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 FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999

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sall
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:06 pm

Yeah the '98+ are readily available. None available for the '97 w/ vert and horizontal mount. Neither the front or rear mount are available. Nor a direct replacement control arm for the 95-96, but both bushings are readily available.

Yeah there are a lot of makes/models that will work in a pinch for about $50 a side but not willing to push the wheel further forward in the wheel well. My 255s would probably rub.

BUICK CENTURY (1997 - 2005)
BUICK LACROSSE (2005 - 2009)
BUICK REGAL (1997 - 2004)
CHEVROLET IMPALA (2000 - 2011)
CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO (2000 - 2007)
CHEVROLET VENTURE (1997 - 2005)
OLDSMOBILE SILHOUETTE (1997 - 2004)
PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (1997 - 2008)
PONTIAC MONTANA (1999 - 2005)


Where are these ZZP tubular arms? Cannot find them on the website in a hasty search.

EDIT: NM Found them. At $500 that's not really ideal.

http://shop.zzperformance.com/store/p/481-ZZP-Control-Arms-for-WBody.aspx
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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:18 pm

Rick,
97.5+ riv's that are like this:

And can be found all over for that price.

The 95/95 riv's that are like this:

Are very hard to find, but you can easily get new bushings to press in.

And the early 97 rivs with the aluminum version of the 95/96 style are damn near impossible to find. And i dont know what size bushings they use.

The picture above is actually for a Wbody, not a riv. Its geometry is close but not the same. I have been using one from a 99 regal on my 96 driver side for a few years now. The front bushing has failed, and did so rather quickly. Also the driver wheel is set forward in the wheel well just a little compared to the other side. Not enough to make the car pull but its noticeable. there may be other differences that are less noticeable visually, but im sure they were designed different for a reason.

Yes i think you could go the $470 route and get the ZZP LCA's on a 95,96 or early 97 riv.
http://shop.zzperformance.com/store/p/481-ZZP-Control-Arms-for-WBody.aspx
Im not going to be the guinea pig at the price tho.

_________________
1996 with 254k miles, L32 4" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs. -RIP
AMG C400 White on black -daily
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sall
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:23 pm

Would the 95/96 stamped steel control arms benefit any from having the triangular section boxed?

Example pic:
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:03 am

sall wrote:
Would the 95/96 stamped steel control arms benefit any from having the triangular section boxed?

Probably not, but I would be willing to try it. I've got access to a welder and scrap steel plates.
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sall
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:33 pm

matt270avian wrote:

sall wrote:
Would the 95/96 stamped steel control arms benefit any from having the triangular section boxed?


Probably not, but I would be willing to try it. I've got access to a welder and scrap steel plates.

Yes, that is what I am being told from multiple sources. I have welder and some scrap steel as well. Can't say I have ever seen one of them bent or twisted though. The weak point seems to be that connection to the horizontal bushing, don't you think?. My apologies if this is off topic.
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Mr.Riviera
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:37 pm

I dont think there really is a failure point on the arm. If you are just looking to stiffen it up, then new acdelco bushings would be the way to go. They are pretty solid arms on the steel 95/96 style. I wouldnt want to add any weight to them, if anything making a set like the ones zzp sells out of tube would be sweet.

_________________
1996 with 254k miles, L32 4" FWI -> ported N* -> Ported Gen V w/3.0" Pulley, Stage 3 Phenolic I/C, ZZP FMHE, 1.84 RR, Headers and 3" pipe to mufflers, F-body brakes, and lowered on Eibachs. -RIP
AMG C400 White on black -daily
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sall
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:57 pm

Yeah, I have a pair of the ACDelco thermoplastic two piece bushings for the horizontal mount. I have a set of poly I am going to try press into the vertical one as well. Just waiting for the used control arms to arrive.

As far as I can tell the ACDelco vertical bushing is still just the standard OEM rubber? Unless you can confirm otherwise.
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dswitzer9865
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:45 pm

Getting ready to buy the control arm below for my 95 riv.  Front bushing completely gone.  Read through this forum and this one was confirmed as a fit but moves the tire forward a bit.  Has anyone had any issues with this replacement?

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=5564235&cc=1352821
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:01 am

HI. I'm lucky owner of '97 Riviera with those "one year" LCA''s )
One question hasn't been answered in this great (and kinda scary) topic: are stamped 95-96 arms direct fit replacement for my aluminium ones?
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The Roadmaster
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:43 am

DeepFrozen wrote:
HI.  I'm lucky owner of '97 Riviera with those "one year" LCA''s )
One question hasn't been answered in this great (and kinda scary) topic: are stamped 95-96 arms direct fit replacement for my aluminium ones?


O'Reilly ....

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/RAP0/19265/02936.oap?year=1997&make=Buick&model=Riviera&vi=1022050&ck=Search_02936_1022050_-1&pt=02936&ppt=C0106#itemDetailTab_

The front lower control arm vertical bushing.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:24 am

I wonder if Rare Parts has ever made LCAs for the 97?

http://rareparts.com/custom-part
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:07 pm

I've been told by the previous owner of my '97 that in order to replace my LCA''s with the steel '95 LCA''s, I would also need to swap the knuckles and brakes to the older '95 design. WT...? Is that really so?
Looking at the pictures of both types of control arms I just can't see why.


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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:08 am

He-he, I think I *almost* nailed it, at least my little quest of looking for the right vertical bushing for my '97 LCA has came to an end.
The Idea was to find bushing that won't require any machining. My first attempt was 2 3/8" (60.3 mm) bushing and it failed miserably - they turned out to be too small, I could easily drive the bushing through the arm by hand. So I went for slightly bigger bushing (60.8 mm) and bought pair of these:



* I can't say they sat in ideally, for a really snug fit another 0.1 or even 0.2 mm in diameter would be great. But image of hammering in a bushing that is a little bit too big and seeing my oh-so-unique LCA breaking was terrifying - I just couldn't afford it.
I drove a hundred miles with these bushings and they seem to hold their ground.

P.S. I was surprised to find out that vertical holes in the LCA isn't round at all smile  It is kinda egg-shaped with ~0.2 mm difference.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:52 am

DeepFrozen wrote:
He-he, I think I *almost* nailed it, at least my little quest of looking for the right vertical bushing for my '97 LCA has came to an end.
The Idea was to find bushing that won't require any machining. My first attempt was 2 3/8" (60.3 mm) bushing and it failed miserably - they turned out to be too small, I could easily drive the bushing through the arm by hand. So I went for slightly bigger bushing (60.8 mm) and bought pair of these:



* I can't say they sat in ideally, for a really snug fit another 0.1 or even 0.2 mm in diameter would be great. But image of hammering in a bushing that is a little bit too big and seeing my oh-so-unique LCA breaking was terrifying - I just couldn't afford it.
I drove a hundred miles with these bushings and they seem to hold their ground.

P.S. I was surprised to find out that vertical holes in the LCA isn't round at all smile  It is kinda egg-shaped with ~0.2 mm difference.

Is it possible to order it 0.1mm thicker? Where are you getting these bushings from? I think with a bushing press tool it shouldn't be too much of a trouble to get them in "tight". No hammering need.
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RivieraRyan
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:24 pm

Are the Moog front LCA's better than a new pair of OEM's? How do they compare?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:53 am

New here. Joined because one of my techs just brought a lower control arm from his '97 Riv into my office looking for help. Looks like this GM story is right up there with changing F-body fuel pumps, gen 1 LY7 timing chains, and accessing first gen CTS coupe headlight bulbs.

My first thought was fitting an aftermarket urethane spacer -- or a pair -- possibly designed for rear leaf springs. Might need to be cut down, but should work. Second thought was sleeving the '97 LCA for the '96 vertical bushing. Looks like both of those have been tried, but neither of those folks have come back to report. Got a '96 vertical bushing on the way, the '97 LCA in hand, and a machinist on tap. Will advise.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:28 pm

EricPeterson wrote:
New here. Joined because one of my techs just brought a lower control arm from his '97 Riv into my office looking for help. Looks like this GM story is right up there with changing F-body fuel pumps, gen 1 LY7 timing chains, and accessing first gen CTS coupe headlight bulbs.

My first thought was fitting an aftermarket urethane spacer -- or a pair -- possibly designed for rear leaf springs. Might need to be cut down, but should work. Second thought was sleeving the '97 LCA for the '96 vertical bushing. Looks like both of those have been tried, but neither of those folks have come back to report. Got a '96 vertical bushing on the way, the '97 LCA in hand, and a machinist on tap. Will advise.

If you look in the FAs or write ups I think you'll find some info on those bushings. I dimly recall someone replacing them with bushings spec'd for an Audi.

I never did figure out why the bushings are "nonreplaceable" but I wonder if there are practical issues.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:04 pm

The larger diameter vertical bushings for the rear leg of the forward lower control arms were only used for one model year, and for relatively low volume automobiles. In typical fashion, GM stopped making -- or causing to be made -- the bushings and the entire assemblies after a nominal ten years per the old commerce rule. No one else picked them up because the numbers don't make it worthwhile. The original parts breakdowns are still available. Part #6 -- the bushing -- was originally available as a separate service part but was deleted long ago when GM cut back to sourcing the entire LCA only. They did this purely because doing so satisfied the letter of the product support regulations while minimizing unique parts counts on the books and maximizing markup and profit. Mazda did the same thing with 626/929/Millenia front hubs for which they charged several hundred dollars when all that was required was a $12 bearing, and Nissan did the same thing with the Hardbody pickup's serpentine belt tensioner which they sold for $73 when all that was required was a 59 cent ball bearing insert. And of course there are innumerable other examples. The LCA itself was deleted from stock lists a few years after, and stock is long since gone... if anyone cares to try to order the part at the $300 to $400 price each generally quoted. GM tried the vertical bushing for whatever assembly tolerance stackup or imagined suspension compliance issue, and the bushing got bigger in MY97 because it needed to be bigger to handle the deformation along the axis of the forward leg's bushing. Frankly, I'm astonished GM allowed their engineers the excursion along the experiment's axis for the few years it ran, and when the chassis subassemblies were further unified, the experiment went away.

I found several long-deleted links to a mystery Toyota bushing that supposedly works, and one or two others to a mystery Audi/VW bushing, likewise deleted. Most of all I found numerous links to this thread, which contains at least half a dozen of those bad links. I have no doubt whatsoever that the parts exist, but the effort required to find them exceeds the effort/cost of having the little sleeves made and pressed into the control arms to receive the '96 bushings, which I found for a low price of $8 each. I expect a pair of inserts will run less than $100, and pressing them in on my 80-ton hydraulic will be a nonissue. I've got some contacts trying to get tech application data tables from some manufacturers, but that may or may not come through, and when is another issue if they do. And right now my tech is running on a set of used pressed steel not-quite right LCAs from another application, discussed above, that, he says, simply don't feel right. So I sent my tech to a local shop who's built custom suspension and axle/hub parts for me before.

I believe the little aluminum sleeves plus the '96 bushings is the minimum cost/effort solution, although I suspect the lifetime of the bushings won't be great because of the way they're used. But hey... if you guys didn't love 'em and like to tinker with 'em, I think you'd already have dumped these cars.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Lower Control Arms & Bushings 1995/1996/1997/1998/1999   Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:09 pm

And, thank you, all, for the wealth of information in this thread that allowed me to help the owner of the '97 Riv. As I said before, the solution is one mentioned above years back, and I think the reason it's not followed-up is that the new poster who tried it was happy and never came back. When I have pics I'll post 'em along with a report on the relative success.
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