Bilstein has been synonymous with motorsports and off-road driving advancements. Being the first to adapt monotube gas pressure shock absorbers to a vehicle in the 1950s positioned Bilstein as a leader in automobile suspension. Since then, drivers have integrated these products in an effort to improve their vehicles’ off-road driving capabilities. Today, Bilstein is stepping into a new category. They just announced the introduction of Bilstein Upper Control Arms.
B8 Upper Control Arms are Available for Toyota and Lexus Applications.
In the United States, Bilstein is mostly recognized for its blue and yellow OEM replacement shocks. You may have seen these bolted underneath your neighbor’s 4×4 truck. In actuality, Bilstein offers much more than just shocks, coil-overs, and dampeners. They are a high-volume OE supplier and provide many performance products to the aftermarket as well. This includes complete kits with all the necessary components to transform your ride into a high performance machine; Components like the Bilstein Upper Control Arms (UCA) under the B8 designation.
Why does anyone need aftermarket UCAs you ask? Trucks and SUVs come from the factory with minimal available adjustments. When a vehicle owner decides to lift or level their suspension, they may run into clearance issues and potentially modify the camber angles beyond factory specifications. Out of whack camber makes your rig squirrelly to drive, a handful to control, and will likely lead to premature tire wear, or worse.
USA Made With German Engineering.
Made in the USA with a limited lifetime warranty, Bilstein Upper Control Arms are CAD designed with increased camber angles. This helps to maintain proper specified alignment after a vehicle has been lifted. These are hand fabricated out of tubular 4130 chromoly steel which means they are beefy and able to withstand the rigors of off-road driving. Compared to stock upper control arms, which on modern day trucks are made out of cast iron, this is a significant upgrade in strength. Even now, OEMs are using elaborate cast aluminum arms that are stronger and lighter, but unfortunately somewhat prone to bending and cracking over time since aluminum is a softer metal. Bilstein has integrated formed steel bushing gussets for extra reinforcement. They’ve fused it all together with professional mig welding.
We know there are dozens of aftermarket upper control arm options available. We also know and trust Bilstein’s lengthy history of quality manufacturing processes. Even though Bilstein revolutionized the automobile industry with its damping technology back in 1954, the company has over 140 years of innovation with an advanced German engineering pedigree. This equals a relentless attention to detail that extrudes total commitment to quality.
You should also note Bilstein’s impressive heritage in motorsports. For more than 50 years, their products have been used successfully in a variety of racing disciplines. From off-road world cup wins, short-course racing championships, and rally world championships to titles in most of the 24-hour races and championships in Formula 1, Bilstein is a purveyor of race winning technology and components.
Expect Only High-Performance Function.
With the Bilstein Upper Control Arms, you can expect the performance ideology to trickle down and bolt-on. Off Road Xtreme talked with Bilstein’s Head of Product Management, Shane Casad to get some more insight.
“Replacing the upper control arms is a very popular mod when lifting an independent front suspension truck 2-3 inches. We are constantly being asked, “What control arms should I use with a Bilstein leveling suspension.” We thought it would be a huge benefit to our customers to answer this question by offering a UCA that is guaranteed to work perfectly.”
Shane continued, “The B8 Control Arms are an easy to install direct fit solution designed to correct suspension geometry and increase suspension travel on lifted trucks and SUVs. These premium upper control arms feature increased caster angles and improved ball joint pivot angles for more straight line stability and additional wheel travel when the trail gets rough. They are the perfect compliment to Bilstein 5100 RHA, 6100 RHA, 6112, and 8112 suspension packages.”
Thoroughly Tested and a Full Range of Motion!
“We make sure the UCA will clear all of our shock and coilover packages,” explained Casad about the thorough testing the products undergo. “On our higher end coilovers, that use remote reservoirs and adjustable spring seats, these packages can get bulky and the B8 Control Arm will provide the appropriate clearance. We perform real world testing in desert conditions.”
“If someone is looking for better strength and the ability to achieve better alignment specs, in conjunction with a Bilstein IFS leveling package, the B8 Control Arms are guaranteed to fit and perform perfectly.”
Features & Benefits
- CAD designed with increased caster angles to maintain correct alignment specifications with lifted front suspension
- Improved ball joint cup angle allows additional 1” of travel over stock
- 4130 chromoly tubular steel construction is professionally MIG welded with formed steel bushing gussets for superior strength compared to stock arms
- Polyurethane or Delrin bushings (depending on application) reduce deflection and binding compared to OE rubber bushings for better handling
- Heavy duty OEM-quality sealed ball joints provide smooth and quiet operation along with increased durability and minimal servicing compared to uniballs
- Durable black powder coat finish and zinc plated hardware for corrosion resistance
- Easy servicing without disassembly using provided grease fittings on bushings and ball joints
- Designed and tested to work with Bilstein lift shocks and kits
- Owner rebuildable
- Made in the USA
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
Strength, Durability, and Owner Rebuildable.
Bilstein’s UCAs allow for wheel movement up and down while preventing forward and rearward action. Integrated polyurethane or delrin bushings and heavy-duty OEM-quality sealed ball joints allow for flex and controlled suspension movement according to steering input and road conditions. This means that any wearable items such as bushings and ball joints may wear out over time like comparable aftermarket UCAs. The good news is the Bilstein upper control arms are fully serviceable with zerk fittings and will last the vehicle’s lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
The design goes one step further with an integrated outer metal sleeve and inner metal sleeve. All of this increases overall durability, reduces deflection and binding while providing a smooth quiet ride.
Uncompromising Quality Top Performance In Every Application.
The technical advancements, proprietary innovations, and many patents earned over the course of 140 years in operation is the foundation to Bilstein’s success. Founded in 1873, Bilstein was a family run operation through 1988 and then absorbed as a Thyssenkrupp subsidiary in 2005. Beyond making history in motorsports for over 50 years, Bilstein has become a reputable source supplying OEM automakers with performance suspension components. Offering original equipment products and services for more than 60 years, Bilstein is now recognized as a leading manufacturer trusted by the global automotive industry.
As an avid off-roader who used a 4×4 vehicle as a daily driver, life was a bit interesting at times. All I ever wanted was a quality suspension kit that offered more ride height, more travel, and more durability. Equally important, I was desperate for something quiet enough that did not get awkward stares like the circus was coming into town every time I drove down the road. It looks like Bilstein has achieved that fine balance between performance and comfort with their new upper control arms.