JKS Control Arms - Cleanup, Inspection and Painting
Just in case you missed it, I got a full set of JKS control arms from G Beasley.
As you can see, they really only need a solid cleaning and inspection before they're ready to replace Greta's somehow-still-somewhat-functioning stock control arms; note, however, that there's a trick to quickly getting a grease-covered control arm clean enough to look over and/or paint.
Pictured: The trick is "use a sink."
In order to get all
of the grease off, I screwed the adjustable end of the control arm almost all of the way out and then covered everything with Simple Green; as previously mentioned, I figured that was the safest way to not destroy the seals. After the degreaser had a few minutes to soak I used a combination of paper towels, sponges, ScotchBrite pads and a steel-bristled brush to remove the grease and grime and dirt and Beasleyness, which thereby rendered the arms paint-ready. Normally I'd do a bit more cleaning, but since we're all familiar with the following equation...
Painted Control Arms + Rocks = Futility
...I was content with a basic degreasing. I already showed the cleaned-up upper front arms; here are the lowers after the same treatment.
Pictured: Ahh...fastidiously better.
There's not a lot of interest to be had in painting a set of control arms - as mentioned, the paint really won't even stay on there for a terribly long time - so I'm going to keep it brief and save all of my good material for the circus that will almost surely
take place when I attempt to install and adjust these things. For now, I'll simply say that I masked the bushings...
Pictured: ...with cheap blue tape...
...and then shot them with a new paint that I'm trying out: Rustoleum Universal in Hammered Black. They advertise that it's a paint/primer combination - I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work - that sticks to pretty much any surface/material...including bare metal and rust. In addition to the improved adhesion, the can is also a lot more comfortable to hold, and it has a better spray pattern than the normal Rustoleum cans. It doesn't really manage the "spray at any angle" part of their advertising, but there was still a noticeable improvement; it didn't just sputter and go dead when turned on its side. Best of all, it seems to provide a really nice
Pictured: I may have to give this stuff an extended test...
You can see that I didn't mask the seal when I painted the arm; since it's slightly recessed, it actually sort of keeps itself out of trouble unless you take pains to spray paint directly at it...which I didn't. I got all of the upper arms painted today and have them drying right now, so I'll snap a few pictures between burgers and barbeque tomorrow; I couldn't seem to get a decent angle on them with the weird after-storm light that was coming in the garage. I did, however, manage to get some great views of the insides of the interior bushing sleeves. Here's what all of the uppers look like:
Pictured: Who put those stupid bumps in there??
Apologies for this arm being somewhat-painted; I actually hit it on this side with rust converter because the bushing shell was really
surface-rusted...and we all know how I feel about rust. Nonetheless, it's clear that the wear and tear on the interior of the sleeve is minimal; Beasley said he only had about 10K on these bushings and I honestly think he was overestimating. The lowers show a bit more wear, but after looking in all eight bushings I realized that none of them featured the same interior protrusions that were seen on the upper bushings. Take a look.
Not Pictured: Mysterious Interior Protrusions.
There's a bit of thread-scoring to be seen if you give that interior sleeve an uber-close examination, but aside from that it looks good. I may simply install the arms with the existent bushings in-place and then torque the control arm bolts to their proper values and see how they do; if I still get noise I'll chase it down and replace whatever needs replacing. For now, I think it's more important to get the stiffness worked out of the suspension than to make sure it will be perfectly quiet...mostly because my back has more electoral votes than my ears, at current.
Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of the painted uppers and hopefully get some paint on the lowers. I also made a few aluminum inquiries today...so, stay tuned.