Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Tubular Control Arms install

  1. #1
    turbo addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    6,366

    Tubular Control Arms install

    OK, so some time ago there was a group buy for tubular, chromoly control arms. I was fortunate enough to be able to get in on that and got a set. I *FINALLY* got around to installing them on a car this past week! It wasn't a horrible process. It only required a little bit of mechanical massaging for a mostly trouble free fit and I did have to go source some Grade 8 hardware because the stock bolts don't fit through the Heim joints or the included spacers. No biggie (1/2" x 4" BTW, for those that might still have some of these laying around).

    Now, I am running these on a stock K-frame (I was never able to scrounge the funds up to get a Slowe one when he was still making them *HINT*) and the instructions indicate that for this case there's a particular orientation for the included spacers. I followed that, BUT...the left front wheel is pushed forward enough in the wheel well that the tire interferes with the front fender well and splash shield.

    Now, I've had this issue before, but it's always been on the passenger's side and it was always using the cast control arms on a pre-'91 car. Changing back to the stamped arms solved the issue both times I've had it. Being as these are hand made from the same template, I have no reason to believe that the arm itself is the problem in this case.

    My plan right now is:
    measure the wheel base from left to right
    measure the K-frame to make sure it's square in the car

    My options that I've given serious consideration to are:
    wallow out the holes in the K-frame and push it back to where it needs to be
    make different spacers to alter the position of the control arm

    I'm open to thoughts, suggestions, personal experience...

  2. #2
    Hybrid booster
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    336

    Re: Tubular Control Arms install

    IIRC, they were based on the 91+ control arms. So trying to use them on a pre-91 would generate the same issues.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor Dr. Johny Dodge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,316

    Re: Tubular Control Arms install

    when checking wheelbase you should find the passenger front wheel slightly forward of the driver's side
    by something like 3/8 or so

    it IS visually notable as I've made note of it with all six of my own TM's and all my acquaintances fwd mopars too over the years

    and can be demonstrated with a 215 60 15 tire
    205-60R156.524.7
    215-60R156.825.2



    I had the same set of wheels & tires on my shelby z and turbo z
    both cars , the driver's side tire cleared the front edge of the opening
    on the pass side of both cars the tire JUST touched .. but not hard enough to rub the paint off either for the 2 1/2 & 3 years I drove each
    (turbo z's also sit 1 INCH LOWER than a shelby z !!... diff is springs)

    I believe the "long side" steers the "short side" in that it keeps the car straighter on the crown of the road
    the only time anyone else has noticed it that I know , is when I stand beside their car , point and say , see?
    the fender openings are mirror images of each other but the pass side wheel will ALWAYS be closer to the front edge IF correct
    this applies to all stamped arm cars and I'd expect the same for the cast arms too...but my 92 daytona project was wrecked on the pass side with the wheel about 1 inch to far back so it had no reference value

    - to add , it's said that some cast arms move the wheels forwards and some do not ..

    this makes sense when you consider the 92-3 nose does not fit the 84-91 fenders.. because the front of the wheel well opening is modified

    this change in the front wheel well edge is also visually notable as there is a slight "wandering " of the opening at the 9-11 and 1-3 positions (left vs right)

    so there are 90-91 and 92-3 cast arms respectively

    thus by the shared 89-91 front body work the 90-91 arms match the geometry of the stamped 89's

    side note
    the 92-3 fenders can be spotted if you have a chance to compare the upper back points at the windshield
    the 92-3 are much softer point and edge lines are notably less crisp too

    once you see that little difference , it's enough to know the fenders apart from each other as it looks like the stamping die got modified and polished , washing out some of the lines in the fenders

    - when you harvest 40-50 corpses for organ transplants the alien who was trying to fake his way through kinda stands out...
    Last edited by Dr. Johny Dodge; 11-07-2019 at 02:40 PM.

  4. #4
    turbo addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    6,366

    Re: Tubular Control Arms install

    Quote Originally Posted by EaZyE426 View Post
    IIRC, they were based on the 91+ control arms. So trying to use them on a pre-91 would generate the same issues.
    You are correct. I found the original group buy thread and the answer was there. I felt kinda dumb after that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Johny Dodge View Post
    when checking wheelbase you should find the passenger front wheel slightly forward of the driver's side
    by something like 3/8 or so

    it IS visually notable as I've made note of it with all six of my own TM's and all my acquaintances fwd mopars too over the years

    and can be demonstrated with a 215 60 15 tire
    205-60R156.524.7
    215-60R156.825.2

    I had the same set of wheels & tires on my shelby z and turbo z
    both cars , the driver's side tire cleared the front edge of the opening
    on the pass side of both cars the tire JUST touched .. but not hard enough to rub the paint off either for the 2 1/2 & 3 years I drove each
    (turbo z's also sit 1 INCH LOWER than a shelby z !!... diff is springs)

    I believe the "long side" steers the "short side" in that it keeps the car straighter on the crown of the road
    the only time anyone else has noticed it that I know , is when I stand beside their car , point and say , see?
    the fender openings are mirror images of each other but the pass side wheel will ALWAYS be closer to the front edge IF correct
    this applies to all stamped arm cars and I'd expect the same for the cast arms too...but my 92 daytona project was wrecked on the pass side with the wheel about 1 inch to far back so it had no reference value

    - to add , it's said that some cast arms move the wheels forwards and some do not ..

    this makes sense when you consider the 92-3 nose does not fit the 84-91 fenders.. because the front of the wheel well opening is modified

    this change in the front wheel well edge is also visually notable as there is a slight "wandering " of the opening at the 9-11 and 1-3 positions (left vs right)

    so there are 90-91 and 92-3 cast arms respectively

    thus by the shared 89-91 front body work the 90-91 arms match the geometry of the stamped 89's

    side note
    the 92-3 fenders can be spotted if you have a chance to compare the upper back points at the windshield
    the 92-3 are much softer point and edge lines are notably less crisp too

    once you see that little difference , it's enough to know the fenders apart from each other as it looks like the stamping die got modified and polished , washing out some of the lines in the fenders
    This verifies all of the things I've pretty much thought was correct for a long time. The reason is similar as well...it goes hand in hand with the fact that the strut mounts are also not symmetrical side to side...it's for "cross caster" to help prevent wandering on crowned roads (that's how it was explained to me a long time ago).

    I knew about the differences of the stamped/cast arms, and I knew about the loose tolerance of the ball joint hole.

    I swear I remember seeing a picture of a pre-91 fender next to a 91-up fender and you could definitely see the difference of the wheel well opening. A dead giveaway for '92/93 fenders are the trim holes in the sides will be square, not round. '91 is the odd year out.

    ANYWAYS, I haven't had time to do anything, but after thinking about it, I'm pretty sure all I'm going to have to do is either modify the spacers I have, or make new ones the width I need. They are nothing more than solid aluminum round stock, so, pretty easy.

  5. #5
    turbo addict
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Everett, WA
    Posts
    6,366

    Re: Tubular Control Arms install

    Needed to update this.

    I measured the wheel base and the left was too far forward by about 1/8". So, I ended up just cutting the bushings and rearranging the pieces to space the control arm back. I got it exactly at 97". The front of the tire STILL hit the fender, though. Dunno what's up with that, but the car has hit a few things over its life, but nothing hard enough to mess the frame up. So, could just be body panels out of whack (though all but 1 gap looks fine). I ended up just making some extra long fender supports to push them out past the wheel. Keeps them from hitting and pushes air around the tire better at speed. So far, so good, but it needs an alignment BAD!

Similar Threads

  1. Suspension Dj'a control arms
    By 168glhs1986 in forum Parts Wanted
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-02-2013, 07:43 AM
  2. General k frame, control arms & more
    By 86t2tona in forum Parts Wanted
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-07-2010, 10:26 PM
  3. New control arms
    By 135sohc in forum Suspension, Brakes, Wheels, Traction
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-31-2010, 05:37 PM
  4. Suspension cast control arms
    By 135sohc in forum Parts Wanted
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-30-2010, 01:06 AM
  5. WTB: Caravan Control Arms
    By Mario in forum Parts Wanted
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-17-2006, 01:27 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •