AF­TER­MAR­KET CON­TROL ARMS SOLVE A LOT OF ALIGN­MENT IS­SUES

4 x 4 Australia - - Gear -

A BET­TER HAM­MER

AF­TER­MAR­KET con­trol arms sound fan­tas­tic, don’t they? And they re­ally are. They solve a lot of align­ment is­sues, add strength back into a sys­tem pushed to its lim­its, and make your tyres last longer. If that’s not enough, they can also in­crease off-road per­for­mance.

So how do they give bet­ter off-road per­for­mance? By fix­ing a prob­lem you’ve cre­ated. As your sus­pen­sion is lifted, the up­per con­trol arm be­com­ing an­gled causes more is­sues than just your align­ment. The first is bind­ing of the up­per ball-joint. It locks up with too much an­gle lim­it­ing down travel and wear­ing pre­ma­turely. Like­wise, the up­per con­trol arm wrap­ping around the strut means, with too much an­gle, it’ll also foul. By re-angling or re­design­ing ball-joints, as well as mak­ing more clear­ance around the strut tower and the tyre, re­designed con­trol arms give more wheel travel, mean­ing your 4x4 has tyres on the ground for longer and there’s less chance of los­ing trac­tion.

While there are le­gal mine­fields around both buy­ing and in­stalling con­trol arms, rep­utable man­u­fac­tur­ers make it a smooth af­fair and can make your lifted 4x4 per­form bet­ter off-road and han­dle bet­ter on-road. It’s no won­der they’re be­com­ing more and more preva­lent in com­plete sus­pen­sion kits.

The stan­dard pressed metal A-arm (left) doesn’t of­fer the ad­justa­bil­ity or strength of the af­ter­mar­ket arms (right).

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