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Old 03-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #26
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First this is not a brand issue so we can put that to rest. This is NOT and OE defect or the result of a weak arm. It is a WEAR issue created with the mild steel tab on the arm and a loose endlink nut. The stud sliding up and down elongates the hole and results in failure. We have seen a number of worn holes because the endlink stud and nut were not tight. Our shops have been able to 'repair' them with hardened washers and new tight nuts. Once again, the complete failure is rather unique, but not wear in the hole from loose endlinks.

If you have installed a larger aftermarket bar and do not get the endlink tight you can expect the hole to elongate, to wear faster because the load is higher. Once again, this is NOT a brand issue and applies to ANY and ALL brand larger bars. It is a mild steel tab subjected to a substantial load. The assembly must be made tight and kept tight.

Removing the OE nuts on the ball joint studs and installing them is awkward at best. We have our own system for this that works for us at Pedders. Torque is a gift to the automotive world. We love torque under the hood and the instant acceleration it provides. Toque is also a solution to removing endlink nuts.

1. Clean the threads with a wire brush
2. Spray the threads and nuts with penetrating oil
3. Allow the penetrating oil to soak in
4. Pull out your biggest baddest air gun. Hit it full on. The instant acceleration will break the nut free and remove it

This is no different than breaking your tires free on a burnout. The car stands still while the wheels spin free. In your home shop it may or may not work. It will be dependent on your line pressure, the CFM and you air gun. Torque is the key. The more the better for removing the nuts.

The endlink nuts have quench. They have built in resistance to prevent them from coming loose. When your remove them they lose some quench. Every time you tighten the nut or remove it it loses more quench. You can replace the nuts with new OE or new nyloc nuts of the appropriate grade. You can add a hardened washer on the nut side. You can reuse the OE nut with some LocTite. I LocTite almost everything under the car except drain plugs and lug nuts, but that is a different story. All of these will work IF you get the nut tight.

When you spend sufficient time under a car you learn the feel of a tight metal to metal assembly. You learn the sound of your gun. You know when it is tight. There are GM assembly torque specifications to follow. When you get down to it a seasoned technician will be very close with their torque based on the assembly and bolt size to the OE torque spec because they have done it so many times. They just know. Please save your indignation for not using a torque wrench on this particular assembly. Given the space constraints and number of times the endlink nuts come loose we made the decision to use the gun. If we break it, strip it or whatever we replace it. Time to move on.

In a home shop there will be many that are as good or better technicians. Based on the number of endlink nuts that have come loose they are a problem for many at home and in shops regardless of skill level. Most failures are just lost nuts. PQ had real damage. That brings us to getting these endlinks tight.

1. Clean the threads with a wire brush so tight is tight and not rust binding in the threads before it is really tight
2. Thread the nut on with your fingers to make sure it is correctly threaded
3. Bring out the air gun and make it tight

What can go wrong? You can strip the threads on the endlink ball stud. You can strip the threads out of the nut. You can crack the nut. These are all things that will go wrong if you allow the air gun to just hammer away. You are tightening an all metal assembly. When it beds it is tight. The extra torque from the air gun will get you there. When it all bottoms out stop. If you are not comfortable with this, then do it by hand, BUT they have to be tight or you'll lose a nut, damage the hole or cause a complete failure.

Pedders does supply our bars with endlinks. You can see in this picture the face of the ball stud that mounts flush to the arm is robust. The washer that is installed on the nut side is large and thick. The nuts are nyloc. These combine to make the assembly secure. Feel free to use an air gun. We have yet to strip any threads or crack any nuts. If you do let me know and I'll replace them. We believe that tight is the priority because of the wear we have seen on many DIY installations. Other companies will have different recommendations and you should follow them.



The key take aways from this thread is how critical it is to get the endlink nuts tight to GM torque specifications the first time and knowing that the OE nut loses quench every time it is turned. With proper care at the time of installation your endlink nuts should remain tight in place and your lower rear control arms will provide excellent service. There is NO brand issue. Your OE arms are good to go. Get the endlink nuts tight the first time.

Buy a 55 gallon Drum of LocTite and just dip everything
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Jkel View Post
PFADT,

You seem to think that this may be an isolated incident based on your knowledge. I too have your springs, sways, end links, trailing arms on my car as well along with 22's pretty much the same set up as PQ but I have trailing arms and end links.

In your opinion do you think horsepower or driving habits may have anything to do with this? While I do not track my car I may occasionally get on it just to air it out, lol. Also is this a part that needs to be check periodically like oil changes etc...

Just asking from a knowledge standpoint.
No sir. It is just a severely elongated bolt hole from the assembly being loose. When the metal became thin enough from the endlink sliding up and down and elongating the hole it failed. There is no flaw in the arm. It has nothing to do with the brand of the bar. It was not RWHP. It was a loose endlink assembly.

Caveats and Disclaimers:

The larger rear bar would exert more force and cause more wear. ALL aftermarket bars are stronger than OE and would do the same or worse.

The more aggressively driven the vehicle the more wear you will see if a component is loose. The higher the RWHP the more likely you would be to see damage from ANY loose assembly.

EVERYTHING in a car or sub-system is related in some way shape or form. To make clear what I am trying to say I'll pull numbers out of the air. What occurred to PQ is 99% loose assembly and 1% all other factors.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:06 PM   #28
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The sway bar mounts were increased in thickness to 3/16" material and the hole has a full 1/2" of material around it's radius...
That's what I'm talking about!
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:07 PM   #29
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I'll be installing my rear springs today and will inspect them. I only have 500 miles on it right now so I don't expect to see anything wrong. Or will I? :(
You will be FINE as long as you make certain your reassembly gets everything tight. If you are reusing the OE endlinks and nuts I suggest you use LocTite and place a hardened washer on the nut side. As alarming as the picture is, it isn't in any way a common failure. In a worst case full failure scenario the OE arm is available for under $50 shipped from numerous sources. Just get the endlink assemblies tight the first time and don't worry.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #30
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Just to be clear I was not ragging on PFADT springs, just pointing what I saw to PQ who was asking for feedback. At some point I will most likely have some of their products in my car.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #31
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Just to be clear I was not ragging on PFADT springs, just pointing what I saw to PQ who was asking for feedback. At some point I will most likely have some of their products in my car.
I for one, did not think you were.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #32
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so if I install drop springs only, on my v6, will I run into a similar problem?
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:11 PM   #33
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so if I install drop springs only, on my v6, will I run into a similar problem?
Nope. Just make sure your nuts are tight
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:16 PM   #34
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Nope. Just make sure your nuts are tight
OUCH!
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:18 PM   #35
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OUCH!
Especially when you hit them with the air gun
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:21 PM   #36
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I was under the car the other day and decided to inspect the entire underneath. Well, I found this broken braket peice that is basically the control arm. It is the peice welded onto the control arm that the end links to the sway bar connects to.
You are abusing your car.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:27 PM   #37
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You are abusing your car.
Nah, he is driving it like he owns it

In some ways you are correct, but that is exactly why many of us bought a 5th Gen. We planned to abuse it, I mean use it, from day one. One of the things we don't do is check our nuts from one end of the car to the other on a routine basis. The cars are very fast stock with more brake HP than engine HP. With a few mods, they are running race car speeds, but for the most part maintained like a street car. Bottom line, if the nuts were tight this thread doesn't exists.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:37 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalnch View Post
The other side is starting to crack too.
lol, I still don't have the answer to wether that's a crack or an OE slit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteRiverRacing View Post
PQ - Did you find better LCA arms?

TIA
Chet
I'm thinking I don't need them.

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Originally Posted by BMR guy View Post
This is the third control arm I have seen with this problem. The OE brackets are only 1/8" material and there is insufficient material surroundling the bolt hole. To the OP, where the nuts loose on the end link when you found it this way?

During our control arm testing, we actually updated the sway bar mounts on the control arms specifically because of these failures. The sway bar mounts were increased in thickness to 3/16" material and the hole has a full 1/2" of material around it's radius...
Are you selling them? If so, how much? ]

Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
The key take aways from this thread is how critical it is to get the endlink nuts tight to GM torque specifications the first time and knowing that the OE nut loses quench every time it is turned. With proper care at the time of installation your endlink nuts should remain tight in place and your lower rear control arms will provide excellent service. There is NO brand issue. Your OE arms are good to go. Get the endlink nuts tight the first time.

Buy a 55 gallon Drum of LocTite and just dip everything
Good stuff Pete. And thanks again for your help. I still got the new end links though.

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You are abusing your car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Nah, he is driving it like he owns it

In some ways you are correct, but that is exactly why many of us bought a 5th Gen. We planned to abuse it, I mean use it, from day one. One of the things we don't do is check our nuts from one end of the car to the other on a routine basis. The cars are very fast stock with more brake HP than engine HP. With a few mods, they are running race car speeds, but for the most part maintained like a street car. Bottom line, if the nuts were tight this thread doesn't exists.
Typicaly I look my car over from time to time anyway. Bonnie accused me Sunday of being under my car "Only because Chris is"
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:41 PM   #39
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I agree with Pete, 99% of all street cars will never have this happen unless a nut is left loose and the end link stud oblongs the hole. Every incident I have seen have been on hardcore cars that see a lot of drag strip use and are running larger diameter rear sway bars.

The sway bar end link mount is located approximately in the middle of the control arm. I assume it was designed this way primarily for packaging purposes as placing it further out on the control arm would have provided more controlled anti-roll characteristics from a much smaller sway bar. As it is, more rate is required to overcome the leverage, producing much more load on the sway bar mount.
Keep in mind that the rear sway bar on the upcoming ZL1 is rumored to be much wider which would place these mounts further out on the control arms. Maybe this isn't such an isolated incident after all...

Our dragrace anti-roll bar (will be released soon) is rated at 3614 lbs/in., that's 780% more than the OE bar. After a certain power level, it becomes necesarry to run high rear bar rates for launch consistency. These higher rates place a lot more load on this mount and since it is a single shear mount the 1/8" material just won't cut it. In summary, it is understandable in these conditions that there are failures but in a typical street car, I doubt it will ever be an issue providing the nuts are tight.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:42 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post
Bottom line, if the nuts were tight this thread doesn't exists.
Ya, but we wouldn't have learned anything here either........

Leave it to me to tear it up so we can learn. Just doing my part. You guys are welcom.




Oh. And Pete, or someone, is this a normal slit by design, or do I need to order another control arm as well?

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:43 PM   #41
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For what it's worth. I installed my pedders sways and coilovers on Saturday...

Made extra sure everything was tight.

Went for about a 15 mile ride on Sunday. Drove to work on Monday and rechecked everything in the rear... I was chasing a rattle that turned out to be an exhaust hanger...

All of my sway bar endlinks were lose and a couple other bolts had loosened up a bit...

I'm gonna check the front tonight.. I'm guessing like header bolts... we'll need to recheck them a few times until these fasteners get a chance to seat... especially the DIY guys who don't have shop quality tools.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:48 PM   #42
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I'll look at mine tonight bro, I'll see if there is a slot... I'm guessing based on what the pros are saying, it isn't supposed to be there.... Not if we are concerned about elongating the hole... it wouldn't make sense to put an "expansion" slot in there which would defeat the purpose if I understand the failure correctly.

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:49 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTAHVIT View Post
For what it's worth. I installed my pedders sway and coilovers on Saturday...

Made extra sure everything was tight.

Went for about a 15 mile ride on Sunday. Drove to work on Monday and rechecked everything in the rear... I was chasing a rattle that turned out to be an exhaust hanger...

All of my sway bar endlinks were lose and a couple other bolts had loosened up a bit...

I'm gonna check the front tonight.. I'm guessing like header bolts... we'll need to recheck them a few times until theses fasteners get a chance to seat... especially the DIY guys who don't have shop quality tools.


The end links are NOT easy to torque.

Just for yalls info, I put my body weight on it the best I could once the nut was tight enough that it wouldn't turn the shaft, and it STILL came off once before. HOWEVER. The bottom nut never came off of either side. The only ones that had come loose before were the top ones, ON the sway bar. Not the ones on the ca. So it lets you know how tight these need to be.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:51 PM   #44
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Nah, he is driving it like he owns it

In some ways you are correct, but that is exactly why many of us bought a 5th Gen. We planned to abuse it, I mean use it, from day one. One of the things we don't do is check our nuts from one end of the car to the other on a routine basis. The cars are very fast stock with more brake HP than engine HP. With a few mods, they are running race car speeds, but for the most part maintained like a street car. Bottom line, if the nuts were tight this thread doesn't exists.
PSST!!! Hey Pete, it was a joke.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:52 PM   #45
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PSST!!! Hey Pete, it was a joke.
NO JOKES!!! the Internet is serious!!!

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #46
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NO JOKES!!! the Internet is serious!!!

I'm sorry I always forget that.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:54 PM   #47
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #48
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Nope. Just make sure your nuts are tight
Lmao I'll have my girlfriend check! haha
Thanks Pete
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:03 PM   #49
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is this a normal slit by design, or do I need to order another control arm as well?


The line could just be a crack in the powder coat. The rusty ring appears to indicate movement from the nut being loose. Pull it apart. If the hole is round and true, bolt it backup with a hardened washer and I'll bet you are good to go. If the hole is elongated a bit, assemble it the same way and you should be good to go as we have done this with other 55h Gens that had the same problem. None have failed. If the hole is elongated a lot, and the rusty ring doesn't indicate a lot, you should replace the arm before you travel to the FEST.

If you post a picture of the tab without the endlink, we can decide right here in the thread.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:47 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JusticePete View Post

The line could just be a crack in the powder coat. The rusty ring appears to indicate movement from the nut being loose. Pull it apart. If the hole is round and true, bolt it backup with a hardened washer and I'll bet you are good to go. If the hole is elongated a bit, assemble it the same way and you should be good to go as we have done this with other 55h Gens that had the same problem. None have failed. If the hole is elongated a lot, and the rusty ring doesn't indicate a lot, you should replace the arm before you travel to the FEST.

If you post a picture of the tab without the endlink, we can decide right here in the thread.
Picture coming this evening.
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