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Rattling Shocks on Your Van Radius Arm Should You Hack or Replace It

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Created on: 2020-10-24

In this video, Len discusses the options between a quick fix bolt-on, or replacing the entire radius arm for the proper fitment. Check it out!

Hey, friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. Today, we have a vehicle inside the studio, and I wanted to talk to you about radius arms. This is going to be mostly involving rear-wheel drive vans, and it has to do with these arms right here, like I said, the radius arms. We're going to go over temporary fixes versus permanent fixes and some of the things that you might want to pay attention to.

So, let's have a look at what the radius arm is supposed to look like on these vehicles. If you look at it, it comes across to the control arm that comes over like that, and then it comes to the back, right along here where you have some nice rubber bushings. These need to be in good condition. But leading up here is where the actual issue is that I wanted to go over today. There should be a welded stud that's welded from the outside towards the inside, and it comes through to right here, and that holds the shock to it. A lot of times, what happens is, is the weld that comes along this area right there tends to break off, especially over time, with age and mileage and abuse.

Sometimes, what people tend to do, if this was to break off, is they can get a little helper kit that comes with a little stud that's going to come through, and it'll bolt through from the other side and then come through this side. Then, of course, it'll have the stud where your shock can go on, and you'll have a nice nut. The problem with that is it's really more of a temporary fix. You need to have something that's much more structurally integral and something that's not going to eventually loosen up or fall apart over time. Other than that, why would it make sense to go ahead and replace the whole arm, aside from just having it correct right here? You have these bushings down at the end that need to be in good condition as well. Generally, what happens with the bushings is they get dry and they get cracked. If they're cracked, then they're not going to be able to function properly, and you might notice that you have loose suspension and/or rattle noises.

So, let's have a look at the other side over here. This is a much more original-looking radius arm, as you can tell. Everything's flaking. It's kind of in poor condition. Not that we're really worried about paint. But if you were to look up here, you can tell that that stud had originally broken off and somebody tried to replace it with that temporary kit that I had mentioned. If you replace it with a temporary kit and you don't end up tightening it up the way that you need to, you're going to find this issue. What you might find is that the stud starts to pull away from the radius arm itself, and then, of course, that stud that's going through is going to expand the hole inside the radius arm, which, of course, would be a major issue. If this happens, you're probably going to hear some rattling driving down the road, and you might even feel loose suspension, as I notated before. With that said, though, let's move back here to these bushings, and you can see what I was talking about, about the cracked bushings. This is obviously no good. In all honesty, I don't understand why somebody would have just tried to do this when they can see that their bushings are no good back there. You would just replace this whole arm. It's very easy to do, and of course, as you saw, it comes with the stud already pre-attached, which is the safest method because it's welded right on.

So, as you can tell, this right here is a very temporary fix, especially since it might potentially loosen up for you. For me, personally, what I would prefer to do would be to replace the whole radius arm, right here, because not only does it come with the stud welded on there, and it's extremely safe and secure, but of course, it's going to come with the new bushings as well, which, once again, is more safe.

Okay, friends, so we tried to give you a nice informational video about the difference between a temporary fix for your radius arms or a permanent fix for your radius arms. I'm going to let you make up your own decisions. You do you, boo-boo. But, essentially, the temporary fix is good to get you up the road, or even down the road for a short while, but definitely want to go with the permanent fix. With that said, I hope you like the video. If you did, smash on the like button for me. It would mean the world. While you're at it, why don't you go ahead and subscribe and ring the bell? That way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

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