Let's take a brief moment to talk about suspension, specifically the air kind. There are a lot of different types of parts that we offer, but one of our more popular options are control arms. Now these come in a ton of different shapes and sizes, and even in configurations that you may not have considered. So while you're here, let's sit down and talk about what control arms are, and how they can work for you.
Control arms are a key part of a double wishbone suspension — something that you find in a lot of cars and trucks nowadays. If you're unfamiliar, the basics go like this. You've got a spring that holds up the weight of your ride, a shock that dampens the ride, and an upper and lower control arm that hold a steering knuckle and guide the suspension up and down. Those control arms are important for a few reasons. When they're sitting parallel to each other and the ground, your vehicle gets better handling. If you have unwanted negative or positive camber (we'll explain that in a minute), you can get different upper control arms to adjust the amount. And if you ever want to go closer to the ground or add airbags, getting a lower control arm with the right lower mount or pocket could be the ticket.
So control arms are important, you get that. But how do they work for your ride? Well let's go back to the airbags part. If you want to bag your vehicle, putting a lower control arm with bag mounts built in is a pretty good option. Installing them is pretty straightforward, and when you're done, your car, truck or SUV can run an airbag instead of a spring. Oh, and if you want to keep your springs, some dropped control arms have a lower spring pocket than stock, giving you a little bit more drop in the process. Doing either though will likely tilt the top part of your wheels in towards the engine bay, a condition called negative camber. We've got upper control arms that fix that issue, and even ones that are adjustable so you can dial it in just the way you like. As it turns out, sometimes negative camber is a positive, and being able to fine tune your suspension comes in pretty handy.
A few other interesting notes about control arms. For one, sometimes you can order them raw. What does that mean? There's no finish on them, so if you're powdercoating your suspension a specific color, you can start with the basics instead of having to strip down an existing coating. Some models have bolt-in ball joints, which is nice for servicing your arms later in their life. Others have polyuerthane bushings, and some have rubber. Keep an eye out for options, and pick the things that are important to you and your build.
Control arms aren't all about the front end, though. There are other suspension parts that also go by the same term. These are link bars, traction bars and other similar components that hold your rear axle in place. The idea here is to keep your axle going in the right direction — controlling them, as it were. And while this isn't a common use of the term control arms, it's one that exists, so here they are in the category.
Overall, you've got a lot of options here, and if you need help, we've got your back. Our team is in the office so you can stop by the shop if you happen to be in the area. Alternatively, give us a call or drop us a line via email. We know custom rides, so either we can answer your question or find someone who can.