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Old 10-23-2017, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default Spherical Front TCAB Interest?

Hey everyone,

***

Italianjoe1 is estimating ~$300 per set, would need a minmum of five people to be viable.

Confirmed / Committed Buyers List:

1.) Gimpster
2.) Blue Moon Sonic
3.) ScarabEpic22*
4.) NDarkling
5.)

***

Front Lower Control Arm Mounting Bolts/Nuts:

FCAB Bolt: 11611833 x 2
TCAB Bolt: 92139090 x 2
TCAB Nut: 11516382 x 2






Full disclosure - I am not a business, nor am I trying to shill for Italianjoe1. As usual, long thread

Long story short- I owned an early Sonic, and I've just bought (used) one again as my new winter beater/DD. I have also owned a few Cobalt SS/Turbos, and they are quite similar in design (shocker).

Most of you already know of the front control arm trailing bushings (TCAB) being a weak spot on these cars. It is a voided bushing, and next time you have the car jacked up for work... yank front/back on the wheel and you might be shocked at the amount of deflection. Mine are actually getting pretty bad @60k miles, and I see visible cracks in the rubber.... so I need to do something soon.

This is not unique to the Delta/Gamma chassis. My wife loves VW products, and I've had to replace the TCAB's on her GTI a few times. Last time I did with a solid rubber piece off an Audi TT/R32.

As I type this, you currently have three choices:

1.) Replace the TCAB with a replacement, it will eventually fail again.
2.) Replace/fill the TCAB with urethane. I can tell you from direct experience, this will not last. Urethane is not really the material for the types of load this component sees.
3.) Replace the entire LCA if you can't afford downtime.

None of these options give me the warm and fuzzies. Your car will also do this, end of story... if it hasn't already. You can fix it for the life of the car, or keep throwing junk at it.

A user on here name Italianjoe1 has actually done the hard work for us, and at least prototyped this. He used an off-the-shelf Moog spherical bushing intended for the Cobalt, and made a bushing to fit our LCA. He didn't really get a lot of response with his prototype unfortunately, and so it seems hes kinda dropped it. I feel pretty strongly about having this on the market for the Sonic though and thought I'd float it to you. In general, would be nice to see someone step to the plate on this. I am pretty sure I can make this for myself if I have to, but would prefer to save time and have it done for me I have more money than time these days it seems.

I had Powell Racing branded sphericals on all of my Cobalt SS's, and I can assure you its nothing but upside. It did not introduce any harshness into the driving experience.

So, in closing, would anyone else commit to going in on a set of LCA's switched to spherical TCAB's with me?

If you are confused as to what I mean here, this is a picture of Cobalt front LCA's with spherical bushings installed:



Here is a picture of the Sonic LCA and stock voided rubber TCAB:



Also for reference, here is his thread:

Front lower control arm spherical joint bushings
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Last edited by Gimpster; 11-27-2017 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:59 PM   #2
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I would definitely opt for doing this if anyone doesn't want to spend the 500 for the ZZP arms.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:14 PM   #3
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I might be nit picky, but I don't consider the ZZP pieces viable for me. I live in Iowa, and having an open heim joint to the elements is... just not a great idea. The sealed up Moog bearing would be where I'd prefer.

Also... that ZZP LCA is pretty standout in an autoX situation. Not that I condone cheating (I don't compete at the national level anyway), but its sticks out like a sore thumb

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I would definitely opt for doing this if anyone doesn't want to spend the 500 for the ZZP arms.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimpster View Post
I might be nit picky, but I don't consider the ZZP pieces viable for me. I live in Iowa, and having an open heim joint to the elements is... just not a great idea. The sealed up Moog bearing would be where I'd prefer.

Also... that ZZP LCA is pretty standout in an autoX situation. Not that I condone cheating (I don't compete at the national level anyway), but its sticks out like a sore thumb
I wasn't going to make that point only because I knew that heim's are a big no no in the winter time in the Midwest. The only reason those arms would be viable is if you're racing the car and needed something adjustable to dial in front end grip.

Autocross Though. Probably would be worth looking into that rule book, but I don't plan on doing auto-x in this car anytime soon due to other projects. Really hoping to get to pikes peak in 3-4 years, but still have a lot of work to do and not enough funds.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:07 PM   #5
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Yah, I'm certainly no autoX rule book nerd either. I'm pretty sure it would knock you out of HS. When I do attend SCCA events around here, I just pick whatever class. I know: a.) I'm not competitive and b.) even if I was, I have no desire to go to nationals. I get like... maybe 1-2 weekends a year to myself to run anyway.

That said, at least on the Cobalt, those sphericals are now sold en masse by Moog vs. the voided rubber. I think the chairman would still rule against you, but hey... details

I'm just looking to fix my car once, and be done with it. If I can also obtain an LCA that will minimize/eliminate deflection too, sign me up! I have actually tried to use heim joints in non-critical stuff up here in winter (shift linkages, etc) and it turned into a mess... as you would expect.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:24 AM   #6
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I'd be down. IF the price isn't outrageous.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:46 AM   #7
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I'd be interested as well, I have a press so I'd prefer to not have to buy a full set of control arms. Maybe sell a few sets just the joints+spacers and have an option for people to buy the arms as well? If it comes down to it, new aftermarket/OEM arms might be the easiest way so that everyone can simply buy and install without assembly.

The lower control arms are about $73/ea for AC Delco replacements so thats still +$150 to the price of the joints, but if you're replacing them anyway to fix the broken OEM joint, does it even matter?
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarabEpic22 View Post
I'd be interested as well, I have a press so I'd prefer to not have to buy a full set of control arms. Maybe sell a few sets just the joints+spacers and have an option for people to buy the arms as well? If it comes down to it, new aftermarket/OEM arms might be the easiest way so that everyone can simply buy and install without assembly.

The lower control arms are about $73/ea for AC Delco replacements so thats still +$150 to the price of the joints, but if you're replacing them anyway to fix the broken OEM joint, does it even matter?
https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...501881&jsn=427

Mevotech arms are $53 out of RockAuto.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...444463&jsn=446

These Moog bushings for the FE3 sports setup on the Cobalt SS are $30.

So roughly $80, plus labor and the custom bushing. Reasonable to say around $110-150.
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:39 AM   #9
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Yeah, I'm with you... if I can just have the spacers+joint, I'd be fine doing my own pressing. I did my Powell's that way, wasn't a big deal. If he only wanted to do it with new LCA's, I could live with that option as well I guess. Sourcing a set of them used is pretty cheap & easy and I'd replace the ball joints while I was at it.

I PM'd him this thread, so hopefully he can clarify the amount of orders, possible pricing and what options he's willing to do.
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Old 10-24-2017, 05:01 AM   #10
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In for results.

FWIW, to make this plausible, they need to sell for almost $300, assuming arms included. If the arms are OEM it will be more, or if I can't find them at the current $55 price. I can do the bushings only with spacers and stuff, to save the cost of the new arms, but it's not that much of a savings in reality. It's nice to just get them brand new and slap them on the car, rather than remove/clean/press/re-install. I know this isn't a big money market though, i'm down to make it work either way. 5 interested people gets it done. Looks like Moog also offers a Zinc coated bushing now, which might be a waste but it's another option.
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