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Ball Joints or Uniballs?

sikamikanico816

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well, i been reading and looking at many different aproaches to a prerunner style suspension setup. All the race trucks i have seen are using heims, or uniball joints in their suspension when it comes to a-arms. why? according to camburg's kit, with upper uniballs you achieve two more inches of suspension travel. but according to Dixon racing, their long travel kit achives more with a moog ball joint rather then a uniball on their extended arms. why is this? the next question is which one is would make more sense to use? are uniballs stronger? or are balljoints prefered becuause they are cheaper to replace? thanks guys.
 



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white96x

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ok here goes nothing....the reason dixon uses a high angle balljoint is b/c they use the factory spindle, so instead of modifying it or providing a new spindle, they use factory and hence need the ball joint, which works great for their kit b/c if there were modifications to be done to the stock spindle or if there was a new spindle provided, it would cost a lot more, camburg's kit on the other hand uses a sheared race spindle and instead of using a balljoint they use a 'mono-ball', it is a horizontal, 2 piece uniball, which is a lot stronger than a ball joint or vertical uniball would be in that kit...as far as which one makes more sense to use, i have no clue...ya balljoints are a lot cheaper to replace but i guess it just comes down to what each company feels will work best in the kit they're designing....plus if you look at most of the camburg kits, at least i've noticed this, with all their kits, whether it's a 7 grand longtravel kit or a 1 grand base kit they always try to integrate an upper arm w/uniball(where applicabale), i guess it's just something thats worked well for them and they're sticking with it
 






sikamikanico816

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dixon bros claim that with ball joints, you reach over 20 degrees more than a uniball. why? also ive been told by a fabricator that an upper control arm with a heim joint can work on my spindle? how would this work? i think it would look this right or not?
a-armss.jpg
 






BigDave!!!

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why does dixon say that? marketing. its hard to reach 20 degrees more when you have a horizontal uniball that can rotate the whole 360. sure ball joints will work fin if you keep them bumped and limited within the range of the joint but also you have to consider what you are buying the kit for: fun or full race. for the most part fun = ball joints or uniballs and full race = uniballs and heim joints because they are stronger and do have a wider range of motion

i have actually seen an explorer sport in san marcos (if your familiar with that area) that has a procomp spindle with a heim tapped into the spindle that makes a horizontal uniball upper arm. it would not look like that in the pic, that truck is using a uniball and not a heim joint at the spindle, that thing has heims that connect the arm to the frame. if you go about getting a uniball upper with heims it will be stronger and quite a bit better that the stock arms and balljoints
 






white96x

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yep exactly....and they might be right 20* over a vertical uniball, but not a horizontal, even still that might be a little overkill, just like dave said the heim would go where the arm meets the spindle, the spindle would have to be fabricated to accept a heim and the arms will already be fabbed to use a heim so basically it's gonna act just like a horizontal uniball, although i don't know how strong a heim vs horizontal uniball would be
 






sikamikanico816

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so whats going on with that pic i posted what would you call that? it looks like a stock or fabtech type spindle. whats the difference between heim and balljoint?
 






white96x

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in that pic you have a vertical uniball..i'm assuming by heim that the guy you talked to will fab it some how so you have a heim coming out of the top of the spindle with tabs or something that will allow the spindle to conect to the upper arm with a bolt....difference between the heim and uniball is strength, like i said i don't see the heim being as strong as the uniball...maybe dave will chime in to give you a clearer description, thats the best i can do
 






BigDave!!!

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just like this only they secure the heim differently for our spindle
post-12-27122-Droop1.jpg
 












BigDave!!!

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connected with a lower vertical uniball, that picture was before those arms were finished though, just a mock up shot
 






taknitezX2

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well i guess i can throw in a couple thoughts here. and away i goooooo. :D

anyways, horizantal uniball great product. problem is it cost most, why? u have to have a custom upright (spindle) made. bla bla bla, but they do, out of the three items mentioned, have the bigest deficit of turning radius, as it can only rotate so far.

vertical uniball is ok i guess. i considered goin this way, or with a heim tapped into the PC spindle like shown. however, after contacting several big name shops and discussing this issus, and adressing honest facts, more said not recommended than not. ive seen and heard of many spindles breaking, and the tapped sleve coming out ect. if u go this way, u will have limited travel, but ur steering is not affected.

Hi angle uniballs are best in my opinion if you are going with a stock type spindle. they fit like stock. compared to vertical uniballs, they do have more articulation and do not affect steering as well. granted they may take a bit more maintence, like regular greasing, but if u know what ur doing, so do uniballs. they can go bad after a while of use, arnt to expensive to replace. uniballs cost much more. keep them in thier range of travel and they work just fine.

So if your goin with a full custom kit, uppers, lowers, upright, then spend the extra and go horizantel uniballs. if not, see what type of kit it is, bla bla bla, and make ur decision off that. i would, and choose to rather have confident functionality and overall stregnth rather than adding a little chrome for some bling look.
 






sikamikanico816

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wow great input guys. thanks for the info everyone. now i know it is possible to use horizontal uniballs on a stock spindle...according to dave's pic. the real question is if it's worth. you said you seen broken spindles and broken joints. im thinkin of going dixon just for the price v. performance. its not bad. I could also go to a custom fab shop instead and have them make custom horizontal uniball setup for me. hmm i guess its upto me now.
 






white96x

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sikamikanico816 said:
wow great input guys. thanks for the info everyone. now i know it is possible to use horizontal uniballs on a stock spindle...according to dave's pic. the real question is if it's worth. you said you seen broken spindles and broken joints. im thinkin of going dixon just for the price v. performance. its not bad. I could also go to a custom fab shop instead and have them make custom horizontal uniball setup for me. hmm i guess its upto me now.
in that pic thats a heim on a modified stock spindle, and i've seen vertical uniballs on modified stock spindles but i've never seen a horizontal uniball on a modified stock spindle, it would be a little hard i think...
 






sikamikanico816

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in the pic that dave posted it showed a horizontal uniball been installed similar to how it would in our spindles except ours would be held on by that horizontal bolt. the one in the pic is held by a verticle bolt it looks like.
 






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BigDave!!! said:
for the most part fun = ball joints or uniballs and full race = uniballs and heim joints....


Dixon Bros has put a lot of race miles on their ball joint kits.
 






taknitezX2

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sikamikanico816 said:
in the pic that dave posted it showed a horizontal uniball been installed similar to how it would in our spindles except ours would be held on by that horizontal bolt. the one in the pic is held by a verticle bolt it looks like.

that pic shows a hiem, not a uniball. thats on the new richer racing f1 kit i think. but yeah, not a horizantal uniball, probably a 1.25 hiem. its late and really dont wanna explain the difference. sorry. maybe tomarrow but im sure someone will beat me to it.
 






BigDave!!!

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SteveG3 said:
Dixon Bros has put a lot of race miles on their ball joint kits.
and thats why i said for the most part, but take a look at the unlimited class vehicles which use the strongest stuff on the market, not a ball joint in sight. im sure there are a few exceptions to race vehicles such as 1450 trucks where you might see ball joints but the majority are using uniballs and heims

^^this statement does not apply to beamed trucks since they have to use ball joints
 






SteveG3

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BigDave!!! said:
and thats why i said for the most part, but take a look at the unlimited class vehicles....


I'm pretty sure no one here is racing in an unlimited class.

I think a lot of people make the mistake of buying things because "that's the way the big boys do it". Most people on this board have vehicles that are driven daily or at minimum very often on the street. Personally I like parts that are easy to maintain and last a long time. Heim joints and uniballs have to be removed and cleaned and rotated if you want them to last. things like that can be a pain in the butt if you don't have the right equipment. Just last week I did this the heims on my radius arms and if I didn't have a lift to do it on, it would have been a big chore.

The big advantage of a ball joint is that it's sealed and greasable.

Also, as far as I know, and I could be wrong, Dixon is the only shop making true long travel front ends for 4wd A-arm Rangers/Explorers.
 






white96x

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SteveG3 said:
Also, as far as I know, and I could be wrong, Dixon is the only shop making true long travel front ends for 4wd A-arm Rangers/Explorers.
Camburg's working on one and i can almost gaurantee it will use a monoball....even still dixon's 2wd kit also uses a balljoint so it would also make sense that they used a balljoint on their 4wd kit, and like i stated earlier, the only reason they use a balljoint is b/c they use the stock spindle.
 



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CougarX

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white96x said:
Camburg's working on one and i can almost gaurantee it will use a monoball....even still dixon's 2wd kit also uses a balljoint so it would also make sense that they used a balljoint on their 4wd kit, and like i stated earlier, the only reason they use a balljoint is b/c they use the stock spindle.

Using a uniball for the upper will probably mean changing to a different spindle, which is going to make the price even more then the Dixon kit. The Dixon kit already pushes the price line for "fun" suspension versus "racing" suspension. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone breaking an upper balljoint on an Explorer, even with as many people that are on this board and as hard as some people are on their rides. I think a high angle ball joint is more then enough for 99.9% of people. Anything more is just overkill unless you've got a fully custom suspension and plan on driving through the desert on a regular basis at 100mph+.
 






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