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Discussion Starter #1
While my car is been doing pretty good, it has started to creak when it humid or cooler, like in the morning or late at night. No real noticeable issues otherwise until a few weeks ago.

I’ve noticed a little shaking in the steering wheel, almost like it’s got a bad or unbalanced tire. I thought great, an excuse for new tires. But having a look, the lower control arms rear bushing is starting to go. Not bad, and not really like what I usually find on these cars. The bushing itself is intact, but is starting to separate off of the outer metal ring that holds it together.

So at this point I could just install new bushings. But in my experience, it’ll end up needing the front bushing and ball joint. Also, it’s been suggested that I go with the aluminum control arms. I assume the control arm is slightly different, but fits fine as long as I get the correct one. Going with these is should have a stiffer or slightly more responsive front end.

So is it really worth it to replace my steel arms with the aluminum versions? I may plan to install lowering springs, struts, and shocks later on. I am tempted to buy some cheap control arms, but with my experience, I know they don’t last too long. So I would try to get something of good quality, something name branded and not a cheap knock off from China. Although even some good stuff is going to be made there.
 

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I went with ACDelco Professional LCA's when it was time, and they've been fine. Outside of the weight difference, aluminum LCA's won't be any better than OE replacements.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was thinking the aluminum arms will stiffen the front suspension. Or at least is what other members on here have described. I was looking at the AC Delco parts actually. I have seen the cheaper ones, and while they look ok, the bushings and ball joints don’t last as long as the higher end stuff might.

Since I primarily do suspension work at my shop, I’ve seen what does and doesn’t last over the years. I know there’s a difference between AC Delco Advantage and Professional. Also with Moog RK vs CK stuff.

Then there’s the option of buying local, and having a hassle free lifetime warranty if something fails while I own the car. O’Reillys or Autozone have the best warranties, at least being hassle free. I can get the parts at a decent price, but not anywhere as cheap as I can find online. And online I’ll find a higher quality part.

One more option is to grab some used aluminum arms and install the bushings and ball joints myself. But it won’t be much cheaper than buying a complete part. Actually it’s basically the same once I’ve priced out the components individually vs the complete control arm assembly.

Next will be the rack and pinion after I replace the control arms. It clunks and can be heard over bumps and uneven surfaces. Although it has not made the steering loose yet. The internal rack shaft is what moves, pinion doesn’t move up or down. And the tie rod ends are still tight. I have changed quite a number of these units in this particular kind of car. I was hoping the intermediate shaft was the problem, but found the rack has loosened up. Must be a design flaw that allows excessive wear.
 
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