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Discussion Starter #1
Ok...someone is buying these, or there would not be a demand for them. Is anyone willing to admit to purchasing these or some like them?

http://www.kmjent.com/cart/home.php?cat=20164701

If so what was your experience with them? I'm a believer in "you get what you pay for" but I admit the price point is right on target..

Don't shoot .... Just looking for advise in the off chance someone is or has used a low budget brand like this with success.

Thank you for your input!
 

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I saw a pic (posted here or on nasty)of some not so cheap arms failing at the weld and thought the problem is design and longevity.

A tube welded to a tube at right angles. I see the weld and the tube on the vehicle axis as weak points. The ball joint end weld area, but less leverage.
 

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I hate to admit it but I have these, or some very similar. I wanted the good $$$$$ ones but for the price........ and everything else I wanted to do on the car I couldn't resist.

They come with crappy ball joints and hardware. I installed Moog ball joints and grade 8 hardware. They have been on the car for over a year. I ran a few auto cross events, 120+ mph at the proving grounds and about 7K miles including the entire power tour through the rough northern roads beating the hell out of my car w/o any problems. Bushings are kind of cheap but have held up well. So far no problems at all but I still keep a close eye on everything.
 

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Wow, good place to save money! At least when the valve seats drop out of the Chinese cylinder heads the car will just roll to the side of the road and stop. What happens when your front control arm falls apart? I hear China makes some really cheap ( I mean inexpensive) brake calipers, too. They're real shiny.
 

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Yeah, its too bad we all don't have deep pockets like you that can afford $1400 control arms.

This just in, Toyota's all over the place are pulling off the side of the road with control arms falling apart.

I am sure my existing 42 year old, sand blasted numerous times, ball joints beat out of them countless times, oblong ball joint holes were much safer then brand new Chinese junk.

Trust me, I am no fan of Chinese stuff but that $1100 I could have spent paid for most of the 2011 Power Tour.
 

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This message has been deleted by DjD. Reason: I don't care if you guys want to try and get each other pregnant, just don't do it here!
Excuse me?
 

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$1400 control arms? http://www.ss396.com/mm5/merchant.m...Product_Code=KAR-KIT&Category_Code=SUSPENSION Toyotas are made in Japan. Some things are OK to shop for price. Suspension and brake parts you shop for quality. If you can't afford quality then get another hobby. Nobody gets hurt that way.
so back to the main topic, have you had a set of KMJ's or any bad experiences with them? Because if you have those of us that have them would like to know, or is your opinion based on price and where they are manufactured?

Are the arms in your link made in America? I bought a set of stamped control arms for a friends Ranger similar to your link, they were cheap and made in China.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
WOW, I really didn't mean to stir up so much controversy...but to be honest, I sure wish I had been on the forum last night!

I appreciate everyone's opinions, we are all very passionate about our cars....which is why we are on this forum in the first place.

Passion + differing opinion usually = conflict

Let's remember that we all have different levels of expertise, budgets, and time available for this hobby that we obviously love. In the end we are all here, well most of us to share it with other crazy people that spend all their free time covered in grease, and disposable income on what people outside our world see as "just" another car.

Although to be honest, I'm as focused as ever as to if I should buy these darn things or not! I will most likely go the sc&c route..they are still a value and offer different levels of performance with adjustability that gets rid of those pretty shims.

Thank you again for your opinions and sharing your experience it's what helps us less experienced guys to venture into unfamiliar territory.

P.S. I agree, please don't try to get each other pregnant : )
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would be surprised to find out that the control arms in that link (repro's) from ss396, are made anywhere but china...reason...price....which is what started this thread in the first place.
 

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The product really comes down to material selection/quality, and manufacturing process control. If those elements of producing a sound product are in place for each individual part produced and they have been proven, then they are likely to provide you with a trouble free part throughout its life.

There is always risk. Any reputable company could let a lower grade of steel slip through an audit, or the joint/welding process somehow changes and thus introduces a part that may prematurely fail.


Researching enthusiasts using the product, testimonials, etc helps. Call the company and ask questions. They do provide the tube OD and wall thickness, but do not cite the grade or the grade range of the steel that some may wish to know. Is it seamless tube, or welded?


In general, what may make some aftermarket parts less expensive in some respects is the absence of the real nuts and bolts engineering that goes into developing a product which truly defines its mechanical limitations, such, that one may design it with a safety or performance factor into the design. Many designs are copies, (China produced), since the design itself may not qualify for protection unless there is a unique design or working feature to the product that the company producing it has claimed or has filed intellectual property protection for. The improved geometry is an inherent unique claim that could be used, don't know.

I simply did the
Guldstrand mod with my stock suspension to achieve what I assume most are after right, better front suspension geometry? Some may be looking for an aesthetic upgrade or simply do not have a-arms at all.
 

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Just installed these a-arms on my friends project 67 carmaro seems to be allright. time will tell. If the welds hold up then he saved alot of money as oppose to the expensive ones. Guess even top quality breaks we all know that. I just installed a T56 Magnum 6-speed from Hursts Driveline in my 69 camaro left it on the lift overnight came in the next day and it was leaking from the center of the rear half and front half almost the entire amount of fluid. Brand new never driven. How is that for Quality control:mad:
 

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Ive got no dogs in this hunt however being that I do work for a chassis suspension manufacturer I will see if I can give you a little advice that can help you with your choice. First off I will say that I have never worked with or even seen a set of those arms so I have no first hand experience...
1. I would take it that you are purchasing a set of arms for more than having a tubular look so you are going to want to know what performance benifits you should expect.
* If they changed the geometry to be able to increase the camber gain, what were they ideally shooting for as far as alignment specs?
* Is your car being set up to even utilize those alignment specs... ie, if you are sticking with a factory non power steering box then you will run into extremely stiff low speed steering.
* The next obvious upgrade is going to either A. go to a pair of taller height spindles or B. perform gouldstrand mod. Are these arms designed to optimize that function as well?
* Did they change the overall length by shortening the arm?

2. Another large benifit to going with a well designed tubular arm is to eliminate / reduce torsional roll deflection of the arm. with this being said...
* What material is being used on the tubing and the cross gussets. The arm will only be as stout as the materials that are used. and yes... it is gerneral understanding that chinese steel is not near the same quality of steel produced / and used in the US.
* What material size is the gusseting crossbrace. This will play a crucial roll in the overall stiffness of the arm.
* what is the availability and the quality of the bushings, balljoints and cross shafts? If you buy a cheap pair of arms and you are forced to locate or turn a set of quality bushings and or also have to install a set of quality ball joints... you are going to be right back upside down several hundred dollars plus your time and labor in getting it all to work.
Most importantly... call the company... get a feel for the actual knowledge that you are recieving on the other side of the phone. This will tell you exactly what "type" of company you are dealing with and think to yourself... if you need replacment parts or warranty, are they going to deal with you?
 

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I was at this very same crossroads a couple years back. Bought these
kmj control arms to enhance my budget for other mods. About 2k miles
I developed a clunking noise that was hard to find. It was the bushings
that had failed. Bought a stock replacement bushing kit that did not fit.
Long story short, I ended up w/ Global West suspension.
I decided to prsonally investigate the quality of these arms and found
the steel and welds to be of acceptable quality but the bushings and
ball joints complete garbage. Wouldnt have been much longer and w/o
a doubt would have had a bj failure.
So in my opinion, as stated above after correcting these two issues
you are money ahead to buy quality arms.
Another hard lesson learned-you get what you pay for.
 

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I was at this very same crossroads a couple years back. Bought these
kmj control arms to enhance my budget for other mods. About 2k miles
I developed a clunking noise that was hard to find. It was the bushings
that had failed. Bought a stock replacement bushing kit that did not fit.
Long story short, I ended up w/ Global West suspension.
I decided to prsonally investigate the quality of these arms and found
the steel and welds to be of acceptable quality but the bushings and
ball joints complete garbage. Wouldnt have been much longer and w/o
a doubt would have had a bj failure.
So in my opinion, as stated above after correcting these two issues
you are money ahead to buy quality arms.
Another hard lesson learned-you get what you pay for.
AMEN!!!!! Glad you shared your experience with everyone. I almost bought some cheap arms... Luckily I went with the SPC arms, Couldn't be happier!
 

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I can certainly understand a limited budget and still wanting to play in the hobby - nothing wrong with that at all. Many of us have kids (some going to college) and other hobbies to fund as well.

However, I don't undestand replacing the stock arms to go backward in quality/safety/reliability just so you can say you have tubular control arms. I'd like the expensive ones too, but elected to weld reinforcing gussets in my stock arms until I have dough burning holes in my pockets to get some quality tubular arms and hoping that the pricing will adjust closer to reasonable amount in the meantime.
 

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Out of all the upper control are choices I think the SPC is the best you can get for the money and you get adjustability which to me is the worth the price. These are what I will buy when ready to upgrade the control arms. I was going to do delrin bushings anyway and I like the screw in ball joint idea that you use with them.

$390.00 for the uppers and I will use the stock the stock lower control arm with delrin bushings and moog ball joints. The stock lower control arm (if in good condition) is an excellent part.

http://scandc.com/new/node/60
 
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