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Thread: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

  1. #1
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    I can't help but feel like I'm cluttering the forums by making another thread about this, but the pictures in the How-To write-up of this swap are missing.

    I'm at the stage of adding the 3 3/8" fender washers to either side of the arm, but without pictures I'm getting confused by the How-To's terminology for seals and whatnot. In what order do the bolts, caps, washers & seals go on these arms? Currently I have it like this, and it does NOT feel right. Just keeps tightening and at this point, not as wide as the accord arms.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Okay great the pictures are upside down. I think you can still get the idea though.
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  2. #2


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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixedit View Post
    I can't help but feel like I'm cluttering the forums by making another thread about this, but the pictures in the How-To write-up of this swap are missing.

    I'm at the stage of adding the 3 3/8" fender washers to either side of the arm, but without pictures I'm getting confused by the How-To's terminology for seals and whatnot. In what order do the bolts, caps, washers & seals go on these arms? Currently I have it like this, and it does NOT feel right. Just keeps tightening and at this point, not as wide as the accord arms.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Okay great the pictures are upside down. I think you can still get the idea though.
    I never could figure it out besides the ...just jam a few washers in there answer. The guys are all on FB now Id like to hear what they have to say about this mod to get rid of that "terrible" negative camber. Your lucky you found a set of arms!
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord

  3. #3
    LX User Fixedit's Avatar
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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    I just know once I ask there I'll get richard going "it's on the forum it's on the forum" but I can't find any pictures lol. Yeah had a friend find them and ship them to me, a sweet deal for sure.

  4. #4

    ShiRen's Avatar
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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    There is really nothing to the swap though. I think I just used the end of the bushing from one of the old control arms instead of a washer. Kinda strange they're different widths.

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    My unanswered question on this mod has always been where does your Caster end up? I never could get anyone to state where there alignment ended up.

    If anything I would make sure the ball joint is behind the centerline of the wheel so I would probably stack the washers more to one side then the other.

    There other minor issues is you really want negative camber for a good handling car. I run -2 degrees. I just dont think there is a debate on that anymore. I think that's like 90% why minimally lowered cars seem to handle better you end up with more negative Camber.
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    Oldblueaccord

  6. #6

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    The geometry of the arms is the exact same iirc. These cars want a little extra caster though, I haven't done my alignment yet, but I don't think you can get a whole lot out of the factory strut rods, so stacking the washers on one side might be a decent idea, that didn't occur to me.
    But the biggest reason lowered cars handle better is the lower roll center, corners flatter like you put a bigger sway bar in but doesn't limit articulation like a sway bar so it doesn't come with additional understeer. The roll center also unloads the outside tire more creating more grip. Not saying the camber isn't an improvement, there may be an increased requirement for static camber as the suspension doesn't move as much and the control arm lengths are designed with a certain amount of camber gain, but add camber on a stock car and you won't see the same benefit.

  7. #7


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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    ....and the quest continues...
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
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    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord

  8. #8

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    Quest for?

  9. #9


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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    Quest for?
    My unanswered question on this mod has always been where does your Caster end up? <repeat>

    There is these thing called alignment racks. Some of us use it for before and after to see where our alignment goes after we make changes to the suspension.

    The arms cant be the same if you need washers to make them "work" thats not really a true statement. They appear the same sure. Two hammers appear the same but have different functions.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
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    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord

  10. #10

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    No they are literally the same. If you draw a triangle from the chassis side joints to the ball joint, lets say the chassis is the bottom/base of the triangle, the offset from the centerline of the base to the peak (ball joint) is the same. The camber adjustment in the arms is slotted at an angle so the ball joint does not more fore/aft when changing camber (but this in in relation to the car, not the control arm since the control arms are offset). When you add the washers you are not changing the offset in the arm because you are widening the base an equal length on both sides, this does not change caster unless you stack the washers on one side. Any caster changes from these control arms would be extremely minute, your main adjustment is still going to be the strut rods.
    Whenever I get off my lazy ass I will do my alignment (by string) and post my results, but I am not going off the stock alignment specs and I have no doubt they can be achieved. If you want to know if it changes caster we will need to know the min/max adjustment on a stock car and compare it to the min/max on a car with Prelude arms. You're probably going to see a good bit of variation in the results with beat up 35 year old cars, we will need a bit bigger sample size. If Fixedit goes out of his way to post his min/max caster I will do the same. We need to set the min/max by trying to move the washers and ball joints though and the cars should probably have new strut rod bushings installed.

  11. #11


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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by ShiRen View Post
    No they are literally the same. If you draw a triangle from the chassis side joints to the ball joint, lets say the chassis is the bottom/base of the triangle, the offset from the centerline of the base to the peak (ball joint) is the same. The camber adjustment in the arms is slotted at an angle so the ball joint does not more fore/aft when changing camber (but this in in relation to the car, not the control arm since the control arms are offset). When you add the washers you are not changing the offset in the arm because you are widening the base an equal length on both sides, this does not change caster unless you stack the washers on one side. Any caster changes from these control arms would be extremely minute, your main adjustment is still going to be the strut rods.
    Whenever I get off my lazy ass I will do my alignment (by string) and post my results, but I am not going off the stock alignment specs and I have no doubt they can be achieved. If you want to know if it changes caster we will need to know the min/max adjustment on a stock car and compare it to the min/max on a car with Prelude arms. You're probably going to see a good bit of variation in the results with beat up 35 year old cars, we will need a bit bigger sample size. If Fixedit goes out of his way to post his min/max caster I will do the same. We need to set the min/max by trying to move the washers and ball joints though and the cars should probably have new strut rod bushings installed.
    https://www.3geez.com/forum/showthre...r-control-arms

    I think even the FB pros observed the caster could be off.
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  12. #12
    LXi User InAccordance's Avatar
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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    I have these arms in mine and putting 6 washer all stacked on the right side of the mounting point set the caster right in the stock range. I had it put on an alignment rack right after putting them in (as well as lowering it and adjustable rear arms, etc etc) and my guy was able to get it set right. Unfortunately I lost the paper with the actual numbers on it but it's been a couple years so may have it rechecked and can get the numbers again.
    I run at neg 1 degree camber on all four.
    The stock arms have a forward sweep to them and by putting all the washers on the right side, by my theory it compensates for that angle.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    So you took caster out of it?

  14. #14
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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    No, it's set to stock.
    If you were to put 3 washers on each side, it moves the top of the whole assembly back slightly, by putting all the washers on the right side, it kept it in the stock range.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    pic went sideways but you get the idea..
    Last edited by InAccordance; 10-19-2021 at 07:11 PM.
    Originally posted by ShiRen:
    Nice car or not, nobody likes losing a race to an old 4 door Honda.

  15. #15

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    Re: 2g Prelude Upper Control Arm Swap

    Right, but the stock spec is a very small amount of caster, I guess they thought over assisted power steering wasn't enough. You could run up to 7* caster with no ill effects.
    I am going to take another look at these arms compared to the stock ones whenever I get off my lazy ass.

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