DIY Rear control arms and suspension questions

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Marshall 008

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Since I have finished rebuilding and upgrading the front end of my 2008 Tahoe. Its now time to address the rear end. I see that Spohn is about the only company that makes aftermarket control arms for our vehicles unless you build your own out of DOM tubing.

I've heard good things about Spohn and the usual tighten the crap out of the rear del-sphere joints. However, I'm not impressed with their upper rear control arm design. It just looks thrown together and frankly looks like two pipes welded together at their sides. I understand the stock ones are angled and have a slight bend in them. I think this could be overcome by using spherical joints and not to pieces of pipe welded together. Maybe bend some larger diameter DOM tubing to fix this. I see this in jeep control arms all the time.

Has anyone built their own rear control arms out of DOM? If so, any issues? I know of one person who has and they are pretty straight forward to construct. I just need a welder. LOL! Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Dustin Jackson

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@Marshall 008 If you haven't handled a Spohn product yet I wouldn't be quick to judge. Comparing the factory style rear upper control arm to the Spohn one I would say the Spohn one is much stronger.
 
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Marshall 008

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@Marshall 008 If you haven't handled a Spohn product yet I wouldn't be quick to judge. Comparing the factory style rear upper control arm to the Spohn one I would say the Spohn one is much stronger.
I’m not say they aren’t stronger or poor quality. I’m saying there looks to be a better way to design the rear UCA’s to get the offset. It doesn’t look to have been thought through entirely. Just my two cents. Especially when you companies like Kibbitech, Camburg, Baja Kits making kits with rear links. I wish they made them for our vehicles as another option in the market.
 

992dr

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I know and understand exactly what you're talkin about. Nothing against Spohn by any means it just looks odd frankly doesn't look right to have the a piece welded to the side of a the tubing.

I've wanted to build some links for ever and finally met someone who did for his GMT900 Tahoe
I believe he opened his bolt holes to 5/8" to. No bent or butchered offset weirdness. I stole a picture form his page to show you his links.
 

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iamdub

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I’m not say they aren’t stronger or poor quality. I’m saying there looks to be a better way to design the rear UCA’s to get the offset. It doesn’t look to have been thought through entirely. Just my two cents. Especially when you companies like Kibbitech, Camburg, Baja Kits making kits with rear links. I wish they made them for our vehicles as another option in the market.

I don't know why they'd weld two together versus bending. Maybe the back-to-back bends would be too close? Or maybe it's possible, but too close for the tooling they have on hand? I plan to build mine to push the axle back about 1/2". I don't need nor want the stiffness of poly bushings, at least not for the lowers. The lowers will be new stock ones that I'll cut and splice in sections of the originals (fish plate style) to extend them, then box them in on the underside. The uppers will be DOM with poly bushings at both ends with one adjustable end. Yes, I'll have to unbolt that one end to turn it to adjust. But, once I set the pinion angle, I won't have any reason to be messing with them ever again so having the turnbuckle style for easier adjustment is just unnecessary cost, complexity and failure points. Oh, and I'll Siamese the two tubes together just like Spohn. I don't have a bender nor do I see it necessary. I don't think it looks bad and it won't really be seen, anyway. Mine will be painted black.
 

992dr

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I don't know why they'd weld two together versus bending. Maybe the back-to-back bends would be too close? Or maybe it's possible, but too close for the tooling they have on hand? I plan to build mine to push the axle back about 1/2". I don't need nor want the stiffness of poly bushings, at least not for the lowers. The lowers will be new stock ones that I'll cut and splice in sections of the originals (fish plate style) to extend them, then box them in on the underside. The uppers will be DOM with poly bushings at both ends with one adjustable end. Yes, I'll have to unbolt that one end to turn it to adjust. But, once I set the pinion angle, I won't have any reason to be messing with them ever again so having the turnbuckle style for easier adjustment is just unnecessary cost, complexity and failure points. Oh, and I'll Siamese the two tubes together just like Spohn. I don't have a bender nor do I see it necessary. I don't think it looks bad and it won't really be seen, anyway. Mine will be painted black.

I agree, they either don't have the tooling or it would cost too much to duplicate the exact dimensions needed for clearance.
Before cutting and welding, dry fit it to check your clearances. I'll be doing something similar but I'll be using DOM for both upper and lower.
Here's a shot of his links mounted. Straight no bends or weird cuts/welds. But, I will say his is made for offroad. So wheel fitment is not an issue. I'll be climbing under mine this weekend, I'll be checking fitment of the uppers to see if cutting/welding is necessary.
 

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iamdub

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Before cutting and welding, dry fit it to check your clearances. I'll be doing something similar but I'll be using DOM for both upper and lower.
Here's a shot of his links mounted. Straight no bends or weird cuts/welds. But, I will say his is made for offroad. So wheel fitment is not an issue. I'll be climbing under mine this weekend, I'll be checking fitment of the uppers to see if cutting/welding is necessary.

I'm keeping it simple. However much I extend the lowers, I'll do that for the uppers, minus a little for adjustment space. I'll tack two bolts to my table at the distance I want the bushing eyes and stack washers on the one side that will be offset. Then, just connect the dots with the tubing. I'll copy the factory design, only deviating where it'll be a improvement (more clearance in case I ever need 12.5" slicks?). It's worked fine for 215K+ miles with ~30K of those being lowered. No need to reinvent the wheel!
 
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Marshall 008

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I know and understand exactly what you're talkin about. Nothing against Spohn by any means it just looks odd frankly doesn't look right to have the a piece welded to the side of a the tubing.

I've wanted to build some links for ever and finally met someone who did for his GMT900 Tahoe
I believe he opened his bolt holes to 5/8" to. No bent or butchered offset weirdness. I stole a picture form his page to show you his links.
I almost bought his control arms from him as he is going to aluminum ones. I’ve been chatting with him about them. The future will tell if I go that route or just get the spohn set up.
 

Project Workshop

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I know and understand exactly what you're talkin about. Nothing against Spohn by any means it just looks odd frankly doesn't look right to have the a piece welded to the side of a the tubing.

I've wanted to build some links for ever and finally met someone who did for his GMT900 Tahoe
I believe he opened his bolt holes to 5/8" to. No bent or butchered offset weirdness. I stole a picture form his page to show you his links.
Any chance you could share a link to the build for these?
 

992dr

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I almost bought his control arms from him as he is going to aluminum ones. I’ve been chatting with him about them. The future will tell if I go that route or just get the spohn set up.
Sorry, I never got a notification for your message.
What's his name? Not sure it's the same guy.

Any chance you could share a link to the build for these?
He doesn't have a build thread. I'll go see if I can find his Instagram in my phone.
All he did was open his to 5/8 and build stock length links. I'll be back in a while gotta work first
 

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