Broken BMR lower control arm - pics!!! - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 09:47 PM
dbonser
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The passenger-side rear lower control arm snapped last week pulling in to the Wendy's parking lot across from ImpalaFest last week. If ever there was a good place to break down this was it.

The broken arm was swapped out in the hotel parking lot with the help of some truly wonderful folks:
Mark Michna - donated his old control arms
LeClair Kirby - use of his compressor and impact wrench
Steve & Misty Koinm - use of his jack, jack stands, tools & muscle
Ed Runnion - advice & muscle

Thanks again!!

Here is what the damage looks like:





I called Frank @ BMR on Monday and he was very helpful. He said all I need to do is send the old controls back & he would have a new set shipped out to me upon receipt - no questions asked. I swapped out the other control arm today so I will be sending them out tomorrow. I must say that Frank was a pleasure to deal with!

The only thing is that now I think I'm going to switch to GW lower control arms. Especially now that I know how to remove/install them thanks to Ed & Steve!! So, I'll probably have a set of new BMR standard length control arms for sale soon.

So far so good...
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-12-2003, 09:55 PM
Roktman
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db,I have GW control arms ,which are generally considered the best.BMR `s are considered the best budget arms for the money.I think you get what you pay for.I have been happy with my GW with no problems.When you see the construction of the GW arms you will see what I mean.
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 04:22 AM
96capriceMGR
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How old are they and do you autoX? I had heard of some F-body guys breaking them and some b-body guys having bushing troubles but yours is the first breakage I have seen in a b-body. Heck I saw them on SSonics car and he has done some roadcourse stuff and runs low 12s. Just wonder if yours was a freak thing or something that will become more common with age.
 
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 06:10 AM
toomanytoyz
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I can't get the pics to work.

Sorry to hear about the failure. Hopefully it's just a fluke...
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 06:35 AM
scot august
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From the pictures it looks like some rust had formed first around part of the circumference. Like it was cracked for a little while before it broke.I was considering the same LCA and BMR's rear sway bar[1 1/2 inch] before I saw this. I'm trying to balance a 1 7/16 Hotchkis front bar with the larger rear bar. Did you use a large rear bar?
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 07:05 AM
NeverFollow
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Where you running the HA rear bar. I had the same thing happen to me. The break probably occurred from my HA rear bar. The upgraded bar will allow the bolt to pass completely thru the control arm and fastened with a nut at the top. Also switch to a larger washer to distribute the load.

Frank was also thinking the the weld around the mounting pad for the sway bar may have weakend the control arm itself. They have switched to a thick wall tube thickness also.

Glad it happened for you in a parking lot.

Hats off to fellow members that were able to give you a hand.
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 08:00 AM
Gerry
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Quote:
Originally posted by 96capriceMGR:
and some b-body guys having bushing troubles
I just replaced the front bushings in my lower BMR bars. They looked like partially ground up meat. One was coming out around the edges of the tube in pieces. You could feel the car wobble when you unloaded the suspension on the open road. BMR sent me a new set for $19, and its a completely new design. REALLY much better.

I'd say you picked a great place to have 'em break. What a star studded pit crew!!

Gerry-
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 08:14 AM
dbonser
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96capriceMGR - I have never autoXed - just some trips down the 1/8 mile strip and spirited driving on the highwayy Nothing that I would expect to cause this.

scot - Yes, it does look like there was a 'hairline' crack near the weld that was there for some time. That spot has quite a bit of rust/discoloration while the rest of the bar is shiny & new. And yes, I used probably the largest rear bar - the HA rear bar.

NeverFollow - Yep, I was running the HA rear bar on the old design BMR control (as you can see in the pics). Maybe the HA bar is too much for that design? Or maybe you & I were just unlucky

Gerry - I had that same exact problem about 2 months ago. The car handled horribly and it turned out to be a damaged bushing. The new bushings DID make a difference but I guess I'll never know how well they will hold up now!
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 08:18 AM
dbonser
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96capriceMGR - I forgot to answer your first question, they have been on the car for about 3 years.
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-13-2003, 09:22 AM
bryante
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Wow - I'd better keep an eye on my BMR arms Looks like the swaybar mount did a good job serving as a stress riser. It'd also be interesting to know what sort of post-weld heat-treat, if any, was applied to the part.
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