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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a nice set of upper and lower front tubular control arms for my 1996 Impala SS. My car was lowered with Hotchkis springs and I am having issues with ground clearance and making turns do not feel right. I have been hearing the converting the balls joints from 9/16 to 5/8 is the way to go but I do not know what I need to make that conversion. The car handles great but it sits way too close to the ground. I am thinking about getting coil spring spaces or even doing a coil over conversion. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I have a 3.5 aluminum driveshaft that I bought from Denny's driveshaft. I have an issue where sometimes the shaft hits the frame tunnel. Anyone experience this problem with that also? I put a ton of money into the car over the last 8 years and would like it to run and drive like a car with almost every part changed.
 

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Converting to 9/16 ball joints requires new knuckles that are discontinued,and hard to find. Hard to see how they would solve your problem as well. Suspect if car is too low with Hotchkis springs that someone neglected to install the upper isolators.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. Someone here had the control arms with the knuckles but it sold right away. To tell you the truth I don't know what was done at the mechanic so I don't know anything about isolators. All I know is the car is so low that I hit a sewer cap and the air bags blew out on me. I am getting different advice from different people and don't know what to do. Some say put spacers, some say put the stock springs back, and some say do a coil over set up. I also have an issue where the driveshaft lightly hits the frame tunnel sometimes. It's a nightmare when you don't know how to do the work yourself and you go to incompetent mechanics.
 

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If you think the Hotchkis springs are too low, put the stock SS springs back in. The stock rubber isolators won't make that much of a difference.

Converting to the larger 5/8" ball joints will make absolutely zero difference in rectifying your issue.
 

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Agree 100% with 3impalas. Isolators won't make one bit of a difference. The stock isolators are just thin rubber, maybe 1/16" and the urathane replacements like used on my 5/8" BJ conversion are a little thicker and both are sure to compress when installed. I believe they are more for noise control than anything.

5/8" BJs while a nice upgrade but are more for piece of mind (at least for me) than having any effect on ride height or even control/feel of the car.

A lot of us have lowered cars using shorter springs without issue. How low is your car really? Can you post a pic or tell us how far the bottom of the fender is above the top of the tire? Just eyeball it and let us know if you can't post a pic. Something else has to be wrong for the DS to be hitting the body. Sounds more like its the body as it would not be able to hit the frame.

This is just a wild guess but if you don't have much history on the car, maybe someone put the Trans crossmember in wrong (raising the tail shaft of the Trans) or possibly the wrong or incorrectly spaced Trans mount moving the DS higher and closer to the tunnel. This in turn would put the DS closer to the tunnel. It is also possible that the tail of the Trans is more to one side of the tunnel rather then centered in it. I run a dynotech DS with Eibach lowering springs and even with 5 people, loaded down with a weeks worth of vacation stuff the car never hits anything and this is with stock impala wheels and 255/50/17 tires.

Edit - have you got under the car to see any visual evidence of where exactly the DS is hitting the tunnel? This could be a big clue as to what may be causing it.

Oops edit #2 - while I'm not a fan of these but just as a Farley quick test, try to install some spring inserts between the coils and see if this offers any improvements when driving the car over bumps.

Another thought....could the body bushings be so completely shot or missing that the body is sitting closer to the frame? This in turn would put the body about an inch closer to the drivetrain.

Just spitballing ideas here. ��
 

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You have not supplied any data.

My Caprice measured just over 4.5 inches from frame to ground on stock tires. I could take any speed bump at speed. I did have troubles on some ramps. Mostly the hitch receiver scraped.

The stock driveshaft works with my 3.73 so I cannot comment on your drive line.

If the car is too low maybe your springs have been cut?

What is your frame to road height? What are your tires?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the information. I will take some pictures. You can barely get your finger between the top of the tire and the fender. I am in the process right now changing the body bushings. I have had a lot of incompetent mechanics put their hands on my car over the years. I rather try coil spring spacers than put the stocks back in, if that is possible. I love the springs and the way the car handles but really afraid how low the car is. I have a lot of upgrades in this car and just cant seem to get the car to drive the way I want it to. I will get some pics up tonight. I have not had it on a lift since my airbags blew out but GM came and took pictures of the undercarriage. They said something hit the bottom of the car and that is why the bags went off. It's hard for me to believe because I remember that day and I was driving very slow are carefully on a messed up road. Would aftermarket control arms make any difference in the ride height? I have stock in the front and adjustable aftermarket in the back.
 

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Control arms,and/or trailing arms have no effect on ride height. What size tires,along with some photos would be helpful...
 

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I am looking for a nice set of upper and lower front tubular control arms for my 1996 Impala SS. My car was lowered with Hotchkis springs and I am having issues with ground clearance and making turns do not feel right. I have been hearing the converting the balls joints from 9/16 to 5/8 is the way to go but I do not know what I need to make that conversion. The car handles great but it sits way too close to the ground. I am thinking about getting coil spring spaces or even doing a coil over conversion. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I have a 3.5 aluminum driveshaft that I bought from Denny's driveshaft. I have an issue where sometimes the shaft hits the frame tunnel. Anyone experience this problem with that also? I put a ton of money into the car over the last 8 years and would like it to run and drive like a car with almost every part changed.
If it were me at this point I would just buy new MOOG arms thru RockAuto. I had ~NO IDEA~ how inexpensive they are these days. I would have saved my money and time of finding JY arms, sand blasting, powder coating, buying new ball joints & Del-A-Lum bushing, and paying for them to be installed in the arms.

Agree 100% with 3impalas. Isolators won't make one bit of a difference. The stock isolators are just thin rubber, maybe 1/16" and the urathane replacements like used on my 5/8" BJ conversion are a little thicker and both are sure to compress when installed. I believe they are more for noise control than anything.
True, I did this not long ago on my car. The blue upper GM isolators are approximately .125" THK as well as the energy suspension lower isolators for the rear.
Oops edit #2 - while I'm not a fan of these but just as a Farley quick test, try to install some spring inserts between the coils and see if this offers any improvements when driving the car over bumps.
I have a pair of these I bought off AMAZON, before installing after market stock height Impala SS springs in the rear. This was before I did my body bushings, so I needed some help in the rear so the tailpipes wouldn't scrape when entering/exiting the driveway.

Shoot me a PM if interested. I also have a pair of Airlift bags too.
 
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