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Upper Control Arms Out of Spec

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#1
Chris Ciufo

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Where do you source your front UCA's? I've bought 2 pairs of Moogs that are 5/8" longer than stock (total length from subframe to balljoint). Measurements are taken while installed in the Advanced Autosport's jig. 

 

Has anyone else seen this? Can you recommend a source with consistent dimensions?



#2
Bench Racer

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My response is really a question. Are the arms you received to be pared up with 99 plus front spindles. 

 

This information may be helpful, scroll down to suspension/Upper control arms/Spindles. 

 

 https://www.redlinea...tibility-guide/


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#3
Chris Ciufo

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My response is really a question. Are the arms you received to be pared up with 99 plus front spindles. 

 

This information may be helpful, scroll down to suspension/Upper control arms/Spindles. 

 

 https://www.redlinea...tibility-guide/

Yes. 



#4
Dave D.

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"I've bought 2 pairs of Moogs"..........................There's your problem right there. I never use Moog . I've been a Tech between dealerships and my own shop over 30 years, and will not use bargain basement parts. Use your Mazdaspeed account and get a fresh pair of OEM and be done with it. You get what you pay for.



#5
Steve Scheifler

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I must say I’m quite surprised they would be off even a little, even skeptical whether you received the correct parts.

FWIW, we mostly bought from Mazda but early on I did purchase a number of aftermarket suspension pieces for comparison and on one occasion what I got from Rock Auto was OEM parts with the familiar pale blue & white Mazda part number stickers. The Mevotech uppers we bought seemed to be correct and ultimately went on someone else’s car without changing the range of camber. Quite often the various aftermarket brands are identical coming from a single production line, and that is sometimes the same as what Mazda sells. So I don’t agree that you always get more/better buying from Mazda or that you “get what you pay for”. But, if you are buying just once for a single car and aren’t tolerant of situations such as this, it certainly simplifies matters to buy from Mazda. Are you just replacing them or also adding the eccentric bushings?
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#6
Chris Ciufo

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I must say I’m quite surprised they would be off even a little, even skeptical whether you received the correct parts.

FWIW, we mostly bought from Mazda but early on I did purchase a number of aftermarket suspension pieces for comparison and on one occasion what I got from Rock Auto was OEM parts with the familiar pale blue & white Mazda part number stickers. The Mevotech uppers we bought seemed to be correct and ultimately went on someone else’s car without changing the range of camber. Quite often the various aftermarket brands are identical coming from a single production line, and that is sometimes the same as what Mazda sells. So I don’t agree that you always get more/better buying from Mazda or that you “get what you pay for”. But, if you are buying just once for a single car and aren’t tolerant of situations such as this, it certainly simplifies matters to buy from Mazda. Are you just replacing them or also adding the eccentric bushings?

 

I'm prepping spares and swapping all my current eccentric bushing back to rubber in favor of the extended LBJ's. I guess its time to pull a car out of the weeds and start prepping some old crusties.



#7
DrDomm

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I'm prepping spares and swapping all my current eccentric bushing back to rubber in favor of the extended LBJ's. I guess its time to pull a car out of the weeds and start prepping some old crusties.

 

Chris, why are you doing this?  


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#8
TylerQuance

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If you want a better option for offset bushings, I can help :)

#9
DrDomm

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If you want a better option for offset bushings, I can help :)

 

Elaborate, please.  What's wrong with the Whiteline bushings?


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#10
TylerQuance

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All SM offset bushings out there are urethane or Acetal which creep over time... creep is plastics jargon Wikipedia can explain better than I can.

The inner sleeves are also a thin wall which digs into the subframe over time. This causes the thru-bolt to lose its preload and the nut can come loose and fall off completely, then the bolt starts working its way out. They also require grease to work properly IIRC.

I have another batch of Torlon PAI bushings in the cure oven here at work, PM me if interested :)



#11
Steve Scheifler

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Tyler, you are the first to acknowledge one of my complaints about the sleeves for the available bushings though I would add they similarly cut into the outer washers (which at least can be replaced, flipped or resurfaced). Every set of both brands that I installed also required some manual trimming (whiteline) or reaming (the other ones) to not drag or bind enough to cause annoying inconsistencies on the scales. Just all around disappointing. I’ve concluded that the extended balljoint is the easy choice now but always open to learning something new. So, why are you going to the expense and trouble to engineer a better offset bushing?
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#12
TylerQuance

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Reason #1: To promote Drake Plastics Ltd Co products. I manage the engineering team here as my day job. Racers will likely never be big customers, but this provides a great marketing/case study that is tangible on how specialty polymers solve problems in industry. Specialty polymers typically aren't used in performance aftermarket or racing applications but they don't have to be so far out of reach for club racers like us.

 

Reason #2: I didn't like what was out there and I am a design engineer blessed with resources to build something better.

 

These are production, I ran out of stock 2 weeks ago however. New stock in 2 weeks from now due to Torlon's 4-week cure cycle. I only offer them pressed into new control arms and finish reamed. The hole is offset more than other options out there and the material has moly, graphite, and PTFE as dry lubricants + carbon fiber for compressive strength. The inner sleeve has a flange to spread the load on the subframe.


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#13
Alberto

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^Not to be a jerk but are these legal?  They sound awesome


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#14
TylerQuance

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p. For camber adjustment, only one of the following may be utilized:
1. Inner suspension bushings, on the front upper control arms, may be replaced with non-metallic
offset bushings. The bushings may use metal (inner and/or outer) sleeve(s). Material and
design must be the same in all four positions. The control arm may be modified to allow for
pinning the bushing to prevent rotation. Spherical bearings are not allowed.


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#15
Tom Sager

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I just bought and installed a set of Tyler's UCA's and bushings.  I chose to buy them with bushings pre-installed by his company and installed them on the car last week.  Haven't put the car on the ground yet but here is what I can report:

 

  1. The UCA's are dimensionally the same as any of the other used one's I have so no concern there.
  2. They shipped with the holes aligned and the long bolt went through the arms and the subframe passage with not much more than pinky finger pressure, fantastic.
  3. With the long bolt torqued the arms rotate up and down really smooth, i added just a touch of good grease on the spherical bushings which may not have been necessary.

I had a set of whiteline's on one of my cars and must have had 1 bushing slip a touch and damn near had to cut the long bolt to get it out one when an arm needed replacement.  I suppose that can happen with any of these.  I tried to determine whether or not there was an advantage geometrically for the ball joint vs offset bushing.  Other than the slight track width difference I couldn't come up with a good answer even after consulting with someone who used to make suspension for living.  In the end, eliminating some rubber bushings that are spring-like and replacing that with something that won't deflect under load and rotates very freely was the tie breaker for me. 


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#16
Steve Scheifler

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Tyler, I checked out the website. Those look most excellent and I very much like them being sold pre-installed. Nice work!

Anyone going with eccentrics rather than extended balljoints, I haven’t personally used these yet but there’s no doubt what I would be installing next to give them a try. If they live up to expectations, as Tom mentioned above it eliminates one set of squishy bushings on the front end of the car as a bonus. Prior versions were crappy enough that for me balljoints were the clear better option but this is a big improvement.
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#17
Alberto

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  1. With the long bolt torqued the arms rotate up and down really smooth, i added just a touch of good grease on the spherical bushings which may not have been necessary.

  In the end, eliminating some rubber bushings that are spring-like and replacing that with something that won't deflect under load and rotates very freely was the tie breaker for me. 

 

 

I've often wondered about that...  In SM, do you want to grease bushings so that control arms that move smoothly - OR - do you want them ungreased / normal to limit or pre-load suspension movement?

 

I suspect you want normal since it might decrease body roll and the amount of weight transferred in corners...


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#18
Tom Sager

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I've often wondered about that...  In SM, do you want to grease bushings so that control arms that move smoothly - OR - do you want them ungreased / normal to limit or pre-load suspension movement?

 

I suspect you want normal since it might decrease body roll and the amount of weight transferred in corners...

Ideally we'd like hardened bushings that allow the control arms to rotate freely and without deflection under load but we're limited to Mazda rubber bushings and 8 of them are at pivot points that are also our alignment points.  We need those to be tight.  I think greasing any of the rubber bushings would exacerbate wear and fore and aft bushing movement in the control arms which isn't good.  Really when we tighten bushing bolts at ride height rather than droop the control arms can swing up and down pretty readily through what would be the range of on-track suspension travel. 


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#19
Steve Scheifler

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Where do you source your front UCA's? I've bought 2 pairs of Moogs that are 5/8" longer than stock (total length from subframe to balljoint). Measurements are taken while installed in the Advanced Autosport's jig.

Has anyone else seen this? Can you recommend a source with consistent dimensions?

Getting back to this original post, is it possible that the most obvious answer is the correct one? Are you certain that a prior owner didn’t install shorter or shortened arms as a way to gain camber before the rules provided solutions? It is inconsistent with my experience that aftermarket parts are that far out of spec.
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#20
DrDomm

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...Really when we tighten bushing bolts at ride height rather than droop the control arms can swing up and down pretty readily through what would be the range of on-track suspension travel. 

 

Tighten at ride height?  How do you do that?

 

BTW, my curiosity was really about whether everyone was moving to the extended LCA ball joint.


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