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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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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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13,191 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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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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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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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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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?
I don’t think Ford made ‘dozens’ of slightly different arms.
But they did make different ones :)

The holes you mention are probably for fixing the headlight levelling sensors for xenon headlights.

The sensors are front left, but maybe that photo was revered around the horizontal, or the company just made symmetrically matching arms :)

I don’t have a pic of the levelling sensor, but this pic shows the loom going towards it.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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If those holes are the standard 4.6-4.8mm Ford us for fixings you could fill them with pop rivets.
the headlight sensors that I think go in those fixing positions are secured with pop rivets
 

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Dash cams, catch 'em out :)
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13,191 Posts
This was from some years ago and in my searching, I have found them even more expensive


or


Certainly, many of the prices are for the rear alignment eccentric bolts and they can be £12 + each.
Luckily companies like Febi sell a lot of the bolts and nuts for the mk3 suspension.
But, even using a lot of Febi fixings I still ended up spending a few hundred on fixings when I refurbed the underside of my car :(
 
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