What if I go with tubular arms? [Archive] - Chevelle Tech

: What if I go with tubular arms?


Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 12:54 AM
I'm thinking instead of going with MOOG rubber bushings to replace my front, I'll just replace the arms with new tubulars. Thoughts?

I think I can just remove the old a-arms and replace them with the new tubular a-arms with the included ball joints, urethane bushings, and cross shafts. Then just use my stock spindles and wheel setup. It would save me from money on the new bushing kit and money for a shop to media blast my old a-arms and to press the new bushings. And I would update the suspension to have a bit more performance for cornering. Thoughts?

I've seen some upper and lower tubular arms for $1200.

Kim57
Dec 15th, 09, 2:28 AM
I would talk to these guys. They seem to have the best stuff out there for the money. Marcus knows his stuff and is more than willing to help.
Kim
http://www.scandc.com/products.htm

jonathanch
Dec 15th, 09, 6:27 AM
Just get a set of stock replacement arms like these from Ground Up (http://www.ss396.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=chevellecamino&Product_Code=KAL-KIT&Category_Code=CONTROLARMSFRONT) $520 less the 10% Forum discount =$468. Use the remaining $732 for better shocks/springs etc. You could go coil overs for less than $500. Just another route you could take.

b-man
Dec 15th, 09, 7:44 AM
http://www.trzmotorsports.com/317.html

UMI Sales
Dec 15th, 09, 9:02 AM
Hello
I noticed that you are looking into upgrading your upper and lower control arms! And I just wanted to throw this out there for you that UMI Performance has a wide variety of upper and lower control arms that may be of interest to you! And when you purchase from UMI Performance you are getting a great quality product that is made right here at our own facility in the USA. And we also offer top notch tech support as well. Below is a link to show you what I am explaining.

http://www.umiperformance.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2_32&zenid=u1dfu6hj812u0v6cc1eh6cedv5

If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I will be more than glad to help!
Thanks
Brad :D

Beaux
Dec 15th, 09, 9:53 AM
I would talk to these guys. They seem to have the best stuff out there for the money. Marcus knows his stuff and is more than willing to help.
Kim
http://www.scandc.com/products.htm

After reading, looking at, talking to people who run the stuff I finally called SC&C yesterday to place my hellwig swaybar order. I spoke to Mark for a good 30 minutes just about sway bars. He will be getting my business - all of it - going forward. I have the B spindle swap, brakes, GW uppers and all brand new and installed. Its my weak link in my build. It will eventually get swapped to all his stuff up front.

He was / is beyond helpful. Will break things down for you on the phone, wont let you buy what you dont need - just end to end after finally speaking to him directly - EXACTLY what everyone has said - beyond helpful, wont hold back on his actual engineering data (if you want it and can grasp it)and the products, extensive testing and results speak for themselves.....but he will be happy to break it down for you and explain EXACTLY why it is (what I do not see from other companies) what it is.

I've placed plenty of product and technical calls to many a vendor and I have not ever had such a friendly and helpful call. 2 minutes on the line and I swear I felt like I knew the man for a long time already - just comfortable chat, didnt make me feel too dumb which was very cool of him. :D;)

I have no personal investment in recommending SC&C other than the fact that Mark flat out rocks from his true understanding of suspension engineering and design to the products to him willing to spend as much time as YOU need with him to get it right the first time.

Just my honest .02 that you cannot go wrong with SC&C

Kim57
Dec 15th, 09, 3:15 PM
After reading, looking at, talking to people who run the stuff I finally called SC&C yesterday to place my hellwig swaybar order. I spoke to Mark for a good 30 minutes just about sway bars. He will be getting my business - all of it - going forward. I have the B spindle swap, brakes, GW uppers and all brand new and installed. Its my weak link in my build. It will eventually get swapped to all his stuff up front.

He was / is beyond helpful. Will break things down for you on the phone, wont let you buy what you dont need - just end to end after finally speaking to him directly - EXACTLY what everyone has said - beyond helpful, wont hold back on his actual engineering data (if you want it and can grasp it)and the products, extensive testing and results speak for themselves.....but he will be happy to break it down for you and explain EXACTLY why it is (what I do not see from other companies) what it is.

I've placed plenty of product and technical calls to many a vendor and I have not ever had such a friendly and helpful call. 2 minutes on the line and I swear I felt like I knew the man for a long time already - just comfortable chat, didnt make me feel too dumb which was very cool of him. :D;)

I have no personal investment in recommending SC&C other than the fact that Mark flat out rocks from his true understanding of suspension engineering and design to the products to him willing to spend as much time as YOU need with him to get it right the first time.

Just my honest .02 that you cannot go wrong with SC&C
That's the experience I had with him also. His customer service is second to none.
Kim

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 3:42 PM
WOW, my head is spinning from the great ideas. I will be calling Marc to see exactly why tubular arms are higher performance and if they're worth the money since I'm not exactly racing my Chevelle on road courses. I just want to replace all the bushings and joints and try to get a bit better ride out of it.

Jon had a good idea to get the stock arms replaced and put more money into shocks and new springs.

Can anyone say exactly how much more amazing the tubular arms were after replacement? I will be keeping my stock spindles to keep my stock 14" SS wheels. I'm not sure I would be getting the full advantage of the tubulars since I won't be into all the camber/caster stuff for high performance cornering.

Bryan59EC
Dec 15th, 09, 4:49 PM
I'm not sure I would be getting the full advantage of the tubulars since I won't be into all the camber/caster stuff for high performance cornering.

Adding caster is just gonna make the car that much more relaxing to drive. Or pleasant----take your pick)

Way back 'when' the caster and camber settings were as close to zero as you could possibly get, steering was much lighter, little to non-existant road feel, steering would not return to center, and the cars wandered a lot.

Anybody out there remember the 60s-early 70s Chrysler products???
Taking a deep breath could change the direction of the car, and a piece of dust falling from under the dash would lock up the brakes!

I have Air Ride tubular uppers in the 59-----can only get 1* of pos caster.
I really need to look into some other uppers that can give me some more.
The 605 PS conversion wants 5* and I just can't get it.

I will most likely be looking into some tubular uppers for my 66 as well.
Just to get some more caster and help it to be more pleasant to drive.

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 4:56 PM
Well after an hour and a half long discussion with Marcus, I will be going with his company for tubular arms and their balljoints. Rear arms and new rear sway bar too. The guy really knows his stuff! Then I'll be going to NAPA and their premiere USA made parts for the smaller steering stuff like the idler arm, tie rods, and end-link. I think I'll have a sweet setup! He said MOOG is now made in China as well and is not that great :(

Thought?

Rizzi427
Dec 15th, 09, 5:19 PM
Not to knock any company but MOOG BALL JOINTS,IDLER ARMS,TIE ROD ENDS,CENTER LINK FOR CHEVELLES 1964-1972 ARE MADE IN THE USA. THE STATEMENT IS FALSE. BOB RIZZI

1966_L78
Dec 15th, 09, 5:26 PM
Sergio,

Did you mention to mark that you still want to use your stock 14-inch wheels?

Some of the "special" pieces (such as tall ball joints) might not fit with 14-inch wheels (not totally sure, but you better be)...

Can anyone say exactly how much more amazing the tubular arms were after replacement? I will be keeping my stock spindles to keep my stock 14" SS wheels. I'm not sure I would be getting the full advantage of the tubulars since I won't be into all the camber/caster stuff for high performance cornering.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong...

I doubt the tubular arms by themselves will do ANYTHING to make the ride (or handling) more "amazing"... Its the total package ( altered geomentry will do more than the tubular arms)... Most tubulars use the same geometry as stock arms ( if they are intended for stock spindle applications)... the "amazing" improvements will be found by going with the taller ball-joints to help the camber, etc... The tubular lower arms might offer less flex than stock arms, but is that potential flex ever really a factor, especially with stock geometry and 14-inch wheels???

IMO, in YOUR situation, just changing to solely tubular arms is not going to do much (if anything) over a good rebuild, (Maybe even compared to fresh rubber bushings)... Nothing except lighten your wallet...

And New RUBBER bushings will give decent handling, without the harshness of Poly bushings... Any improvement that arms and bushings MIGHT give you, will be negated by the stock geometry and wheels/tires...

IMO, IF you are just going to keep everything else relatively stock, then rebuild the stock arms or go with the stamped steel... You can still add bigger bars, different shocks and springs, etc, and they should help handling, but the arms will do little...

IIRC, SC&C's lower arms are altered, geometrically, from stock, to relocate the wheel (front-to-back), AFTER the other modifications have been performed (tall ball joints and better caster/camber).

The taller Ball-joints do alot to allow better geometry to be dialed in, but thats where the 14's might have clearance problems.


Don't get me wrong, I think SC&C and Mark are great ( I am putting some of their stuff on my Chevelle)... But you have to be willing to change more than just the arms... or else your wasting your money

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 6:32 PM
More info all the time. I guess almost all of MOOG is made here which is good, cuz I will be getting some stuff from them.

And you have a point Tony about the arms not doing anything by themselves. Marcus even told me there is no difference at all except some people think they look cooler. It is the balljoints themselves that will alleviate the mundane stock geometry and help with control and the ride. After talking to Marcus, I will more than likely be getting both control arms, new springs, and new shocks through his company. So I think all that together will help substantially. Not to mention I will be getting his rear traction arms and rear swaybar (new to my F40 car). I've been wanting to box my open traction arms anyways, might as well but new and better ones.

I was originally going to do a simple rebuild but after thinking about my Chevelle's less than great rideabilty and since I will have everything out, it will be nice to put all new stuff in have some really good performance parts for not an extreme $$$ amount.

I think I changed my mind to go a bit higher end on the arms after looking at all the cool Hotchkis stuff online last night. Hotchkis stuff looks super cool and high performance, just too much $$$.

Then I will get the MOOG steering stuff for sure. Thanks for all the info everyone.

Thoughts?

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 6:51 PM
Oh, and Tony, the taller ball joints will work with my stock 14" SS wheels as they only have 3.75" of backspacing :)

1966_L78
Dec 15th, 09, 7:42 PM
Oh, and Tony, the taller ball joints will work with my stock 14" SS wheels as they only have 3.75" of backspacing :)

Good to know you checked...

I have 17 inch wheels, an MIGHT have problems IF I went to 6" BS... Pretty extreme, but I know there are also problems with the lower arm with taller BJs (possible backing plate interference, etc)...

Yes, the ball joints, the TALLER ball joints will give the improved geometry ( and you usually need the specific upper control arm to use those)...


So you eventually plan on getting a bigger set of wheels/tires?

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 15th, 09, 8:14 PM
Cool deal, I'm getting excited about this suspension stuff now haha. I just hope I can get it done myself in the 3 or 4 days I will take off from work. Anyone going to be in NorCal in early 2010 to help me do the tear out and install?

And Tony, heck no I won't ever put other/bigger wheels. This baby is staying a classeeek! Haha. No resto-mod here :) (no offense to resto-mods, I just like the original look of the crappy 14x7 wheels)

Rizzi427
Dec 15th, 09, 8:19 PM
Sergio,Good Luck Do It right ~~~~

Beaux
Dec 16th, 09, 10:46 AM
gonna be awesome. :thumbsup:

1966_L78
Dec 16th, 09, 11:16 AM
heck no I won't ever put other/bigger wheels. This baby is staying a classeeek! Haha. No resto-mod here :) (no offense to resto-mods, I just like the original look of the crappy 14x7 wheels)

Not even repro 15" versions of the SS wheels? :)

Yeah, I'd put the upper SPC arms on with the tall BJs... Its just the lower tubulars... Pretty expensive for no significant benefit except looks ( but I thought you wanted the "classic" look ;) )...

Have you checked the prices on having your current lower arms inspected and rebuilt (using the BJs from Mark)?

TXCR13
Dec 16th, 09, 11:43 AM
1966_L78 hit it out of the park with his post. Exactly spot on. Lots of confusion out there about the meaningful benefit of switching just to non adjustable tubular control arms.

TXCR13
Dec 16th, 09, 11:52 AM
Well, I just can't help throwing a little high octane on the embers, borrowing from my post on another topic:

'Tis not the season to do so, but I will toss the first bomb:
80% of the people who use poly bushings aren't too pleased with the difference in ride.
85% of high dollar tubular control arm buyers can't feel a difference in handling during normal driving.
90% of the high dollar tubular control arm buyers had second thoughts about the performance benefit of their expenditures during 99.9% of total driving time.
100% of high dollar tubular control arm buyers are happy with their appearance and one-upping a few Chevelle owners.
From the other side of the tracks:
95% of Chevelle owners who rebuilt front ends with stock parts like 'em just fine.
100% of the 95% who paid less for stock rebuilds had the resulting cost savings available for the purchase of beer & pizza.

Puttin' on my body armor...bullets flyin' my way soon!

Mark SC&C
Dec 16th, 09, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys. In the FWIW dept. my info on the Moog (and TRW for that matter) suspension parts came from industry insiders who claim that the parts marked Made in USA are only assembled in the USA of Chinese parts. If that`s not true and they are made in USA that would be great. I`m all for it. However when I compare, for example, the new Moog ball joints to the ones in my ball joint collection the older ones are much nicer quality and actually look like a totally different manufacturer made them.

In regard to the 14" wheels, we have tested and used our tall ball joint packages on cars with factory 14" wheels many times. There`s lots of room. There might be an issue if you had 14" wheels with 4.5"+ of backspacing but I don`t know of anyone even making wheels that fit that description.

It`s true to say that almost all tubular lower A arms do little if anything for performance. The exception to the rule would be SPC`s tubular lowers that in addition to greasable delrin bushings, strong/light construction, blah blah blah also offer shim adj. ride height over a range of up to 3 3/4"(!), the ability to also run a crossbar style coil over or Shockwave (and adj. ride height in addition to their own), modern progressive rate jounce bumpers and revised geometry to maximize tire clearance with performance caster settings. These things have been a big help in our shop to dial in stance and solve tire clearance issues alone. They also look cool, of course. :p Mark SC&C

Rizzi427
Dec 16th, 09, 2:49 PM
I hate to differ with you but your insiders are wrong.A parts box can have the following stamped :ASSEMBLED IN THE USA OR MADE IN THE USA,their is a difference,that is why it is stamped that way.When the product states MADE IN THE USA IT IS,assembled could mean anything....On Chevelle's the only part not made in the USA is bushings which is made in Mexico and they are made by Harris which is a very old and respected name in the automotive aftermarket.As for Moog their current Problem Solver line is constantly updated to solve steering and suspension problems.Their ball joints come through with hd rubber boots,and the lowers are knurled to stay where they are supposed to. Vintage Chevelle as well as Camaro and Firebird models use a very limited number of Moog front end part numbers and I consistenly check those numbers for accuracy and country of orgin and they are MADE IN THE USA. I hope this helps out team members because there is alot of great companies who still make great products for their classic cars. Bob Rizzi

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 16th, 09, 3:00 PM
Yea, I was thinking about reusing my lowers because Mark's are $550/pr. He said I could reuse mine and still have the greatly added benefits of the taller balljoints. Unless you're under the car, or looking under the car, you can't ever really see the lower arms so I'll be okay on my original look.

I guess I will have a 10% resto-mod huh? I can live with that.

I'm gonna count my pennies after Xmas is over. Hopefully the bleeding stops from my holiday shopping and I start working 12hr days again, and I'll get the lower arms.

Anyone have an idea of what it costs to media blast my lower arm and press in new bushings? I guess I should call some machine shops.

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 16th, 09, 3:11 PM
Oh and TXCR13, that was a hilarious post. Got a good chuckle out of it, thanks.

1966_L78
Dec 16th, 09, 3:43 PM
Yea, I was thinking about reusing my lowers because Mark's are $550/pr. He said I could reuse mine and still have the greatly added benefits of the taller balljoints... I'm gonna count my pennies after Xmas is over. Hopefully the bleeding stops from my holiday shopping and I start working 12hr days again, and I'll get the lower arms.

Anyone have an idea of what it costs to media blast my lower arm and press in new bushings? I guess I should call some machine shops.

I guess thats the point I was trying to make... Mark's arms are nice, and do offer added beenfits beyond typical tubular arms.... BUT, it just didn't seem to really be what Sergio was after...

Better handling on more of a budget, while trying to retain the stock (classic") look... Get the SPC upppers and spray them "chassic Black"... few will notice the visual difference, but you will get the benefits...

Also, I wouldn't totally forget about Mark's arms... I'd have a shop blast the arms and check for cracks... If good, then have them press in Mark's Ball Joints... IF you stock arms are bad, thats when I'd consider Mark's arms or welding reinforcements OVER buying questionable reproduction arms ( Made in China? Questionable specs? and cost is part-way to the SPCs anyway)...

Bushings... Poly can squeak, and can be harsh... With stock 14-inch wheels, I think NEW rubber bushing might be best... Can Mark or someone get higher-durometer rubber bushing (I thought I have heard of them)? New rubber, and the car will still handle close to poly (all else being equal). Your smaller tires will limit the forces that would deflect the bushings...


Really want to improve the "feel"? Get all the new quality steering linkage, and get a new./rebuilt steering box... You probably don't need the fancy new600 box, but Mark (or others) could set you up with a Lee box for greater feel, but I think its still a lengthy wait time for Lee ( last summer, I think Mark was mentioning 6-8 weeks because good cores were getting harder to find) unless you have a core or send in your current box... Lee actually inspects/rebuilds/blueprints YOUR box, provided its acceptible, so it takes a few days plus shipping both ways.

If you are limited in the time the car can be down, then I'd consider something like an AGR box from Summit... These start at $330 ($12 shipping/handling), and they are offering $20 "Summit Bucks" for getting the AGR before December 31st... I think Summit also has a 10% off deal going now (coupon code)... So basically $300 with a $20 coupon for later purchases... And it uses your current hoses and rag-joint.

I am getting the AGR box the week after Christmas, and probably installing it in January/February, along with Mark's Stage 2 setup...

New steering linkage, new bushings, shocks, BJ, fresh steering box with "firmer" feel... It will be like a new car, even with the 14-inch wheels... :thumbsup:

Call some shops and get prices for bushings and balljoints... I just had some of Mark's BJs pressed into my arms ( CPP tubular lowers I have had since before the SPCs came out)... $15 each...

Sergio 69 SS396
Dec 16th, 09, 4:03 PM
Thanks Tony, good advise :)