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Handling Package or not?

'95Executive

New member
1
1
1
Hi all,
I have a '95 executive with about 70k miles. It was a bit of a barn find, and all of my ball joints are bad, as well as the bushings on the control arms where they attach to the frame rail. Its much cheaper to just purchase the whole control arm rather than bushings and ball joints, but I came upon an issue when rockauto offered control arms with and without the handling package. I have no idea if my car has the handling package, are there any ways to tell? and if not, are the parts interchangeable? Thank you for your time.
 

Brian J. Patterson

Active member
137
68
28
Northern Illinois
Hi all,
I have a '95 executive with about 70k miles. It was a bit of a barn find, and all of my ball joints are bad, as well as the bushings on the control arms where they attach to the frame rail. Its much cheaper to just purchase the whole control arm rather than bushings and ball joints, but I came upon an issue when rockauto offered control arms with and without the handling package. I have no idea if my car has the handling package, are there any ways to tell? and if not, are the parts interchangeable? Thank you for your time.
Hi, '95Executive.

You probably didn't have the handling package from the factory. If you can find a copy of the broadcast sheet (frequently but not always found on the underside of the back seat bottom,) that would tell you. Another way would be to measure the diameter (thickness) of the front and rear anti-sway bars. I don't have the measurements handy for standard vs towing vs handling, but someone else here will.

For the control arms, from what I can find, the only difference will be that the bushings for the handling package will be harder than for the standard suspension. The harder bushings tightened up the handling at the expense of transmitting more road defect noise into the car.

At this point, you're already "close enough" that you could retrofit the handling package to your car. Beyond what you already need to replace anyway, you would only need to add springs and anti-sway bars. I'm assuming that with the ball joints "all bad" that you will be replacing the shocks anyway too, which is why I haven't mentioned them until now.

Other than the bushings, the parts should be the same dimensions. Since you are replacing basically all of the control arms at once, you should be okay with either the handling or standard bushings. Just don't mix them. While the car would still be driveable, it would behave oddly.

Good luck.
______________________________
 

G-37645

Hi, '95Executive.

You probably didn't have the handling package from the factory. If you can find a copy of the broadcast sheet (frequently but not always found on the underside of the back seat bottom,) that would tell you. Another way would be to measure the diameter (thickness) of the front and rear anti-sway bars. I don't have the measurements handy for standard vs towing vs handling, but someone else here will.

For the control arms, from what I can find, the only difference will be that the bushings for the handling package will be harder than for the standard suspension. The harder bushings tightened up the handling at the expense of transmitting more road defect noise into the car.

At this point, you're already "close enough" that you could retrofit the handling package to your car. Beyond what you already need to replace anyway, you would only need to add springs and anti-sway bars. I'm assuming that with the ball joints "all bad" that you will be replacing the shocks anyway too, which is why I haven't mentioned them until now.

Other than the bushings, the parts should be the same dimensions. Since you are replacing basically all of the control arms at once, you should be okay with either the handling or standard bushings. Just don't mix them. While the car would still be driveable, it would behave oddly.

Good luck.
Thank you very much for your help.
 

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