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1986 Chevy Caprice Crontrol Arms - Box Frames And Strengthen

Your Control Arms for Cheap

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Being low on cash sucks. But you can still work on your car even with a tight budget. It just takes a little more time, skill, and ingenuity. While some people can just open a catalog and place an order for cool suspension parts, the truth is that most of us cannot. Here's a secret, though: The factory parts are pretty good, and there are inexpensive ways to make them even better.

We are playing with the control arms from our '86 Caprice, but you can strengthen any suspension parts without spending a lot of money. That includes boxing rear control arms, frames, crossmembers, or whatever. We used less than $20 in materials and tools that most people would have access to either in their own homes or through friends or networking. Keep in mind that you don't need to use a $2,200 Miller TIG welder like we did. An inexpensive 110V MIG would have accomplished the same thing.

There are several companies that make tubular arms for our donk (Chevy Caprice) that are both stronger and engineered to make the car handle better, but we decided to work with what we had and save some money in the process. We had the control arms off the car to replace the bushings (which was covered in November's issue of our ugly stepsister publication Chevy High Performance) and were a little surprised by just how much the arms flexed as the new bushings were being pressed in. We decided to reinforce the wide area between the spring bucket and the bushing mounts and therefore improve handling. So we made a crude-looking template out of cardboard that fit the spaces we were targeting.>

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