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Thread: is this control arm still good?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date:  Jul 2012

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    is this control arm still good?

    While I was driving at about 35mph the left front hub carrier separated from the lower ball joint. Wheeeee…. Steering with 1 wheel is "interesting". The nut either broke or somehow unscrewed. The only damage seems to be that the bottom of the lower control is scraped flat from sliding down the road. Nothing else bent or broken. Below is a picture of the 'flattened' control arm and one of the driver's side for comparison.


    Do I need to replace the control arm or is it ok? They're stainless steel ones from Pearce Design, and so are pretty beefy. Not like the flimsy original ones.

  2. #2
    EFI'd dn010's Avatar
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    Sorry that I can't comment on whether the LCA is still good, but I experienced the same terror with the original LCA on the passenger side and it was not fun at all! Hope no other damage for you.
    -----Dan B.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Is that cotter pin above a thin nut?
    Dave M vin 03572

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    Is that cotter pin above a thin nut?
    No pin. It was a reasonably thick nut with a nylon locking insert.

    The ball joints on the two sides were different. They were installed back when it was discovered that DMCH's reproduction ball joints were bad but there was no clear alternative yet. Things were complicated by the fact the holes in the Pearce design control arms are slightly larger than what you would get with stock control arm and the reinforcement ring, so most of the ball joints people were using at the time were too loose. I ended up with two different "experimental" ball joints.

    I eventually got a set of "improved" ones from DMCH as warranty replacements for the original bad ones but never got around to installing them as the experimental ones appeared to be doing fine.

    Note that the ball joint in the picture of failed side is one of the "new" DMCH ones. I was in the process of installing it when I realized how flat the bottom of the control arm had gotten.
    Last edited by Jason; 03-18-2019 at 08:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Delorean Guru
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    With that much materiel removed I would not use that control arm. Better safe than sorry. I would check for anything bent and do a final check on an alignment rack. You should treat it as if you were in an accident (which you were!). Everything on that side is suspect now because other parts may have been over-stressed.
    David Teitelbaum

  6. #6
    Senior Member Patrick C's Avatar
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    I would not use that arm anymore. Not worth the risk with that much metal missing now.
    Patrick C.
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  7. #7
    Back to the Omnipresent! Spittybug's Avatar
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    Same thing happened to me several years ago.... ~70 mph on a 4 lane highway and luckily nobody immediately adjacent to me. Virtually all steering is lost and I was very lucky to guide it over to the shoulder. Hagerty paid out the claim without issue.
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  8. #8
    Guy with a DeLorean Mark D's Avatar
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    First of all I'm glad to hear that you are OK and this issue didn't cause a more serious accident. Things could have been much, much worse.

    The bad news is that you should definitely replace that control arm. No way is it worth risking another failure, injury, or loss of life. That thing is compromised so I would not risk your own safety or the safety of others.

    Finding a replacement Pearce arm is probably going to be difficult... Maybe someone else here on the forums can help point you in the right direction. I would start with DMC Midwest, I think they had full stainless frame hanging on the wall last time I was there, so they may have the control arms to go with it. DMCMW also has their own aluminum billet arms that they manufacture now.

    Otherwise if you want to keep the arms stainless you can go with one of DPI's stainless options.
    Mark Dehlinger

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