Total Chaos Fabrcation

Ultimate Guide To Lower Control Arms

toyota boxed chromoly lower control arm uniball bushing pivot

TOTAL CHAOS upper control arms (UCAs) are a no-brainer when it comes to gaining suspension travel and optimizing your steering and suspension geometry. But you might not be as familiar with their stock length lower control arms (LCAs).


What Is A Lower Control Arm?

Upper and lower control arms are the suspension components that connect from the frame to the steering knuckle and allow the suspension to cycle up and down. The coil over shocks bolt to an upper shock mount off the frame and to the lower control arm to control the suspension movement. Spring rates and shock valving provide the dampening control on your vehicle.


total chaos lower control arm king shocks coilovers land cruiser 200 series


How Can You Tell If An OEM Lower Control Arm Is Bad?

Stock control arms use rubber bushings at the frame end and a tapered ball joint at the knuckle. Ball joints and bushings wear out over time, and with heavy off-road use some lower ball joints are prone to failure. Sloppy steering and uneven tire wear are common when these parts become worn out or damaged. Factory lower control arms must be replaced when they become worn, the bushings cannot be replaced.


What Happens If A Lower Control Arm Breaks?

The lower ball joints are a common failure point. When the ball joint fails and separates it causes loss of control to the vehicle and significant damage to your axle, control arm, and knuckle when the tire gets yanked rearward under the vehicle.


TOTAL CHAOS Lower Control Arms are rebuildable, meaning they are the last set of arms you will ever need to buy.

How Do You Remove And Replace A Lower Control Arm?  How Much Does That Cost?

There are several components tied into the lower control arm – the coil over shock, steering knuckle, bump stop, and sway bar end link (or KDSS link) are all connected. Installing new control arms does not involve any welding or fabrication, but mechanical experience is highly recommended.  This can be performed in your driveway with the proper hand tools, air tools can make the job much easier and save you some time. If you pay a shop to perform the installation expect to pay for approximately five hours of labor.


Do I Need An Alignment After Replacing An LCA?

TOTAL CHAOS lower control arms can be installed with simple hand tools, but you will need an alignment after installing them. When replacing lower control arms this is the ideal time to install a set of TOTAL CHAOS weld-on lower control arm cam tab gussets to keep your alignment cams in spec.


TOTAL CHAOS offers Lower Control Arms for a variety of different vehicles.


What Advantages Do TOTAL CHAOS Lower Control Arms Provide?

Rubber bushings are replaced with urethane bushings to provide better off road trail handling and steering response. TOTAL CHAOS lower control arms are fully serviceable and far more durable upgrading lower ball joints to 1-inch stainless steel uniball’s. Less bushing deflection allows the vehicle steering to be more responsive at higher speed on and off road. The uniballs are not the only strength improvement, depending on the what version of LCA you order each is 100% hand crafted from boxed chromoly or steel and internally gusseted to withstand even the hardest of hits.

All suspension includes a three stage powder coat process in distinctive TC silver with a clear coat finish for long lasting good looks. TOTAL CHAOS lower control arms come with grease zerks for easy maintenance of the bushings to ensure long life and easy maintenance. When it is time prep your equipment and you need to replace a uniball or bushing, TOTAL CHAOS stocks all replacement parts for easy service at home.



Do TOTAL CHAOS Lower Control Arms Retain Factory Geometry?

Yes. Our lower control arms are designed to replace your factory arm with all the added upgrades and features mentioned above. However, some applications we have increased the caster a few mm, just enough to assist in aligning your vehicle with an aftermarket performance lift. Our modifications are minimal to ensure the life of your steering and 4wd components is not compromised. We designed the lower control arms so that they can be installed as an upgrade with all your original factory suspension components we and prefer to trim sheet metal when necessary to prevent tire contact in your wheel well.

There are some companies who offer lower control arms that move the mounting point for the knuckle forward, claiming that this maximizes your tire clearance. However, there is much more component geometry changes needed. By changing the caster that drastically to try and shove a larger tire in the wheel well it starts a domino effect with regards to the steering and suspension geometry that can negatively impact clearance of your tie rod ends, steering rack, and CV axles.


1st gen tacoma 3rd gen 4runner lower control arm with uniball conversion
The 96555-E Expedition Series LCA combines with our lower uniball conversion for ultimate strength on 96-04 Tacomas, 96-02 4Runners, and 96-02 Prado 90’s.


Standard Series versus Expedition Series

Expedition Series lower control arms have the uniball housed in a billet CNC machined cup that is integrated into the boxed arm. This version maximizes ground clearance and turning radius.  The Expedition Series TOTAL CHAOS lower control arms have reinforced steering stops to retain the factory turning radius. The Expedition Series LCAs also have a pocked added at the shock mount location to maximize clearance and allow for a wider range of aftermarket shock options. This also includes shocks with rubber bushing lower rod ends and 3.0” diameter shocks.

Expedition Series LCAs are made from 4130 chromoly, while the Standard Series arms are made from mild steel. These differences give the Expedition Series LCA a substantial weight savings over the Standard Series.

TOTAL CHAOS Standard Series lower control arms were originally designed for the US Military, which came with some specific requirements.  First, they had to be made in the USA, which was never an issue since we make all of our products in house at our California headquarters.  Second, they had to be bolt-on with no modifications.  As a result, the Standard Series Arms use a two-bolt billet machined uniball adapter that bolts to the factory spindle. This adapter results in a loss of ground clearance when you compare it to the Expedition Series.


TOTAL CHAOS LCAs have a pocket to accept coilover eyelets and can be equipped for single or dual shocks.


Why Run A Dual Shock Setup?

Dual shock applications provide more damping to control your wheel movement in harsh off road conditions. Most users report that they don’t mind the removal of the sway bar if a secondary shock is installed. The second shock does a great job of controlling body roll when cornering.  You can still run a sway bar and install the secondary shocks.


Why Are Wheel Spacers Required For Dual Shock Applications?

The secondary shock tab location on the lower control arm will contact the back of the wheel and or the sidewall of your tire without installing a set of wheel spacers. Even if there is no secondary shocks installed a wheel spacer must be added. Just like TOTAL CHAOS products, Spidertrax wheel spacers are engineered to exacting standards and crafted in the USA from the highest quality materials.


TOTAL CHAOS Lower Control Arms offer a huge improvement in strength



Warning WARNING: This product can expose you to a chemical or chemicals such as Talc, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm. For more information go to


CORONA, CA 92878

Hours: M-Th 7am to 5:30pm PST
Closed: Fri, Sat & Sun

Follow the CHAOS

Back to Top