If you own a Buick Regal, Chevy Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevy Blazer or Chevy S-10 and you want to turn your vehicle into a hopper, you’ll most likely have to extend your upper A-arms. One way of achieving this is by swapping out your stock upper A-arms with a larger pair from an ’80s-vintage Chevrolet Caprice.
When building a hopper there are always a bunch of factors that can go wrong with your car: batteries run low, solenoids get stuck, motors burn up; the possibilities are endless. Most pro builders are always trying to prevent anything from going wrong and avoid breaking hoses, fittings and ball joints. No car is perfect, but preventive maintenance will keep you on the road longer, and one of the most important (and common) fix is an A-arm swap.
There are two primary benefits to swapping out your A-arms: you receive a 1-inch extension and you get a better offset on the ball joints (preventing them from overextending out of the socket). The swapping of A-arms won’t keep the ball joints from breaking, but it does help relieve stress. When you swap out your arms make sure that you use new bushings (you should also replace your old ball joints with a new set). We recommend the Moog ball joint, which is one of the better ball joints on the market. Now let us show you how the pros at Edmund’s Hydraulics in Bakersfield, California, handle an upper A-arm swap.