Upper A-Arms, Tall Ball Joints, Brakes... Southside Machine? Speedway? Blazer?


Wrinkled Member
Oct 31, 2007
I've been reading old posts on various upper A-Arms, tall ball joints, S-10 Blazer spindles & front brakes, etc.

Interested in beginning to collect the parts to upgrade my suspension. Currently I have Bell-Tech 2" dropped spindles & the original springs up front. One inch drop springs in the rear of unknown manufacture. 17" wheels. Parts & modifications should be suitable for daily driver reliability. Don't think the car will be hitting the track soon. Looking for great handling through the turns & freeway driving. Potential for a quick 60' would be a bonus. Usually prefer to over build somewhat for future upgrades.

So... What is the situation on the A-Arm cross-shaft bearings? Does Southside Machine have better bearings than the Speedway arms?

Is there a real problem due to no bump stops?

If I understand correctly, I need two of the 8" passenger side arms. Is this correct?

Are there other A-Arms that I should consider?

What is the brand & part number of the desirable tall ball joints? Where should I buy them?

What about the lower A-Arm bushings? Black urethane, or Delrin type?

I'm thinking of swapping out the 2" drop spindles for the Blazer spindle, bearings & brakes. Any tricks or advice there?

The Power-Master has been removed & now have vacuum assist brakes.

I have a set of Russel brand braided brake lines for G-Body. Will they work on the Blazer brake swap?

How about springs & shocks? Eibach lowering springs & Bilstiens?

I will also need to address the steering components. The column is a bit loose & the car has over 100K miles on it. I'm assuming that everything needs refreshing, replacement.

How about Anti Sway-Bars? Not very knowledgeable here.

I have the 2 X-braces behind the rear seat. I did have the 3 Kirban braces to triangulate the front-end, but I had to remove the frame rail to frame rail brace due to an RJC FMIC. I think the piece by SC&C looks real nice, but not sure it will clear the FMIC tubing.

I have not addressed the body bushings yet.

Of all the rear axle upper & lower control arms... What brand adjustable arms provide the most clearance, performance, reliability, ease of adjustment & value? What bushings should I use?

Is the Pro-Launch adjustable instant center kit something I should consider?

What else am I missing?

Thank you.

PS. Does this sound like a sensible plan & parts selection?
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Read this on the G-body bumpsteer before you make any decisions, if you don't fix your bumpsteer, forget your car handling well altogether: https://www.boostedrps.com/single-p...he-G-body-Shuffle-Bumpsteer-and-how-to-Fix-it

With that said, the SC&C Stage 2 Plus upper control arms are the best choice for front Upper A-arms. They were the original ones who developed the usage of the taller ball joints, and IMO no one has been able to perfect upon their design.

Those front upper arms with extra tall ball joints for the upper and lower control arms will fix about 90% of your geometry issues. If you want to have ride height adjustability the SC&C/SPC lower control arms have modular spring pockets that you can use shims to raise or lower your car with, without cutting the spring or putting in new springs.

PST makes new bushings for the front A-arms, I believe they are either Poly or Delrin. Get the delrin. Does not bind and articulates freely.

Howe ball joints are the only ones you want. All others are cheap knock-offs.They are also rebuild-able.

Springs and shocks- The SPC pro-touring springs are an excellent choice for an all around/ PT-style spring. Not the best at the track, but great handling springs.

For shocks I am partial to Chris Alston's Varishock QS2 double adjustable shocks. Show me a shock for the same price range with a more linear and wider range of adjustability while retaining such precision, and I'll buy them. If cost is more of an issue, the Varishock SS shocks were literally modeled after a BMW 3 series...and I mean literally.. They rented a 3 series and Mark took his G-body and his Varishock QS2's and they kept making adjustments until the car handled in the same manner a 3 series does. They even took the BMW shocks and put them on their shock dyno to know exactly what their rebound/compression numbers were.

Swaybars- Front I would go Hellwig 1 5/16's tubular bar. Excellent design (by Mark Savitske) and quality piece. For the rear, either the Hellwig Pro-Touring bar (Mark Savitske's design) which has 3 adjustment points on it to really fine tune your car.

The SC&C brace should clear most FMIC pipes. That is why they designed it slightly different than the UMI bar.

For aid in launching, look at the UMI rear lower control arm relocation kit. Has 3 different mounting holes for the adjustment of the Instant Center of your car.
I have a couple pointers: blazer brakes work good but weigh a ton, you can get a set of wilwoods that weigh way less and perform as good or better for a little more money. Bump stops will save your downpipe from getting crushed and i would say droop stops should be mandatory if your car launches hard to keep your shocks from topping out. Shock choice would depend on how much street driving you do and how much youre concerned with track performance.
Thanks for the replies.

I have no doubt that SC&C produces fine equipment, but I recall reading about the tall ball joint swap more than 15 years ago. There are many ways to skin a cat.

Thanks for the heads up on the Blazer parts weight issue. Had not thought of that. Guess I assumed they were equivalent to OEM G-Body parts.

I was looking at the Wilwood offerings. I run 17" wheels, but I'd like to retain the option of mounting the original 15" wheels. Which of the Wilwood offerings would best suit a full weight daily driver TR with 15's?

Anyone else have much to add?

During my searches I found many posts from Charlie. Unfortunately they lead to empty threads.
I had blazer brakes and went to the 11" wilwoods so i could still use my 15s at the track, they have a nice aluminum hub, slightly thinner rotors and aluminum calipers vs the cast iron 2 piston blazer caliper, bracket and crappy unit bearing. Didnt weigh the stuff but Im guessing it saved at least 15 pounds.
Thanks Chuck.

I'm attempting to perform my homework prior to calling any vendors so I don't use up much of their time.
Hi "JM"

Whats your budget? We offer fantastic deals and we have been doing suspension and handling for Many, Many years with thousands & thousands of very satisfied customers... Give us a call (number in signature)
Hi "JM"

Whats your budget? We offer fantastic deals and we have been doing suspension and handling for Many, Many years with thousands & thousands of very satisfied customers... Give us a call (number in signature)


The nice thing is that Scot can put together entire suspension packages for you, designed with your goal in mind and ensuring the parts complement each other.

Plus those DSE Quadralink bars are just Unholy-cool!!