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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What ho one and all,

Posted previous but not receiving a lot of response!

Am thinking of renewing the front suspension lower arms and on the rear, the front/rear lower arms and tie bars.

Based upon a reply to the thread Wobbling Crank Pulley, where it is recommended to use good quality parts, given that the only wearing parts of the suspension arms are the rubber bushes, what is the recommended make for quality replacements?

Ford or are they available from Jag? Or another brand?

Thanks and toodle pip
 

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Registered
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808 Posts
Hi mate,,
I’ve not changed the tie bars that run from the subframe to the wheel,, (the ones with camber adjustment) but I have changed the bars that run down the side that bolt to a bracket on the underside or the body/chassis (near jacking point) and bolt to the bottom of the wheel hub bit,,, I purchased genuine ford brackets (mine where absolutely shot) and purchased NAPA tie bars, oh and new bolts that hold the tie bar to the bracket (ford again). Not sure if napa are any good but all seems good so far,,
Not done anything on the front as all seems good,,until I’ve just text this 🤣
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not exactly being inundated with the best buy suggestions, but this is a slightly different tack.

Having read and watched many wikis/ vid on renewing the front lower arms, the general suggestion is to remove the rear sub-frame bolt and on the opposite side, undo it by five revolutions. I believe this is to lower the s-f sufficiently to be able to access and replace the rear bolt?

But watching AutoDoc, he removes both rear s-f bolts and lowers the s-f while supporting it. Looks like it is lowered more that the prescribed five turns. When I get around to replacing mine, I will be doing both sides, so removing both bolts makes sense.

But does this put unnecessary pressure on the front s-f mounts / bolts or is it OK to do, on the assumption that the rear of the s-f is supported?

Next question, obviously a ball joint splitter is a good thing to have but can the taper be hit with a hammer to release it and / or forced open with a cold chisel?

Thanks and toodle pip
 

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Mondeo Lover
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846 Posts
if your replacing the arm then you could use a pickle fork and just smash it in, you wont be caring about tearing the old rubber boot on the balljoint but what i do is wedge a long pry bar on top of the lower arm and under the subframe and lever down and the balljoint pops out no problem, never used a actual balljoint splitter on the lower arm.

you can lower the back of the subframe down quite a bit before straining the front mount, but it basically only needs to come down enough so that the rear hydro bush bolt will come out and the new one go in, just keep loosening the bolts until the hydro bush bolt comes out.
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Many thanks. Don 't have a pickle fork as SWMBO will not let me use the kitchen one. Guess it will be brute force without ignorance.
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
But I'm still left with, is there a recommended brand of front lower arm? Is there one that comes with poly bushes already fitted?
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just watching a Chas Combes vid on upgrading the front sub-frame with poly bushes (
)

Would like to do that but don't think I can be bothered!!! Although in another vid, where he has replaced the front lower arms, and he lowered the s-f to extract the replace the rear arm bolt, on the above vid (about the 27 minutes mark), he is installing the bolts from the bottom with the nut at the top. Is there any reason not to do this?

It makes sense although I would hope that I will not have to replace the arm again for a long time.
 

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Mondeo Lover
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846 Posts
I done the bolts in from the bottom on both of my mondeos, didnt affect anything and their still like that now, always use a new locking nut when doing it though, makes it so much easier anytime the arm needs to come out.

regarding brand, i dunno i just usually went for a pair on ebay for about 50 quid, cheap and cheerfull
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm with you on the fleaBay cheap and cheerful but my concern is that the quality of bits in this case, depends upon the quality of the bushes and cheap and cheerful could be c**p Chinese rubbish that will need replacing sooner rather than later. But what do I know?

Regarding the direction of the bolts, I will probably replace the rear front and back lower arms. On my car, the rear one (adjustable) had the bolt from the inside of the sub-frame so the adjustable nut is on the outside. But the front, the bolt was factory fitted from the outside and cannot be removed without dropping the s-f because the fuel tank is in the way.

I see no reason why the bolt should not be replaced from the inside, so in the future, it can be removed without dropping the s-f. Any reason why not do this?

The other side of the coin is that I have had the car since 2006 and has 200k on the clock. It is more likely that I may be pushing up daises before 400k comes around so may be I should not worry about which side the bolts are fitted!
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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13,163 Posts
I'm with you on the fleaBay cheap and cheerful but my concern is that the quality of bits in this case, depends upon the quality of the bushes and cheap and cheerful could be c**p Chinese rubbish that will need replacing sooner rather than later. But what do I know?

Regarding the direction of the bolts, I will probably replace the rear front and back lower arms. On my car, the rear one (adjustable) had the bolt from the inside of the sub-frame so the adjustable nut is on the outside. But the front, the bolt was factory fitted from the outside and cannot be removed without dropping the s-f because the fuel tank is in the way.

I see no reason why the bolt should not be replaced from the inside, so in the future, it can be removed without dropping the s-f. Any reason why not do this?

The other side of the coin is that I have had the car since 2006 and has 200k on the clock. It is more likely that I may be pushing up daises before 400k comes around so may be I should not worry about which side the bolts are fitted!
You can reverse the rear subframe bolts with no issue.

The front subframe bolts you mentioned can be reversed, but it’s good engineering practice to install them the correct way.
From the people I’ve seen reverse them it’s mostly to make the job easier, or put another way, to cut corners on lowering the subframe as much as recommended.

With regards to Auto Doc vids, if you watch enough of them you will spot a lot of things missing, or items that magically undo or tighten without effort.

As for parts brands.
Obviously genuine Ford or motorcraft parts are desirable, but Febi or their sub brand ‘First line’ seem perfectly OK.
I used first line arms when I did my rear subframe, there is a thread here somewhere on that.

Ford dealers often sell First line parts as a budget brand, and things like the top mounts etc can just be genuine Sachs products in a First line box.
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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13,163 Posts
You can see both sets of my rear subframe bolts are reversed.
Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive tire Tire Fuel tank
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My plan is to replace the front track control arms plus all the rear suspension arms. Don't think anything is wrong but some clunking when going over bumps leads me to believe that anything with new bushes will hopefully improve things.

But I am at a loss regards this issue of what to buy. Cheap and cheerful will probably have c&c bushes and ball joint. Are expensive, branded ones any better or is someone just profiting big time? Don't want to replace in 20k miles because they were c**p to start with, but don't want to spend a lot on something that could also be c**p and I will not know until too late.
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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13,163 Posts
My plan is to replace the front track control arms plus all the rear suspension arms. Don't think anything is wrong but some clunking when going over bumps leads me to believe that anything with new bushes will hopefully improve things.

But I am at a loss regards this issue of what to buy. Cheap and cheerful will probably have c&c bushes and ball joint. Are expensive, branded ones any better or is someone just profiting big time? Don't want to replace in 20k miles because they were c**p to start with, but don't want to spend a lot on something that could also be c**p and I will not know until too late.
I suppose it all depends what counts as cheap and cheerful. :)
Many parts can be bought under two or three different brands, and with a different price depending on what is printed on the box.

Then there are things like poly bushes………apparently they last twice as long as OEM bushes.
The reality being that some poly bushes are rubbish, and it needs to be remembered many of the factory fitted bushes are still going strong after 20 years of service.

Then there is the quality or finish of genuine Ford or Motorcraft parts.
Many Ford fixings sold now are of a cheaper/weaker design than the fixings used on the cars when they were made, and the paint or powder coat finishes are very thin. I sprayed many of the parts I fitted to give them more rust protection than Ford gave them.

It might be worth you just replacing items that are actually worn. A good example being the rear brackets that secure the trailing arms. They are hidden away out of site, and many people don’t realise they are buggered until they literally fall to pieces.
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interesting comments, thanks for your thoughts. My guess is that if I knew nothing and took her to a non-Ford garage and they changed the various arms, I would be happy not knowing what they put on. But I would certainly be charged for quality items!

So I will probably just put on a pair of the £70-80 arms and figure that these days, I am not covering so many miles and all will be fine for a few more years.

As for replacing what is worn, I am not sure that anything is worn, but there sounds some 'looseness' on the os front when going over lumps and bumps when the wheels are not straight ahead. So figure that something is worn, and although the ball joint seems OK, it could be the worn bushes. Likewise the rear arms, all still original. If there was an MOT advisory, I would have time to change, but if a fail, have to do it immediately. So figure I would second guess to be ahead of the game and the late Nov MOT.

Also, the ns front tire is slightly worn on the outer edge; probably an MOT advisory but likely caused by a worn something. If I need to change the arms and tires, then an alignment is required, so seems a good idea to replace the rear arms and only have one alignment cost.
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Clever Clauggs
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4,389 Posts
Rekusu your choice but its definitely a no brand cheapo ,possibly buy and fit twice, it hurts paying dear prices but best go for medium good brand names,though still no guarantee,
You will come to that conclusion after fitting unbranded parts like i have and wasted time and more money.
lower arm front wishbone 1522130 - 37 results found - Buycarparts.co.uk search
Only my opinion but i would try Delphi,Swag,Febi bilstein,Moog
Wishbone / Suspension Arm fits FORD MONDEO Mk3 Front Lower, Right, Outer Delphi | eBay
Remember buying from AtoZ wakefield ,advertised VKBA3575 front bearings 2 for £30,I fitted one, Abs light stayed on fitted other same,paid for a SKF bearing £38.75 no problem abs light goes out.
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know you are right. I do see Ridex frequently, any good?

I have been formulating a back-up strategy. Fit whatever, (may be c&c) and pry they will be OK. But if not, kinda refub the current arms by removing the bushes and ball joint, ready to replace with poly and a bolt-on joint. Then if (when?) the c&c fail, I will be good to go without too much additional expense.

I have read about fitting new bolts; is it really necessary? A good clean-up and a dob of thread lock and they should be good-to-go?
 

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Megger
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2,422 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In searching for these and other parts, i am getting my knickers in a twist.

One ebay web site, lists so many track control arms that look right, but they are all Mk3 2.2 or 3.0 04 to 07 REBA (what is REBA?). Trying to find a 20. TDCI on this site involves endless scrolling, only to see the same things again and again, and all say, not compatible. Surely Ford would not have made dozens of slightly different control arms for every engine size, diesel or petrol and year? It does not make sense. Why would a Mk3 2.2D 04 to 07 not fit a 2003 2.0 TDCI?
 
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