Chevy/GMC 1500 Upper Control Arms: Everything You Need To Know


Stamped Steel, Aluminum, and Cast Steel Control Arms

For the 2014-2016 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 trucks, GM offered three different upper control arms: stamped steel, aluminum, and cast steel. Additionally, in 2014-2016 GM truck had two different knuckles—aluminum and steel—each with different ball joint hole sizes.

Stamped steel and aluminum arms have a larger ball joint that fit the same knuckle. Steel knuckles with Cast steel control arms had smaller ball joint holes that match the cast steel arms only. This is the same setup found on 2007-2014 models. Cast steel and cast aluminum arms have retention clips on the ball joint so if the ball joint cup becomes distorted, it does not fail.

New Stamped Steel Arm Design

The NEW stamped steel arms have a ball joint that is sandwiched between the upper and lower pieces of the arm with a relatively small surface area for ball joint retention with no supporting clips.  If these cups distort, the ball joint fails and falls out.

GM 1500 trucks built after April 1, 2016 are stamped steel arms mated to smaller steel knuckles with the larger of the two ball joints. Basically, they are using the larger ball joint from the aluminum arm and putting it in a stamped arm and mating it to a smaller steel knuckle.

For the 2014-2017 GM 1500 trucks, ReadyLIFT offers two versions of our 4” SST lift kit. This is determined by which upper control arm that your truck currently has.

69-3414 – Aluminum and Stamped Steel UCA trucks.

69-3416 – Black Cast steel UCA trucks.

To safely level your GM 1500 with stamped steel control arms, you can use our 66-3085 leveling kit. However, we recommend that you augment the installation with a set of aftermarket upper control arms to prevent factory ball joint failure.

Bottom Line

If your truck has stamped steel upper control arms and you want to level or 6″ lift your truck—you will need to install either an aftermarket upper control arm OR purchase the factory aluminum upper control arms to replace your stamped control arms. There is no failure issue with the factory aluminum control arms, the ball joints are the same.


If your truck has stamped steel control arms, you can install our ReadyLIFT 4″ SST Lift Kits which replaces the upper control arms and all problems are solved.

Stamped Steel Control Arm Forged Aluminum Control Arm

(stamped steel control arm) Stamped Steel Upper Control Arm – AVV code

(Cast aluminum control arm) Cast Aluminum Upper Control Arm

(Cast steel control arm) Cast Steel Upper Control Arm – 2007-up version


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11 thoughts on “Chevy/GMC 1500 Upper Control Arms: Everything You Need To Know

  1. Suburban /6" lift?
    By: Carlos

    Ok so i hve a 93suburban tryna put 35s with 22inch rim but i have continental kit so it sits lower how many inches do i have to go so it will clear?? Anything helps

  2. Leveling with Upper Control Arms?
    By: Jeff

    Chevy/GMC 1500 Upper Control Arms: Everything You Need To Know – I’m not absolutely clear, so to clarify are you saying that if you have the Stock Stamped Steel control arms on an 18′ Chevy 1500 only if you level or lift your truck 6″ or more its recommended that that you replace the upper control arms? Or are you saying any leveling (I’m considering 2.25″ level) from the factory rake, your still recommending the aftermarket upper control arms?

  3. Replacement control arms
    By: Nick Bernhardt

    I need to replace the upper control arms on my 14′ sierra with an SST kit. The truck originally had the aluminum control arms. What is the part number for a replacement Readylift tubular upper control arm?

  4. Upper arm controle
    By: Pascal Guimont

    J’aurai besoin de savoir quelle type de “upper arm controle ” pour un GMC sierra 1500 2015 avec un lift kit de 3″ je devrais acheter pour réduire l’angle du upper arm controle…. et quel prix !?

  5. wheel compatablility
    By: Kenneth Amo

    With the Tubular upper control arm kit for the 2017-2018 Chevy Silverado 1500 are these compatible with factory 18 inch wheels or would I require aftermarket wheels?

  6. 2.5" Level (66-3085) 2017 Chev 1500 LT Z71
    By: Travis Anderson

    Hi I had a GM dealer install the 2.25″ leveling kit in my 2017 chev silverado 1500 lt z71. My truck now sits almost 1.5″ higher in the front and is not level. My rear is now almost 2″ lower than factory. Would this kit (66-3086) cause my rear to drop 2″? Is this kit made for my truck? Factory rake is 2.5″ and mine is now 1.25″ higher in the front.

    1. By: ReadyLIFT

      Hi Travis, sorry to read that you are having issues. You can always call our CSR team to help walk you through helping to figure it out. In the past “some” Z71 trucks came with only a 1″ rake. To my knowledge this is not the case any longer. If the stock rake measurements of your truck were 2.5″ then after the 2.25″ lift was installed, your truck should have been sitting level.

  7. Leveling Kit Information!
    By: Eric Nix

    I have a 2016 Chevy Silverado crew cab Texas Edition 2wd. I am looking for a leveling kit for the front to even out the look of the truck. I need suggestions on what product I should go with? Also what products is compatible with my truck! Definitely interested in purchasing your product just want to purchase the correct leveling kit the first time! Thank you so much!

    1. By: ReadyLIFT

      Hi Eric, thank you for choosing ReadyLIFT. Our 66-3085 2.25″ leveling kit should be what you are looking for. If you measure the rake front vs rear on your truck, and it comes to around 2.5″ of rake, then this leveling kit should work great for you.

  8. lift kits
    By: Abdullah Nazer

    hi there,
    this is Abdullah Fro Saudi Arabia and i have a 2017- 1500- Denali 4wd so which lift kit do you recommend for me?

    1. By: ReadyLIFT

      To level your truck, you will want to use the new 66-3086 leveling kit with tubular upper control arms to replace the factory stamped steel control arms.