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Discussion Starter #1
I finally did control arms on my car. I never got any real clunking or anything. The wear on my tires was even but accelerated in the front, probably 30k for fronts and the tires were pretty noisy which I thought was normal. My car has a little over 240k on it and when I pulled the cover off the rear bushing everything looked fine, some light surface checking at most is what I thought. I actually checked Rockauto's return policy because I was getting ready to return them.

I decided to take a closer look and dropped them down, still nothing too serious. Out of curiosity I stuck a normal sized screw driver in the hole and applied a little bit of torque. With just wrist pressure those "weather checks" opened up into the rubber being halfway torn through and the mount went all the way over until it contacted the body of the control arm. For reference Lou Forigno would have trouble getting them to that position when they're new. They basically shouldn't move much at all without extreme torque. My new ones probably went like 5 degrees or so with the amount of pressure it took to turn the old ones all the way over in their mount.

10 hours of hell later "yay salt" I took it out for a test drive. The first thing I noticed was the steering was incredibly sharp even with the snow tires on it, basically night and day, it actually felt sporty. Taking it out on the highway I noticed an unusual lack of noise. The old control arms were so bad they were affecting the toe on the car, accelerating wear albeit evenly and making the tires extremely loud. I could feel the suspension trying to articulate more. I still have the stock suspension with stock springs and the original stuts, so they don't do much but it felt like they were actually at least trying now.

I got the control arms for about 240 shipped and they'll probably pay for themselves over their service life in tire wear. You can align a car with bad rear control arm bushings that are just half torn through and it will show up as fine, when you put driving forces on them it won't hold that alignment though.
 

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Appreciated. I have one fresh control arm on my driver's side from an accident a few years ago, but the passenger is presumably original. I've read before that replacing bushings can make a huge difference but have never seen much to back it up.
 

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Yeah I did mine 3-4 years ago. IIRC they were $60 each. Pretty easy to install, maybe 2-3 hours but not working hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What a pain to change.
They're not bad outside of the rust belt but yeah, inside the rust belt they don't come off with the axles in place. Nothing comes apart easy here. I was barely able to move after 10 hours of rolling around in temperatures that ranged from like 0 to -15
 

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Wow! -15* My threshold is about +50*! :)

Sam
 

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I agree with you Sam, I don't even like to work on a car when it's below 75

Hondarider90, I understand... I've been out there in those temps before without bringing a heat source, wind breaker and lying on the snow
the first few times. On older cars especially the winter is the time when part break more often than when the weather is nice...
More stress from temp and road hazard.

Besides being freezing 4 hours, trying to thread nuts and bolts is near impossible, leading to more stripped threads and other work slowdowns.
When all I wanted was to get it finished and back into survivable temps again.
 

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When you do this job make sure you tighten the bolts after you set the car weight on the tires (not jacked up) or you will have undue stress on the rubber joints and premature failure
 

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Holy **** when did this spike in price? When I ordered them ~3-4 years ago they were $99.99 each!

Edit: Just checked they were 99 not 59. But still, $99 in 2015 to $159 in 2019? WTF.

I had Beck/Arnley; it's been fine since 2015. YMMV.
 
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