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FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted #2878787
01/23/21 10:13 AM
01/23/21 10:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,526
North Carolina
cjskotni Offline OP
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cjskotni  Offline OP
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All,

I am considering purchasing a set of the FirmFeel tubular UCA's (UCAB2) for my 1973 Charger (street car). Before I drop the coin on these, I was wondering if anybody had used these before and were they really worth the money.

My 73 Charger has the following suspension upgrades already:
- FF Stage 3 steering box
- HD 11/16" tie rods
- 1" front stabilizer bar
- 3/4" rear sway bar
- Bilstein shocks
- 1.06" torsion bars
- Poly bushings and K-frame bushings
- HD (hemi) leaf springs

What I am struggling with is the ability to get a decent alignment on the car where it doesn't want to "hunt" on the freeway. I have been told this is likely due to not being able to get enough caster which these UCA's are supposed to fix.

I have nothing but good things to say about Firmfeel (except they are pricey) but I'd hate to go through the trouble of buying these to be underwhelmed.

Anybody with any experiences with these? I'd appreciate any feedback anybody may have on these. thumbs

b3_body_upper_control_arms_mopar.jpg
Last edited by cjskotni; 01/23/21 10:14 AM.
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2878833
01/23/21 11:57 AM
01/23/21 11:57 AM
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Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Can...
moparmike1 Offline
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Before spending the money on those parts, I'd suggest trying the Moog offset upper control arm bushings, K7103:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=203130&cc=1079401&jsn=901

These bushings solved the caster problem with my car.

Mike.

Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2878843
01/23/21 12:22 PM
01/23/21 12:22 PM
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Posts: 21,474
Trumussia
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jcc Offline
If you can't dazzle em with diamonds..
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Years back when in the market, FF had the best offering IMO from a few different manufacturers I acquired. Those you pictured, look a bit beefier and are i suspect the latest offering or what the 73+ require, I don't know.

You seem to have a well balanced/thought out upgraded suspension package, other than the wandering complaint, How do like it now vs where you started?. Did you note the tire package for us?


If you can't dazzle them with diamonds, don't waste your time, because nothing will
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2878859
01/23/21 12:53 PM
01/23/21 12:53 PM
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Oregon
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AndyF Offline
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They are well built and they may or may not solve your problem. When you are trying to do what you're doing you have to keep an open mind about solutions. On my Duster I had to install camber spacers behind the knuckles after installing the Firm Feel upper arms. The Firm Feel uppers by themselves kicked the top of the knuckle out too far. After I added the camber spacers I was able to get the alignment dialed in and now the car drives just perfect.

Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: moparmike1] #2878993
01/23/21 03:55 PM
01/23/21 03:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,526
North Carolina
cjskotni Offline OP
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cjskotni  Offline OP
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North Carolina
Originally Posted by moparmike1
Before spending the money on those parts, I'd suggest trying the Moog offset upper control arm bushings, K7103:

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=203130&cc=1079401&jsn=901

These bushings solved the caster problem with my car.

Mike.


I have seen these but (like most suspension problem solvers) they are for the 72-down B-bodies...

Originally Posted by jcc
You seem to have a well balanced/thought out upgraded suspension package, other than the wandering complaint, How do like it now vs where you started?. Did you note the tire package for us?


Thank you and it's debatable how well thought out it was. whistling

TBH I have never driven the car much with the OEM bushings/shocks in good shape. I drove it a very little bit when I purchased it back in 2004 but the suspension was whipped so my frame of reference is limited. I can tell you the FF steering gear made a decent difference (over a parts store box) and the HD tie rod ends took even more slop out. The torsion bars definitely stiffened things up vs stock....they are almost too stiff but better than the "floating" feeling of the originals.

Tires are Cooper Cobras (front P245/60R15 - rear P275/60R15).

Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: AndyF] #2879015
01/23/21 04:23 PM
01/23/21 04:23 PM
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central texas
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krautrock Offline
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Originally Posted by AndyF
They are well built and they may or may not solve your problem. When you are trying to do what you're doing you have to keep an open mind about solutions. On my Duster I had to install camber spacers behind the knuckles after installing the Firm Feel upper arms. The Firm Feel uppers by themselves kicked the top of the knuckle out too far. After I added the camber spacers I was able to get the alignment dialed in and now the car drives just perfect.


yeah i had the same experience with mine on my '67 Coronet. instead of using the camber spacers on the knuckles (which i did consider) i just decided i was happy with 2.5* caster and -.25* camber.
might go back and install the spacers and revisit the alignment settings after i drive it some more.

edit: should mention that i have SS springs on the rear, so there is some rake that takes caster away on my setup.

Last edited by krautrock; 01/25/21 05:30 PM.
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: krautrock] #2879524
01/24/21 06:01 PM
01/24/21 06:01 PM
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Posts: 1,128
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NHCharger Offline
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I'm using them on both my 68 Charger and 69 Daytona clone. In addition I also have a stiffening plate on the LCA, 1-3/8" Hellwig front swaybar, upgraded TB's, US Car Tool core stiffener and subframe connectors. Both cars corner very flat, very happy with the results. Rear sway bars are next on the hit list.
If you do buy these make sure you ask the rep for what numbers to use for the front end alignment. When I took my 68 in for the initial alignment the tech argued with me saying I would scrub all the tread off the tires in the first 10k miles.I told him that would be my problem not his. He even wrote on the documentation the front end was not aligned to factory specs. I now have 8k miles on the 68. The front tires still look brand new. Rear tires are almost ready to be replaced-LOL

Last edited by NHCharger; 01/24/21 06:02 PM.

My Dad always told me, when setting goals " avoid disappointment, aim low".
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: NHCharger] #2879877
01/25/21 01:53 PM
01/25/21 01:53 PM
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north of coder
moparx Offline
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what numbers did you use for alignment ? TIA
beer

Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2879977
01/25/21 03:46 PM
01/25/21 03:46 PM
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NW Chicago suburban area
Mopar Mitch Offline
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Sounds to me that you definitely need more caster... and most any aftermarket UCAs will give you that. The FF are a non- adjustable design, so, you'll rely on the initial extra caster they give you plus the eccentric alignment.... maybe you'll get a minimum of +3 or up to about +5. In contrast, the OE design and specs will be lucky to give you about +2 caster at most... not desirable for almost any driving anywhere.

Your tall rear tires may be giving you a raked stance... which basically takes away some caster. If the rake is there, consider lowering the rear end slightly with ~1/2" lowering blocks (installed between the leafs and differential).

I'm aware of someone using the FF UCAs with the Moog offset bushings.. and he's been able to get +7 caster... great for highway and road course driving.

Personally, I favor "adjustable" UCAs such as SPC, Hotchkis or others, but the FF UCAs are good.... and better than the OE design for alignment.

When/where ever you get your alignment done, just tell them, and insist, to get you as much positive caster as possible, then a small amount of negative camber. The TOE should be about 1/16"-1/8 " maximum IN... this will be good for highway and road course driving (I run zero toe as I use the car more for competition purposes).

Also, by adding more caster, as long as you have PS, the extra steering effort isn't even noticeable... so don't be concerned about that matter... its only noticeable with manual steering.

Good luck.... and let us know what you end up with.


Mopar Mitch "Road racers and autocrossers go in deeper and come out harder!"... and rain never stops us from having fun with our cars... in fact, it makes us better drivers! Check out MOPAR ACTION MAGAZINE, August 2006 issue for feature article and specs on my autocross T/A!
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: moparx] #2880228
01/25/21 11:20 PM
01/25/21 11:20 PM
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NHCharger Offline
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Originally Posted by moparx
what numbers did you use for alignment ? TIA
beer


4-4.5 positive camber
1-1.5 negative camber
1/16-1/8" toe in


My Dad always told me, when setting goals " avoid disappointment, aim low".
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: NHCharger] #2880303
01/26/21 09:39 AM
01/26/21 09:39 AM
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jcc Offline
If you can't dazzle em with diamonds..
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You need to review/correct those above numbers


If you can't dazzle them with diamonds, don't waste your time, because nothing will
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2880408
01/26/21 01:40 PM
01/26/21 01:40 PM
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central CT
cudazappa Offline
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Bought them for my 79 300 because it was not much more expensive than having the oem ones rebuilt at a shop. Loved them from first install. Sold the car and now the kid hooning about in it loves them, too!

https://youtu.be/yvmEIuBvj_U


1971 Challenger
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cudazappa] #2882008
01/30/21 12:19 PM
01/30/21 12:19 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,526
North Carolina
cjskotni Offline OP
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Thanks guys. I knew the alignment I had was sub-optimal. Here are the specs I was given from my most recent one:

+ .4 degrees L +.2 degrees R - Camber
+ .6 degrees L + 1.1 degrees R - Caster
+ .14 degrees L + .16 degrees R - Toe

Yes, those are all "dot" values.

Last edited by cjskotni; 01/31/21 08:05 AM.
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: AndyF] #2882879
02/01/21 07:22 PM
02/01/21 07:22 PM
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central IL reg Nov 18, 1999
Stroker Offline
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Originally Posted by AndyF
They are well built and they may or may not solve your problem. When you are trying to do what you're doing you have to keep an open mind about solutions. On my Duster I had to install camber spacers behind the knuckles after installing the Firm Feel upper arms. The Firm Feel uppers by themselves kicked the top of the knuckle out too far. After I added the camber spacers I was able to get the alignment dialed in and now the car drives just perfect.


What material and thickness did you use?



Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: Stroker] #2882955
02/01/21 10:43 PM
02/01/21 10:43 PM
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krautrock Offline
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Originally Posted by Stroker
Originally Posted by AndyF
They are well built and they may or may not solve your problem. When you are trying to do what you're doing you have to keep an open mind about solutions. On my Duster I had to install camber spacers behind the knuckles after installing the Firm Feel upper arms. The Firm Feel uppers by themselves kicked the top of the knuckle out too far. After I added the camber spacers I was able to get the alignment dialed in and now the car drives just perfect.


What material and thickness did you use?


I'd guess he used these...
https://www.manciniracing.com/maracaspkit.html

Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2915793
04/27/21 04:54 PM
04/27/21 04:54 PM
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OLD318 Offline
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I have a 70 Coronet 2dr HdTp.. that I have owned since 1982
318 engine automatic 8.25 rear end 2.71 gears....

Suspension wise:
I use the mopar performance 0.96 torsion bars (Hemi size)
mopar performance hemi-leaf springs
Billstein shocks
stock strut rods
stock tie rod ends (from MOOG)

I added boxed super bee lower control arms
1 added the front sway bar (from firm feel)
I use the stage 2 steering gear from Steer-n-gear
I tried the borgeson setup...and it just hissed and hissed
and after months of total frustration, I sent it back and got my money back...

The stock caster setting of 0-1 degrees sucked from a "tracking straight down the road" standpoint.

I first tried the MOOG offset bushing on the stock UCA's
I was able to dial in 2.0 on the driver side and 2.5 caster on the passenger side.
This was a very noticeable improvement over the stock 0-1 degree setting.
Overall, a cheap upgrade that worked out really well...

After years of hearing more caster is better
I went ahead a bought the FirmFeel arms, and installed them

I can dial in 3.5 degrees on the driver side and 4.0 on the passenger side..
After driving for over a year (about 1000 miles)

I can tell your this: FWIW... I think the car felt better with the offset bushings...
I guess my car doesn't need all that caster.... 2.0 - 2.5 degrees seems to be plenty for my setup...
I just don't notice any real improvement tracking straight down the rod by upgrading to those FF arms...

However, I have not removed them...
I kept my old (stock) UCAs just in case...

If I had it to do all over again I would pass on the FF UCA's...
I might however consider the Hotchkiss setup which is REALLY pricey
but can jack up the caster to 6-8 degrees (so i'm told)

The FF is better than stock..
So I feel no need to change it out... yet


Hope this helps







Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: cjskotni] #2915940
04/27/21 11:59 PM
04/27/21 11:59 PM
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jcc Offline
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Originally Posted by cjskotni
Thanks guys. I knew the alignment I had was sub-optimal. Here are the specs I was given from my most recent one:

+ .4 degrees L +.2 degrees R - Camber
+ .6 degrees L + 1.1 degrees R - Caster
+ .14 degrees L + .16 degrees R - Toe

Yes, those are all "dot" values.


Before or are these the "target" numbers?

IMO the above camber values should be negative., even more sure improves turn in at the expense of inner tire wear.
Any additional caster would be a plus.
Toe + is toe out here (?), which is odd, I would think toe in is the goal, unless running circle track.


If you can't dazzle them with diamonds, don't waste your time, because nothing will
Re: FirmFeel Tubular UCA's Feedback Wanted [Re: jcc] #2922007
05/13/21 08:53 AM
05/13/21 08:53 AM
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Rogue River, OR
Jeremiah Offline
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An 1/8" toe in will feather the front tires. 0-1/16" toe in and many suggest the toe setting should be performed with the suspension raised 1".

I have QA1's and firm feel. They are about the same except I lke the QA1's better because the control arm bushings are greasable. My go to package these days is the QA1 level 1 package with shocks. There is a drag version and a handling version. The kit includes adjustable strut rods, UCAs, shocks and tie rod sleeves. I also like that the shocks are rebuildable. Another nice thing about the QA1 strut rods is that you can usually sneak them in without removing the t bar and LCA which helps if you are simply performing and upgrade and blueprinting the suspension.

If I was doing this for my own car at minimum I would use a single adjustable shock. DA if budget allows.

I would never run stock LCA bushings. Terrible design IMO. They wear quickly and essentially are always in a bind. Greasable LCA pins with poly for this guy. In my experience the ride quality has mostly to do with the shocks and tire specs (sidewall height and pressure). I had 1.12" or what ever t bars on a 4100lb 66 Charger and it rode nice one I took the KYBs off.









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