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Replacing Front Suspension's Lower Cont...
Laser Cut Steel Plates
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Replacing Front Suspension's Lower Control-Arm Bushing - Strong Arm Tactics
Lower Control Arms Never Had It So Good
, Photography by
June 01, 2003
Here's the new trick product we were talking about. These laser-cut steel reinforcement plates from AR Engineering are made to box the control arm for added strength. The boxed arms have less deflection, especially if heavy-duty sway bars are used. If the control-arm members have spread, allowing for a loose torsion-bar anchor, this is a good time to remove some of the clearance as the structure is reinforced. Notice that the weld area has been buffed to shiny metal. It's practically impossible to get a good weld on an as-blasted surface.
Here's the new trick product we were talking about. These laser-cut steel reinforcement pl
The 1/8-inch plates easily conform to the curvature of the control arm with clamping. Now is also a good time to see if the torsion-bar- adjuster pivot at the end of the arm (arrows) has too much side-to-side clearance. Pulling in the sides of the control arm for a flush fit while clamping the plate can reduce the clearance. The anchor does not move relative to the control arm once the ride height is set, so little to no clearance is required. The fit of our plates is right on the money.
The 1/8-inch plates easily conform to the curvature of the control arm with clamping. Now
With our lower control arm boxed, bushed, and painted with a mix of bare steel urethane paint, the control arms are better and nicer than new.
With our lower control arm boxed, bushed, and painted with a mix of bare steel urethane pa
After tacking on the brace, run a full weld along each side. Boxing the control arms takes only minutes.
After tacking on the brace, run a full weld along each side. Boxing the control arms takes
All that's left is installing the new bushings. (A) First, the pivot shaft must be pressed into the bushings.
All that's left is installing the new bushings. (A) First, the pivot shaft must be pressed
(B) The pivot shaft/bushing assembly is then pressed into the control arm. We use a piece of pipe to apply pressure on the flange of the outer bushing shell. We favor stock rubber pieces in the lower control arms because the poly bushings have no means of positively retaining the control arm to the pivot shaft.
(B) The pivot shaft/bushing assembly is then pressed into the control arm. We use a piece
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