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Thread: Front lower control arms . . . options

  1. #1
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    2002.5 Mazda Protege ES

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    Front lower control arms . . . options

    Ok, had some maintenance done recently and shop told me my ball joints are shot up front on the lower control arm. With the way our control arms are designed, apparently, you have to replace the entire control arm assembly.

    I also recently lowered the car (with Tokico blues) and have experienced some unusual tire wear, so I'm thinking more adjustability (camber) might not be a bad idea either.

    So, what options are there out there for more performance oriented control arms.

    AWR sells these control arm reinforcements: http://store.awrracing.com/products/...forcement.html which need to be welded onto a stock control arm - I will probably not buy an OEM control arm, they're way too expensive, will buy aftermarket replacement arms.

    And AWR sells these: http://store.awrracing.com/products/...003-Front.html which should allow me to adjust my camber/caster.

    Lastly, I found these Megan Racing control arms at Horsepower freaks: http://www.horsepowerfreaks.com/perf...n/Control_Arms Would they let me kill two birds with one stone (replace the control arm AND adjust camber/caster)?

    I'm new to all this suspension stuff, so I'm sure there are parts of this I'm not understanding properly . . .

  2. #2
    Registered Member GeorgeBrotege5's Avatar

    2003 Mazda Protege5

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    the megan arms are for the rear. i have not found any adjustable lower front arms for the protege, but the adjustable upper mounts will lt you adjust cambe, but not caster.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info, and yeah, I mis-read the Horsepower Freaks site. What would those rear links be used for? Why would I want them?

    Any feedback on the "weld on" AWR reinforcements?

    No other control arm options out there?

  4. #4
    Registered Member pw~mp5's Avatar

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    Last edited by pw~mp5; 10-20-2011 at 01:43 AM.

  5. #5
    forever waiting meGrimlock's Avatar
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    hi, are you doing the work yourself? i hit a pothole a few weeks ago. along with a deformed rim, the car shop said the lower control arm bushings were torn and i had to replace the entire control arm. the quote for parts and labor for the control arms was $1150 and that is WITHOUT the new wheel, or an alignment! i was wondering is the labor that intensive? the hardest thing i've done is replace brake pads on the car (and my tool collection consists of sockets and screwdrivers).

    im also wondering if there are cheaper alternatives. the AWR control arms are just as expensive as the quote the shop gave me.

  6. #6
    Registered Member pw~mp5's Avatar

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    Did you read the thread from above?

    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...=1#post5540625
    Last edited by pw~mp5; 10-20-2011 at 01:43 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered Member GeorgeBrotege5's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhodory View Post
    Thanks for the info, and yeah, I mis-read the Horsepower Freaks site. What would those rear links be used for? Why would I want them?

    Any feedback on the "weld on" AWR reinforcements?

    No other control arm options out there?
    the rear links are stronger than stock and allow for more rear camber and toe adjustment. My rear toe eccentrics are rusted solid and there is no manufacturer specified camber adjustment for the rear (although there are ways)

    and why would you want them? so you can run aggressive wheels at super low ride height see below...

    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...Slammed-Thread

    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/showt...essive+fitment

    maybe this spring i will qualify for both of these

    and those front lca's don't look like they offer any camber adjustment.

  8. #8
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    Looks like the Hardrace LCAs have gotten good reviews . . . unfortunately they seem very hard to find. Hardrace, btw, is based out of Taiwan, I believe.

  9. #9
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    Ok, so the more investigation I do into the Hardrace front lower control arms, the more confused I get. As far as I can tell, this is a stock/OEM type LCA with hardened rubber bushings . . .and that's pretty much it. For $280/pair, I'm thinking I'd be better off buying and OEM style LCA from RockAuto and then buying Peddler urethane bushings from *************. The math works out cheaper this way . . . unless I'm missing something about the Hardrace LCA. Am I?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by meGrimlock View Post
    hi, are you doing the work yourself? i hit a pothole a few weeks ago. along with a deformed rim, the car shop said the lower control arm bushings were torn and i had to replace the entire control arm. the quote for parts and labor for the control arms was $1150 and that is WITHOUT the new wheel, or an alignment! i was wondering is the labor that intensive? the hardest thing i've done is replace brake pads on the car (and my tool collection consists of sockets and screwdrivers).

    im also wondering if there are cheaper alternatives. the AWR control arms are just as expensive as the quote the shop gave me.
    I don't think there is any cheaper alternatives... i just got my control arm kit and it was so spendy when i bought it, so i'm searching around for some How-To so that I can install it myself and some $$$.

  11. #11
    Gothenburg Superiority Installshield 2's Avatar


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    I know this is old, but considering many new users may frequent this place for DIY repairs:

    As of now there still aren't many options for front lower control arms. AWR doesn't even sell lower control arms from what i can anymore, and always claimed their racing arms 'weren't for street use'...

    So replacement wise you're left with the OE units (usually ~$250 each!!!), or any number of aftermarket options at around ~$70. The factory ball joints are sealed, so if that goes, the entire arm needs replaced...our control arms are designed as 'break away' components...in the event of an accident/collision these components are designed to absorb the damage, rather than transferring and thus destroying, the entire front sub frame. I can't say from personal experience on how much better the OE arms are than aftermarket peices, but there is such a premium you could nearly replace aftermarket arms 3+ times before you hit the cost of the OE options.

    AWR's reinforcements for welding to the factory control arms most likely aren't a practical application for street use. The ball joints are usually what go before anything else (that or the bushings where they attach to the subframe), of which these reinforcements won't address. Maybe a good idea for those with absurdly bad roads or something, or even rarer...those that still occasionally auto-cross or race a 3rd gen protege...but for normal daily driving or whatever, seems like standard aftermarket arms are the most practical option...
    "I am a Union Delegate" -Henry Hill '63

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