Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

Anyone have any opinion of these or experience with them? I wouldn't necessarily trust the ball joints and bushings that come with them, but I am wondering if the actual stampings themselves are OK when used with Moog or Proforged parts?

I got a deal on a set that was too good to pass up. I reason that they are likely better than original parts that have had ball joints swapped 2 and 3 times, but I am assuming that the stampings are made right. Can share their experience?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 1:40 PM
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Tony
 
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

I'll sit in...

I bought a set, but they are uninstalled... Still on the fence, as I have at least two sets of originals, but I know one had a loose BJ... I have brand new Moog AND Pro-Forged BJs sitting in boxes (and bushings), but now I worry with fatigue and cracking (and worn BJ holes)...

Wondering if I should run them as-is, or swap Moog/PF BJs, or just take the risk and restore the originals...

Once you go RAT, you never go back...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 4:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1966_L78 View Post
I'll sit in...

I bought a set, but they are uninstalled... Still on the fence, as I have at least two sets of originals, but I know one had a loose BJ... I have brand new Moog AND Pro-Forged BJs sitting in boxes (and bushings), but now I worry with fatigue and cracking (and worn BJ holes)...

Wondering if I should run them as-is, or swap Moog/PF BJs, or just take the risk and restore the originals...

The reproduction arms I have in hand look to be pretty nice quality. I am in the same boat as you. I figure new stampings have got to be better than old fatigued stuff with who-knows-how-many miles and possibly numerous ball joint replacements. I really want to like the reproduction units. LOL
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 4:17 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

I'd prefer a refurbished set of stock parts. Who knows what kind of steel they're using? Where'd they get the dies to stamp 'em? Maybe they are OK. I believe there is a member who does refurb these. I'd expect a good refurb job would include NDI for cracks, etc. My $0.02
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 5:21 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

I had my old ones refurbed by Glenn Lever and he did an awesome job. I have more trust on the older stuff than the newer stuff...

72 SS 402/4 speed/Straub roller and a bunch of Duramaxes.....
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 6:08 PM
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

I sent my old O.E.M. 1971 uppers & Lowers to Glen in N.Y. They were glass beaded and inspected, All new MOOG parts installed, Powder coated semi gloss black.
When I got them back,,,, WOW, Toooooo nice to install. My thoughts are, I have NO TRUST in most " off shore " parts. ( QUAILTY...??
I do know the org.-G.M. units were made with good metal. I would guess you may find three or four 64--72 Chevelles on the road with O.E.M. uppers & Lowers. I will go with the O.E.M. suspension parts.
REMEMBER: " Good parts aint cheap, AND Cheap parts aint good."...................Your Call..!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 20, 7:49 PM
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Re: Reproduction stock stamped lower A-arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
" Good parts aint cheap, AND Cheap parts aint good.".
But this is not about "cheap", its about 50+ year old, fatigued metal parts versus new... Yes, there is the potential that the steel may somehow be inferior, but is there any justification for the perceived potential?

Funny, I was just working on the original suspension on the '66 yesterday. I noticed the original lower arms had "work-hardening" dents where the steering arm tail contacted the arms, and this was on a manual steering car that hasn't been driven, at all, for 35 years. So all that damage in the first 19 years with manual steering (can't see there being enough "power" to dent the metal of the arms)...


Glenn provides a great service. I was considering using him at one time... People bead-blast, but does anyone shot-peen their arms?

I have heard of numerous original OEM arms failing by cracking at the ball joint. Some personally. My brother had one fail on a '66 and another on his '68 Chevelle, both about 12 years old at the time- late 1970's, and luckily no one was hurt and damage was minimal. The '68 failed while backing into a spot at a parking garage, the '66 while on a low-speed test drive. Many of them cracked while driving, causing more damage than just the cost of the arms.

I have yet to hear of a single incidence of the reproduction arms failing. But it would be nice to hear if anyone has any actual experience (good or bad) with the repro control arms...

I have heard one incidence of an aftermarket ball joint failing (was the cause the ball joint, the spindle or the installation?).



IMO, if these were really bad, with a greater potential of failing, companies like OPGI, Summit, Ground Up, etc would no longer carry them due to liability. And these arms are also sold by many circle track suppliers (no idea of the brand names/manufacturers though). Tough wheel-to-wheel action, and if these were failing, I think it would be widely known...

Fianlly, there is the aspect of "good metal"... How does anyone know if the OEM arms were made of "good metal"? Did GM EVER have an idea that these would still be in use 50+ years (and countless rebuilds) later? And how would that "good metal" compare today based on metallurgy, etc...
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 20, 2:20 AM
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Ryan
 
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I don’t know what the “right answer” is, but I’ll share my experience. I rebuilt my suspension a couple years back. I tried to get the most out of my suspension on a budget. Best bang for the buck kinda deal. Goal was a mild (ish) pro touring set up.

Long story short, I didn’t have the cash for a set of new lowers arms. I had my originals sand blasted. Gave them a good visual once over the best I could. Didn’t notice anything wrong with them from what I could tell. I had them powder Coated, installed Moog bushings and some tall ball joints that I got from Mark at SC&C. Mark is very knowledgeable, friendly and willing to help. He knows a lot about this stuff and has outstanding customer service. Might be worth it to give him a call.

I haven’t had any problems thus far. Now I don’t take the car to the auto cross track or anything but I do enjoy the occasional spirited drive around town.

Again, I don’t know what the right answer is here. Maybe the old stuff is the way to go. Maybe I just got lucky. But I haven’t had any problems. Hope this helps some.

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