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    Thread: IDF Tubular Control Arm Thoughts/Review

    1. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 03:44 PM #1
      **Update 10/6/12** I made it through the car show season with ZERO issues with these control arms. The car made it to SoWo, Cult Classic, VAG Fair, and h2oi (with trips to First Class Fitment and Toys 4 Tots still coming). They've 100% held and I would recommend them to anyone.

      **Update 5/27/12** Last weekend I made the trek down to SoWo from here near Baltimore (~1300 miles round trip), and these control arms performed flawlessly. If I didn't know they were installed on the car I would not have noticed anything out of the ordinary. Will continue to update through out the summer show season, but anyone thinking about these should not hesitate to grab a set.

      Since not many people are running these control arms, I thought I would make a thread about my experiences with them to get the word out.

      Background: Innovative Design and Fabrication (https://www.facebook.com/innovativefab) makes a tubular control arm with slotted ball joint holes that allow for a small camber adjustment. Their design also eliminates the interference bagged cars encounter between the subframe and the control arms at full drop. In my eyes, they are an alternative to doing the R32/TT spindle and hub swaps. I wanted to eliminate the positive camber that happens when I completely air out, so with that in mind I rang up the guys and IDF and placed an order for a set.

      Initial impressions: Build quality is very impressive. They feel very stout, like something you would find on a race car. I opted for a set with sway bar end link mounting locations (for use with my e-level sensors), and sprung for the rubber heim joint sleeves/boots.



      Prep/installation: Getting the arms set to the proper length is a breeze as IDF provides you with measurements for each heim. The only thing IDF doesn't tell you is that the arms ship with two different sized heim joint inserts. There is a tall set and a short set and it matters where you put them (the shorter of the two bars on each arm get the taller inserts). Aside from that, the install is extremely straightforward. Working with a friend, it took us less than 45 minutes to complete the swap.



      Results/Final Thoughts: After we adjusted the toe-in, the positive camber has been eliminated....but I didn't gain as much negative camber as I had hoped I would. No pictures of the fronts yet, I need to change to slightly smaller spacers to get the front tires off the underside of the fenders. The ride quality/characteristics didn't change much either. I do notice a little more road vibration in the wheel at speed, but I feel like the VF mounts we installed today play a factor in that (and the car still needs a proper alignment). However, the road vibrations I do feel are very minimal.


      Overall I am pretty happy with them so far and will update the thread with more pictures and thoughts as I get more miles on them
      Last edited by son of planrforrobert; 10-06-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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    2. Member Miguel Lopez Ma's Avatar
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      04-21-2012 05:09 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by son of planrforrobert View Post
      Since not many people are running these control arms, I thought I would make a thread about my experiences with them to get the word out.

      Background: Innovative Design and Fabrication (https://www.facebook.com/innovativefab) makes a tubular control arm with slotted ball joint holes that allow for a small camber adjustment. Their design also eliminates the interference bagged cars encounter between the subframe and the control arms at full drop. In my eyes, they are an alternative to doing the R32/TT spindle and hub swaps. I wanted to eliminate the positive camber that happens when I completely air out, so with that in mind I rang up the guys and IDF and placed an order for a set.

      Initial impressions: Build quality is very impressive. They feel very stout, like something you would find on a race car. I opted for a set with sway bar end link mounting locations (for use with my e-level sensors), and sprung for the rubber heim joint sleeves/boots.



      Prep/installation: Getting the arms set to the proper length is a breeze as IDF provides you with measurements for each heim. The only thing IDF doesn't tell you is that the arms ship with two different sized heim joint inserts. There is a tall set and a short set and it matters where you put them (the shorter of the two bars on each arm get the taller inserts). Aside from that, the install is extremely straightforward. Working with a friend, it took us less than 45 minutes to complete the swap.



      Results/Final Thoughts: After we adjusted the toe-in, the positive camber has been eliminated....but I didn't gain as much negative camber as I had hoped I would. No pictures of the fronts yet, I need to change to slightly smaller spacers to get the front tires off the underside of the fenders. The ride quality/characteristics didn't change much either. I do notice a little more road vibration in the wheel at speed, but I feel like the VF mounts we installed today play a factor in that (and the car still needs a proper alignment). However, the road vibrations I do feel are very minimal.


      Overall I am pretty happy with them so far and will update the thread with more pictures and thoughts as I get more miles on them
      : Cerveza:

      : Thumbup:

    3. Member NeverEnding...'s Avatar
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      04-22-2012 01:16 AM #3
      nice review

    4. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:25 PM #4
      Now that I've had a chance to drive on these for a few days, I am happy to report that they are no different ride-wise than your standard control arms. I do feel that I can feel road vibrations a little more than I could previously, but I believe that it is a combination of the new arms and installing VF motor mounts.

      Overall pretty happy with them so far.
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    5. Member MechEngg's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 01:36 AM #5
      Yeah i think that most of the increased vibrations are due to the motor mounts with a greater stiffness.

      What i was worried about with these control arms is the wear and tear the heim joint will take over 6 months or a years worth of driving. Get back to us about play in the joints after some serious DD'ing

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      04-26-2012 07:30 AM #6
      I like the IDF control arms, but they do not provide that much camber adjustment from what I hear. They have just as much adjustment as the TT LCAs, which are like $300-400 cheaper. I think I did see that IDF was coming out with a new version that allows more camber though.
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    7. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      04-26-2012 08:46 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by .Ant View Post
      I like the IDF control arms, but they do not provide that much camber adjustment from what I hear. They have just as much adjustment as the TT LCAs, which are like $300-400 cheaper. I think I did see that IDF was coming out with a new version that allows more camber though.
      Two things:

      1. Honestly, I feel that the TT/R32 LCA's would offer more camber. But with that said, I am happy with where my camber is with these installed. The only thing the TT swap offers that IDF doesn't is a tie rod flip. For me, there is a fine line between eliminating the positive camber while aired out (my main issue) and building too much camber in and having the tires wear excessively at ride height.

      2. The TT LCA's may be $300-$400 cheaper (if you buy used), but you also will need to buy TT hubs as well (and bearings, to boot). If you can find the TT stuff used, you might end up spending a tick less than what the IDF arms cost new. However, The install for the control arms is significantly less involved than a hub swap.
      Last edited by son of planrforrobert; 04-26-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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    8. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      05-27-2012 01:10 PM #8
      Last weekend I made the trek down to SoWo from here near Baltimore (~1300 miles round trip), and these control arms performed flawlessly. If I didn't know they were installed on the car I would not have noticed anything out of the ordinary. Will continue to update through out the summer show season, but anyone thinking about these should not hesitate to grab a set.


      One with new Neogen's on the front (me not getting the car aligned before Sowo = chewing up 4 front tires during the trip ).
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    9. Member midwest dubin's Avatar
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      06-05-2012 07:26 PM #9
      Bummer I was really banking on at least -3 degs.
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      06-05-2012 10:52 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by son of planrforrobert View Post
      chewing up 4 front tires during the trip ).
      How many front tires do you have on your car?

      And any wear and tear on the control arms?

      Anything that you've discovered since having them for a little bit?
      Insert witty quote

    11. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-06-2012 06:57 AM #11
      When I pulled the wheels off the car once I got back I gave everything a once over and everything was as it should be.
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      06-07-2012 03:59 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by midwest dubin View Post
      Bummer I was really banking on at least -3 degs.
      -3 would be doable if you modify the towers to pull the struts in towards the motor.
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    13. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-07-2012 04:57 PM #13
      I'm glad they don't allow for that much adjustment. Right now at ride height, I am somewhere between -2 and -3 and I don't necessarily like the looks of my front wheels at those angles. If he's looking at -3 degrees when aired out, he will be at -5 to -6 degrees while driving, and to me both measurements super are excessive.
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    14. Member midwest dubin's Avatar
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      06-07-2012 08:16 PM #14
      son of planrforrobert

      I'm glad they don't allow for that much adjustment. Right now at ride height, I am somewhere between -2 and -3 and I don't necessarily like the looks of my front wheels at those angles. If he's looking at -3 degrees when aired out, he will be at -5 to -6 degrees while driving, and to me both measurements super are excessive.
      Why would I get more camber as the car goes up?

      Will@BagRiders
      -3 would be doable if you modify the towers to pull the struts in towards the motor.
      Has anyone done this yet?
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    15. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-07-2012 08:53 PM #15
      For the same reason you get less camber as the car goes down....the geometry changes. As an example (my numbers are for sure not exact): To get -1* of negative camber when aired out, you need to dial in -2 to -3 degrees of negative camber at ride height simply because camber goes positive when you lower the suspension.

      Take a look at your camber now with your car at ride height vs. aired out, there will be a noticeable difference.
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    16. Member midwest dubin's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 08:09 PM #16
      son of planrforrobert
      For the same reason you get less camber as the car goes down....the geometry changes. As an example (my numbers are for sure not exact): To get -1* of negative camber when aired out, you need to dial in -2 to -3 degrees of negative camber at ride height simply because camber goes positive when you lower the suspension.

      Take a look at your camber now with your car at ride height vs. aired out, there will be a noticeable difference.
      I was hoping that maybe they fixed that problem. Would this occur if the strut towers were modified? The front set-up is so weak on our cars! I just want -2 while driving and -3.5 while parked is that so much to ask for haha
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    17. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-12-2012 10:39 PM #17
      There is no way your scenario will work (unless I am really missing something with how our suspensions work). There is no practical way to dial in more negative camber when the car is aired out simply because of how the suspension acts when aired out.
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    18. Member midwest dubin's Avatar
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      06-13-2012 08:32 PM #18
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      son of planrforrobert
      There is no way your scenario will work (unless I am really missing something with how our suspensions work). There is no practical way to dial in more negative camber when the car is aired out simply because of how the suspension acts when aired out.
      So what you’re saying is that I should just buy these control arms and be happy with what they give me lol? Can anyone confirm that there is no other possible way to get my desired output of more camber as the car goes down? I really tied now, I sold my camera and won some WeFest tickets that I sold and almost have enough money to buy these, but, if I can’t get what I want I almost just want to put it towards more ink. I’m in a pickle!
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    19. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-13-2012 08:37 PM #19
      By all means send a message to the IDF guys and pose your questions to them, I very well could be missing something with how our cars work...but I don't think I am.

      As you lower the front of our cars, camber goes positive. Because of this you can't start with X degrees of negative camber at ride height, air out your car, and expect the camber to be more negative.

      The IDF control arms are absolutely worth the money. They do almost everything the TT/R32 hub & control arm does, and are typically cheaper to source and even easier to install. If you do buy them, spend the extra money on the little rubber heim joint covers...they are a bitch to get on but keep crap and road grim out of the joints.
      Last edited by son of planrforrobert; 06-13-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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    20. 06-14-2012 12:58 AM #20
      To achieve the camber gain you are looking for as the car is lowered, you would need to correct the geometry through the use of ball joint spacers that keep the ball joint at the same position on the arm, but lift the spindle up. This is also slightly accomplished via the TT spindles and more so on H2 sport spindles, however for greatest results a custom solution must be used.

    21. Member 01Jetta20VT's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 10:58 PM #21
      Nice review Mike! I just stumbled across this thread.
      To answer some of the questions here...
      The arms HAVE been redesigned for more camber adjustment!
      As far as the change in camber throughout the suspension travel... With everyone trying to go sow low with these cars, the geometry is so out of wack on them. What we do to help with this issue, is raise the subframe. We section the mounts on the subframe 1 inch, which raises the control arm mounting points and the steering rack. This brings you back much closer to the original geometry, and allows you to go an inch lower, laying the body on the ground. When the subframe is raised, it not only helps with all the crazy camber change, but it also helps eliminate the positive camber issues. The subframe is something you CAN purchase from us and bolt in with a minimal amount of modification!

      Give us a shout, Were willing to help any and everyone with any problems you may be encountering. Innovativedesignandfab@gmail.com

    22. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      06-25-2012 11:15 PM #22


      I'd be interested in seeing a step-by-step on installing your subframe setup.
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      06-26-2012 12:05 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by son of planrforrobert View Post


      I'd be interested in seeing a step-by-step on installing your subframe setup.
      great write up I would also love to see a step-by-step on the instalation of the subframe
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      06-29-2012 01:14 AM #24
      good write up.

      sub'd

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      06-29-2012 09:18 AM #25
      1. Car in air

      2. Wheels off

      3. Dogbone off

      4. Remove splash guards (torx)

      5. Remove 02 harness cover on trailing edge of subframe (if you have one)

      6. Remove the six nuts holding your balls joints to your control arms.

      7. Place jack under the subframe with some padding if you don't want to mar anything.

      8. Pull the four steering rack bolts.

      9. Loosen the four stretch bolts in the subframe (I think they are like 21/19)

      10. Allow subrame to drop some yet remain supported by the jack.

      11. Wiggle loose the steering rack from the subframe, sometimes it's a bit stuck on there.

      12. Remove four subframe bolts and make sure the control arms and balljoints are separate.

      13. Lower jack.

      Then go have some sex.

      Opps you said installation. Do that backwards


      Quote Originally Posted by DUBgoon View Post
      great write up I would also love to see a step-by-step on the instalation of the subframe

    26. Member 01Jetta20VT's Avatar
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      06-29-2012 11:47 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by son of planrforrobert View Post


      I'd be interested in seeing a step-by-step on installing your subframe setup.
      We have a customer scheduled in a few weeks for a subframe, we will definitely do a write up!

      Quote Originally Posted by arethirdytwo View Post
      1. Car in air

      2. Wheels off

      3. Dogbone off

      4. Remove splash guards (torx)

      5. Remove 02 harness cover on trailing edge of subframe (if you have one)

      6. Remove the six nuts holding your balls joints to your control arms.

      7. Place jack under the subframe with some padding if you don't want to mar anything.

      8. Pull the four steering rack bolts.

      9. Loosen the four stretch bolts in the subframe (I think they are like 21/19)

      10. Allow subrame to drop some yet remain supported by the jack.

      11. Wiggle loose the steering rack from the subframe, sometimes it's a bit stuck on there.

      12. Remove four subframe bolts and make sure the control arms and balljoints are separate.

      13. Lower jack.

      Then go have some sex.

      Opps you said installation. Do that backwards
      There's quite a bit more to it than that

    27. Member plastic_bullet's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 12:00 AM #27
      Like what? And what do they cost?

    28. Member arethirdytwo's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 12:06 AM #28
      Haha. Please continue? Don't make my tired ass go make a subframe out in 10 minutes video. Are we talking a sectioned subframe? If that's that case... throw in a notch, some tierod clearance I'd never play with the sectioned subframe without R/TT spindles.

      Quote Originally Posted by 01Jetta20VT View Post
      We have a customer scheduled in a few weeks for a subframe, we will definitely do a write up!



      There's quite a bit more to it than that

    29. Member 01Jetta20VT's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 09:56 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by arethirdytwo View Post
      Haha. Please continue? Don't make my tired ass go make a subframe out in 10 minutes video. Are we talking a sectioned subframe? If that's that case... throw in a notch, some tierod clearance I'd never play with the sectioned subframe without R/TT spindles.
      Yes sectioned... You also need to make room for the rack to move up inside the firewall, where the column connects. You dont need R/TT spindles either, the subframe not only lets you go lower, but it brings the geometry back ion check, getting rid of the positive camber with airlift struts.



      You can trim the stock rubber seal and flip it.^



      This is without R spindles running airlift slam xls ^


    30. Member arethirdytwo's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 09:58 AM #30
      Nice. Any side shots?

    31. Member 01Jetta20VT's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 10:08 AM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by arethirdytwo View Post
      Nice. Any side shots?
      I dont have any with his wheels on. This is the only half decent shot I have...


    32. Member arethirdytwo's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 10:12 AM #32
      Nice. I'd have to bow out, maybe a half inch section? If I went down an inch I would have to trim/section my skirts and bumper. I'd also have to actually tub the inner wells. Would be fun though

    33. Member 01Jetta20VT's Avatar
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      06-30-2012 02:18 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by arethirdytwo View Post
      Nice. I'd have to bow out, maybe a half inch section? If I went down an inch I would have to trim/section my skirts and bumper. I'd also have to actually tub the inner wells. Would be fun though
      With a half inch section, you wouldn't need to trim the firewall for the steering rack

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      07-18-2012 09:33 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by 01Jetta20VT View Post
      We have a customer scheduled in a few weeks for a subframe, we will definitely do a write up!
      Any update on a write up?
      Quote Originally Posted by TeamZleep View Post
      Old guy walked up and said: "You know washing your car doesn't make it faster, right?"
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    35. Member son of planrforrobert's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 08:01 PM #35
      Reviving this. I made it through the car show season with ZERO issues with these control arms. The car made it to SoWo, Cult Classic, VAG Fair, and h2oi (with trips to First Class Fitment and Toys 4 Tots still coming). They've 100% held and I would recommend them to anyone.
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