99 Grand Am aluminum control arms - Page 14 - Suspension and Brake Forum

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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, June 24, 2010 7:26 AM
there's a set in the classifieds.




Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, June 24, 2010 9:51 AM
Now I feel really tarded because apparently I looked at that ad already.



Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, September 05, 2013 10:14 PM
So just for the sake of knowledge you can run Aluminum CA on the J-body spindle and axle without any catastrophic issues.

I'm in the process of completing the N+W front and IRS rear swap and for the front I decided to use the Aluminum control arms (CA) from the 1999 N-body's.
Upon my research on the forum it appears the consensus on here is that the Aluminum CA is 1/2" longer than the J-body CA and the extra length can affect the suspension geometry, create alignment issues, and stretch out the the CV axle joints beyond their intended limits. Therefore it's recommended to weld the ball joint holes shut, trim the end of the CA and re-drill the holes a 1/2" back.

Well out of curiosity I decided to line mine up and to my surprise they are the same length.


This baffled me until I realized I had replaced mine with aftermarket ones from O'Reily Auto Parts.
So i pulled out my OEM CA and look-y here there is a length difference.


So my best guess is either O'Reily gave me the wrong part or their supplier is so cheap they figured the J-body and N-body CA looked close enough to use as universal for both.


So in the year plus I've had the aftermarket CA:
1.) the suspension didn't feel much different and no extra wear was notice on the strut mounts or any other rubber components
2.) alignment was easily zeroed in with the basic camber bolt kit and slotted struts from Napa Auto Parts
3.) CV axles have neither popped out, ripped, or made any odd noises (although I did snap one due to other reasons )
But:
1.) I did noticed the the ball joint rubber covers were squished and getting ripped easily (quality?)
2.) when tightened down the castle nut sat lower than the pin hole, therefore you had to bend the tear drop of the cotter pin down to lock with the castle nut (quality, incorrect ball joint?)
3.) I noticed the front tires stuck out a lot more than usual (now I know why )

So I guess there are two things to take from this:
1.) Aluminum CA are okay on stock J-body (although modding them would be best)
2.) OEM is always better and correct, lol
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, September 06, 2013 8:47 AM
Yea, i have been running a set of unmodded N-body arms for alittle over a year now with no ill effects.




Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, September 06, 2013 9:08 AM
Been running mine since 2006

No issues at all... but my car is far from stock, including the CV shaft length...
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, September 06, 2013 9:26 AM
Hey Tinkles, your car is looking great.

And Lenko, thanks for your pictures on your IRS swap. Helped me a lot.
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, September 09, 2013 8:40 AM
Finally got around to doing my CA's last weekend (with TTR poly bushings and new balljoints) but have yet to button everything back up while the engines out (new tie rods and end links still need to go in too).
But from what Ive seen theres no issues running unmodded GA CAs. It was known they are slightly longer as you will get a slight increase in camber but with a proper alignment, there shouldnt be any issues. my only concern is abnormal tire wear but it sounds like its not noticable...


04 Cav. 2dr. 5spd. My DD. 'Nuff said.
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, September 09, 2013 11:33 AM
My front Falken tires that are coming off are smooth as if they were in the back. No cupping, feathering or anything. Properly aligned with struts, suspension bushings and ball joints in good shape and you'll be alright.
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, January 16, 2014 7:13 PM
Just wanted to to put this here rather than start a new thread, these are awesome. The ride is much better and idk if it's from the added camber yet (only corrected the toe for tonight, fixing the alignment tomorrow) but the steering is very responsive as well.
Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, April 21, 2014 6:03 PM
John Lenko wrote:

Been running mine since 2006

No issues at all... but my car is far from stock, including the CV shaft length...


So let me get this straight, unmodded aluminum CA's will work fine in a J-body? also, do the N-body ball joints fit in the J-body spindle? No uneven tire wear?



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, April 21, 2014 6:29 PM
Unmoded is fine just going to need a way to adjust the camber. And use the CORRECT BALLJOINT for the correct knuckle. Uneven tire wear comes from improper alignment,.

Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:15 PM
Schnupper wrote:

Unmoded is fine just going to need a way to adjust the camber. And use the CORRECT BALLJOINT for the correct knuckle. Uneven tire wear comes from improper alignment,.


Since the bottom would be moved out a tad bit, the top would need to be, too for a proper allignment, which i would need to slot the holes in my struts(or at least one hole), correct? Then the whole wheel would be out a tad further. Wouldn't that cause premature failure to my wheel bearing from the axle being pulled on slightly? But please, correct me if i'm wrong.



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, April 25, 2014 7:26 AM
The axle isn't going to pull on the bearing. If anything at all, my only possible concern would be the axle pulling out of the transmission under severe downward suspension travel (like hitting a big bump much too fast). The axle doesn't lock into the transmission, it's a slide-in fit. This is why it will not pull on the bearing. That being said, quite a few people have run un-modded arms and had no problems. It was actually recently noted that some aftermarket factory replacement arms are longer, because the companies don't bother making separate arms for the J-body and the N-body.






Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, April 25, 2014 4:54 PM
Well i searched on napa for a 1999 grand am ball joint, a 1999 Alero balljoint, and a 1999 cavalier ball joint. Each one has the same part number(MRC 104258). Just bought a couple Aluminum CA's from a 1999 Alero for roughly $55. so they should be good to swap right in, get a camber bolt kit and get an alignment, right?



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, April 28, 2014 9:25 AM
You will be OK with the N-body ball joint, but the knuckle will sit higher off the control arm. I don't like how the aftermarket parts manufacturers are making parts that are supposed to fit multiple applications. The N-body ball joint is wider than the J-body one. The knuckles are machined for the specific sizes. If you put one that is smaller or larger, you change the geometry of the suspension. Granted, manufacturers of these parts don't plan on them being driven with any kind of performance in mind, and the change is minimal for anyone just commuting with it, but if you're upgrading your suspension, look for exact fit parts.





Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:22 PM
Greatly appreciated, thanks Mr. Quick



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Thursday, May 08, 2014 2:03 PM
Quick question...When i went to insert my big bushings with a press, it seemed to go in part way and stop. I backed off, afraid i would rip the bushings. Has anybody beveled the edge before inserting? Any key tricks, besides lots of lithium grease?



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, May 12, 2014 5:47 AM
You should be inserting them into the side with the slightly rounded edge (also, make sure you have your bushings going in the right way so that the rounded part of the bushing is going to contact this edge). If you do this, there is no modification required. If you put it in a vice so that the bushing is held tight, you can easily wiggle the arm onto it. There is a thread around here somewhere with some good pictures for this, but I don't remember it's title or the author.






Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, May 12, 2014 9:07 AM
The aluminum CA's I have don't have a side that is slightly rounded or beveled. Both sides are the same. and neither of my new bushings have a rounded edge at all(I ordered bushings for a j-body, from my understanding they are the same)



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 5:11 AM
They are the same, but there is a slight difference in the inside edge of them. Look closely at the inside corner in the groove.

Attachments
Prothane control arm bushings.png (47k)




Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Saturday, May 24, 2014 3:54 PM
I'm planning on doing this for my car here soon. once i get my rims on i think i will have a little bit to be flush so i was thinking id just put unmodded GA control arms on and mover my camber plates out words to account for the extra width. but my car is super low and I'm worried about the axles because of the 1/2" more width. i read this whole thread and i know many people have no problems but I'm a lot lower than most the people on here so i was afraid that would change things for axle stress?




Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Saturday, May 24, 2014 3:57 PM
move* not mover. lol wtf?



Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Monday, May 26, 2014 11:28 AM
Took my 2nd control arm down to the local ford dealership. Had them press it in, didn't care what they charged me. They pressed it in in about 5 minutes and didn't charge me a penny. Makes me wish I didn't spend so much time messing with this one. My Local independent shop was leery about aligning my cav, and said they wouldn't guarantee it would wear my tires correct or not. After arguing with them for a good 10 minutes telling them it will align fine, they aligned it. 1 hour later, it was all within specs. Drives straight as an arrow now.



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Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, August 01, 2014 8:30 PM
Did anyone haveissues with mounting bolts snapping? Looking to verify that the stock bolts normally work.



Re: 99 Grand Am aluminum control arms
Friday, August 01, 2014 9:24 PM
I used 99 alero CA's with original ball joints and re-used my j-body bolts. IIRC, alldata says to torque the front bolts + an additional some-odd degrees. The rear bolts are just torqued to spec.



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