The primary function of a control arm is to provide the connection point between the body of the vehicle and wheel. This allows the wheel to move up and down while the body frame and passengers stay smooth and level. Key components that are normally found on a control arm include the control arm bushing and the ball joint.
The Mevotech X Factor control arm program not only provides the broadest replacement coverage in the aftermarket, but many of our control arms are redesigned to improve their life and durability, helping to restore the vehicle to as close to original suspension specifications as possible.
Mevotech X Factor control arms are designed with thicker forgings to reduce excessive flexing and twisting of the suspension system, and are manufactured with upgraded, greaseable X Factor ball joints to improve durability and wear.
There are two functioning types of control arms - the supporting type and the guiding type:
- Supporting Type - supporting type control arms act as load-bearing supports, distributing vehicle body weight to the tire.
- Guiding Type - guiding type control arms distribute wheel forces, such as braking, acceleration, and other wheel actions, that require force transmission between the body and wheels of the vehicle.
There are three basic types of control arms used in suspension systems:
- Press In - press in control arms are commonly used on more heavy-duty applications such as trucks and vans. This type of control arm consists of a forged arm with a receptacle for the ball joint. The ball joint is slightly larger than the hole inside the control arm, so when the ball joint is pressed into the control arm, a high amount of friction is generated that holds the ball joint tightly in place. Special tools are required to press the ball joint into the control arm to prevent damage to the ball joint, and the process requires safety precautions. Mevotech offers loaded control arms that include the ball joint and bushings to allow for easy installation and better alignment.
- Bolt In - bolt in control arms are usually manufactured with a stamped strut type arm body and are most commonly found on MacPherson type suspension. Repairing a bolt-in type control arm is frequently time consuming and can often cause alignment and fit issues with the replaced ball joints. Many Mevotech X Factor control arms are loaded with the ball joints and bushings to allow for easy installation and better alignment.
- Unitized - unitized control arms consist of one-piece control arms with the ball joint built into the arm housing. Unitized control arms are gaining popularity due to lower production costs, and they are commonly used in aluminum control arms. Because the unitized control arm is a complete unit, when a ball joint needs to be replaced, the entire control arm must be changed.
The control arm bushings and ball joints provide a pivot point from the control arm during suspension travel, and they maintain the lateral and vertical location of the control arm pivot points. These components also have the additional functions of maintaining dynamic wheel alignment; reduce transmitted noise, road shock and vibration, while providing resistance to suspension movement.