GoWesty Lower Control Arms [Syncro]
GoWesty Lower Control Arms for Syncro: After four years of iterations and testing, we are proud to introduce these direct-fit Syncro front suspension lower control arms. Improved ground clearance, strength, versatility, and cost were all in the crosshairs throughout the process—all while maintaining the exact factory suspension geometry.
• Crafted from solid 3/16” thick, precision laser-cut steel.
• Full-penetration MIG welded. Not the sexiest, but strong and affordable.
• Powder coated GoWesty coil spring gray.
• 20mm extra ground clearance at the shock location.
• Like the earlier 1986-88 VW stamped-steel design, these LCAs accept removable ball joint inserts and radius arms.
• Like the later 1989-1991 VW cast-steel arm, we used the vastly superior VW design split-tapered sleeve on lower shock bolt.
• Maximized shock cavity, lower profile design, and supplied custom-made hardware makes it possible to:
- Remove and install shocks WAY more easily.
- Position any shock in the exact OEM position, or move it ¼” rearward.
- Run the popular and commonly available larger-diameter front drive axles with clearance to spare.
- Run larger 2.5” diameter shocks: GoWesty Fox 2.5" shocks (available January 2023).
• Direct fit/upgrade for 1986-88 Syncro with stamped steel LCA
• Upgrade for 1989-91 Syncro with cast LCA—early-style lower ball joint bracket and bolt-on radius rod also required.
• Made in the USA!
Wait, what was wrong with the original VW designs?
1986-88 Stamped Arms: Weak, prone to rust and trail damage, terrible lower shock bolt design.
If your early-style, 1986-88 stamped arms are looking a little bit porous... you should see the inside! The original VW stamped-steel design LCA was a magnet for both rust and rock strikes. The relatively thin material—coupled with an open-sided, stamped design—collected moisture and grime inside the arm, inevitably leading to corrosion. The thin material is also of little help when the low hanging arm strikes an object off-road. On top of all that, the main flaw in this design is that VW relied on the relatively thin metal in the shock pocket to simply crush down to the size of whatever shock sleeve was used. If the last shock had a sleeve that was even 1/8” narrower than what you are trying to replace it with, it was hell to pay to spread the arm back out to accommodate the new shock/sleeve, making an already difficult job even more difficult and time-consuming. The upside of this design was the removeable ball joint insert that makes for a vastly easier lower ball joint replacement, and the design featured a replaceable radius rod. However, VW knew they could save money and eliminate the internal corrosion issues if they went with a solid cast arm with ball joint bracket radius rod all in one (very heavy) assembly. So that is precisely what they did beginning in 1989 (note: 2WD changed in 1986), albeit at the expense of these two excellent features.
1989-91 Cast Arms: Strong, not rust-prone—but extremely heavy and much more difficult to maintain.
If you have the later-style 1989-91 cast arms, you have probably been very annoyed that replacing the lower ball joint requires complete disassembly of the front suspension to replace the ball joint! That's some back-breaking work. Those things are heavy! This is why we went with the older arm design with removable ball joint insert and replaceable radius rod (both coming soon here at GoWesty—the latter with more adjustability!). The one and only very cool thing about the later design was the lower ball shock bolt tapered sleeve system instead of the old “crush it until it’s tight” system previously employed. That was one thing they got very right, and that's why we included that feature in our arms. In summary, the later arms were simply two steps forward and three big steps back. No bueno!
Check out the undercarriage images of our test mule race van. Arguably the most lovingly-abused Vanagon on the planet! Anything that survives on this van is rock-solid. We are so confident in the strength and durability of these arms, that we are offering a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original purchaser. If any structural issues are experienced during the course of your ownership, the affected arm(s) will be replaced free of charge. Warranty does not cover the powder coated exterior or damage caused by corrosion.
Compatible with all 1986-91 Syncros.
Typically, 1986-87 Syncros have stamped arms and later Syncros have cast arms.
See the photos to check which style is on your vehicle, and note:
• GW-LCA is a direct replacement for stamped Syncro lower control arms.
• For late Syncros with cast arms, GW-LCA must be installed alongside early style Syncro radius arms and ball joint inserts.
• Compatible with any shock that fits Syncro.