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Discussion Starter #1
A few of you may be wondering what in particular is there to gain from swapping the redline FE3 control arms to the cobalt ss FE5 components. I too wondered. It had been mentioned in a couple of threads. I feel, that those threads lacked significant detail as far as delivering enough information to the reader what they'd benefit from the swap.

Side note: The differences in the classifcation of the FE5/3/2 control arms are the bushings. AND no you just can't order bushings seperately. It makes no bloody sense why you can't order fucking busings. They make you replace the whole entire fucking part. Yes, I've talked to Saturn, and was told that the bearings are supposed to last the life of the car. BULL FUCKING SHIT. This is the third fucking arm that I've fucked up, due to driving mishaps. FUcking phantom potholes, or bullshit being in the road when it ain't supposed to be. This is why I did the swap, because I didn't want to buy another lousy stock arm, only to have it go bad on me due to it's lack of durability. Even though my bushing on the left side was damaged, my alignment was still good. Normally when you really **** up a arm your alignment will go in and out, and you'll screw up a tire real quick.

I purchased mine through crateenginedepot.com. Total price for both arms with shipping was about $315. Shipping was $43. There was a problem with getting the left-side control arm. GM is doing something that seems rather weird. The right-side arm was no problem ordering, but the left-side's inventory part-number has been "upgraded" to reflect a part used by the 08 cobalts. So...while a 05-07 SS VIN can be used to help me get one control arm, the other one required a bit more finagling. Big thanks to Dave from CrateEngineDepot for being diligent about this and getting me my much needed product. Supply is also an issue. So, if you are interested in doing this act fast!!!

Other members have noted how much lighter the arms should be due to the composition of the alloy used. I will confirm this by saying, when I picked up the box I thought that something was wrong with the shipment. When I picked up the box I thought "maybe they sent one arm in this box and I'll have to wait for the other...boy that's dumb." Yolk's on my face, both arms were neatly wrapped in the box. The box couldn't have weighed more than 30lbs. I couldn't believe it. The stock arms are heavy enough to require two-hands for safe lifting. But by all means, I didn't feel like I was going to break them. I gave'm a good ol'earthquake safety test and put some stress on them. And I felt confident about them going on the car.

I had a local shop put the parts on. They charged me 2 hours of labor, although it probably took them an hour and half...but whatever. There were no installation issues.

For those wondering about traction bars...These bars are not compatible at all. I will also say. Due to the composition and the quality of the bearings, TRACTION BARS ARE NOT NECESSARY! The front end is so much more stable. I've always had disdain for this car because it feels wobbly and unstable at times (if you've ever driven a corvette, rx8, s2000, or M3) then you know what I mean. A good portion of the chassis flex from lateral movements is minimized. The car more stable at highway speeds, when driving over changes in terrain, and changes in elevation. I can feel more downforce in the nose of the car. Not only that, the arms minimize much of the front-to-rear weight shift under heavy acceleration. This is applicable from dead stops and power downshifts from high gear. All in all, the car is more planted on the road and that gives me more confidence in driving it. By increasing the limits in the handling capabilities of your ride, you also increase driver safety.

For those of you that are still reading. We will now start the question and answer session.
 

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Why do you say that the traction bars aren't neeed?

do the cobalt controll arms reduce/eliminate wheel hop?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
boosthard05 said:
Why do you say that the traction bars aren't neeed?

do the cobalt controll arms reduce/eliminate wheel hop?
Yessir!! That's what I'm saying. If you look at how the traction bars hook up to the car...they connect to a part of the frame and the stock control arm. This way, they reduce chassis flex by keeping the car affixed to itself.

Some have used polyurethane bushings with the Redline's stock arms and have reduced wheel-hop. The bushings in the SS arms are more conducive driving enthusiast. I'm not sure if they are more resilient, but they do stiffen things up a bit.

Compared to doing traction bars, I think the SS arms are a better option. There is a lot more gained. It's like the Redline is diseased with wheel-hop. Traction bars are sort of a bandaid fix. The FE5 arms are more akin to treating the cause of the illness.

My assessment is that the FE5 arms reduce wheel hop by a large degree.
 

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Skythe said:
Compared to doing traction bars, I think the SS arms are a better option. There is a lot more gained. It's like the Redline is diseased with wheel-hop. Traction bars are sort of a bandaid fix. The FE5 arms are more akin to treating the cause of the illness.

My assessment is that the FE5 arms reduce wheel hop by a large degree.
Well, considering the BWoody bars only limit wheel travel front-to-rear, it stands to reason most of the wheelhop is from the lower control arm flexing back and forth. Upgrading to the stiffer aluminum almost eliminates this flexing, which should eliminate wheelhop.

I think the problem is most people think "wheel hop" and imagine the wheel bouncing up and down like a yo-yo, but it's actually being pulled forward by force, and when it gets far enough forward the tire loses traction... and snaps back again.

Definitely a good discussion. Tightening up the front end is better all-around, not just on hard launches.
 

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Umm....I've modified plenty of Cobalts and Ions. The Cobalts wheel hop just as bad as the Redlines....
 

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copy that I have cobalt FLCA on my car no difference other than stronger, and castor is different; rotating motor stops wheel hop IMHO we will see
 

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Just to pop in a give some notes from somebody else who has messed with control arms a bit.

There are two FE5 control arm sets:
'05-'07 SS/SC
'08 SS/TC

The '08 control arms are more revised and are part of GM's solution to reduce wheel hop.

The '05-'07 control arms are still better than the Redline's FE3's, being made of much lighter and stiffer aluminum, but wheel hop is still an issue with them.
 

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hummm

im courious to see these 08 ones... they may bolt on the RL... i hope!!!
 

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SilverRedLine04 said:
hummm

im courious to see these 08 ones... they may bolt on the RL... i hope!!!
Well, here's the thing there:

The '08 SS/TC has difference control arms, steering knuckles, struts, springs, sway bar, brakes, brake lines, etc.

So, while it may be possible to use some of the components separately (I'm guessing that only the steering knuckles and brakes will have compatability issues), the suspension might not be tuned as well that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Street Dreamz said:
Umm....I've modified plenty of Cobalts and Ions. The Cobalts wheel hop just as bad as the Redlines....
I'm not sure what point your trying to get across. I don't think anyone is going argue that the Cobalt doesn't have wheel hop issues, nor was that at all implied by my post.

Is the FE5 arm better than the Redline stock arm? Yes.
Does the FE5 arm reduce wheel hop on the Redline? Yes

That's all
 

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I dunno who the hell told you you cannot replace the Ion control arm bushings, but they aren't telling you the truth... We do it quite often, more-so on '03-'04 cars.

As for reduction in wheel hop... Uh... not really any reduction here.
 

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Eco-Mod said:
I dunno who the hell told you you cannot replace the Ion control arm bushings, but they aren't telling you the truth... We do it quite often, more-so on '03-'04 cars.

As for reduction in wheel hop... Uh... not really any reduction here.
Right not the answer for wheel hop. The fact is GM parts probably meant the ball joint etc is not serviced seperately OEM as a part; the foward control arm bushing is hard to replace unless with aftermarket, and the trailing inner control arm bushing has to be aftermarket spherical replacement poly wont work the joint as to move in and out as it goes up and down and a poly cant do that. so in conclusion GM only sell the whole arm. The Cobalt FE5 arm changes caster therefore wheelbase slightly, so must be replaced in pairs.:shrug03:
 

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qwikredline11 said:
Right not the answer for wheel hop. The fact is GM parts probably meant the ball joint etc is not serviced seperately OEM as a part; the foward control arm bushing is hard to replace unless with aftermarket, and the trailing inner control arm bushing has to be aftermarket spherical replacement poly wont work the joint as to move in and out as it goes up and down and a poly cant do that. so in conclusion GM only sell the whole arm. The Cobalt FE5 arm changes caster therefore wheelbase slightly, so must be replaced in pairs.:shrug03:
Um, the rear "spherical" bushing is the one we replace... with OEM bushings. It's a serviceable press-in bushing on the ion arms. doubt it on the balt though.
 

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Eco-Mod said:
Um, the rear "spherical" bushing is the one we replace... with OEM bushings. It's a serviceable press-in bushing on the ion arms. doubt it on the balt though.
copy that. GM are said to have made a stiffer "ride" bushing like that for racing Cobalts that the SCCA guys apparently have but I cant find them:shrug03:
 

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qwikredline11 said:
copy that. GM are said to have made a stiffer "ride" bushing like that for racing Cobalts that the SCCA guys apparently have but I cant find them:shrug03:
Powell Motorsports my man... Powell Motorsports...
 

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i own a redline and just drove a 08 cobalt and it had just as bad wheel hop as my 04 redline so i dont really see the point of changing out the control arms...and you can get the bushings...you just have to know what your looking for...any pontiac grand prix from like 97-04 control arm bushing will fit in the redline control arms...so instead of spending $315 and not getting rid of the wheel hop issue...spend $25 per bushing and get some bwoody traction bars for like $180...which makes total spending less then $300 and you get rid of the wheel hop...
 

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I'm thinking that the same people who say this isn't woth it are the same ones - and moreso, since this is more technical, lol - that argue with me about wheel weight being worth the $$ for the ligther rims.

25-30 lbs of unsprung weight is worth a LOT, reduced wheel hop or no, lol. That's freakin' HUGE. ESPECIALLY at the front of the car.

Now for the long part - only SCCA types bother from here:
I just read, re-read, and read again the ST class rules in the '08 book. I want these control arms, but was pretty sure there's no way I could get them legally (I'm a stickler for rules; if I win in a grey area or that fact that nobody would know it was illegal, I'd still feel like I didn't win 'cuz I cheated). WRONG. THEY ARE LEGAL IN STX. Here's how/why:

The ST class definition states that all stock category mods are legal, plus "the additional allowances outlined in sections 14.1 through 14.10. We all know (or you should by now) we can get obscene negative camber in the stock rules with the stock struts. Moving on:

Section 14.8, subsection I, paragraph 2 states "On arm-and-strut (MacPherson/Chapman) suspensions, the lower arms may be modified/replaced OR other methods of camber adjustment as allowed by paragraphs 14.8.B, C, or G may be used, but not both." The subsections referenced talk about bushings and alloances for camber plates, and cam bolts. SO:

As long as we don't install camber plates or other methods for altering camber beyond the stock setup already allowed by class definition, we can change our lower control arms. Well, the big deal with camber plates or bolts - the use of which would eliminate the ability to use these control arms - is getting more begative camber. With lowering springs and struts or coilovers without camber plates (how do pillowball mounts fit into this definition?), I can still get over 3 degrees negative camber! So I can lower my car with springs and struts, and shave 30 or so lbs of unsprung weight with a stronger, stiffer control arm LEGALLY!!

Serious autocrossers who haven't discovered this yet (and SHAME ON YOU if you have and it's not posted all over hell and back), please discuss. This is HUGE, and I am teh stokedz. Starting a new thread actually, in the autocross section, right now. :cool:
 

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Just as an FYI...Im using 2.4 Cobalt SS control arms on my 05 IRL and they went in with 0 problems. They use the same suspension code as a IRL (FE3 iirc) but they are a cast aluminum arm like the ss/sc
 

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There are 3 effective ways to get rid of wheel hop on the cobalt and redlines. The first one I found was a poly transaxle mount and ingalls torque dampner on the engine. This works fine on my car and with nittos on it no wheel hop at all. cost was 220 plus the tires which I added a month later. Not much difference with the tires but hop was all gone anyway, but it does hook up better on a hard launch. Gm performance has come up with another fix, called the wheel hop kit on crate engine depot, it's stronger mounts and axles for the front wheel drive system, basically its the set up for the lnf engine with 260 hp. That runs like 800 bucks before installation. The control arm swap and bushing swap is the last way and cost wise seems to be between the first two options. if you go with option one the poly mount will be noticeably rougher at idle, if you don't want to viberate enough to put a smile on your gf go with another option, but it does hook up nicely without hopping for a reasonable cost.
 

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Every one of the fixes you mentioned - including the GM kit - are band-aids that do not fix the real problem. Oddly, you say "there are 3 ways to get rid of wheel hop on the Cobalt and Redlines" and then proceed to not mention the ONLY REAL fix out there.

The Rotated trans mounts offered by O T T P and now copied by other vendors CURES the axle geometry problem, eliminating wheel hop in these cars at the source. Other means are just using various methods to damp its effects and reduce the symptom, rather than cure the disease.
 
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