1994-1996 front control arms...and

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1994-1996 front control arms...and

Postby ErichZ26 » Sun Apr 07, 2002 5:23 am

I was working on Tim Wortman's 1994 Aqua Z26, and during removal of the tires I spotted a SERIOUS problem.   The rear control arm bushing..donut was completely popped out.  If you recall he had noticable problem with vibrations with his car.    After replacing tires, wheels, rotors, getting alignments by PROFESSIONALS, I just happened to find this.  The drivers side control arm was completly popped out.  This can cause serious problems if the there is no isolation between the control arm and the bolt that keeps this together.   This can also cause extreme tire wear, the car to vibrate, and eventual loss of control.   If you have a 1994 to 1998  Beretta, Achieve, Skylark, or Grand Am you have these control arms.  The dealer cost is $191 each side, some might be able to get a discount.   I have heard of a kit that can be purchased to replace these parts that pop out which would be cheaper, but requires a press.     I have a drivers side I am selling if anyone is interested in a very low use one(one year old).   His passenger side was starting to pop and also needed replacement.   There was someone who posted last year about his car's control arm popping off and damaging the strut, fender, wheel liner, tire and wheel with a dammage estimate of $2500.

I am interested in changing this to a heim joint that could also limit torque steer as well.

2nd thing I noticed was the 30mm anti sway bar.  The middle 2 isolators were rather destroyed, the metal under was also gone...the pieces rusted so bad that the metal is considerable smaller, thus weaker.   His bar was working as a 30mm from factory, though my guess is that its 4-6mm smaller on each side.  These anti sway bars can weaken over time, and with this corosion will loose their effectiveness, and could snap.
I spotted a spoilerless, grey mirror and trim Beretta GT with a snapped bar in the rear(Z51?).   These sway bars really need to be greased, with your cars getting older you really should check these parts for the optimum ride and handling.

I would also recommend using Polygraphite parts from Energy.  Addco, PST, and some others also make Polyurethane isolators that can exceed GM's durability and ride qualitiy.    If you live in places where salt is used, it would not hurt to check these isolotors and grease them annually.      I modified some brackets and now have grease fittings for my 1990 GTZ's active sway bar FE7.

1990 Beretta GTZ 1995 Beretta Z26 1996 Beretta Z26


1994-1996 front control arms...and

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 07, 2002 10:27 pm

Control arm list, $166.35,  actually paid $124.76 each. Purchased 3/2/02. Comes w/balljoint and bushings. Bushings are replacable, but usually after they have come out once, the hole in the arm distorts and the new bushing doesn't stay in for long, even after peening or chisel denting the arm to hold them in. Mig welding the edge is also too risky, the arm could loose it's tensle strength.


1994-1996 front control arms...and

Postby Guest » Sun Apr 07, 2002 10:44 pm

federal mogul makes bushings as does gm.,
but as to getting them in there .. that is the question.

I know of a mechanic guy who is experimenting with a spair set of control arms off a grand am with the 3100 to see if he can rebuild them with new bushings. If there is sucess I will probably nab those or get him to do it to mine.

The rear bar you saw snapping was more than likely a hollow bar. Those are known for snapping in half. I got an 88 or whatever year (89?) I forget but it is Z51 and it had no rust on it all black paint. In fact I could get another but there is an engine in the trunk of that car pushing it down so it's hard to get under there.

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