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Uncle Bubba

Upper And Lower Control Arms

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I'm lookin at the next projects for plannin now. I keep lookin at the aftermarket adjustable control arms but they are out of my price range to buy. But lookin at them, they look to simple to make. A stainless bar with links on the ends appears to be all that they are. Am I missin somthin here, I've never looked at any of them up close and in person. If that's the case I could make a full set for well under $200. The only thing I would need to buy would be the Left and Right turn ends and they're easy to come by.

This is what I have in mind for the ends. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/p/8663,107_Adventure-Series-Extreme-Poly-Bushings-and-Heims.html

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Using a 300 series stainless and Argon/Oxygen gas mix joining the two metals isn't a problem for a good welder. You just have to have careful control of the heat. You have to heat the Carbon steel that little bit more then the stainless, so you just adjust your aim.

Now knowing some very basics of how to do it and actually doin it are two completely different things. I got a partner in crime that custom builds fertilizer trucks from scratch for a livin so welding on stainless is just another day at the office for him. He builds the stainless tanks from flat sheets and hand builds everything on the truck.

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I'd just use 2" square tube, .25 wall. Could go thinner on the uppers if you wanted as well.

Your going to be over $200 though. Just the Johnny Joints, adapters and jam nuts will be at the $200 mark. Then figure around $60 for rubber bushings/sleeves on the other end and then about $50 for the tubing.

I would use 1.25" JJs for the lowers and you pretty much have to use the .75 JJs for the uppers. If your stock bushings have the dual steels in it, they are a bit wider so you will have to put a washer or something like that. The ones on my truck are the same ones used on Jeep TJs, XJs, ZJs.

Balistic Fab makes some square tube adapters to fit in the tubing, or you can just use ones for round tube (did that on my Jeep).

I'd also grind off the cam plates on the LCA on the axle and weld a plate on each site with a single hole since you will have the adjustable Johnny Joint.

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I got scrap around for the tubing itself, just a matter of what scrap I'd use. The pre-assembled Johnnies with the Bungs and nuts will cost me about $200 for the 4 ends on the lower arms and I think I'm goin with non-adjustable on the uppers and this will cut that price down considerable. Might even be free, I'm thinkin about just cuttin the factory fittings out of the uppers and installing them in the new bars.

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You need to have a rubber bushing on 1 end of the arms. Sounds like you plan on using 2 JJs on each? It will transmit the road into the truck pretty bad I think.

The rubber bushings are like $5 each and you will need a steel sleeve to weld the arm to and press the bushing into. I bought some a couple days ago from onlinemetals.com

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Heres what I'm lookin at right now. http://www.currieenterprises.com/cestore/johnnyjoints.aspx

I could do it cheaper by using his rebuild kit and fabbing the anchor points but not worth the trouble when you can buy the whole assembly for not much more.

On the uppers I would deffinatley replace the rubber junk on the stock bars now with polyeurathane insulators. This is what I have in mind for the uppers to be disigned like but I can make the full set for less then half of what these would cost for just the lowers.post-32-145494290893_thumb.jpg

Keep the conversation comin though cause I want to know any drawbacks before I go to spendin money. They just look to damn easy.

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I would keep the rubber ones. I run them on my Jeep actually and I haven't had issues.

They are easy to make, as it lots of stuff like that, but many people don't want to take the time to do it, they don't know how, or are scared and feel that a bought one is better.

For the lowers, I just use a piece of 2.5" DOM, .25 wall and push the rubber bushing into that. The bushing would get welded onto the end of the 2" tubing first. Then weld on a tube adapter on the other end, thread in the Johnny Joint and voila, control arm.

Having the center adjustable is nice, but honestly how often would you use that? It's not that much work to unbolt the arm and turn the JJ to adjust... and MUCH stronger.

For the uppers I would do the same thing, only the bushings are smaller. I think I have 1.5" tube on my Jeep for those. I'd make them adjustable as well. May as well while you are building them.

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Get your buddy to TIG them up with 308L - it'll reduce carbon precipitation in the weld zone, look great and be MUCH stronger.

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I'd just use 2" square tube, .25 wall..

That's a great idea if you're gay.:gay2:

Do yourself a favor. Use pipe instead.:lol:

Seriously though, I'd do some checking around, call some shops, and go from there.

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That's a great idea if you're gay.:gay2:

Smilie = LMAO!

BOT - we use both round & rectangular tubing/pipe on our control arms, whether adjustable or custom length. The design should be engineered to withstand the application's expected structural load.

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X2 on the receiver tube! :lol:

Bigger isn't always better, and sometimes less IS more...

Depending on the alloy series, stainless steel has a variety of benefits over carbon, but it's chief drawbacks are fabrication expense and work-hardening propensity.

We spec SS for the vast majority of our products' hardware needs, and use 304 in some of our parts - like LazarLinks, or the intake horns - but the main reason it isn't used in more applications is it's high cost to purchase and subsequently work with.

Our shop trucks have LOTS of stainless parts on them that we could never sell ($$$:shock: ) - that's why much of what we fab is powdercoated steel. A lot of the prototyping on our shop trucks is in 304SS because there's so much of it lying around the shop. 8-)

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... and another of their advantages is that they're harder to dent than a tubular driveshaft - just don't try to spin the receiver hitch to the front axle on the interstate! :shock:

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Square or round tubing is really a matter of perferrence. It's been a LONG time debate as which is better, and it's been pretty much beaten to death that they are about equal.

I like square tubing because it's easier to work with. Been running square tube links under my Jeep for over 5 years.

The square driveshafts are great. Only downside is you run the chance of breaking the T Case or trans if you come down on the driveshaft hard on something since it's not going to bend like a regular one would.

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