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uvachief
 
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Failed ball joint - replace with steel control arm?

My ball joint has failed on my driver's control arm. I replaced the passenger control arm in 2010. I was thinking of trying one of the rebuild kits but I see that 944online sells these steel control arms. Are these an upgrade or a downgrade?

944online.com - Find Parts For Your Porsche 944 And Get Your Car Back On The Road.


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1986 944 NA Red 5SPD

Last edited by uvachief; 03-20-2013 at 02:06 PM.. Reason: typos
Old 03-20-2013, 01:46 PM
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Is your car really low?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:58 PM
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It is not. Stock suspension.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:05 PM
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it's hard to say up or down on this -grade business. supposedly, these control arms allow a bit more flex than the aluminium ones. However, I think under normal driving circumstances this difference resides between the ears of the beholder, so to speak.

The reason to switch over to these is a cost issue (though some racers like to seam weld these babies, which makes them just as stiff and more durable than alu). If you have damaged your alu control arm beyond repair, you can easily swap the alu ones out for a brand new pair of these vw-based (thus common and cheap) control arms for less than the price of a single aluminium control arm.

If it is only about the ball joints, you can just order a rebuild kit for your control arms, for even less money. The condition is that the ball has not eaten into the aluminium, since this is a pretty unfair match in favour of the hardened steel ball, rendering your arm useless/non-rebuildable.

I have performed this rebuild myself recently and it has been one of the more satisfying projects. I would suggest replacing both at the same time (save one alignment, peace of mind, etc) since you get a set of two anyway.

The set sold on the internet contains ball joint bearings/cups of a superior bronze-alloy that supposedly last the lifetime of the car (YMMV) as well as all the other hardware, as you have no doubt seen already.

So have a look at the ball joint housing and choose.

PS, this is also a good time to replace bushes/caster blocks if they have no been renewed.
Old 03-20-2013, 02:08 PM
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It's a judgement call. I looked into this years ago when my balljoints were shot and needed replaced. The only real advantage to these is $$$ savings over the long haul as the balljoints alone are replaceable. Otherwise, they're heavy as hell with marginal upfront savings.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:15 PM
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i think i will go with a rebuilt control arm and core charge. thanks.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:41 PM
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I haven't performed the swap to steel arms yet, but I have gathered all the parts....

From Pelican:
x2 steel control arms $45.00
x2 oem control arm front bushing $9.50
x2 balljoint and hardware $30.50
x2 outer sway bar bushings $5.00
x2 Weltmeister control arm rear bushing $17.98

Sway bar brackets and rear mount bracket I got for $40.00 from the local wrecker.
The grand total is just under $150. That will get you one and a half aluminum caster block......
Getting it from the site you listed would cost an extra $250..... chump change.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:56 AM
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I swapped my '86 over to steel control arms. Honestly - the weight difference isn't that much. Porsche recommends against their aluminum arms in racing applications on the early cars due to potential for stresses from the casting process to show up, resulting in control arm failure.

In this case, I'd go which ever way is cheaper/easier.
Old 03-21-2013, 08:17 AM
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I use boxed steel on my track cars and alu for the street cars. Both work as advertised without issues.

The alu is stronger, can use the better 968 castor blocks and doesn't give at the sway bar mount even with 968 30mm bars. The steel is better if you have an "off" as it will bend instead of fracture. Also it's a cheaper track option which is always good.

Quote:
...Porsche recommends against their aluminum arms in racing applications on the early cars due to potential for stresses from the casting process to show up, resulting in control arm failure...
Never heard this before. Can you post up the tech bulletin.

...I wish they still made those Charile arms from a few years back, billet, light, easy ball joint swap and virtually indestructible.
Old 03-21-2013, 08:41 AM
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Have a look at paragon if you decide to buy the steel arms, prices are good and if you want a stiffer setup than stock they offer this:

Porsche 924S and 944 Control Arm Set with Race Bushings
Old 03-21-2013, 08:42 AM
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i have a question about the front A arm bushings. I've been collecting new bushings to put in when I go to late offset and it turns out I bought a pair of front A Arm bushings from both All Zims and paragon.

Porsche 944, 944S, 944S2, Turbo and 968 Control Arm Bushing, front of front.

Front Control Arm Pivot Bushing, 944/T/S/S2/968

they are slightly different. the overall dimensions are the same but I am OCD. The ones from paragon have a ribbed surface whereas the Zims ones don't and are painted black.

Are they ok to use together like this pic? or one type per side? or should I just get another pair to match?
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:24 PM
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Failed ball joint - replace with steel control arm?

You could go with Fabcar A-arms. They are steel with spherical ball joints. The A-arm is a massive weak point on these cars so it is not a surprise they broke. The FabCar A-arms are pricey but very nice.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:34 PM
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And there you see how overpriced 944online is. $155 for the control arm PAIR and bushings from Paragon, versus $422 from 944online.

Uh huh.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:48 PM
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I believe their price is so high because the include the rear mount/clip . Brand new from porsche that mount alone is about 100$ , when i changed to the steel arms i had to buy one of the mounts brand new because i couldn't source a used one in time.

If you convert to steel arms ideally the rear clips/mounts and the sway bar mount should be sourced used because they are way too expensive new.
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:02 PM
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Subtract $200 it's still way more lol
Old 03-22-2013, 12:06 PM
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While I'm browsing the boards here again I thought I would add;

NEVER BUY FROM 944ONLINE. Ian is a prick and the most unprofessional business owner I have met in a long time. Their prices are unforgivable, the site design looks like something a middle school kid could whack together in a week. Pelican isn't the cheapest by any means either - but the staff here are SO MUCH more professional that id spend money here a hundred times before I would go to 944online.

Full disclosure - Ian offered me parts FOR FREE to try and keep my business after snapping out on me like I was a child or something. I kindly refused and continue to let everyone know exactly what kind of person he is.
Old 03-22-2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fwayfarer View Post
snapping out on me like I was a child or something
Wow, that is really tough to imagine.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 944sracer View Post
You could go with Fabcar A-arms. They are steel with spherical ball joints. The A-arm is a massive weak point on these cars so it is not a surprise they broke. The FabCar A-arms are pricey but very nice.
Trust me - you always want a weak point somewhere that goes first, and is cheap. I raced off road RC monster trucks, and if I beefed everything up - it all bent up at once in a huge pile of scrap. With a "break point", I would spend $30 bucks, without one, it could be $600. I ran an altered upper front A-arm from the old skinny style T/E-Maxx to keep my geometry, the plastic part had flex that would keep stuff from breaking, and if I did break it, it was cheap. If I tore a $500 bulkhead and bent a $100 RF suspension from having the entire setup equally strong, it'd not be a good day!



9ff, I can't find it online, I seem to remember it, maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. I'll take a look at my manual this weekend and see if I can find it.
Old 03-22-2013, 02:50 PM
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Gawernator, Re-do your math when cost compare as you are way off.

Cheers,
Larry
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Last edited by Grandad#3; 03-23-2013 at 07:02 PM..
Old 03-23-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasta Monsta View Post
Wow, that is really tough to imagine.
People literally cannot wait for your foul, insufferable, fat ass to die of diabetes.

You are so full of your own fat greasy Guido self that you use green text. Really? You are that important to yourself you color your text now?

Well color me surprised, I was hoping you had already wrapped your **** car around a telephone pole. Lol.


Last edited by fwayfarer; 03-23-2013 at 04:53 PM..
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