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Old 06-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
JusticePete
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Front Lower Control Arm OE Bush Problems or Not

There have been a number of threads and posts in the last two weeks suggesting that the front LCA bush was a problematic bush, too weak for any type of performance driving and in dire need of replacement. Reading the posts motivated me to walk into the shop and cut a 5th Gen LCA bush in half to graphically tell a story of control and stability. Take a close look.




GM used a shaped ferule to increase bush stability. The ferule operates in a thin layer of rubber encased in a steel jacket. The bush rubber is bonded to both the ferule and the jacket making it exceptionally strong. This is an excellent bush design as it provides superior control and stability. When Pedders performs our evaluation of a chassis we look for the things that the OEM has done well and for things that can be improved on. The front LCA bush is good to go out of the box.

Before I hit the post button I know that this thread will reinforce my image of as a GM Fan Boy. Pedders has nothing to sell in this thread. It is informational for the Camaro5 community. The engineering behind the ZETA based 5th Gen Camaro is outstanding as is reflected in the Front Lower Control Arm Bushing. Well done Camaro Engineering TEAM!!!!

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Old 06-27-2011, 01:36 PM   #2
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I actually replaced these yesterday with these ,http://www.pfadtracing.com/catalog/p...roducts_id/195, and the difference was very minimal, the front end is a tad bit more stable, but Pete seems to have a point on this. Going to a full solid race bushing is the only worthy upgrade from the OEM bushing.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Thank You Pete good post
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L99CAMA2011 View Post
I actually replaced these yesterday with these ,http://www.pfadtracing.com/catalog/p...roducts_id/195, and the difference was very minimal, the front end is a tad bit more stable, but Pete seems to have a point on this. Going to a full solid race bushing is the only worthy upgrade from the OEM bushing.
Our take on the situation:

There are more crucial modifications to be made in the Camaro suspension system, but there are some gains to be had with going to a spherical bearing in place of that OEM Bushing. Not only does the spherical bearing included in our Camaro Spherical bearing kit eliminate deflection of that bushing which cannot be avoided when using rubber as the material of choice, but a spherical bearing allows the front suspension to articulate more effectively by minimizing friction at the control arm pickup points. Installing spherical bearings has the added benefit of keeping your alignment from wandering as rubber bushings deflect, allowing control arms to move in undesirable ways. From a pure performance perspective there isn't a reason not to eliminate OEM rubber bushings.

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Old 06-27-2011, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L99CAMA2011 View Post
I actually replaced these yesterday with these ,http://www.pfadtracing.com/catalog/p...roducts_id/195, and the difference was very minimal, the front end is a tad bit more stable, but Pete seems to have a point on this. Going to a full solid race bushing is the only worthy upgrade from the OEM bushing.
You posted this in another thread you started,
Pfadt front lower control arm bushing installed
"Last week I installed these badboys and now after breakin I am just loving the steering response big time . "

Seems like conflicting information, so were they worth the cost and effort or not?
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #6
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This forum can be unforgiving with a 'permanent record' that follows you around like the one they threatened us with in HS.

If you installed a high quality radius bush at the same time you installed a front lower control arm bush it would be very easy to attribute the improvement to one or both bushes. Reality speaks for itself. There is marginal benefit in replacing such a well designed OE part.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastkevman View Post
You posted this in another thread you started,
Pfadt front lower control arm bushing installed
"Last week I installed these badboys and now after breakin I am just loving the steering response big time . "

Seems like conflicting information, so were they worth the cost and effort or not?
Actually the ones I installed first were the larger baseball size ones like what Pedders refers to as the Radius rod bushings. The larger ones in the front, these are the front rear bushings. I installed solid larger bushings up front, front 1st and these Polyurethane pieces in the front rear control arms a week later, I did this to see if the front rear bushings really made a difference or not. They do but like Pete said it is marginal but you feel it. Sorry if I confused you. Steering feel is much improved, I can now go into corners a lot harder with a lot more precision. Definitely a good mod for auto x. Those green solid front rear bearings/ bushings are a better choice though. With those my cars steering would be Phenomenal. I do the install myself so maintaining the bushings wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L99CAMA2011 View Post
Actually the ones I installed first were the larger baseball size ones like what Pedders refers to as the Radius rod bushings. The larger ones in the front, these are the front rear bushings. I installed solid larger bushings up front, front and these Polyurethane pieces in the front rear control arms. Sorry if I confused you. Steering feel is much improved, I can now go into corners a lot harder with a lot more precision. Definitely a good mod for auto x.
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fastkevman View Post
Thanks for clearing that up for me.
Pardon me , sometimes I am half asleep when I am here typing, I also had a few Bud light limes and a Heineken.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:36 AM   #10
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I had no idea just how easy it was to install the radius bush inserts. I put in the Pedders radius bush inserts right when we got back from the fest. I felt like a moron because of all of the road racing I did while at the fest....out on the track and on the road course. I could have really used them with all the racing we did. The inserts really do make a difference and I could have had that all throughout the racing. But noooooo..... As far as LCA bushes, I hadn't thought about it. I think I'd rather put away for some coilovers.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by L99CAMA2011 View Post
Pardon me , sometimes I am half asleep when I am here typing, I also had a few Bud light limes and a Heineken.
I definitely have more fun when I post after having a few.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:23 PM   #12
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So then Pfadt, if I'm understanding correctly, after being around for a long time now, you are basically saying GM put very little thought into performance and just designed a cruising car? Has there been a part YET that you haven't 'Vastly' improved on?

I drive the sh** out of my car. Not as hard as you guys do, but as stiff as my car is now, I''g this there comes a point of 'piling on' and desigining parts just to sell them. I'd love to see one of those tests you guys do to show how much advantage is gained by replacing this bush.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PQ View Post
So then Pfadt, if I'm understanding correctly, after being around for a long time now, you are basically saying GM put very little thought into performance and just designed a cruising car? Has there been a part YET that you haven't 'Vastly' improved on?

I drive the sh** out of my car. Not as hard as you guys do, but as stiff as my car is now, I''g this there comes a point of 'piling on' and desigining parts just to sell them. I'd love to see one of those tests you guys do to show how much advantage is gained by replacing this bush.
I appreciate your position PQ, but if you don't mind let me clarify some things here.

We aren't saying that GM put little thought into performance, because that's absolutely not the case. There would be no upcoming ZL1 or even a V8 option had GM not had the Enthusiasts best interests at heart when designing the Camaro. After years working at both GM and Chrysler, Aaron Pfadt understands the pressures of being on the OEM side of vehicle manufacturing very well. Would we have put spherical bearings into every Camaro that came off the line? Clearly not, because not everyone needs these pieces to enjoy their ownership experience, and making as many people as happy as possible is what being an OEM manufacturer is all about.

That's the beauty of being an aftermarket part supplier, we are giving people a choice. Like just about every car that rolls off an assembly line from a major car manufacturer, the likelihood that a Camaro will turn in a low 10 second quarter mile or 7:30 lap at the Nurburgring is pretty slim... but that doesn't mean there aren't people who want to bring their cars to that level of performance. As the recent successes of Autohaus Racing, Momentum Autosports, and Stevenson Motorsports prove, GM has done a great job at manufacturing a chassis with the flexibility to be everything from a comfortable and fun daily driver stock to a Grand Am winner with the right parts.

I hate to quote myself here, but:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfadt Racing
There are more crucial modifications to be made in the Camaro suspension system, but there are some gains to be had with going to a spherical bearing in place of that OEM Bushing.
My first sentence starts with acknowledging the fact that there are bigger fish to fry in the Camaro suspension package. We aren't in the business of selling people stuff they don't need, and this absolutely shouldn't be a first modification if looking for seat of the pants feel. Although there are performance benefits that are pretty undeniable when our Front Trailing arm spherical is used by it's self, or spherical bearings are properly used as a package. I feel we were pretty clear in our explanation that "since there are more crucial modifications to be made in the camaro suspension system" folks aren't going to be breaking down our door to purchase this part on it's own.

Relax... have a beer, I know I will later! I can appreciate that Pete doesn't feel this modification is necessary, and for most folks currently enjoying their street cars I agree. On the other hand, there are people out there looking to get every bit of response and feedback from their suspension possible. And for those people we offer a choice that's more efficient and higher performing than the stock rubber bushing. I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with that.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:27 AM   #14
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http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149491, You will notice in this thread that even Pete himself mentioned that you only notice an improvement in replacing this front lower control arm ferule bush if you go to a full race piece. I have the front lower control arm urethane pieces so far that replaced the ferule bush and like I said earlier their is minimal but noticeable improvement , however these solid pieces would have been a more worthy upgrade. The more rigid the front control arm bush is the less deflection and the more stable the front wheels would be during harsh maneuvers. This will keep the car more stable in the front end and I have noticed this. However the stock front lower control arm bush is still a good one. Some people like me like the addition of improved steering input, not just coilovers and larger swaybars. Just look at great performance cars of the past and current. We in the US got the e46 BMW M3, Europeans got the BMW M3 CSL, lighter, slightly more power, carbon fibre roof, and quicker steering rack. Mitsubishi lancer EVO 2.0 turns lock to lock, very quick in the steering department, deadly on corners, very controlled front end and more predictable steering made this car a killer. These cars benefited from quicker, more precise steering and our Camaro as well with all it's poundage also benefits with more with precise and firmer steering to make it corner harder and with increased confidence. I now find myself carving and curving around tight corners and rotaries even harder now. I am even shocked at the new found capability of my Camaro. Realize that on the race track this gives our Behemoth the ability to go deeper into corners as we approach the apex and corner with the best of them resulting in quicker lap times. I now find myself driving my car as hard as I did with cars I owned in the past that weighed a minimal 2500lbs. Making my car more athletic and tenacious is one of my goals and you know you are succeeding at that when your friends with their lighter cars back down from a challenge because your 3900lb Camaro is no longer the sloth the once thought it to be.

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:24 AM   #15
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There is that darn 'permamnet record'. I thought mine was sealed after the FBI incident in HS.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PfadtRacing View Post
I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with that.
Well first off I was only speaking of THIS car that we have to this point. NOT a car that isn't here yet. As far as what we have right now, you guys don't have much nice to say.

But to answer your question, there is nothing wrong with that. I'm just not a fan of the way you present it. That's not your problem. It's mine. And don't get me wrong, I dont' lose sleep at night wondering how I'm gonna pile on Pfadt next. It just seems like whenever I log on and see a Pfadt post, you are responding in defense and not in motivating ways. If there is something causing this it's not my fault. Just my observation. I know a lot. But I'm not a pro driver, mechanic, or expert in any way. YOU guys are. I'm TRYING to learn as much as I can. I WANT to learn.

I have never said a single bad thing or have anything less than praise for your product. EVER NEVER. But I think of 'Pfadt', I think of that guy from the movie Titanic who was supposed to marry the girl until Decaprios character took her away. REALLY hard to like that guy.

But I'm just one guy. Don't let it bother you. You guys are doing a great job at making a solid, high quality product.

Oh, and I seriously would like to see a test of the bush. The video of your strut tower brace was quite interesting. (not being a smart ass)
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Old 07-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #17
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Bump for Chito.
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Old 07-12-2011, 07:17 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PQ View Post
Well first off I was only speaking of THIS car that we have to this point. NOT a car that isn't here yet. As far as what we have right now, you guys don't have much nice to say.

But to answer your question, there is nothing wrong with that. I'm just not a fan of the way you present it. That's not your problem. It's mine. And don't get me wrong, I dont' lose sleep at night wondering how I'm gonna pile on Pfadt next. It just seems like whenever I log on and see a Pfadt post, you are responding in defense and not in motivating ways. If there is something causing this it's not my fault. Just my observation. I know a lot. But I'm not a pro driver, mechanic, or expert in any way. YOU guys are. I'm TRYING to learn as much as I can. I WANT to learn.

I have never said a single bad thing or have anything less than praise for your product. EVER NEVER. But I think of 'Pfadt', I think of that guy from the movie Titanic who was supposed to marry the girl until Decaprios character took her away. REALLY hard to like that guy.

But I'm just one guy. Don't let it bother you. You guys are doing a great job at making a solid, high quality product.

Oh, and I seriously would like to see a test of the bush. The video of your strut tower brace was quite interesting. (not being a smart ass)
I get the feeling that you're looking for issues to hold against Pfadt. It reminds me of my wife. At times, no matter what I say, she takes it the absolutely worst way. Pfadt is a aftermarket suspension company that sells suspension UPGRADES. If you want parts that are a upgrade to what you already have, they are definitely a great choice. Several of their upgrades weren't designed for DD use but will work just fine as such. You need to evaluate what you feel works best for you, then decide. Even Pedders agreed that there are benefits with going to stiffer front LCA bushing which is exactly what the Pfadt bushing is. As he also posted, it's not on the list of first things to do. The way I read his post about the ZL1 was in reference to even GM feels that they could improve upon the original platform to make a much sportier suspension. Isn't it nice to be able to achieve the same outcome without spending $60k on the ZL1? Seeing that GM has made a few changes to the OEM suspension from year to year shows me that they know there are weaknesses as well. If you feel that any of their parts aren't suited for your driving style, that's fine. Many of us feel they are the right choice for us. If every company had the same philosophy and parts, everyone would be the same. I feel that the different manufacturers and philosphy gives us a wider variety of parts. As for making parts just for the sake of selling them, show me a single Pfadt suspension part that isn't a upgrade.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:51 PM   #19
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I have the pfadt phase 5 race suspension on my car from 2 years ago. Only 9 track days on my car.I only drive it to the track and on the track (not my daily driver) 6900 miles on it. On Aug. 2nd 2013 I was scheduled for a 3 day track event at Watkins Glen and on the first day, second session, my drivers side lower control arm bushing broke (the polyurethane ripped out) causing my front end to feel like the front wheel was going to fall off. I had to extend my stay and have my car fixed (stock control arm replacement) so I could drive it home.

I'm a little dissatisfied with Pfadt as this is the second part to fail with hardly any milage on it. (Upper sway bar end link heim joint was the other failure) They sent me a new heim joint for "cost" $20 which I thought was unfair.

When everything was working the car drove like it was on rails, stable and predictable. I just think these parts should last longer than 9 track days.


I called them today (Got voicemail) and i'm waiting for a reply on the lower control arm bushing.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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2 days have gone by and still no contact from Pfadt. Is this how they handle customer problems? All I get is voice mail. Left 2 messages. No response. I guess I should have gone with one of their competitors. Live and learn....
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:12 PM   #21
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The lower arms on the Camaro need to articulate forward and rearward a bit, when this is restricted you will have binding and fast wear of parts.

The G8 is very similar, and there were aftermarket lower arms available for the front, but one of the problems that they had was they were not allowed to articulate forward and rearward enough, as a result there were many people that had broken arms when they turned to the lock in a parking lot.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:16 PM   #22
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Thanks, I was just looking at your website

Maybe a Spherical bearing would be good in this location?
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #23
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not really, from a wear standpoint a spherical will get noisy fairly quick, honestly, the stock bushing really is very good for a street car, if you have an all out race car than you don't care about wear and longevity, and it might be a good idea then.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #24
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I only use this car on the road course track. It's not my daily driver. Currently I only drive to and from the track. Although I'm looking for a trailer to tow it to the track. I'm looking to get the most out of it handling wise.

Does Pedders make a Spherical bearing for the front lower arm? Pfadt has a full kit and is very expensive....and I kinda don't want to buy from them again.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:30 PM   #25
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I think that Pfadt is the only option at the moment,
I'm not sure what Detroit Speed has to offer for that, i haven't looked in to that yet.
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