Control Arm MOT Fail.

philw696

Moderator
Staff member
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19,888
Just expected tolerances to have gotten better, is this the same on the Japanese stuff ?
Possibly on something like a Nissan GT-R or a Honda NSX but the first time I came across the shims was working on Maseratis.
 

RichTaps

Junior Member
Messages
75
The shims are required to facilitate adjustment and take into account movement of the suspension and subframe rubber bushings (and other factors) over time. If these components were solidly mounted (a race car for example) you may be able to get away with less or minimal adjustments.

I'm pretty sure that almost all road cars come with some kind of alignment adjustment, it just varies for each design. For example, instead of Shims some suspension designs use camber bolts to change alignment.
 

Soenvious

Member
Messages
103
Why are so many shims needed?
My thoughts exactly. These shims seem to be for Caster angle adjustment, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Camber is adjusted by shims behind the Bottom Control Arm mounting brackets, Toe-in/out is adjusted via the Rear Tie Rod, I think:confused:.
The other side has an equal amount of shims either side of the control arm bushings.
The mounting bracket on the Subframe measures 66mm inside, the Control Arm bush end is 56mm, lots of play.
 

Soenvious

Member
Messages
103
Because of my keen interest in this topic at present, I notice there is an ongoing debate on the 'Other' forum regarding re-furbishment of worn Control Arms.
We've now got two Companies offering the service but the main concern is safety and the validity of repair.
Would it ever be classed as a viable alternative? Bearing in mind the wealth of pattern parts for all cars, can we ever be sure that these parts are safety tested, or is OEM the only way to go?
Didn't Eurospares re-manufacture some of these arms in the past, were they tested?
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
7,549
Legality and quality are two important but seperate points.

Legally, providing the manufacturer or refurbisher holds valid insurance and deems their parts to be of merchantable quality, they are good to go.

Quality wise, they will only sell a few if they turn out to be made of chocolate, so that is the commercial driver for having a good product. It’s a small market and word does get around.

The Eurospares parts were, to my understanding anyway, made by the original manufacturer, Ocap, who also make plenty of pattern parts for the aftermarket.

If this were something I was tackling, I would go with a refurbisher but carefully inspect before fitting.
 

SteveM

Centenary Club
Messages
504
Thanks for the input, I think :rolleyes:. I think it will take me a good few hours but considering I can't get a replacement 'off the shelf ' I don't feel as if I'm under pressure. Will definitely consider ARB bushes, do you recommend OEM or Polybush type?
Superperformance had a batch of ARB bushes manufactured which probably sit somewhere between OEM rubber and hard poly bushes (this applies to 3200 which sit on top of sub frame so you can only unbolt U clamps when subframe dropped.
 

RichTaps

Junior Member
Messages
75
VPS in Slovenia appear to work with major OEM's and have military manufacturing contracts. They've also done lots of control arm remanufacturing for Gallardo's and other high end cars. I'll need to see the finished product, but the above are all positive signs to me.

I think there are certain people on forums that get hung up on things not being a "valid" repair. As Zep says, these guys need to hold insurance. I'd be more inclined to trust these particular refurbished items than cheap Chinese made pattern parts often available for other cars

Edit - without wishing to come across as a VPS fanboy, they also appear to make bits for planes! Which gives me a warm a fuzzy feeling.
 
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NickP

Centenary Club
Messages
1,545
The offending part is now out and ready for replacement. Not too bad a job actually, if Maserati had measured their bolt lengths it would have been done in no time. The biggest problem was removing one of the pivot bolts (rearward most) which fouls on the underbody. I lowered the subframe and it squeezed out. Bring on the replacement.....please.
I'm looking to do this as I need to replace both arms and the ARB rubbers. Just curious if this is something I can tackle and what lifting gear I might require? I'm hoping to just use what I have which is a few jacks and stands etc. Am I mad? If its too much I'll take it in somewhere, any idea what they might charge to drop the frame and replace all the parts?
 

Zep

Moderator
Messages
7,549
I'm looking to do this as I need to replace both arms and the ARB rubbers. Just curious if this is something I can tackle and what lifting gear I might require? I'm hoping to just use what I have which is a few jacks and stands etc. Am I mad? If its too much I'll take it in somewhere, any idea what they might charge to drop the frame and replace all the parts?
If you are confident and have ingenuity you will be able to do it. I did mine on stands and rolling around on the floor. I now have a lift, mainly because it was such a pig.
 

NickP

Centenary Club
Messages
1,545
Thanks Zep, I'm gonna get a gearbox jack for this, a lift would be lovely, I might take photos of me bleeding and swearing while I do this.
 

Soenvious

Member
Messages
103
Thanks Zep, I'm gonna get a gearbox jack for this, a lift would be lovely, I might take photos of me bleeding and swearing while I do this.
I replaced the upper right rear, using axle stands and trolley jack. The awkward part is removing the rearmost pivot bolt from the control arm, it fouls on the boot floor area of bodywork. I undid the rear subframe mounting bolts on that side and supported the lowering with a small trolley jack, just enough to wiggle the bolt out.
Be aware when the arm comes out there are a lot of shim washers at both pivot mounts, try and keep them in the same order.
Good luck:)