I use a 2" hole saw to cut the access to the sway bar end-links once the arms are boxed closed.

To remove the stock rubber bushing and inner sleeve I use the tried and true technique of drilling many small holes in the bushing until it falls apart.

Use a set of vice grips or channel locks to grab a hold of the inner sleeve and pull it out of the control arm. The busing is bonded to the sleeve so it may take some muscle power.
The outer bushing sleeve must also be removed from the stock control arm. Use a punch to carefully fold in the lip as shown here. The sleeve is pressed in so once the lips are knocked over you can tap out the sleeve with a hammer.

The new sleeve will not fit in the stock hole, it will need to be opened up slightly.
I use a 1-1/2" (or 1-1/8" for 65-66 arms) diameter grinding stone on a drill and slowly grind open the hole.

While grinding the bushing hole periodically check if the sleeve fits. You want a light interference fit.
Once the sleeve is in place and held square I tack weld the inside joints first, followed by welding the joints on the outside of the arm.

With the sleeve welded in place I begin work on boxing the arm. The steel plate cut earlier is set into place. The brace is purposely cut long so the end can wrap around the contour of the control arm.
Notice how the access hole lines up over the existing sway bar mounting hole in the arm. If you pull the brace to far forward you'll cause interference with the strut rod assembly.

After tacking the brace to the arm I use a hammer to roll the brace around the tail end radius of the arm.
With the brace clamped as shown to ensure a tight joint I finish up the welding.

Here is the arm with the brace all welded in place. After the bearing is installed the arm will get cleaned and painted.
The bearing will slide in and stop up against the lip machined into the sleeve. The retaining ring is then set into place and tack welded as shown. Don't weld completely around the ring as the bearing is a serviceable item and replacement can be achieve by simply grinding the two tack welds and removing the bearing. The two sleeves simply position into place and are held against the bearing once the arm is bolted into located.

The arms are cleaned up and prepped for painting.
Several coats of gloss black makes the arms look stock. For a more durable finish try powder-coating at home.

Ball Joint Tech
If your lower control arms are stock originals now is the time to replace the ball joints. Generally this means you are better off just buying new control arms. Moog or Mcquay Norris control arms are $60-$80 each and use very high quality pressed in ball joints. The cheap offshore reproduction arms use cheap ball-joints either riveted or pressed into place, and I recommend you stay away from those.

For maximum performance and serviceability I recommend screw in ball joints. I use Afco ball-joint #20034 and #20043 threaded sleeve. The sleeve must be welded into your arms. I do this modification on OpenTracker Racing Products track series arms.


Opentracker Racing Products
P.O. Box 252
Carmel Valley, CA 93924


Tech Archives Project Cars Readers Cars Feature Cars