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P11 Lower Control Arm Rebuild with SuperPro, Moog, and Energy Suspension

16320 Views 21 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ferrari21
Sourcing Your Parts

The lowest I've seen refurbished lower control arms for the 99 and up G20 ranges from $100-$125. The bushings you receive with stock refurbished arms, are basically to stock spec, and are great for someone looking for an OEM quality ride. You will be spending anywhere from $200-$250 for both arms, and that's without shipping if ordered online.

In my opinion, the stock front suspension on the P11 chassis leaves more to be desired. The multi-link front suspension has a lot of potential, and part of unlocking more performance is to rebuild the LCA with better quality parts. You can rebuild your current LCA's with stiffer bushings for under $150. This write-up tells you how.

In this thread I will walk through the parts I decided to use on my personal rebuilt setup, and I will be adding some insight on installing/locking down aftermarket polyurethane bushings correctly.

You need to understand the 3 main components of the front lower control arm assembly before attacking this job. On the 99+, P11 chassis, the 3 points of the LCA include the...

1. Reward inner bushing (1x @ $95.25 for the pair)
I replaced my rear inner (front) lower control arm bushing with the SuperPro SPF3445K, they have options for replacement that have an offset center to add more caster/camber when turning, but since I'm not tracking my car, the 3445K was perfect for me. These may be difficult to find, and seem expensive for anyone in the US, but keep in mind, SuperPro is an Australian brand, and the markup on these bushings is the most costly part of the rebuild, partly because where they are coming from.

2a. Front inner bushing (1x @ $37.99 for the set on Amazon) (OPTION A, my preferred choice)
The second set of LCA's I rebuilt using Nolathane poly bushings. I think I found them cheaper than what they are advertised for on Amazon, but can't remember, LUBE these well with the supplied grease in the kit.

2b. Front inner bushing (1x @ $34.99 for the set) (OPTION B, alternate choice if the Nolathanes are out of stock)
The front inner bushings on my LCA's were replaced with the Energy Suspension 7.3111 kit. The kit comes with a bushing for a reward style bushing not applicable for the 99+ G20 P11 chassis. You will not be using that part.

3. Outer ball joint (2x @ $8.59 = $17.18)
The ball joints on the front LCA of the P11 is compatible with the P10. I decided to go with the Moog units as that seems to be the route most people have gone in the past. I also like the greasable fittings on the Moog ball joints that are not found on the OEM's.
MOOG Part # K9633

Other potentially compatible aftermarket ball joint part numbers, I have not used these but referenced part numbers for other ball joints that may work.
ACDELCO Part # 45D2165
RAYBESTOS Part # 5051165B
RAYBESTOS Part # 5051165
MEVOTECH Part # MK9633

TOTAL = $147.42 without shipping

The ball joints were purchased from and the polyurethane bushings were both purchased from (a vendor for Energy Suspension and SuperPro). In case this thread doesn't age well, and the sites above change or are removed, use a search engine to reference the part numbers and you should be able to find what you are looking for.

The SuperPro bushing is produced in Australia, if you find yourself in a situation where a supplier has them on back order. Try finding another supplier would be my recommendation.
(Google the part numbers).
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There are modifications and ways to install the aftermarket bushings I recommend that should give you a bit more piece of mind that the front lower control arm will hold up and function properly. Pressing the old bushings out and pressing new ones in is pretty self explainatory, if you don't understand how this is done, I recommend you do some research and watch some videos on Youtube before attempting to do this on your own. Or pay a shop to do this portion for you. Let's begin with the front lower control arm reward bushing.


It does not matter whether you press in the SuperPro bushing from the back or the front of the bracket, the most important part is that the bushing sits flush in the bracket cylinder, and the direction of the bushings is correct when seated in the bracket.

The front lower control arm reward bushing needs to be pressed into each bracket the correct way. The picture above shows each bracket and is marked with tape to show it's orientation when installed on the car, I recommend you line up everything like I have pictured before pressing the SuperPro bushings in. Rotation of each bracket DOES matter, you will also notce that a portion of the cylinder on each bracket slightly hangs over and one portion of the cylinder sits flush. If you are having someone else press in the bushings for you, I recommend marking them with tape like I have so that they do not press the bushing in backwards. The (bottom) of the cylinders in the pictures above are the portion that sits flat (rear) and the portion of the cylinder that hangs over (top) will face the same portion of the bushing that says front. See pictures below to understand this concept better.

See the image below, and how the cylinder lip slightly hangs over.

Part 2

Next we will move onto installing the Nolathane or Energy Suspension front lower control arm front bushing. IF YOU USE THE NOLATHANES YOU WILL NOT HAVE AN ISSUE THAT I'M ABOUT TO DESCRIBE I EXPERIENCED WITH THE ENERGY SUSPENSION MAXIMA KIT. Just simply get a torch and burn the old bushings out until they fall out. Then press the Nolathanes in by hand. Its that easy. LUBE THEM WELL or they will bind and make noise.

The issue with this (ES) bushing is that people claim they need to constantly tighten it down (At least, I've heard this complaint before, so I inspected them prior to installing and here is what I was able to find). The reason this happens is because there is a guide (sleeve) that runs in-between and through the 2 urethane bushings, two large washers are used on the outside of the bushings and the assembly is then locked down with a large nut. The problem people are having is that our cylinder on the control arm itself that holds the bushings is a tad bit too wide, so the guide (sleeve) that runs through the urethane bushings themselves is floating between the two washers and the outside of the lip of the Energy Suspension bushings take on the load when you torque down the bolt. I took some simple measurements and found that with shaving off 1/16" to 3/16" of an inch off the control arm cylinder itself gives us just enough clearance for the bushing guide (sleeve) and washers to take the load of the torque of the nut, effectively locking down the assembly without any lateral movement. My pictures below speak for themselves, but should help to give you a better understanding.

Above is our measurement of the length of the stock setup (the stock rubber bushing was shaved down so you could have this visual, about 31/16")

The new guide (sleeve) and washer setup above (we have more than enough thread to achieve stock recommended torque when locked down.)

Above you will notice there is a slight gap in between, this is ok, they are engineered this way.

The gap above tells us we need to achieve a 1/16" to 3/16" inbetween the bushings when pressed in. Keep in mind, when the bushing is pressed in, it is going to expand, giving us an estimated 1/16" to 3/16" on the ends of the bushing which will sit between the washers when locked down, it is enough for the guide (sleeve) in-between the washers to slightly float, thus our assembly never fully gets locked down. I have a solution...

Get to grinding, you are ONLY removing small amounts of material from the control arm cylinder here. No need to go past 2/16". You can always take your control arm off to remove more later, but if you remove too much, the guide (sleeve) will have play between the washers and ends of the bushings. So take your time with this, no overkill needed here.

The before width of the control arm cylinder to the left (above), after grinding to the right. You can see this is a very very small amount, but after carefull measurements and reading about other forum members' pain in past threads, I can assure you this will work perfectly.

Above is the gap between the bushings on the shaved cylinder, I know what you're going to say, that gap appears to be much less than in the picture above on the brackets. True, but when the guide (sleeve) is inserted in between the bushings, and the washers are on the end you will notice that you have a very small gap between the guide (sleeve) and the washers. This is because the bushing has EXPANDED. Don't sweat this, when the nut is locked down you will have a perfect clap between the washers and the guide (sleeve), the bushings will not be taking any of the load of the torque, and the nut should not loosen on you. You will also notice that you should have no lateral movement when the assembly is locked down, which should also save you from headaches of premature binding.

Part 3

Pressing out the old ball joints and pressing the new one's in didn't deserve much explanation. I whack the old ones out AFTER I remove the retaining clip that holds them in, with a large hammer. Its very simple installing, just make sure you put your new c-claps on the ball joints when the new ones are pressed in, and grease them well, the Moog's have a grease fitting and can be serviced! Don't leave them hanging dry.
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Review after Install

7/29/2013* - I know my KYB's have been pretty much shot for the past 4 months, but wow, after rebuilding the lower control arms, the front of my G20 feels like a completely different car. When I pulled off my old control arms is was no surprise 3/4 bushings could almost be ripped out by hand, and both ball joints had a lot of slop.

8/12/2013* - Everything is still nice and tight. Also went in and replaced my tie rod ends and got the car aligned. Well worth the $150 in parts and rebuilding the front LCA's yourself.
Nice. I don't think those bushings add camber, but I think they do have an option for caster. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Nice. I don't think those bushings add camber, but I think they do have an option for caster. Correct me if I'm wrong.
According to SuperPro's website...
The offset of the center mark on the SPF3447K (more extreme offset) and the SPF3446K (less extreme offset) is specific for caster.

So you are correct, keep in mind, with the geometry of our multi-link suspension, caster also helps you to gain small amounts of negative camber when turning in our cars.

CovertRussian has a decent write up here. My thread will not be covering these offset front LCA, inner rear bushing options. It is up to the person rebuilding their control arms to decide whether they wish to go this route. I have no personal input nor can I provide feedback on this option.

Finally installed the Superpro LCA rear caster bushings. I'm really happy with the quality of these, I would say they are a good bit stiffer then ES bushings. Also no NVH increases!

Part Number: Superpro SPF3447K

How does the bushing actually increase caster?
By setting the bushing offset to point to the outside of the car, you are turning the rear of the control arm towards the outside, this moves the ball joint forward, which moves the wheel forward. The reason for wanting more caster is simple: it helps you gain negative camber when turning.

I gotta say their instructions are kind of confusing/misleading.

Superpro bushing vs the ES one that I modified to fit.

Getting the ES one out was a pain, I had to trim the top a bit so that my shop press would have some leverage. Installing the Superpro's was a breeze, they fit perfectly and easily with the press. Which could also mean they are not sitting as tightly as they oem is.

Remember you want the offset to be pointing to the side of the car and not to the center. This is where the Superpro instructions are a little misleading.
Trying to get the control arms this weekend, hopefully having a review to add in post #3 in the next couple days. I've spent 3 months waiting and trying to get my hands on the UNISA JECS bushings, but needed to get this done now. My current lower control arms are shot. Hopefully this turns out to be a nice option for anyone looking for an alternative aftermarket urethane solution.

Review to come soon, stay tuned.
So I've added some updates, been driving the car on the rebuilt front LCA's for over a month now. 3 out of 4 of the bushings were completely shot on the LCA's I removed. Also threw on some new tie rod ends and had the car aligned, it feels great.

I have my old set of front LCA's laying around. If anyone is interested I will rebuild them exactly like the one's I have on my car with the parts listed above.
I don't even have a P11 and

Meow (much appreciated).
Is there a write up for p10? I can't figure how to remove the big square bushing.
The big square bushing is the called the front control arm reward bushing, it comes as one piece pressed onto the control arm itself. Drill, cut, or melt your way through the bushing. When the bushing gives out and finally comes off/falls out, there may be a small metal sleeve still attached to the end of the control arm. On my p11 arm I hit it with some heat, small amount of pressure/twist from pliers, and the metal sleeve from the old bushing comes right off. Clean the end of the control arm well with light sand paper/SOS pad, push/press the energy suspension bushing in, and you should be good. Make sure you use urethane based grease to lube the bushings (usually supplied with the kit).
Thanks a lot. Finally gonna get my car running.
I have my old set of front LCA's laying around. If anyone is interested I will rebuild them exactly like the one's I have on my car with the parts listed above.
im interested! how much shipped? im in so cal los angeles.
spf3445k is on backorder!!! just wanted to let everyone know ;)
im interested! how much shipped? im in so cal los angeles.
Sorry for the late response, I've been in Canada since last week. Total cost for me to rebuild and send to anyone will be $300. I will refund $40 when I get your old worn out cores. Your final cost after about 2-3 weeks should be $260. PM me with any interest.

spf3445k is on backorder!!! just wanted to let everyone know ;)
Thanks for the update. Since I'm not actively rebuilding any sets this was not known to me. There are other suppliers on the web, so I recommend punching the part number in on google and finding another middle man.

Thanks for this Ferrari.
Glad this is helping people. The knowledge is out there on the forum, so I can't take all the credit. I'm sure people will be able to benefit from having all this information in one place.

When I rebuild next set, I'll will add pictures and video of the proper way to torch/press out the old bushings. There is technique that can really save time and frustration with the right tools.
Thank you. Really good videos on YouTube if you are considering rebuilding your lcas yourself. Whether you use a bushing press clamp kit or a hydraulic press (like I did, and a hell of a lot easier), this job on a difficulty scale is probably like a 6 out of 10.

And if you don't have any, invest in some impact metric sockets and a breaker bar. I would at least have those laying around to make uninstalling and reinstalling the lcas to and from the car much easier.
Sorry if this is a dumb Q, however in upgrading my Chevelle suspension to poly, lubrication was a big topic.
Have you had any squeaking issues with this and no zerk fittings to lube?
Sorry if this is a dumb Q, however in upgrading my Chevelle suspension to poly, lubrication was a big topic.
Have you had any squeaking issues with this and no zerk fittings to lube?
Not a dumb question at all, I ran the car for a few months with an all poly bushing setup, front lower control arms and on the rear beam. The rear beam started to squeak, it goes away immediately and holds up for a few weeks with silicone based lubricant spray. Comes with the territory of having these bushings I guess, but even with worn out GR2's on their last leg, the car handled great with this upgrade.

There's a guy who has my P11 on the forum now, he's on from time to time, and might be able to chime in.
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