is concerned. The main thing that changes by lengthening the shock and spring "strut" is to change the position of the suspension at rest. Secondarily, there can be changes to the stiffness of the spring by either changing out the springs directly or modifying the leverage that the suspension exerts because of it's new resting position, but since this is also usually modified at the same time as things like weighty front bumpers and winches are added, there's a lot going on that chanages the feeling of stiffness.

Ultimately, the change in ride quality over bumps is a combination of the new resting position and spring behavior.

There is a very common misconception associated with suspension lifts like these. It is that the size of tire that "fits" is increased by a suspension lift. This is false, unless you make it so stiff that the wheel CANNOT compress up into the wheel well (which would suck). People believe that they can fit a larger tire if they only examine the tire fitment when the vehicle is sitting at rest, without steering and without full compression.

Another major hidden gremlin in suspension lift is the change in caster angle. Caster angle is the difference between the angle of the axis of steering rotation from vertical. It's just like the way the forks on a bicycle aren't straight up and down. Because of caster angle, the entire front of the vehicle is raised up from the ground when you turn the steering away from straight ahead, and because of gravity, when you release the force on the steering, it then tends back to the low point on center. This causes the vehicle to tend straight.

As I mentioned above, the upper and lower control arms do not move parallel. The top of the knuckle which is called the upper spindle arm, is designed to compress up and back with hits to the suspension. Consequentlly, when lift is added, it moves down and forward cancelling a lot of caster angle. This is often often described as making the steering feel "touchy" requiring constant microcorrections to track straight. Some people find this bothersome, and the typical corrective action is to use an aftermarket upper control arm that has the upper ball joint mounted farther aft, restoring normal caster at the new suspension rest position. However, there's a cost to that too. Now, when the suspension compresses, the wheel goes up AND EVEN FARTHER BACK than it did before, and the precious space between the back of the wheel and the wheel well is gone. This is a cause of rubbing in the wheel well, especially with steering and compression at the same time. The fix for that is often the "body mount chop" to clearance the wheel well.

There's a reason I bring all this up.

Since the suspension moves down AND forward, regardless of whether aftermarket upper control arms are involved, at the bottom of travel, there can be contact between the rear portion of the UCA and the spring. Consequentlly, many lift systems include an offset puck which shift the strut slightly forward in the shock tower, to compensate. These are LEFT/RIGHT designated parts and if they're put in on the wrong side, the strut is mounted shifted BACK in the shock tower rather than forward.

I don't know the specifics of your kit so I can't comment without pics, but it's a common screwup.

That's the first thing I'd look at. If the position of the strut appears to be crushed to the back of the shock tower, that's a major contributing factor.

However, over-lifting is also a common factor. If the system is near to full extension, you're screwed when you go over a low spot. The suspension is supposed to be able to quickly push the wheel DOWN with room to spare when you're going along and all of a sudden the ground drops away. Otherwise you're catching a moment of air and steering is useless. Then you fall and take an unneccesarily bone jarring hit.

The stock ride gives you about 50/50 up and down travel on the front suspension. If you take it to 75/25 with lift, you're at the limit of what I think is effective for our trails, and I'd actually recommend more of a two-thirds/one-third ratio, but it's hard to determine exactly what you get because of all the variables.

The good news is that few people are actually ever "done" with getting their modifications optimized, so you're not off track.

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az4runner wrote:
glideraz wrote:
if I where you I would just get some jb weld
Is jb weld really as strong as if I just welded them on with my welder?

glideraz wrote:
Could be stronger it all depends on how you weld
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