Introduction to Front End Suspension
The modern automotive suspension is quite complex and can have different designs and configurations. However, some pieces are common to most designs:
1) Ball Joint
Connects the control arm to the steering knuckle. Sometimes a ball joint can be replaced without replacing the entire control arm. Some newer designs require the entire control arm assembly to be replaced.
2) Stabilizer Bar Link
Connects the stabilizer bar to the front suspension.
3) Outer Tie Rod End
This piece allows for the steering rack to turn the front wheels. The outer tie rod end connects to the inner tie rod end that is usually part of the steering rack.
4) Upper Control Arm
Allows for suspension travel while maintaining control of the vehicle. Depending on design either the ball joint or entire assembly may need to be replaced when worn.
5) Lower Control Arm
Allows for steering and suspension travel. Depending on the design, the ball joint may be replaced or the entire Control Arm assembly must be replaced if the joint is worn.