Advantages of aftermarket upper:lower control arms

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. Brooks James

    Brooks James Dustoff

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    Advantages of upper/lower aftermarket control arms except more adjustment
    During alignment
    Which ones are good yet not a lot of $$$
     
  2. Scody21

    Scody21 Well-Known Member

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    The adjustable tube uppers are a waste if your not full on racing. And with heim joints there’s no deflection like with a rubber / poly bushing, this adding wear to the heim which are replaced often on race cars. The non adjustable are built with tube like stock style mounts / bushings and have extra caster built into them (most of the time) and will get you to where the car wants to be for it alinement.

    As for the lowers, I think that stock LCA with reinforcement mods done are better then the tube lowers.

    Adjustable strut rods are a waste if your not full out racing. Would get the heavy duty ones though..

    The best thing is to ask yourself what are you going to do with your car. And then build it to the way the car is going to be used.

    For my 72 duster, I’ve built it for heavy canyon carving / auto cross. I have FirmFeel tube UCA, reinforced LCR, 1.06 T-bars, front and rear sway bars, heavy duty rear springs and upgraded brackets/ hardware with frame connectors / torque boxes. I’ll tell it planted and handles corners very well for being old school; but is different than how I’m building my 70 duster drag car...
     
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    • Brooks James

      Brooks James Dustoff

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      What do you mean reinforce lca’s
      I’ve got the same setup as you and the car really handles well
      It’s got SS springs and KYB gas adjust
      Shocks I know that there are better one’s out there but I’ll wait for a while
       
    • Scody21

      Scody21 Well-Known Member

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      Firmfeel Mopar Suspension and Steering
       
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      • J Glenn

        J Glenn FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        I got tube UCA and they required modification of the mounting location (cutting and welding). Not all require that, but be sure to know before you buy.
         
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        • Scody21

          Scody21 Well-Known Member

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          I know the Firmfeel UCA didnt require mods. Can’t speak to he others.
           
        • Brooks James

          Brooks James Dustoff

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          I’m done here definitely not into anything that is not bolt on and has a frig factor LOL
           
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          • chinze57

            chinze57 Push Button tranny and a Slant 6 that'll never die FABO Gold Member

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            I went with tubular UCA’s to replace my old stock ones. Direct bolt-in replacement for 73 and later, for 72 and earlier, just requires changing out the steering knuckle and lower ball joint.
             
          • 72bluNblu

            72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Wrong question. The biggest advantage to tubular UCA's is the additional adjustment. If you're running radial tires you want more caster than what the factory parts can get you. Even with stock UCA's and the offset UCA's bushings installed for maximum caster, about the most you can get for caster is +3.5°. Which is still a pretty small caster number, especially for a power steering car. +5° caster will dramatically improve the stability of the car, and you won't get that without tubular UCA's because of the additional caster most of them have built in.

            As for cutting, if the UCA has a tight "V" shape some clearancing might be necessary. Both the Firm Feel and QA1 UCA's should fit without this. Non-adjustable PST and Magnumforce UCA's, as well as some others, will require a little cutting on the mount, shown here. It doesn't effect the strength any, just a cosmetic change
            Dart UCA.jpg

            I would avoid heims at the UCA for a street car. Running a set like that on my Challenger on the street I was only able to get about 7 to 10k miles out of a set of heims before they needed replacing. I try to stay with bushings at the UCA.

            Tubular LCA's don't do much. A boxing plate on a set of factory LCA's will dramatically improve things, especially if you take the play out of them before you weld the boxing plate on. Jim Lusk has a great video on this


            One advantage to the QA1 tubular UCA's used to be that they added about 1" of suspension travel back into the suspension for a lowered car. The recent redesign to add a bump stop removed this advantage, although, if you have a seriously lowered car you can still remove the bump stop they added and gain back that clearance.

            Adjustable strut rods are absolutely necessary if you use poly or Delrin LCA bushings. The factory length strut rods WILL be the wrong length. And regardless, the factory strut rods build additional binding in to the suspension that you can eliminate with an adjustable strut rod. Unlike heims at the UCA, I've had great luck with heims at the strut rods, the set on my Challenger has done 70k miles and it still nice and tight. If you have rubber LCA bushings the factory strut rods are ok, but for anything other than a cruiser there are advantages to using adjustable strut rods.
             
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            • mopowers

              mopowers Well-Known Member

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              Can you elaborate on this? Do poly LCA bushings place the LCA in a different location? I've got a set on my 66 Dart with stock strut rods and didn't notice any issues when I reassembled it, though I haven't put any miles on the car yet either.
               
            • RustyRatRod

              RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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              These are control arms you're talking about here. You sure you want cheap?
               
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              • RustyRatRod

                RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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                How much of a friggin can you take from an accident that was the cost of using cheap suspension parts?
                 
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                • TT5.9mag

                  TT5.9mag Two atmospheres are better than one

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                  Once again. Spot on advise!
                   
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                  • 72bluNblu

                    72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Yes, they can put the LCA in a slightly different location.

                    But the bigger issue is the strut rod. The factory strut rods are "one size fits most", and get away with that because of the large rubber bushings they use, as well as the rubber bushings at the LCA. The LCA and the strut rod both move in an arc, and those arcs are at an angle to each other. So, at the ends of the range of suspension travel the arcs are moving away from each other. The factory used large rubber bushings to deal with this, but that also allows the LCA to move around more under braking and acceleration. When you start replacing rubber with poly, there isn't as much give. And as a result, the length of the strut rod becomes a lot more critical. So to keep things from binding, you need to tune the length of the strut rod to match your car and its range of travel. If you've lowered your car that range of travel is different, if you've swapped out bump stops that range of travel can be different, etc. And so the adjustable strut rod allows you to set the length of the strut rod so that there's no binding within the range of suspension travel that your car has. The further from factory you get, the more important this is. The adjustable strut rod isn't to set the alignment, but rather to get the LCA to move freely without binding through its range of travel. Once that length is set it shouldn't need to be changed, but it's easier to buy an adjustable strut rod than make a non-adjustable strut rod the right length for your car.

                    People get all up in arms when I say that if you're running poly or Delrin LCA bushings you need adjustable strut rods, and greaseable LCA pins for poly specifically. Poly and Delrin LCA bushings function differently than the OE rubber bushings. With the rubber bushing, nothing is spinning. All the movement of the suspension is flex in the rubber. Which is why the OE rubber bushings tear if you don't tighten the pivot nuts at ride height (in the center of the range of travel). It also adds resistance and binding into the suspension at the extreme ends of the range of travel. Poly and delrin bushings rotate on the LCA pivot pins, unlike rubber. Which is why poly has to be lubricated and IMO requires greaseable pins. Delrin is self lubricating, so, not necessary with those. But because of that, they have the same resistance to movement all the way through the entire range of travel, resistance that's less than with rubber for more accurate handling. Smooth, low resistance travel without binding is the goal, and the rubber bushings do not help with that. But, the poly bushings are not maintenance free, and adjustable strut rods require some tuning, trial and error, and sitting around moving the suspension back and forth through its range of travel while they're adjusted. For a cruiser that's a lot of work for little gain compared to rubber bushings and non-adjustable strut rods. But for more performance oriented handling, it's important.
                     
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                    • J Glenn

                      J Glenn FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      What brand?
                       
                    • Brooks James

                      Brooks James Dustoff

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                      Yeah you’re right I planning serious upgrades and I can’t go cheap now
                       
                    • Scody21

                      Scody21 Well-Known Member

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                      72blu has said it well in his posts. What upgrades you make should be in line with what your doing / want out of your car. Think I said it in a earlier post. Road/auto-x is a different setup than stop light / drag racing...
                       
                    • chinze57

                      chinze57 Push Button tranny and a Slant 6 that'll never die FABO Gold Member

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                      PST non-adjustable. Put them into a 64 dart and they went right in to the stock location. Haven’t swapped the spindle yet (just arrived).
                       
                    • PST

                      PST Marketing Manager FABO Vendor

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                      If you have any questions prior to purchase about our product lines please feel free to reach out to me through PM and I can answer any questions. Also as a member of the forum you would eligible for a discount and free shipping within the US 48 states

                      Thanks
                      James From
                      PST
                       
                    • J Glenn

                      J Glenn FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      I had to modify my 1965 Valiant to use PST upper control arms (I'm pretty sure those are what I used. Straight tube-design?) Someone provided an image earlier where you have to cut the mount. (Not sure if the instructions said to add reenforcements to replace the metal you are removing, but I did that too... seems like a bad place to weaken the original design.)
                       
                    • chinze57

                      chinze57 Push Button tranny and a Slant 6 that'll never die FABO Gold Member

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                      I didn’t need to clearance anything to fit them in. I’ll double check and make sure it has the full range of motion. Yes straight tube design
                       
                    • inertia

                      inertia Well-Known Member

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                      Decals, - you get decals .
                       
                    • BergmanAutoCraft

                      BergmanAutoCraft FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

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                      Lots of good info. 72nublu has good background info.
                      I’m a vendor, make and sell many parts into this market. Having a pro touring style Dart for 37 years and competing in everything from Real Street Eliminator to Optima Ultimate Street Car has given me some experience.
                      The adjustable arms I sell allow a large range of adjustment, but more importantly it doesn’t rely on eccentrics to align. Given larger tire sizes and universally inept alignment techs, this style arm takes a lot of guesswork out of alignments. The Delrin bushings I make are superior to any urethane considering their hardness and longevity. The adjustable strut rod ensures the lca bind free movement.
                      My site is Bergmanautocraft.con. Many of these parts are in the suspension section. I’m available by phone,email, text and messenger most of the time.

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                      • 72bluNblu

                        72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        100%!

                        And still I love that GT of yours.

                        And for everyone else, Peter is great to do business with. I don't run all of his parts, but I do run several with his SPC UCA's and delrin LCA bushings (on multiple cars). As well as parts he's a vendor for, the TTI shorties that will be on my '71 GT came from Peter. He's a great resource if you're building a Mopar for handling.
                         
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