Originally Posted by BMR Suspension
... If your car has a front sway bar maybe get a set of poly end links for it. ...
I would wait on replacing any or all of the bushings until you decided whether or not you are going to tubular arms. Aftermarket arms usually have all new bushings and I would hate to see you waste money by buying two sets of bushing basically.
That is some of the worst information I've ever heard someone get on this forum (of course not counting, it coming from a vendor trying to boost sales in the forums ...)
In actuality - the BEST investment
would be the $50 for a new set of stock Rubber Upper and Lower A-Arm Bushing - specially if he follows your recommendation to get an alignment
This will restore the OEM positioning and control to the front end assembly that will allow a good
alignment to be done and also give him the idea conditions to evaluate the handling and decide where to go from there.
Doing any less before trying to align this vehicle - let alone start changing the sway system characteristics - would be the 'Waste of Money' here
An insightful response, to someones quest for a near-stock suspension system at this time
, would actually be to recommend he upgrade the stock rubber bushings to the Global West "DEL-A-LUM" system - for a fraction of the cost of 'tubular' arms - which would allow him to experience the minimum amount of component deflection vs. compliant bushings (rubber or 'poly') without excessive street harshness.
A good 'performance' alignment should also be include with the above modification.
The next 'step' would be for him to identify the tire/rim package he will most likely want and match this to his future modifications.
It does NO good to put a a lacking tire package on a vehicle no matter what 'handling' suspension system it has - the tires will always limit the performance ...
As far as after market A-arms.
The upper arms will show the most gain in handling improvements.
Properly spec.d quality
upper arms can improve some of the stock geometry, and give the tire package the best possible performance.
The quality designed units correct many of the 1st Gen deficiencies and are still engineered to allow good tire wear characteristics with most tire packages.
Never buy strictly on pricing here
- go for properly engineered and designed units (think Detroit Speed, Speed Tech, Hotchkiss ...) as most the lower cost/common units are just 'eye-candy' and actually do little or nothing to really improve handling - and some are downright dangerous!
Besides - money spent here will actually show you where you need/want to best improve from that point - and you won't have to re-spend your money on different arms again
The stock lower arms are actually very good units and there is little to be gained by replacing them during the early stages of most suspension upgrades.
The exception here might be if you are planning on changing the front spring set-up.
If your intention is to upgrade to an adjustable ride-height/coil-over-shock system then you may need to change arms.
Otherwise the majority of the 'eyecandy' arms are just that - and some even weight more than the stock arms and still offer less deflection under load ...
Anything above this level you are really better off looking at a replacement performance Sub-frame from a reputable vendor.
These units will allow you take the next step into truly modern handling performance
But, they sure aren't cheap ... so you will need to be committed to getting the absolute most out of your vehicle before taking this approach.
For more great information - you should read through the information posted by a guy that has also spent years getting the maximum handling out of them and doesn't charge a dime to help you
Here's the link - http://www.pozziracing.com/first_gen_suspension.htm#Top
I would also recommend he stay away from ANY "Poly" parts or systems if he intends to use this as a long-lived dependable street vehicle.
It has been proven time and again that 'Poly' components do not "improve" handling over a stock rubber components and they actually can lead to worse handling if not properly installed and maintained
Having disassembled hundreds of vehicles - that were fitted with 'poly' to 'improve' handling - I can tell you I've yet to find a set that hasn't deflected to the point they are causing alignment issues and/or started to disintegrate in their bores
Besides - I hate the squeaking from 99% of them after a few years of use ...
As always - these are JMHO - based on many years of truly enjoying these cars and modifying them to get the best performance possible ...