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post #1 of 29 Old 02-22-2014, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default control arm help

So I smacked a curb the other day in my coupe during an ice storm. I took it to get realigned and they told me before they could do it, I needed to replace the passenger side ball joint and tie rod end. I found the tie rod no problem but I having trouble figuring out what to order for the ball joint. Everything I've read so far is telling me that I've got to replace the entire lower control arm. If anyone has a better solution let me know, but as of now I'm needing some advice on what brand to get and website to order from. I've already read through a couple threads on the subject and it seems that some of the replacements can lead to a nightmare of problems that i personally would like to avoid. also I've always been told that when you replace one piece its good practice to replace its counter parts, so that being said would it be a good idea to go ahead and do the upper control arm as well since we're going to have it apart anyway?
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-22-2014, 10:54 PM
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Which ball joint are you referring to? The lower control arm?

And what part are you calling the lower control arm? There are a lot of parts down there by the front wheel.

You don't have to replace both lower control arms unless the other one is damaged too.

I recently got aftermarket lower control arms on Amazon.com.

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post #3 of 29 Old 02-24-2014, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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right, the ball joint on the passenger side lower control arm. what brand did you order from amazon? I think it was from amazon that i read about a couple people ordering an 80 dollar control arm that ended up breaking on them after only a month or so. we've been using partsgeek up until now, ordered a powersteering pump and a couple other smaller things. the only control arm they list however is for the rear.
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post #4 of 29 Old 02-24-2014, 01:55 PM
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If you're referring to the part with the red dot on it, you can get aftermarket arms from Amazon. I got a Beck Arnley for about $83. It has worked fine so far. The OEM arms are certainly crap anyway because the bushing usually goes right where that red dot is, which allows front and rearward movement that isn't supposed to be there.



If you just need the cone bushing shown to the right of that arm, you can order that from the Nissan dealer for $10 - $15.

the curved arm to the right of the lower control arm is commonly called a compression rod and the bushings on those are known to fail after a while. I also got one of those from Amazon and I think it was a Mevotech. It has worked fine so far too.

At the price of the Amazon parts, you can buy 2 or 3 for the cost of an OEM part.

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post #5 of 29 Old 02-25-2014, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll be honest, up til this point I've been going on what the tech said at the alignment shop. He called it a ball joint but I've been around shops long enough to know that it could mean just about any bushing/bearing attached to lower linkage of the vehicle. Especially coming from a lube shop. No offense meant towards anyone reading, I don't know half of the names for the parts I install on tractors if it helps. Still when I talked to him he gave me the impression that it wasn't the shim or cone as you called it, that the joint needing repair was welded in which went along with everything I read up on the internet. What your calling a compression arm however is what I was thinking the control arm was and that it was either the piece going into the shim or the joint on the other end that the tech was talking about. I guess what it boils down to is that i'm gonna have to get off my lazy ass and crawl under there and look for myself when I get off work today. I'll get back to you with what I find. Btw where do y'all find all of these handy little diagrams. meticulous google searches or is there a specific site to go to?
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post #6 of 29 Old 02-25-2014, 06:46 PM
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Let me know which part it is. Photos would help if you can.

I googled "g35 lower control arm" to get that diagram.

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post #7 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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ignoring the red and blue on the first image, the green "circled" areas are the joints that have play. the upper i found ok, its the lower I'm concerned about. the shim everyone has told me was for alignment purposes and if I am understanding them correct, that the wheel shop would have just popped one in and been done with it if thats all the needed. however they didn't, they called me and told me I need a new ball joint. So that being said, which is the most likely case, a shim would tighten everything up so that they can do the alignment, or the guy at the shop knew what he was talking about and i really do need to replace the joint i.e. replace the entire lower control arm.
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 11:40 AM
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Well, here's my two cents.. If I curbed my car and was finding some play in the front end, I'd just replace the whole part that was damaged. I learned the hard way that when you replace one thing and try to cut a corner, that you'll end up taking it apart and doing it again. I just replaced my upper control arms with Kinetix adjustable camber arms, and have been pretty satisfied so far. I did LCA bushings last year.

Also, rule of thumb.... If you do one side, do the other as well.

Did you personally get under the car and look? It's not difficult to check for play either. Just need a pry bar and a good jack to raise the car.
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post #9 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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yes, i got under there yesterday and looked, then come in this morning and highlighted the diagrams so that y'all could see exactly what I was dealing with. I couldn't agree with you more about not cutting corners and replacing everything to keep from wearing new parts out prematurely. i'd like to get out of this as cheaply as possible without sacrificing performance. Its the shim/cone thingy that's concerning me. I'm not entirely sure what it's is for, I would assume either to take the slack out of the joint or something for the wheel shop to put in for a hard adjustment when the wheels are out of align. An alignment is one of the few things on a car I've never had the opportunity to do and aside from adjusting the tie rod and attaching reflective panels to the wheels, I have no idea what goes into doing one.
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post #10 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 08:43 PM
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I replaced the K member or (cross member) the big item in the center picture and reinstalled the item with the red dot and replaced my lower control arm on my G35 and it is pretty straight forward job. The control arm is made out of pot metal or cheap aluminum. it bends easy! Soak everything in PB blaster for grins and giggles if your doing it yourself (esp if your from the north). I bought my lower control arm on Ebay for about $65.00 if I remember right. The ball joint is pressed in on the lower arm. Torque to specs.

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post #11 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 10:29 PM
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If you need the U shaped upper control arm (aka a-arm) I have two sets of OEM ones in my garage that don't have a lot of miles. You can get them cheap.

You might want to consider replacing the two parts at the bottom. How are your bushings for the lower control arm at the center member?

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post #12 of 29 Old 02-26-2014, 10:31 PM
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If the bushing looks like this picture, then the bushing broke.


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post #13 of 29 Old 02-27-2014, 02:05 AM
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^^ the johnson rod came out of the hole^^^ lol lol
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post #14 of 29 Old 02-27-2014, 11:29 AM
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^^^^ LOLOL ^^^^

+1000 to Gilley.
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post #15 of 29 Old 02-27-2014, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Gilley I think we're focused on opposite ends of the arm... I got the parts in, ordered everything but the shim. I'm gonna get started tonight, I'll post an update tomorrow. I'm sure i'll a few questions being that this is the first one I've ever had to put on a car. Thanks for all the input.
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