Speaking of lower rear control arms for a 92 civic sedan, does anybody
know which of the aftermarket replacements are stock length, and which
are shorter for camber improvement with lowered suspension?
Just a wild guess but I imagine moving the weight to the outside of
those bearing is going to play hell with them. The axle/bearing
assembly is designed with the weight centered on the bearing surfaces.
Move it in or out and you concentrate the weight (not to mention the
forces inflicted on the wheel by uneven terrain) on the end of the axle.
Bad ju ju!
1. the wheel is already offset from the center line of the bearing anyway.
2. normal spacers aren't going to make a lot of difference - unusual to
go much more than 10mm.
3. it's all relative. the op is lowering and presumably "racing".
bearings take a hit in this situation anyway. literally if the car is
lowered too much and the car's riding on the bump stops.
I have heard the explanation, whether myth or fact, that the use of spacers
will cause premature failure of bearings. Since the axle flange is always
past the centerplane of the bearing, like you, I dont think it matters too
I tend to think this may be another garage legend, but wont stick my neck
out on it.
it might have been a "factor" in the old days of bad bearings and
positive scrub radius, but now we have good bearings and negative scrub
radius... having sealed bearing units that can't be "helped" by the
racer kiddie adding more grease extends bearing life significantly too.
Certainly in older RWD designs where the centerline of the wheel is
outside of the bearing, moving it further out by use of wider wheels,
spacers, and usually both increases the lever arm of the load on the
bearing. If the centerline of the wheel is inside of the bearing, then
a spacer has the opposite effect, but of course it does affect
whatever steering effect they wanted to achieve by putting the
centerline of the wheel there.
10mm that is going to move the load out, changing the designed fulcrum
of the original geometry, increasing the load on the bearing.
The point of a well designed aftermarket control arms is to keep the
suspension geometry correct in the areas that matter.
Bearing load and various wheel alignment tracking angles would be very
close to the original design.
dude, with respect, you're going to get more transient bearing load on a
bearing from having suspension lowered too far than you are from spacers.
hardly - all it does is correct camber. it does nothing for the swing
radius of any of the suspension components themselves.
by what margin??? the vehicle has a working load in the range of
800lbs. how do you think spee-dee ricer with his 10mm spacers and 90lb
girlfriend is going to exert more leverage on the bearings than spec?
install an even bigger sub?
Other way around. I'm not lowering the car, therefore want stock length
lower arms, my only goal is to just swap them in on the first warm
afternoon and drive off, without having to run around and get new
bushings stuffed into the old arms while the car is immobilized. I
don't want aftermarket arms sized for lowered suspensions that will
throw the rear camber off. Some sales websites identify some
aftermarket arms as shortened for lowered suspensions, some don't,
nobody identifies any of the aftermarket arms as stock length.
I was in Princess Auto today for the first time. They're only in Canada, so
if you're in the US, you'll have to try AZ or Kragen or one of those
places. In there I found something very interesting for $20.
What I found was a "puller" that resembles a very big, fat C-clamp. This
one takes a hex socket on the screw end. The other end ends in a round
hole. With sufficient sockets and spacers, this thing just might budge your
bushings without power assist. The principle is the same as those screw-
type balljoint pullers.
If such a thing is available where you are, you may be able to avoid the
I was thinking of something like that; like I said, since the bearings
have been pre-removed for me, it's just a matter of pressing new ones
in, so I was thinking just the biggest screw, nut, and washer that
would fit; or if that's too weak, as you mention, a big clampy thing
with an external bigger screw. I'll go look at the car parts store. I
was even thinking of just sandwiching the thing between the jacking pad
on the car and the jack.
Sweet it is! Never seen anything like it up here. The sign above the doors
says "The Unique World of Princess Auto", which did not seem to be an
exaggeration from where I stood.
I wasn't in there more than ten minutes, but even then the choice was
overwhelming. Never located the balljoint tool in my hurried exploration,
but did find an IR thermometer for $77 (cool!), and the Schley-type bushing
press C-clamp for $20.
Princess is now well out of my way, whereas it once used to be a place I
drove by regularly. It just so happened that the other day I had to be at a
place down the street, so I popped in, figuring it didn't cost me a left-
turn to do it, so why not.
Now I HAVE to go back and explore at leisure.
if it's stock height, why do you want to adjust the camber? the only
reason it can be out is either damage or worn bushings. new bushings
cure the latter. a visit to the junk yard cures the former.
aftermarket control arms are usually the adjustable types so you set to
what you want.
The other way around; I want to avoid Unintended Camber Adjustment by
Helpful Aftermarket Manufacturers who think I lowered the suspension,
when all I want is to replace the shredded bushings with minimal
trouble, and if I can get a set of aftermarket control arms with
bushings installed for < $100, that makes them competitive with getting
a stock set from a junkyard and having to get bushings installed in
them in terms of hassle per dollar factor, and both are miles above
having to take the arms out then haul them somewhere on my bike to get
new bearings pressed in. or trying to press them in myself in the
If you're the sort who buys aftermarket in the first place, I think it's a
safe bet you're also the type who wants to flatten his cranium against the
roof by having the suspension bouncily bottom out on gum wrappers and lost
But you're not that type, so...
I think you may be overestimating the problem. Before starting the job,
phone around to a few places, and ask them if they'd be willing to push out
some small bushings on-the-spot for you when you show up. Should take an
hour total for both arms, going slowly with lots of palaver and jokes. (I
would advise not attempting to do this at 4:00pm on a Saturday. Ask me how
With an electric impact wrench, it should take you minutes to sever the
lower control arms from the vehicle. And they're small and light, so easily
transportable by bike.
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