It’s pretty safe to say that most 4×4’s take a beating. No matter whether you’re heading off the beaten track, or tearing down a dusty flat, every off-road vehicle is going to need strong and tactile suspension components to withstand intense terrain.
Modern versions of adjustable, long travel control arms are a relatively new function in 4x4s in that they give off roaders much more versatility, clearance and strength than control arms of old. Other than optimizing your front suspension for off road terrain, adjustable aftermarket upper control arms also allow for fine tuning of wheel alignment geometry. This ability to adjust camber and caster helps correct tire wear and steering issues on lifted vehicles, which not only enhances drivability, but prolongs the lifetime of your tires and other components.
With that being said, control arms are sensitive beasts. Your suspension is never something you should really consider tweaking unless you either know exactly what you’re doing. Picking the right control arms and having the expertise to install them correctly are key in doing an effective control arm upgrade. The moment something goes wrong with your suspension, especially if you’re the cause of the fault, you might find yourself stuck with hefty repair costs that fall outside of your warranty.
Adjustable, high strength upper control arms can be seen as somewhat of a luxury for the average 4×4. They’re becoming a staple item when lifting a truck, and more people continue to catch on to this effective upgrade that helps attain the best possible ride quality, suspension articulation, and wheel alignment. If these sound like improvements your truck or SUV is in need of, it’s all the more reason to head towards trusted brands such as Icon Vehicle Dynamics or SPC.
Should I Upgrade/Replace My Suspension?
Replacing or upgrading certain suspension components is, of course, going to be a must if you’re noticing poor road quality, excessive tire wear, or loud noises while driving. Once your suspension goes, the rest of the vehicle goes with it. Never cheap out on suspension components if you’re serious about maintaining a comfortable, safe, and supportive ride.
As a truck or SUV owner, you should think about upgrading your suspension if you need that little bit of extra lift, whether it be purely for aesthetic reasons or for functional reasons. If low ground clearance has never really bothered you before, then you might be pleasantly surprised by difference with a lifted stance. Especially if you’ve installed bigger tires and wheels, better ground clearance also means better wheel clearance and better handling, both of which are going to be a great benefit in the long run. That doesn’t just go for off-road, but on the straight and narrow, too.
Leading brands such as SPC are worth turning to if your OE control arms lack the travel to accommodate extended travel off-road coil-overs, or if your OE control arms are banging into the front spring bucket. As mentioned before, you’re going to need the best components in the business for both safety and protection of your vehicle’s other components, many of which might be damaged if your suspension gives out.
For a comprehensive line of premium lift kit components, you should also consider suspension products from Icon Vehicle Dynamics. A full Icon suspension kit, or even a suspension that’s enhanced by some of their key suspension components, will help give you optimum strength and versatility even when you’re putting your vehicle through the grinder on tough terrain.
Should I Replace/Upgrade My Control Arms?
Aftermarket upgrades for 4x4s come in all shapes and sizes. What you might not consider right away, if you are a new driver or owner, is upgrading your control arm system. Replacing or enhancing those upper control arms is going to mean they’ll last longer and protect your other front suspension components from excessive wear and tear – great news if you’re going to be driving off-road for many years to come. In addition, you’ll find that you can open yourself up to a wider variety of different upgrades and enhancements with wheel/tire upgrades and different lift heights.
Upper control arms most importantly provide better clearance and better droop travel. This matters a lot when it comes to getting the most out of your truck or SUV. Of course, upgrading your factory control arms to adjustable off-road control arms also means you’ll benefit from added strength, and more fine tuned articulation when you really put your front suspension to work.
When it comes to actually changing your control arms up out of necessity, it again makes sense to shop with a leading brand. In this regard, we again can’t recommend either Icon or SPC (Specialty Products Company) enough. There are plenty of control and suspension tech providers out there, but time and again, these manufacturers come out on top.
Control Arms/Suspensions You Should Consider
So, once you’ve decided that it’s time to change up your 4×4 suspension or to get those upper control arms working more efficiently, you need to take a look at the different options available online. Luckily, TotalZParts.com has more than a few options to choose from when it comes to fixing your lifted truck’s alignment, increasing front spring clearance, or correcting vertical droop travel issues. If you’re really ambitious about taking your suspension up a few notches with a comprehensive suspension lift kit, then we have great solutions for that too!
For Tacoma owners, we’d firstly recommend considering the SPC 25470 Upper Control Arms (for 2005-2021 Tacoma 6-lug trucks). These are great for either bringing back factory handling, or enhancing the handling and drivability of an older 4×4. This set of arms is ideal for Tacoma drivers looking for that extra bit of adjustability to precisely accommodate your tire size and ensure balanced tire wear.
Front alignment issues can be a nightmare – and among our products in-catalog right now, there are few that hold a candle to this SPC standard. Their patented ball joint design offers an unparalleled 80 degrees of articulation, meaning you’re able to unlock freedom of movement you’d never believe.
Icon, too, have a pair of upper control arms we think will work perfectly for Ford F150 drivers. Ideal for correcting caster and camber, the UCA Tubular Upper Control Arms Kit is a popular choice for those drivers looking to go super heavy-duty on the ball joints. Tougher driving warrants tougher components, and Icon’s patented delta joint design combines superior strength with excellent ball joint articulation.
Benefiting from their Delta Joint design, Icon Vehicle Dynamics upper control arms allow for maximum droop travel while off-roading, without the ever so common worry of component failure. Their delta joint design is a brilliant enhancement to the industry standard, and we highly recommend it.
If you’re not sure which control arms, off-road coilover kits, or suspension systems to consider, don’t forget that you can reach out to an expert at TotalZParts at any time. Not everyone wants to persist with the factory suspension for the rest of their drives – and we can hardly blame them. Take a look through the best of control arms and more from Icon and SPC right here, right now.