Are replacement rear control arms needed for a stock street car?

c0v3rr1d3

Member
My 87 Limited T is in need of new shocks and springs all around, as its still running on originals and some replacement cargo springs from the 90s in the rear. Heights are all different at each wheel. I've read countless threads and i think i'm more confused then ever, lol..

My biggest question is, is there any reason to upgrade the upper and lower rear control arms over stock for a car that will never be drag raced or autocrossed and only has minor upgrades done to a stock engine? If so, which brand(s) or types would compliment a relatively stock car.

I also now can't decided on what lowering spring/shock combo to get either (originally set on bilstien and eibach) but i'll leave that for another post.

Thanks guys!
 

cruzn57

Still plays with cars!
one better than another? like chevy vs ford, LOL
by now I'm sure your bushings in upper and lower are well worn, and could use replacement.
again stock vs aftermarket bushings, lowers seem to take the most wear, I upgraded to UMI lowers
just cause I got a deal on them.
most aftermarket pieces are stronger than stock, and will offer better control,
but do you need them? I dunno, did you NEED more boost?
 

charlief1

RIP Charlie!
Are you after ride quality, handling or???? If all you ever do is cruise around and never show off then stay stock. If you plan on taking it to the track once in a while, then you can stay stock. If you're more performance minded then an upgrade, or even boxed stockers, will do more of what you're interested in.
 

79transam

1986 Grand National
stock is fine like said above. I mostly drive on the sttreet and would like to go to the track once in a while. I replaced my rear springs with moog and left the kyb shocks. I did replace the upper and lower control arms for the METCO setup because i got a good deal on them.and I must say it made a world of a difference. stiffened up the rear and handles so much better on the road. next is the front end and body bushings are a must as mine are shot.
 

ALBERTAN

Resident Window Licker
The car will ride better with aftermarket control arms, but for the type of driving you are describing stock would be fine. Replacing the bushings might be a nice compromise. Either way, the Bilsteins/Eibachs (or whatever you end up with) will be a much more noticeable improvement.
 

Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
In the "FWIW dept", here's a test we did some yrs ago, while developing tubular control arms for Buicks and F bodies.
We used Stresscoat, a liquid that drys to a smooth finish, and when subjected to stress, cracks along the stress lines.
The car, my 86GN, was the test goat. We used street tires, ET Streets, and slicks. The more traction, the "worse" the patterns got. We then installed our uppers and lowers. Problem solved.
Boxing stockers, and adding new bushings, would be a step up. One of the vendors used to sell the boxing kits.... Haven't seen them in several yrs.
 

TRICKSIXPA

East Coast Go fast with class club MAGNA!!!
Staff member
I just installed boxes uppers and lowers on my car. The kit is still sold by HR Parts. Fits very nice I went out and bought the Poly bushing kit for the rear control arms. Honestly new bushings are all you need and a decent sway bar. I had Eibach springs before on my car and enjoyed the handling.
 

TRICKSIXPA

East Coast Go fast with class club MAGNA!!!
Staff member
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novaderrik

Well-Known Member
i made a "boxing kit" for the rear control arms in my 86 Camaro- which are the same arms that were used in G bodies.. i made the "kit" out of a piece of .125" X 2" steel that i bought a while back for something or other... took me like 5 minutes to cut the piece to the proper size and use a flappy wheel on my 4" grinder to remove the paint from the control arm, then about 10 miutes per arm to weld it on..
total cost was the $5 i spent on the piece of steel over a year ago, a little wear on a flappy wheel, a little bit of mig wire and gas, some electrons, and a half hour of my time:

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i also rammed some sheetrock screws into the rubber bushings and ground off the heads to stiffen them up (old road racer trick).
i don't know if they are as good as the ones you can buy but it's better than stock, the cost was minimal, and the car does ride nice and smooth..
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
My 87 Limited T is in need of new shocks and springs all around, as its still running on originals and some replacement cargo springs from the 90s in the rear. Heights are all different at each wheel.
kyb shocks and new springs and be done.
 

Mr.Spool

Well-Known Member
My biggest question is, is there any reason to upgrade the upper and lower rear control arms over stock for a car that will never be drag raced or autocrossed
No,only if you want the car to become stiffer and or reduce sway.you could just replace the bushings.the stock control arms are hollow and fatigue and sway becomes increased,the aftermarket stuff is many steps up and will make the car feel stiffer.
 
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