The Dodge control arm is among the many suspension parts in your vehicle that works hard to keep your vehicle stable as it travels down the road. The suspension system is quite complex, using a great number of components to give flexibility to the wheels of the vehicle, allowing them to adjust to uneven road surfaces rather than hitting every bump or pothole with rigid force that would cause a vertical bounce, making the vehicle uncontrollable as all four wheels were lifted from the road surface. The Dodge control arm is part of this process, helping the suspension system to absorb the shock and vibration of the road, allowing the wheels and suspension parts to take the punishment of the road, while the body glides along reasonably undisturbed. There is an upper and lower Dodge control arm at each wheel of the vehicle. At every pivot point, the Dodge control arm has a rubber bushing to aid its ability to absorb vibration and protect it from friction damage as it moves against other suspension components. The Dodge control arm helps to keep the front-end of the vehicle tight and aligned properly, which is also important to vehicle stability, as well as to good steering control. Tough and reliable, the Dodge control arm will serve its purpose well through many miles of punishment from rough roads and the elements. However, a large bump or pothole hit at a high rate of speed can bend the Dodge control arm, requiring replacement for safe travel. We carry a selection of Dodge control arm replacements in our online catalog at great low prices. Our secure site makes ordering your Dodge control arm replacement safe and easy, or our expert customer service will make it just as convenient to order on our toll-free phone line.
How to Install a New Dodge Control Arm
If the ball joint is already pressed into the control arm or already worn out, not only will this produce a thumping noise but this will also make steering sloppy. Bad control arm bushings will create a thumping or rattling noise and will mess up vehicle suspension. A bent or damaged control arm will grind against the wheel well. If you have to replace the control arm, we can help you tackle this problem with this guide.
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- New control arm
- Jack and jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Tire iron or breaker bar
- Ball joint separator
- Ball peen hammer
- Torque wrench
- Pry bar
Prepping up the vehicle for control arm replacement
Park the vehicle on a level surface and be sure to block the rear wheels with wheel chocks. Before raising it off the ground, loosen up the front wheel lug nuts with a tire iron or breaker bar but don't unfasten them just yet. Lift the front of the vehicle using a floor jack and secure both sides with stands. Remove the lug nuts and take off the front wheels to get access to the control arm and other suspension parts.
Removing the old control arm
Locate the bushing that links the sway bar to the control arm and then disengage it. The sway bar has to be detached from the control arm. If the vehicle has an upper and a lower control arm, there would be a spring mounted in-between. Before you disconnect anything, make sure that the lower control arm is secured with a jack.
Free the lower ball joint from the wheel hub and the steering knuckle. The vehicle may have a pinch clamp holding the ball joint to the wheel hub or may use a castle nut located at the ball joint's end. You either have to loosen the pinch bolt or undo the castle nut by removing the cotter pin, which should be replaced. Unhook the ball joint from the steering knuckle. To do this, you may use a ball joint press if the ball joint will be reused since this won't rip or tear the rubber boot. But if the ball joint will be discarded and replaced, it will be easier to use a ball joint separator. If the boot is cut, a new one should be installed.
To remove the control arm, you have to undo the mounting bolts at the frame.
Installing a new control arm
Fix the new control arm into place. You just have to reverse the steps for removal.
However, if you have to replace just the bushings, the old control arm can be used. Set the bushings in place at the mounting holes if they're not pressed into the control arm. Make sure that all the bolts are in place along with the ball joint stud before tightening the mounting bolts.
Set the ball joint into the steering knuckle. If the sway is under the control arm, you may have to pry down on the control arm for the alignment of the ball joint stud and the steering knuckle. If the vehicle has an upper and a lower control arm, the lower arm has to be raised with a jack to compress the suspension spring.
If a pinch clamp holds the ball joint to the wheel hub, then you have to work on this, but if the ball joint has castle nut on its end, you have to re-attach this nut. Don't tighten it yet. You first have to connect the sway bar to the control arm before torqueing the castle nut. A new cotter pin must be used and set through the nut and the stud. Torque the mounting bolts and sway bar according to manufacturer specs.
Now that everything's in place, you can now put back the wheel and tire and secure it with the lug nuts. Make sure that the lug nuts are fully tightened after you lower the vehicle to the ground.