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Old 04-29-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
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Aftermarket rear control arms

I bought two Raybestos rear lower control arms off RockAuto for the SVT suspension overhaul I'm about to do to my 2000 ZX3, and was surprised that they don't have the rectangular reinforcements welded around the sway bar link hole, despite all of the lower control arms RockAuto sells having the reinforcement in the pictures. They seem to be very well made otherwise, and if I didn't lurk these forums ever since I bought my car I probably wouldn't have known they ever had welded reinforcements.

Should I just install them anyway, or is it going to be a potential problem with cracking caused by sway bar torsion, particularly since I'll be installing the larger than ZX3 OE rear sway bar, and should I try to return or exchange them for ones that are reinforced? I'm kind of surprised Moog doesn't make these things, considering they make almost every other component of the Focus suspension, and I don't really want to spend the huge amount of money on the Ford ones.

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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As long as you don't go larger than a 25 mm rear bar you should be ok. Most issues of cracking were due to larger size bars and soft springs and poorly valved shocks. That combo makes the sway bar do all the work. And when that bar is a large one like the steeda bar then it cracks the arm.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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Also make sure you don't overtighten the sway bar bushings, other than that you should be OK.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Since you have them, Why not renforce them your self or take them to a welding shop & have them beef them up? Thats what I'd do.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Yea I could if I really wanted to, but that would mean I would have to pay more money for questionable quality work, I'd be better off just buying the Ford ones. Considering the racing shop I took my steering knuckles in to have old bearings/hubs pressed out & new ones pressed in, the shop put one of them in backwards as well as breaking it, and refused to admit they made any error , so I don't really trust anyone to touch any part of my car after that, especially a critical suspension component, they might overheat and warp it or something lol.

I dunno, unless it's a known fact that my control arms will crack over time like an SPI valve seat will drop, I don't think it's worth the effort trying to exchange or return them. The Raybestos control arms look like top notch quality, so I'm not worried about having them fall apart or something, it's just weird that in the picture they showed having the reinforcement, maybe I got old stock.

While on the topic of rear control arms, what's the worst case scenario as far as replacing them goes? I would assume the ones on this car are 13 year old originals, the car did have H&R sport springs installed at some point in time, but I dunno whether that was done via spring compressor or dropping the control arm. If the bolts are seized and rusted in there like rivets on the Titanic, what tool will I need to get them off and what will I need to replace? Angle grinder and arm-knuckle bolts?
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