DIY - Front Lower Control Arm Replacement - Pontiac G8 Forum: G8 Forums - G8Board.com
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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DIY - Front Lower Control Arm Replacement

The G8 has 4 lower control arms but this is a how-to for replacing the thinner 2 only.

Here's a pic of my old ones:


Symptoms:

- vibration in car when applying the brakes, especially if stop is more aggressive
- vibration when taking long curves at road speed (worse if road is rippled)
- loud moaning when turning wheel at low speeds (more pronounced after driving car for a while and ball joint end of LCA gets hot from all the movement)

Diagnosis:

- this youtube video shows it exactly as mine was

What to Buy:

GM kit to buy includes all 4 arms and is part # 92249538. I only needed 2 of the arms but believe it or not, it was cheaper to buy the kit as a whole. It comes with new bolts and nuts. Site sponsors sell it for around $230 but because it weighs 30 lbs, I had no choice but to buy it at the dealer for more.

Remove & Re-install Procedure:

1 - chock a back wheel with a brick or something so it doesn't roll back

2 - loosen wheel nuts while the car is on the ground

3 - jack up each front corner and put on jack stands (you may need the jack later)

4 - remove wheels

5 - with a 18mm socket and extension remove the bolt as shown on the left side of my pic - there's a hole in the frame to allow you to do that - a breaker bar (piece of pipe in my case) will give you the leverage you'll need - you'll need to remove the extension eventually as the bolt comes out and will need to use your finger or a screwdriver to push the bolt out of the frame hole once it's fully unthreaded and just spins in place - don't try to remove the nut end as it's welded to the frame

6 - with a 21mm (or 13/16th in my case) open ended wrench remove the nut on the ball joint end - right side of the pic - if you have a 21mm deep socket you'll be able to get the cheater pipe on the end - I didn't have that so hit a heavier hammer on the opposite end of the wrench to get the nut started - after that just keep turning - although this didn't happen to me, if the nut just spins round and round, use a 10mm wrench on the tip of the ball joint stud to keep the stud in place while you remove the nut

7 - the hard part now is getting the stud through the hole in the mounting hole - I bought a ball-joint fork but it did no good - just take that heavier hammer used above and whack it downwards - for me it finally popped out after maybe 5-6 whacks - if you want you can try placing the jack under a spot just next to the ball joint and lifting it up a bit so the LCA is a bit more horizontal - I tried that but not sure it did anything

8 - you can now put the new arms in and use the new bolts and nuts that are in the kit - the bolts have a 1/2 inch or so of threadlock around them - I didn't torque them or the nuts to any specific #, just enough that it was on very tight - on the 2nd arm I had the nut just spin round and round while tightening it down but soon realized the top of the stud needed to be held in place with a 10mm wrench so it didn't spin as well (same as mentioned in point 6 above)

It took me 2 hours from start to finish but as is typical on a first attempt you learn as you go & I did the 2nd arm in about a half hour.

Overall, a simple procedure but do ensure you have a heavier hammer with some weight to it ($9 at Harbour Freight/Princess Auto in Canada) for poppig the studs through.

Anyway, hope that helps someone out.

Props btw to Jackalope who was helpful in giving me some tips over PM before I started the job.

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 08:10 PM
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Thanks for the write up.

Definitely looks easier than changing out the ball joints on my K1500, actually similar to changing out the tie rods. Right down to the BFH.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-09-2013, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ah yes, the BFH ... comes in handy sometimes.

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 12:06 PM
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Nice step by step write-up for all the DIY guys here.

T.C. Davis

BMR G8, 5th Gen Camaro & Early Muscle Car Tech
Feel free to E-mail me with your questions
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 05:08 PM
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Good write up; thanx for the detailed info.

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 08:20 AM
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LBV,

Great write up.

After a few weeks, how has replacing only the lower arms been working for you? My front passenger lower arm is shot. I just received the control arm package and after your write-up I'm considering only doing the lower arms instead of doing all four.

Any risk in only doing the lower arms?

Thanks.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 08:33 AM
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doing this myself soon, thanks.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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You're welcome gents.

Longevity, the thicker arms were replaced under warranty a year or so back so I only did the skinny ones and so far perfect though I'd like to re-check the nuts for tightness as a precaution ... will likely do that when I change my oil in a month.

I'm not even sure how to tell if those thicker arms are bad or not ... dealer replaced mine during an oil change even though I noticed no issue before-hand nor any improvement afterwards.

Be sure to have the BFH (big f'ing hammer) handy!

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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-03-2013, 11:24 PM
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First time I did them it was an all day affair. Second time I did them it took only a couple hours by myself (mostly, had the help of a couple members and one member's amazing lift in his garage.)

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 08:44 AM
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My additional concern about replacing only the lower arms is that I'll be doing an FE3 upgrade in the next few weeks. There isn't much talk on the upper arms going bad, so just wondering if there is any increased risk in replacing only the lower arms and going to an FE3 setup. Or should I just do all 4 and be safe?

I had all 4 control arms done once under warranty in early 2011.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-04-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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You've got all 4 purchased so why not.

2009 GXP, Manual with Sunroof
Borla cat-back, H&R springs, & Sprintbooster & I love it! Summer rims = 19 x 9 CTS-V PVD Permachromed
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 01:17 PM
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I had my control arms replaced and FE3 Struts/Shocks with poly strut mounts installed at the same time as well. Overall pleased with everything. FE3 (on stock springs) is a nice upgrade. Handling is a lot crisper when pushed and very nice to brake again without the wheel hop from a bad LCA ball joint.

However, under braking, I am hearing some creaking from the passenger side front end just as the car in the last few feet of braking (5mph to stop). Given, what I have already replaced, any idea where this creaking could come from - tie rod ends, sway bar links? I did not have creaking before replacing the LCA's and upgrading to FE3. Car has not been aligned since installing the new parts.

While driving, the car rides tight and I do not hear weird noises from the suspension.

Any ideas?

Thanks.

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 12:43 PM
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god yes, this is what I need, THANK YOU!!!!!
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 01:09 PM
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Is the procedure the same for replacing the upper arms?

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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for the write up. Looks like I am going to do this myself since the dealer wouldn't do it under warranty and they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to do it.

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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danmc00 View Post
Thanks for the write up. Looks like I am going to do this myself since the dealer wouldn't do it under warranty and they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to do it.
What's your mileage? They told me they couldn't get it covered either. I called customer care and complained it was ridiculous that a 2009 with 35000km should need such maintenance and they covered it. Worst case scenario, you will have to pay for the parts. The kit isn't as much as one might think.

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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCodyBrock View Post
What's your mileage? They told me they couldn't get it covered either. I called customer care and complained it was ridiculous that a 2009 with 35000km should need such maintenance and they covered it. Worst case scenario, you will have to pay for the parts. The kit isn't as much as one might think.
Around $200 for the kit for all 4 arms. Labor is where they will kill you.

Couple hours of your own time and you can do this yourself. Just realize you'll need to get an alignment immediately after.

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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 11:32 AM
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So you can do it with just hand tools too? Nice.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camopaint0707 View Post
So you can do it with just hand tools too? Nice.
^ yup, very easy job with hand tools.

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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-19-2013, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Never did an alignment on mine and no uneven wear on the tires ... personally, I don't see the need as you're just swapping same length parts but I guess an alignment can't hurt.

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