One of the inherent difficulties in transferring power to the ground with a GM coil spring rear suspension is coping with the rear control arms made of weak stamped steel. They are an excellent option for your 9-5 daily driving, but as soon as you add more horsepower, the stock rear control arms become obsolete. The channel style cannot manage the higher power without beginning to flex, which is undesirable.
There is a simple and economical solution to this issue. The first choice is a full kit containing the upper and lower control arms as well as all bushings. The second alternative is a kit, which consists of simply the upper and lower control arms and no bushings, allowing you to utilize bushings of your choosing. Chose option two to install a set of Spherical Control Arm Bushings, to allow the rear suspension to travel more freely. These are available individually in case you need to replace them due to an accident or other unforeseen circumstances.
How to Upgrade Rear Control Arms
There is a significant contrast between the weak standard rear control arms and the sturdy boxed rear control arms. The upper control arms are constructed from.083 wall square tube with 1/4″ thick brackets, while the lower control arms are constructed from 1-1/2″ x 2″ x.083 wall rectangular tubing, resulting in a set of control arms that is extremely durable. The lower control arms lack facilities for mounting a factory-supplied rear sway bar, but if you require one, they are available from aftermarket sources.
The difference between aftermarket and OEM control arms is evident.
The installation may be completed in about two hours in your driveway with no additional equipment required.
These are the essential tools:
- Deep and Shallow 3/4″ Sockets 1/4″ Screw
- 11/16-inch or 5/8-inch Shallow Socket, 1/2-inch Drive
- 1/2″ Extension Drive
- 1/2″ Drive Splitter Bar
- 1/2″ Drive Wrench
- You can use a jack handle for a Pry Bar if you do not have one.
- An Old Phillips Screwdriver or a Punch
- Jack Floor and Jack Stands
Find a flat, level, firm surface and block the front wheels securely to begin. Raise the rear of the vehicle to the required height and position the jack stands under the frame rails behind the rear axle center. After lowering the vehicle onto the jack supports, ensure that it is stable and will not move before crawling underneath. Maintain the floor jack beneath the center differential to support the rear end housing as you replace the rear control arms. It makes no difference whether you begin with the uppers or the lowers. To remove the front bolt on the upper control arm, the lower shock nut must be removed and the shock must be slid to the side.
The replacement of the rear control arms is a very simple procedure that anybody can perform in their driveway.
The lower control arms were by far the simplest to install, taking only a few minutes per side, and the improvement in strength compared to the standard arms will be phenomenal. This is a simple and essential modification for any vehicle, and you will notice the difference on the road and in your lap times.