Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Dirt King Fabrication Ball Joint Upper Control Arm (UCA) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

The Internet’s Most Complete Compilation of the Best Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for the 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma – Detailed Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve landed on this page, then you are probably thinking about a suspension lift for your 2nd or even 3rd Gen Tacoma. Maybe you have one picked out already or even have one installed. Either way, there is a vital component that you will need to consider, and that is a solid pair of upper control arms.

What is an upper control arm (UCA)?

Upper control arms are commonly referred to as UCAs or upper a-arms, and they play a very important role within your Tacoma’s suspension. They serve as a connecting point between the wheels and the vehicle’s frame, and also aid in steering/guiding the vehicle while maintaining stability as the wheel moves up and down when the vehicle is in motion.

The factory UCAs are engineered to properly function on a truck that is in its stock form. So, any time you add a suspension lift to your truck, you are exceeding those factory specifications, therefore jeopardizing the integrity of your suspension components.

Luckily, there are several quality options for you to choose from. This guide should provide you with plenty of information to make an informed decision that best suits you, your budget, and your truck’s specific needs.

Also, it’s important to note that most of the UCAs on this list will fit all Prerunner and 4WD Tacomas from 2005+, but they will not fit 5 lug Tacomas.

These options are listed alphabetically, and not by price, quality, or preference.

Why Upgrade Your UCAs?

Total Chaos Uniball Upper Control Arm (UCA) & King Coilover with Adjustable Remote Reservior - 3rd Gen Tacoma

Mostly designed as an OEM replacement, aftermarket UCAs are built stronger and will allow your lifted Tacoma to maintain its factory alignment specifications for better handling characteristics (and safety) both on and off-road. Without the addition of aftermarket UCAs, your truck’s suspension may be susceptible to a loss of stability, articulation when off-roading and premature failure of the factory ball joints due to the excessive stress your lift may be causing. This stress harms the suspension due to the increased alignment angles such as caster and camber.

A good set of aftermarket UCAs will allow you to regain the adjustability to dial in your truck’s alignment and negate the impacts of those increased caster and camber angles. Not only will you be able to properly align your vehicle and reduce stress on pivot points, but your new suspension lift can reach its full travel/articulation potential since strength is added and angular stress is reduced. This allows your lifted Tacoma to perform as good (or better) than it did from the factory.

Dirt King Fabrication UCAs for 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma

So, you lifted your Tacoma and now you want a larger tire to fill up the extra space in the wheel well. This can be accomplished, but not without some drawbacks. If you are lifted and running your factory Toyota wheels with a larger tire, it can cause some drivability and performance issues.

You may be able to drive, but not turn as sharp (or at all). You might be able to off-road but aren’t getting the full potential out of your new suspension. Everybody loves the additional flex and droop of their new suspension, but not the headache of their new, bigger tires rubbing on the UCAs. This is another benefit of upgrading your factory upper control arms.

Most aftermarket UCAs are built stronger and with a lower profile than the factory UCAs. This slimmer profile will help allow you to run a larger tire without such a loss of performance and drivability. There are, however, more factors that need to be considered instead of just throwing a new set of UCAs on and calling it a day. For an in-depth look at what causes these issues and how to remedy them, I highly recommend reading this article, which covers the topic of tire rub on the UCAs.

Now, let’s take a look at our comprehensive list of some of the best upper control arm options for your 2nd or 3rd Gen Tacomas. Remember, these are listed alphabetically and not by price, preference, or quality.

ARB 4X4 (Old Man Emu)

ARB Old Man EMU (OME) Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

Find it online

Founded nearly 50 years ago, ARB was created by Anthony Ronald Brown to address issues he encountered with 4X4 components and accessories while exploring the rugged terrain of the remote Top End region in Australia. His vision was simple: manufacture high-quality products that would meet the strenuous demands of 4×4 owners. Several years after starting ARB, Old Man Emu (OME) was acquired to provide high-quality suspension components that enhance comfort and handling for both on and off-road adventures.

Fast forward to today and ARB is one of the most recognizable names in the off-road industry. They have a wide range of products from air lockers and bumpers to the subject of this article: upper control arms. The OME upper control arms feature a forged ball joint housing with increased camber and caster to allow for proper alignment when your suspension is lifted up to 2 inches. They also feature a greaseable ball joint, maintenance, and grease-free bushings, and a black powder-coated finish.

This set of ball joint UCAs by Old Man Emu provides a great starting point for those of you who need aftermarket UCAs, but don’t want to spend a ton of money.

Features

  • Forged ball joint construction
  • Increased caster/camber
  • Heavy-duty greaseable ball joints
  • Brake line attachment points
  • Ball joint protective cap
  • Greasable ball joint
  • Maintenance and grease-free GIIRO bushings
  • Designed for 0-2″ lift
  • Powder-coated finish

    BDS Suspension

    BDS Suspension Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

    Find it online

    Formed in 1996, BDS Suspension was created with a simple goal: provide the off-road community with quality suspension components that won’t break the bank—all while delivering an excellent customer service experience.

    BDS upper control arms are constructed of high-strength, fully welded tubing and feature a ball joint design. They use an indexed ball joint cup to allow for maximum travel and optimum ball joint positioning for spacer or suspension lifts between 2-3″. BDS uses quality MOOG ball joints which allows for a quieter, smoother ride than competitors using a uniball design. A billet aluminum top cap is provided to help keep the ball joint clean and dust-free.

    At the frame-mount end of the UCAs, durometer-specific Clevite rubber bushings are used for durability and a less harsh ride than you might get with polyurethane (poly) bushings. They are finished in a durable, semi-gloss black powder coat and include attachment points for your brake lines.

    One of the best features about these UCAs is that they come with BDS Suspension’s signature “No Fine Print” warranty. They say – “if you buy it and it breaks, we’ll replace it.” That is a huge perk when you are shelling out several hundred dollars for such a vital part of your truck’s suspension. In addition, you may be eligible for their 560plus Factory Protection Plus program.

    Features

    • Fully-welded 1.5″ OD x .120-wall tubing
    • Additional 1.4 degrees of positive caster
    • Billet aluminum top cap
    • Indexed ball joint cup
    • MOOG ball joints
    • Rubber frame bushings
    • Brake line attachment points
    • Works with 2-3″ spacer or coilover lifts
    • Will work with BDS 6″ lift
    • Fully assembled and ready for install

      Camburg Engineering

      3rd Gen Tacoma with Rigid LED Lights, General Grabber Tires & XD Wheels

      With an extensive background in marketing and off-road racing, the guys at Camburg Engineering began designing and building top-notch suspension components nearly 25 years ago. Initially marketed exclusively towards off-road race teams, Camburg shifted gears to designing, building, and manufacturing their suspension components, not only for race teams but also for the everyday consumer and weekend warrior as well.

      One of the coolest parts about Camburg is that they do everything in-house, and their products are race-tested. What does this mean for you? Essentially, this means they have their hands on everything from the start of the process to the end of it. Their products are pushed to the limit in the most demanding environments and race situations which means you can truly count on the quality of their consumer components.

      Camburg currently offers four different UCA options: x-joint, uniball, upgraded uniball, and billet. The Performance Series includes the X-Joint, Uniball, and the upgraded Uniball. The Performance Series UCAs are engineered for the off-road enthusiast and weekend warrior. The Billet UCA belongs to the KINETIK Series and is built for hardcore off-road and race applications. Let’s break down these four options.

      Note: Camburg UCAs will work with 16-20″ wheels with 4.75″ max backspacing and tire sizes from 31-33″

      X-Joint UCAs

      Camburg Engineering X-Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

      Find it online

      The X-Joint UCAs are a tubular design that features a fully-sealed ball joint that is built to withstand extreme conditions such as rain, sand, mud, and snow. They are also equipped with grease-able zerk fittings so they can be lubed right on the truck without taking anything apart. Camburg X-Joint UCAs come in a matte black powder-coated finish and are the least expensive option that Camburg currently offers.

      Features

      • MIG welded tube construction
      • Grease-able zerk fittings
      • Fully sealed for extreme conditions
      • Thicker .156″-wall tubing
      • Polyurethane frame-pivot bushings
      • Billet aluminum top covers
      • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
      • Allow extended wheel travel
      • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
      • Matte black powder-coated finish
      • Made in the USA (in-house)

        Uniball UCAs

        Camburg Engineering Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

        Find it online

        Camburg’s Uniball Upper Control Arms feature a 1.25″ uniball bearing that is stronger and more durable than the factory ball joint and X-Joint UCA. Unlike the X-Joint UCAs, which are sealed, the uniballs are designed with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) based lining. PTFE is a Teflon-type lube/coating such as Camburg’s recommendation: Tri-Flow. T

        Tri-Flow is a lube that is applied wet, and dries to form a film that acts as a seal to prevent corrosion and is made to be used in extreme temperatures and conditions. Unlike conventional oils or lubricants, PTFE coatings are formulated to reach deep into the moving parts of the uniball, aids in resisting friction, and helps prevent moisture and contamination from dirt/sand/dust. You can read more about Camburg’s Tri-Flow lubricant here.

        Features

        • Stronger than ball joint UCA
        • 1.25″ PTFE-lined uniballs
        • Grease-able zerk fittings
        • Polyurethane frame-pivot bushings
        • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
        • Allow extended wheel travel
        • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
        • Steel gray powder-coated finish
        • Made in the USA (in-house)

          Uniball UCAs (Upgraded)

          Camburg Engineering Upgraded Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

          Find it online

          In addition to the above uniball option, Camburg also engineered a set of upgraded 1.25″ uniball UCAs. So, what’s the difference? The upgraded uniball UCAs integrate a billet aluminum top cover that is fitted with an o-ring seal. What makes this an upgrade? The top cover and o-ring simply provide an extra layer of protection from contamination. This straightforward design may help increase the longevity of your uniball UCAs.

          Features

          • Stronger than ball joint UCA
          • Incorporates top cover for sealed protection
          • 1.25″ PTFE-lined uniballs
          • Grease-able zerk fittings
          • Polyurethane frame-pivot bushings
          • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
          • Allow extended wheel travel
          • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
          • Steel gray powder-coated finish
          • Made in the USA (in-house)

            KINETIK Billet UCAs

            Camburg Engineering Kinetik Billet Aluminum Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

            Find it online

            The last offering that we’ll look at from Camburg is their KINETIK Series billet aluminum upper control arms. This set of UCAs is the absolute top-of-the-line option from Camburg. They use the same 1.25″ PTFE-lined uniballs as the above two options but are constructed from aircraft quality 6061 billet aluminum. They are the only UCAs from Camburg that incorporate Heim joints.

            So, what is a Heim joint? Simply put, Heim joints, also known as spherical rod ends, are threaded rods with a circular (spherical) end that contains a moving ball bearing. They are more commonly used on dedicated off-road rigs or race trucks due to their high strength and fine-tuning capability.

            Camburg’s billet UCAs also incorporate model-specific spacers at the Heim joints. By reorienting the spacers, you can alter the caster by 2 degrees. This is exceptionally beneficial for high angles on trucks with lifts of 6″.

            Features

            • 1.25″ PTFE-lined uniballs
            • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
            • Allow extended wheel travel
            • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
            • Heim joint spacers provide maximum tuning
            • Made from CNC machined 6061 billet aluminum
            • Type II anodized coating
            • Made in the USA (in-house)

            Dirt King Fabrication

            Long Travel 2nd Gen Toyota Tacoma with KC HiLites & Dirt King Fabrication Long Travel with King Off-Road Suspension

              They may be one of the younger companies on our list, but Dirt King Fabrication has a major presence in the off-road community. For nearly 13 years, brothers Dustin and Nick have built quite the reputation for engineering high-quality suspension products. In fact, they’ve grown their brand so much that they tripled their original 500 sq ft workspace to the 15,000 sq ft facility they currently call home. This growth and customer base stems from their passion for off-roading, innovation, and their emphasis on making sure every customer is happy with their product.

              Their passion for off-roading and the development of innovative products brings us to their current line-up of UCAs. They offer three options for the Tacoma which we will take a closer look at below.

              It’s important to note that Dirt King does not recommend any of their UCAs to be used with coil spacer lifts. Doing so may cause premature failure of the UCA and/or damage to other suspension components.

              Note: All three of their UCAs are compatible with OEM and aftermarket coilovers such as King, Icon, and Bilstein and will provide 1″ of extended travel over factory UCAs. They are designed for use with a minimum of a 16″ wheel size and maximum backspacing of 4.75″. The maximum tire size Dirt King recommends is 33″, but may require additional trimming for proper fitment.

              Ball Joint UCAs

              Dirt King Fabrication Ball Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

              Find it online

              The ball joint upper control arms from Dirt King are the least expensive of their three options and are a great upgrade for any off-roader who needs to ditch their factory UCAs.

              Want to learn more? Check out our coverage for this product here – a detailed install guide, review and overview.

              Features

              • Chromoly steel tubing
              • Greaseable Moog ball joints
              • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
              • Zinc-plated inner sleeves and bushing washers
              • Greaseable urethane frame-pivot bushings
              • Easy maintenance and rebuildable
              • Upgraded dust boots
              • Allow 1″ extended wheel travel
              • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
              • Black powder-coated finish
              • Pre-assembled for easy installation (with instructions)
              • Made in the USA

              Uniball UCAs

              Dirt King Fabrication Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

              Find it online

              The second set of UCAs Dirt King offers features a uniball design. By replacing the factory ball joints with 1″ stainless steel uniballs, The ball joint UCAs from Dirt King are the least expensive of their three options and are a great upgrade for any off-roader who needs to ditch their factory UCAs.

              Features

              • Chromoly steel tubing
              • Greaseable Moog ball joints
              • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
              • Zinc-plated inner sleeves and bushing washers
              • Greaseable urethane frame-pivot bushings
              • Easy maintenance and rebuildable
              • Upgraded dust boots
              • Allow 1″ extended wheel travel
              • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
              • Black powder-coated finish
              • Pre-assembled for easy installation (with instructions)
              • Made in the USA

              Heim Joint UCAs

              Dirt King Fabrication Heim Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

              Find it online

              The third, and most expensive, set of UCAs Dirt King offers features a Heim joint design. Heim joints, as mentioned above, are also known as spherical rod ends. They are threaded rods with a circular (spherical) end that contains the moving ball bearing. The Dirt Kings utilize a 3/4″ Heim joint for the inner pivot points which allows for more adjustment of the caster and camber. Dirt King replaced the weaker factory ball joints with a set of 1″ stainless steel uniballs. Both Heim joints and uniballs utilize American-made FK bearings.

              Features

              • Boxed plate construction
              • 3/4″ FK Heim joints
              • 1″ FK uniballs
              • High-grade 17-4 stainless steel misalignment spacers
              • Increased caster/camber for alignment adjustment
              • Zinc plated components for corrosion resistance
              • 4130 Chromoly uniball cups
              • Military-grade F911 hardware
              • Allow 1″ extended wheel travel
              • Designed for 1-3″ of lift
              • Completely rebuildable
              • Black powder-coated finish
              • Pre-assembled for easy installation (with instructions)
              • Made in the USA

                Fabtech Motorsports

                Fabtech Motorsports Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                Find it online

                Fabtech is another major player in the world of aftermarket suspension. With 25 years of experience, and operating out of a massive 100,000 square foot facility, it’s easy to see that they know what they’re doing. Their team of experienced engineers and fabricators ensures you’re receiving the high-quality product you expect from such a large-scale operation.

                Everything from design, to manufacturing, and distribution are accomplished within the same facility. The in-house manufacturing with cutting-edge technology allows them to pay extra attention to quality. A major benefit of the on-site warehouse is the ability to immediately distribute their products on a global scale. Their components are rigorously tested in the field to ensure each customer purchases a high-quality product that you can depend on.

                Fabtech’s uniball upper control arms eliminate the weaker factory ball joint UCAs for aggressive off-roading and a superior ride for on-road driving. They are also one of the few options that will work on 0-6″ lifts.

                Features

                  • Built-in additional caster
                  • 1.25″ OD x .120 wall Chromoly tubing
                  • 1″ FK stainless PTFE-lined uniballs
                  • 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel uniball pins
                  • 17-4 stainless steel misalignment spacers
                  • High quality urethane pivot bushings
                  • .250-wall DOM bushing barrels

                  Freedom Off-Road

                  With a combined 20+ years of experience in design, manufacturing, and distributing performance and original equipment replacement parts, Freedom Off-Road started its off-road division in 2012. Their objective was to fill the gap in providing affordable, quality-built suspension components for the off-road market. And with their ball joint and uniball upper control arm options, that’s exactly what they did.

                  One thing that sets Freedom Off-Road apart is that their UCAs (and all of their products) come with a Lifetime Structural Warranty against breaking, bending, and welding failures for the original purchaser on the vehicle in which the parts were originally installed. They also provide a 1-Year Wear and Tear Warranty on ball joints and bushings for one year from the original date of purchase on the vehicle the parts were originally installed on.

                  As mentioned above, Freedom Off-Road offers two sets of upper control arms: ball joint and uniball.

                  Ball Joint UCAs

                  Freedom Off-Road Ball Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                  Find it online

                  Features

                  • Constructed of 1.5″ tubing
                  • Gusseted for strength
                  • Heavy-duty OEM-style ball joints
                  • Hardened rubber pivot bushings
                  • Minimal Maintenance
                  • Designed for 2-4″ lifts

                  Uniball UCAs

                  Freedom Off-Road Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                  Find it online

                  Features

                  • Constructed of 1.5″ tubing
                  • Gusseted for strength
                  • 1.5″ Stainless steel uniballs
                  • Laser-etched billet cap
                  • Hardened rubber pivot bushings
                  • Minimal Maintenance
                  • Designed for 2-4″ lifts

                    Grimm Offroad

                    Grimm Offroad Uniball Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    A smaller, and maybe lesser-known, company known as Grimm Offroad prides itself on taking what automotive manufacturers have built and making it better. They believe that modern vehicles are remarkable, but due to manufacturing hindrances such as cost, target audience, and anticipated use of the vehicle, they can be improved upon. By eliminating those hindrances, they can make your truck work better for you and your specific needs.

                    They also make a great effort to provide products that are Made in the USA and pair them with top-notch customer service. Furthermore, they believe in spending more time with research and development of their parts instead of spending excessive amounts of money and time on marketing.

                    This leads us to the subject of this article, which is the Grimm Offroad uniball upper control arms. Much like the company itself, their UCAs are simple and straight to the point. We’ve highlighted the features of this set of UCAs below.

                    Note: Grimm Offroad UCAs are compatible with factory wheel and tire sizes. Aftermarket wheel size recommendation is 17 x 8.5″ with 5″ backspacing.

                    Features

                    • CNC bent 1026 DOM tubing
                    • Built-in caster correction
                    • Replaceable high misalignment uniballs
                    • CNC machined bushing housings and sleeves
                    • Black semi-gloss powder coat finish
                    • Limited Lifetime Warranty
                    • Made in the USA

                    Icon Vehicle Dynamics

                    Lifted 3rd Gen Tacoma with KC HiLites M-Rack & Gravity LED Bar & Icon Alloys Wheels

                    ICON Vehicle Dynamics is one of the foremost manufacturers of high-quality performance suspension components for SUVs and trucks, along with off-road racing suspension development. Icon has the ability to design and build some of the highest quality suspensions and components on the market thanks in large part to their lead engineer and SCORE champion driver, Dylan Evans. This translates to products that have been tested not only in real-world applications but also in race conditions. With a focus on unparalleled manufacturing techniques and processes, ICON Vehicle Dynamics’ business is driven by their customers and first-class design and technology.

                    ICON’s engineers determine what drivability improvements can be made by studying the forces that affect the vehicle when it’s in motion, or vehicle dynamics. This also allows them to determine how handling characteristics can be improved in real-world applications. All of this research and development leads to the result of building the highest quality and performing suspension components in the world today. With many years of involvement in off-road racing, rock crawling, and even daily on-road driving, ICON Vehicle Dynamics delivers a reputation and set of products that are built on quality, performance, and customer service.

                    ICON Vehicle Dynamics offers both a steel tubular and billet aluminum option that’s constructed with their patented Delta Joint. So, what is Icon’s patented Delta Joint? It’s a hybrid of sorts. It blends the durability of a heavy-duty high-angle ball joint with the performance of a standard uniball. How does this benefit you, the consumer? For starters, the Delta Joint is made of zinc-plated housing. This type of coated housing helps with corrosion resistance and is combined with a grease seal that helps prevent contamination and exposure to the elements. This greaseable design also aids in noise-free operation with increased longevity.

                    Next, we’ll highlight the features of each option in UCAs.

                    Note: Both ICON UCAs work with factory wheel and tire sizes. ICON’s recommended aftermarket wheel size is 17 x 8.5″ with 4.75″ max backspacing.

                    Tubular Delta Joint UCAs

                    Icon Vehicle Dynamics Tubular Delta Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Features

                    • ICON Delta Joint
                    • 1026 DOM Steel Construction
                    • Built-In Caster Correction
                    • CNC Bent Tubing
                    • Serviceable Dual Stage Bushings
                    • CNC Machined Bushing Housings and Sleeves
                    • Black Semi-Gloss Powder Coat Finish
                    • Replaceable high misalignment uniballs
                    • CNC machined bushing housings and sleeves
                    • Black semi-gloss powder coat finish

                    Billet Aluminum Delta Joint UCAs

                    Icon Vehicle Dynamics Billet Aluminum Delta Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Features

                    • ICON Delta Joint
                    • CNC Machined 6061 Billet Aluminum Construction
                    • PTFE-lined 3/4″ FK Rod Ends
                    • Caster/Camber Adjustability for Fine Tuning
                    • On-Vehicle Adjustment for Quick and Precise Alignment
                    • Matte Anodized Finish for Corrosion Resistance
                    • O-Ring Sealed Delta Joint Cover Cap for Additional Protection

                    Ironman 4X4

                    Ironman 4X4 Pro Forge Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Jacob Spring Works (JSW) was founded in Australia in 1958 to design and manufacture leaf springs and coil springs for vehicles such as cars, buses, trucks, and 4x4s. Launched in 1988, Ironman 4×4 was JSW’s response to not only the increase in popularity of 4X4s but to the weak factory suspension systems that weren’t capable of handling necessary off-road accessories such as bumpers, winches, extra fuel, lights, etc.

                    The Australian Outback serves as a perfect proving ground for off-road equipment and suspension systems. Ironman 4×4 has really used that to their advantage by designing and building suspension components that are world-class and provide excellent quality for the money. From daily driving duties to the Dakar Rally, Ironman 4×4 has been chosen all over the world because of its reliable reputation and dedication to safety.

                    Ironman 4×4’s upper control arms utilize Pro-Forge technology. The Pro-Forge technology provides an increased strength-to-weight ratio with increased directional strength to reduce stress in corners and filets when compared to machined, rolled, or cast-constructed parts. This also provides precision in manufacturing tolerances.

                    Note: Ironman 4×4 UCAs are compatible with factory wheel and tire sizes. Aftermarket wheel recommendation is 17″+ with a max of 4.75″ backspacing.

                    Want to learn more? Check out our coverage for this product here (as part of a complete Stage 2 kit) – a detailed install guide, review and overview.

                    Features

                    • High Strength and Durability
                    • 6082 T6 Drop Forged Alloy Construction
                    • Hardened Zinc Coating
                    • OEM Ball Joints and Bushings (readily available)
                    • Sealed Ball Joint
                    • Built-In 4 Degrees of Caster Correction
                    • Manufactured in Australia
                    • Conforms to Australian Design Rules
                    • Tested and Manufactured to Strict Japanese Specifications
                    • Ironman 4×4’s Iron-Clad 3-Year Warranty

                    JBA Offroad

                    JBA Offroad originally started back around 2004 under the name Jeepin by Al. The founder, Al Handy, was looking for a solution to remedy the UCAs that prematurely failed on his 2002 Jeep Liberty. As an engineer himself, Al built a couple of different options for his Liberty based on the UCAs of oval track race cars. Fast forward a few years to 2007, and the company was bought by the current owner, Marlin Gehman. Marlin continued making progress on the Jeep Liberty platform which ultimately resulted in the first production-built coilover lift kit for the Liberty.

                    It wasn’t until 2015 that they introduced upper control arms for the Toyota market, and changed the name of the company to JBA Offroad. The demand for their UCAs increased so much that they decided to stop selling lift kits and armor to focus solely on the production of upper control arms. This simplified the manufacturing process and their product line which allowed them to meet their goal of providing some of the best UCAs on the market and make them available for shipping in just one business day’s time.

                    JBA offers three replacement UCAs: OE, standard, and heavy-duty. Since we are mostly concerned with leveled or lifted vehicles, we will only be covering the standard high caster and heavy-duty high caster offerings in this article. We will highlight the features of both options below, but JBA also has a breakdown of the differences that you can read.

                    Note: There is a comprehensive breakdown of tire/wheel fitment listed under each UCA on the JBA Offroad website. 

                    Standard UCAs

                    JBA Offroad Standard Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Features

                    • 3 Degrees of Added Caster
                    • 90 Degrees Full Range of Motion
                    • Heavy Duty Tubular Construction
                    • 1″ Diameter Tubing with 5/32″ Wall
                    • Replaceable/Greasable MOOG Ball Joints
                    • Cerakote H Series Oven Cure Ball Joint Coating
                    • Two-Piece Synthetic Elastomer Bushings
                    • Frame Pivot JBA EZ Lube Bushings
                    • Pre-Assembled & Ready to Bolt-On
                    • Red Powder Coated Finish
                    • Lifetime Warranty on UCAs
                    • One Year Warranty on Ball Joints & Bushings
                    • Made in the USA

                    Heavy Duty UCAs

                    JBA Offroad Heavy-Duty Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Features

                    • 3 Degrees of Added Caster
                    • 90 Degrees Full Range of Motion
                    • Heavy Duty Tubular Construction
                    • 1-5/16″ Diameter Tubing with 3/16″ Wall
                    • 11ga Gussets on Bushing Bongs
                    • Replaceable/Greasable MOOG Ball Joints
                    • Cerakote H Series Oven Cure Ball Joint Coating
                    • Two-Piece Synthetic Elastomer Bushings
                    • Frame Pivot JBA EZ Lube Bushings
                    • Pre-Assembled & Ready to Bolt-On
                    • Red Powder Coated Finish
                    • Lifetime Warranty on UCAs
                    • One-Year Warranty on Ball Joints & Bushings
                    • Made in the USA

                    JBA Standard VS JBA Heavy-Duty

                     

                    JBA Offroad Standard VS Heavy-Duty Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Pictured above: JBA Standard UCA (top) vs JBA Heavy Duty UCA (bottom)

                    Nitro Gear & Axle

                    Nitro Gear & Axle Ball Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    If you’ve heard of Nitro Gear & Axle, it’s likely because they have been a big proponent in the advocation for 3rd Gen Tacoma regearing, but that’s not all they do.

                    Nitro Gear & Axle was started in 2006 to develop dependable, high-quality differential and axle components. Their expertise in this field has allowed them to build some of the best parts in the industry, and they have the awards to back it up.

                    By developing strong, durable products with cutting-edge technology, Nitro Gear & Axle delivers on their goal of meeting the needs of their growing consumer base. They are continually at the leading edge of implementing new applications for their components while ensuring their integrity and upholding the reputation they’ve come to deserve. Their relentless pursuit of application development is exactly why they are on this list.

                    Nitro saw one major issue with other styles of UCAs on the market: lack of protection due to year-round exposure to the elements. They wanted to bring a UCA to market that would prevent premature failure due to this type of prolonged exposure. So, in 2019, they developed and released their “4-season” upper control arms for a variety of popular Lexus and Toyota vehicles.

                    Features

                    • Stronger Heavy Wall Tubular Construction
                    • 3 Degrees of Additional Caster
                    • Heavy Duty Greasable Sealed Ball Joints
                    • Removable Billet Ball Joint Top Cap
                    • OEM Style Rubber Bushings
                    • Lower Profile than OE UCAs
                    • Works on Stock Tacomas

                    Specialty Products Company (SPC)

                    SPC Adjustable Ball Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                    Find it online

                    Specialty Products Company (SPC) was founded in 1971 and started as a specialty automotive tool company. They had humble beginnings operating out of a 300 sq ft facility with a limited number of products on the market. Today SPC has more than 1,500 tools and parts on the market that they provide to customers all over the world. They still manufacture a majority of their parts in their own facility.

                      SPC’s ball joint upper control arms are designed, engineered, tested, and assembled at their facility in Longmont, Colorado. They are built with the features consumers need, and the strength and durability to withstand the most rigorous and demanding environments.

                      Features

                      • Integrated Tubular Forged Steel Design
                      • 80 Degrees of Ball Joint Articulation
                      • +2 Degrees of Additional Caster
                      • xAxis Sealed Flex Joints (more info here)
                      • Heavy Duty Greasable Sealed Ball Joints
                      • Hex Chromate Free Finish for Corrosion Protection
                      • Limited Lifetime Warranty (more info here)

                      Total Chaos Fabrication

                      Lifted 2nd Gen Tacoma with Total Chaos Long Travel Suspension

                      Total Chaos Fabrication is another extremely well-known company in the off-road community. There are vehicles on every continent, (except for Antarctica) involved in off-road adventuring and racing that are running their products. They are truly a worldwide brand when it comes to off-road suspensions and accessories.

                      Total Chaos Fabrication has been involved in the off-road industry for over 25 years. From spectating to racing to manufacturing, Total Chaos has experienced the industry in all its facets. Their philosophy is simple: provide their customers with an exceptional service experience while their fabrication experts hand-craft the highest quality bolt-on suspension components for Toyota owners, drivers, and racers. They also have a passion for innovation which has led to multiple industry breakthroughs, and imitations of their designs from other manufacturers on the market.

                      They also believe that the customer’s enjoyment of off-roading is attributed to reliable suspension components. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a family adventure, crawling rocks, or racing, Total Chaos wants to be the dependable, innovative, customer-centric manufacturer of the best performing aftermarket suspension parts for your Toyota when you hit the trails, rocks, or desert.

                      Total Chaos manufactures two different upper control arms for your Tacoma: urethane pivot and Heim joint pivot, both of which implement a uniball configuration.

                      The features of each are highlighted below.

                      Urethane Pivot UCAs

                      Total Chaos Ball Joint Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                      Find it online

                      Want to learn more? Check out our coverage for this product here – a detailed install guide, review and overview.

                      Features

                      • Designed for 1.5″-3″ Lifts
                      • 4130 Chromoly Tubular Construction
                      • 1″ I.D. Heat-treated Stainless Steel Uniballs
                      • Military Grade PTFE-lined Uniballs for Noise Reduction and Less Maintenance
                      • Urethane Pivot Bushings for Reduced Deflection
                      • Zerk Fittings for Greasing Bushings & Inner Sleeves
                      • CNC-machined Spindle Adapters
                      • 17-4 Stainless Steel Upper/Lower Hi-Misalignment Spacers
                      • Complete 8-grade Hardware Included
                      • 3-Stage Powder Coat with Clear Coat
                      • Made in the USA

                      Heim Joint Pivot UCAs

                      Total Chaos Heim Joint Pivot Upper Control Arms (UCAs) for 2nd & 3rd Gen Tacoma

                      Find it online

                      Features

                      • Designed for 6″+ Suspension Lifts
                      • 4130 Chromoly Tubular Construction (Made in the USA)
                      • 1″ I.D. Heat-treated Stainless Steel Uniballs
                      • Military Grade PTFE-lined Uniballs for Noise Reduction and Less Maintenance
                      • 3/4″ Chromoly Heim Pivot Joints
                      • CNC-machined Spindle Adapters
                      • 17-4 Stainless Steel Upper/Lower Hi-Misalignment Spacers
                      • Complete 8-grade Hardware Included
                      • 3-Stage Powder Coat with Clear Coat
                      • Made in the USA

                      Final Thoughts

                      SPC UCAs (Upper Control Arms) on 3rd Gen Tacoma with King Off-Road Racing Shocks Coilovers

                      Well, there you have it. A complete guide to some of the best aftermarket upper control arms on the market today for your 2nd or 3rd Gen Tacoma. And with prices ranging from $390 to $1500, it’s easy to see that there is a variety of options to choose from. Some of you may make a decision based solely on price while others may be more drawn to a specific design or performance aspect based on their individual needs.

                      This guide isn’t meant to be an end-all-be-all source of information. However, it is meant to give you all enough information on what UCAs are, how they work, and why they play an important role in the performance and safety of your Tacoma both on and off-road. With so many offerings available, we wanted to put them all in one place so that you can make an informed decision. Is it a lot to digest? Absolutely. Believe me, I know, but luckily you can work through it piece by piece, or brand by brand, and figure out just exactly what it is you need and/or want out of your truck when it comes to an upgraded set of aftermarket upper control arms.

                      Subscribe
                      Notify of
                      guest
                      2 Comments
                      Newest
                      Oldest Most Voted
                      Inline Feedbacks
                      View all comments
                      Peter
                      Peter
                      18 days ago

                      Super helpful article. I’m looking for UCAs for my ’09 TRD Access Cab right now, and this summary appears to hit all the nails of the market landscape. A couple questions I still have, and continue to research, includes: (a) Which of these use commonly available ball joints, and which are proprietary? As in, if something bad happens on the trail, will I be able to limp home with a locally sourced replacement, or will I have to wait for one to ship? (b) Which use commonly-available pivot bushings, which are repairable, and which are integrated (replacement requires complete UCA… Read more »

                      Konrad - @Trail_Tacoma
                      Nomad
                      Reply to  Peter

                      Glad you found it useful! a – as far as I know, the Dirt King ones do (MOOG ball joints), you would need to check into all of them individually to find out more b – again, as far as I know, you can change all the bushings and ball joints in all of these options, but I would confirm if settling on a particular set c – that’s a complex question which would require the specifications of the wheels and tires being used – the UCAs may help, but not always completely d – SPCs are nice, but most… Read more »

                      2
                      0
                      Questions or Comments?x
                      ()
                      x