74Weld Billet Aluminum Upper Control Arm Review and Step-By-Step Install For the 5th Gen 4Runner
74 Weld is an aerospace machine shop located in San Diego, California, that makes aerospace quality parts for the off-road industry. Their most recent splash in the offroad headlines has been at 2020 King of Hammers with the 1st Ford Bronco 4600 race truck. Those magnificent-looking portal axles? Yup, that’s 74Weld.
Will they ever make portals for the 5th Gen 4Runner? I sure hope so! But until then their awesome UCAs will have to do!
74Weld Upper Control Arms (UCAs) are machined from a single plate of 6061 T651 Domestic Aluminum. They are machined on a full 5-Axis Hermle CNC Machine for accuracy and precision. They are then Type 1 anodized for that bling factor while providing a durable finish.
Since 74Weld machines their UCA in a 5-axis CNC machine, they are able to machine the ball joint at a 13.6-degree angle to provide optimal travel without binding.
This also allows them to machine the control arm pivots into the UCAs. Whereas the other billet UCAs on the market use Heim joints. Pivot points also have zerk fittings for ease of maintenance.
Their UCAs come in two configurations. Moog Problem Solver Ball Joint and a Uniball Joint. Both are sealed within the ball cup with an o-ring and machined cover.
The UCAs utilize polyurethane bushings with steel inner sleeves and washers. This setup is very similar if not identical to most tubular steel UCAs on the market.
Installing UCAs to 5th Gen 4Runner
Instructions are the same for both driver and passenger’s side unless otherwise shown.
Find it online:
*74Weld UCAs are sold thru Down South Motorsports
- Super Lube 41150 Synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease: Check Price
- Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease: Check Price
- Grease Gun: Check Price
Tools & Materials:
- 3/8 Ratchet
- Extension 10-12”
- Extension 3”
- 10mm Deep Socket
- 12mm Deep Socket
- 19mm Standard and Deep Sockets
- 21mm Deep Socket
- 19mm Combination Wrench x2
- Torque Wrench (min torque value 85 ft·lbf)
- Bungee Cord
- Needle Nose Pliers
- 4mm Allen Wrench
- Plastic Fastener Prybar
- Channel Lock
- Grease Gun
- Grease Super Lube (#41150)
- Bearing Grease Mobil 1 Synthetic
- Shop Towels
Step 1. Put 4Runner On Jack Stands
Park the car, set the parking brake, and chock the rear wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels slightly. Lift up the front of the car and support it on jack stands. Remove lug nuts and wheels.
Step 2. Remove Plastic Clips For Splash Guards
You don’t have to remove the splash guards completely. Just the three shown above on each side. This will provide enough room to work with when removing the factory bolt.
Step 3. Remove ABS Sensor Brackets
There are two 10mm bolts holding the ABS sensor wire brackets. Removing these two will allow more freedom to the spindle once the OEM UCA ball joint and spindle are separated.
Note: The bottom bolt will be reused.
Step 4. Remove OEM UCA Ball Joint
Remove the cotter pin using a needle nose plier. Use a 19mm socket and breaker bar to break the torque on the castle nut.
Once the torque is broken, loosen the castle nut to the point where there is about a 1/8 inch gap between the castle nut and spindle.
Using a hammer hit the flat spot on the spindle repeatedly until the ball joint separates itself from the spindle.
Step 5. Remove UCA from Frame
Remove the 12mm bolt holding the brake line junction bracket to the frame.
With the 12mm bolt removed, move the brake line towards the engine. This will provide enough room for the 19mm extended socket.
Using a breaker bar and an extended 19mm socket, break the torque on the factory nut holding the factory bolt. You might have to use a 19mm combination wrench on the other end to loosen the factory nut.
Once the factory nut has been removed, feed the factory bolt forward. The two factory washers should fall out as the factory bolt is moved forward.
Remove the OEM UCA. The bolt does not need to be completely removed it can remain in place.
Note: The factory bolt and nut will be reused.
Driver Side Bolt
The driver’s side factory bolt should slide forward without any interference. The bolt will come close to the battery cable bracket but you’ll be able to wiggle past it.
Passenger Side Bolt
For the passenger side bolt, remove the 10mm nut holding the AC line bracket in place.
Once the bracket is free, push the AC line towards the engine, and also unclip the AC line from the rubber retainer. This should provide enough room for the factory bolt to slide forward.
Step 6. Install 74Weld UCA
Grease the outer diameter of the steel inner sleeve with Super Lube. Grease the inner diameter of the polyurethane bushing and outer face of the polyurethane bushings with Super Lube.
Assemble the polyurethane bushing and steel inner sleeve.
Starting with the most forward steel washer, insert the factory bolt and feed it thru the UCA followed by another steel washer. Thread the factory bolt thru the frame mount and then repeat.
Reinstall factory nut and bolt. Do not fully tighten.
Step 7. Torque Ball Joint to Spindle
Interestingly the Toyota OEM castle nut is the same thread size as the MOOG ball joint, however, the Toyota one is a flange nut compared to the standard nut. Therefore I ordered a new set from Toyota (Part# 90171-A0001) since it has a larger contact surface area with the spindle.
Clean both mating surfaces on the ball joint and spindle. Position the ball joint so that it lines up with the spindle.
Once aligned, the ball joint stud should protrude enough for the castle nut to screw onto. Tighten the castle nut till it bottoms out.
Torque the ball joint to 81 ft·lbf.
Check the alignment between the castle nut and ball joint stud. As required tighten the castle nut until it lines up with the cotter pin opening.
Lastly, install cotter pin.
Step 9. Install ABS Sensor Bracket to 74Weld UCA
The OEM ABS bracket does not fit the 74Weld UCA without modification. You’ll have to bend the bracket; the easiest way for me was to bend it with a channel lock. Install modified bracket to UCA with supplied screw (4mm Allen Wrench).
Step 10. Torque Factory Bolt
Attach the grease gun to the zerk fittings on the UCA pivot arms. Pump grease (Super Lube) into the bushings until grease starts to flow out of the bushings.
Then, torque the UCA nut/bolt to 85 ft·lbf. Clean and remove the excess grease. Then, reinstall the plastic clips holding the splash guard.
Step 11. Grease Ball Joint & Polyurethane Bushings
Using a 4MM Allen wrench remove the ball joint cover.
Attach the grease gun to the ball joint zerk fitting. Pump grease (Mobil 1 Bearing) into the ball joint until grease can be felt in the dust boot. Stop greasing once it starts to flow out of the boot. Be careful to not overfill the ball joint.
Reinstall the ball joint cover.
Step 12. Reinstall Wheels + Alignment
Reinstall your wheels and torque them to the recommended torque value.
Have an alignment shop perform an alignment. Preferably one that is experienced with modified off-road vehicles.
Step 13. Complete
Enjoy what is in my opinion the best looking UCAs on the market, these will for sure turn heads on the trails or meet-ups!