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upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:06 pm
by incomplete
our junkyard UCAs have the welded-in ball joints (which we discovered after trying in vain to press them out), and i was wondering about a few things... i did a bunch of research across various forums and nothing really called out to me, re: good solutions.

our ultimate goal is to run -3 or so degrees of camber in the front w/o breaking the bank.

the car is currently a shell and on jackstands, so while i wish i could just bolt stuff on and do some measuring i can't and that's why i'm posting here. ;)

some questions:
with minor lowering (1/2" to 3/4" gap between tire/fender), how much camber will stock UCAs give us, roughly?

are there other compatible honda OEM UCAs for our chassis that are a little shorter?

how are your cars set up on the front end?

i found these on ebay, but yanno: you get what you pay for.... :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AROSPEED-FRONT ... 3898567722

thanks in advance!

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:54 pm
by nihkon
You mention not wanting to break the bank....that means something different to anyone you talk to. So what's your budget?

If you're looking for -3 degrees, you definitely won't achieve that with just a minor lowering. You'll for sure need to looking into UCA's with adjustability.

I'd avoid the Arospeed ones that you linked to. Partly purely because they're Arospeed, and partly because of the design. That bent/stamped steel design is similar to the Skunk2 design...and I ended up running into issues with that in the past.
1. The bent flanges left very little room to get a wrench in there to tighten the bolts to the chassis. Not too big of a deal if you're doing it once. But it you're constantly doing a "nut and bolt check" before/after races, the lack of room gets pretty annoying.
2. On the Skunk2 version, I found that the rear of the boxed out section around the ball joint was actually making contact with the steering knuckle. It would contact, then "pop" under hard cornering. By the time I finally figured out where the noise was coming from, it had worn out a quarter-sized area from that boxed section.
3. It looks like Arospeed is still running the tiny washers/bolts that fasten the ball joint to the uca. Most companies have moved on to a ball joint that basically "clamps" above and below the UCA.

I've been running the Special Project Motorsports (Kiwi) uca (basically re-branded Hardrace) for a while now with no issues. It's tubular, so the clearance issues are non-existant. The "boxed" area is notched, so it doesn't contact the knuckle. And it comes with bronze bushings. They were a limited run though, and they're no longer available though.

Here is a link to the Hardrace uca's. If the photos area accurate, then it looks like they're gone back to the type of ball joint that fastens with a series of small bolts/washers. Not sure how I feel about that.
http://www.buyhardrace.com/product/hard ... x_277.html

Last time I had a proper alignment done at Chewerks, I had asked him what he thinks is the best uca available right now, and he said he likes the new design from PCI.
https://www.pci-racing.com/product/88-9 ... trol-arms/

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:18 pm
by incomplete
thanks for the reply... it pretty much confirmed my suspicions: throwing $$$ at a problem will usually solve it. :)

anyways, "breaking the bank" means less than $150. i <3 me some PCI, and we already have their seat mount and rear TA spherical bushings (the latter was because another teammate pounded out the wrong part on our TAs and we figured it would be about as expensive to go w/that upgrade vs pulling two new TAs from the junkyard).

great tips about the stamped steel construction and ease of access. this is really important and i'd have been super annoyed to find that out the hard way. :)

i also looked in to offset balljoints, but for the price i don't feel they're worth it at all.

so for now, i think we'll go w/OEM UCAs and see how it handles once we actually get the car running (see my other thread for the ongoing engine rebuild lol). i found some for ~$25/ea on rockauto: https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.ph ... 344&jsn=15

these are pretty easy to swap in and out, so upgrading at a later date isn't at all a big deal.

(i will also be keeping a close eye on ebay/classified for used racey UCAs)

thanks again!

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:24 pm
by Dave_Darling
I have read that, near stock ride height, every inch you lower a Civic or CRX of that generation gives you about 1 degree more negative camber. So your 1/2" to 3/4" lowering isn't going to get you nearly enough for your stated goal.

--DD

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:14 pm
by incomplete
Dave_Darling wrote:I have read that, near stock ride height, every inch you lower a Civic or CRX of that generation gives you about 1 degree more negative camber. So your 1/2" to 3/4" lowering isn't going to get you nearly enough for your stated goal.

--DD


yeah... i'm aware that the stock upper control arms won't give us enough negative camber. we'll have it professionally aligned once it's put back together, and if it's as bad as i assume we can just throw some money at the problem and make it go away. :)

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:44 pm
by incomplete
actually, i just found out we have adjustable ball joints that we'll press in to our stock upper arms:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/254003701867

i'm guessing those, plus lowering will get us to maybe -2 degrees... it'll be an inexpensive experiment, but i am mildly dubious about their durability.

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:18 pm
by incomplete
we got the new oem upper a-arms in the mail, and i checked out both them and the 'adjustable' ball joints.

hard pass. that [crud] will come loose immediately.

anyways, i sucked it up and bought the PCI upper arms, which arrived in the mail today. they're legit, built right and a worthy investment. our front tires are already thanking us. :)

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:02 pm
by raffaelli
I am at about -2.5 camber in the front with the ride height at the rocker of about 5 inches. Upper control arm is OE unmodified.

Re: upper front control arms for 91si race build

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:50 pm
by incomplete
raffaelli wrote:I am at about -2.5 camber in the front with the ride height at the rocker of about 5 inches. Upper control arm is OE unmodified.


awesome, good to know.