Racers Edge Control Arms
We knew it would happen eventually, but hoped to get through this season on the stock control arms the car came with. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as the last DE event snapped a ball joint pin in half. Luckily, other than some light fender damage from the tire making contact, the rest of the car was fine. Stock control arms really should not be allowed in a racing environment, and most people know better. Unfortunately, with the state of the economy….you try and stretch things out longer than you should………
We weighed the many options for control arms out there, and finally decided to go with the Racers Edge arms. I have used them in the past as well, with good results, so we decided to go with them again. The RE arms use spherical bearings in the arms, and have replacable ball joint pins. The pins are oversized to 18mm from the stock 17mm pins, so the spindles need to be oversized. The new ball joint pins are also threaded, so the spindle needs to be threaded as well to accept the pin securely. Bore the spindle down half way with a 3/4″ bit, then switch to a an 11/16″ bit for the final half. Once that is drilled out, then you can thread the last bit with the 3/4-16″ tap. It is a slow process, but patience and a lot of cutting oil will get you through.
When the ball joint failed, the car was brought off the track on a flatbed, and then dropped straight on to the trailer. Unfortunately, that poses a real issue getting the car off the trailer, since it will not roll. So I just slapped it up on jackstands while on the trailer and swapped the arms out on both sides. Using blocks for the trailer and the car, and jackstands, you can accomplish this if you are careful.
Ball joint pin snapped like a twig 🙂
I finished everything up last night and got the car aligned today. Tomorrow it heads to Hallett for the BMW DE!
There are multiple options out there for aftermarket control arms. Remember, the ball joint pins still need to be inspected on a regular basis, and most manufacturers will recommend replacing the pins every 30 hours of track time. Cheap insurance to prevent a major disaster.
Fabcar: Tried and true, they make fantastic control arms. At a fantastic price of about $2,100 as well.
Racers Edge: Have proven to be excellent control arms so far: $1,595
Speed Force Racing: Simple design. I have seen similar designs hold up well on the track. $1,100
Charlie Arms by Wrightwood Racing: Excellent arms, but nearly impossible to obtain as he only produces 1-2 runs per year. CNC’d out of billet aluminum. $1,600 last I checked.