Adjustable Control Arms: Does your lifted vehicle need them?
Lifting a truck or Jeep has its perks: increased ground clearance, room for bigger wheels & tires, and the more aggressive appearance of the vehicle, to name a few.
But if you aren't careful, a lift can be the start of all sorts of mechanical headaches and issues. Generally the higher the lift, the more parts you need to replace. Most lift kits come with what you need to lift the vehicle, but they don't always come with what you need to maintain driveability or ride comfort. The most common of which is adjustable control arms.
What do control arms do?
At factory ride height, control arms are designed to keep your wheels at neutral camber (see camber illustration below), or perfectly vertical so the entire contact section of the wheel touches the ground. Too much positive or negative camber can cause uneven wear and reduces the amount of contact your vehicle has with the road.
In the illustration above, the black represents wheels at zero degrees of camber - true neutral. This is ideal for most road vehicles. The red represents wheels with significant negative camber and the green represents wheels with significant positive camber. Many lowered vehicles experience negative camber because their lowering kit doesn't come with adjustable control arms to fix the camber geometry. Lifted vehicles experience adjusted camber - sometimes positive and sometimes negative - for the same reason. Adjustable control arms allow for the suspension geometry to return to its original neutral camber position after a proper alignment.
Any other reason to go with adjustable control arms?
Besides allowing for camber alignment on your current lift, adjustable control arms can also work on your vehicle if you decide to go with different or bigger lift in the future.
So, are adjustable control arms worth it?
We at MPA agree it's worth installing adjustable control arms with any lift kit over two inches. The more contact your tires have with the road, the better your vehicle will drive and the safer you'll be on the road.