Front end work estimate... fast response please | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Front end work estimate... fast response please

JStrider

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*RIP* 1993 XLT 4dr 4x4
hey guys, starter died and while they were fixing it, they said that theres a lot on the front end that needs work, so I got an estimate.... just want to see what you guys think... are these reasonable prices...
and is there anything that I can do myself, with my limited tools and experience...


heres the estimate

Code:
upper ball joints		99 88 x2
lower ball joints		74 65 x2
labor for ball joints		390
outer tie rod ends		73 55 x2
labor for tie			35 x2
radius arm bushings		64 53 x1
labor for RAB			172 50
camber bushings			30 x2
labor for camber bush		40 x2
 



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410Fortune

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Lets see, $390 for labor at $70 an hour = 5.5 hours for ball joints.
$70 for tie rods is 1 hour, $172.50 for radius arm bushings 2.5 hours, $80 for camber shims is a bit over an 1 hour.
So basically a 10 hour day for all this.
Thats about double what it might take me with my tools working alone, though since all of this is front end work I think they are a bit high on the labor. Meaning you already have the knuckle apart for ball joints the cmaber shims are part of the upper ball joint job. I would expect this work to take me about 5-6 hours total if I was working for a friend instead of making a weekend of it. Also I know the front end on your 93 like the back of my hand.

You can expect this number to increase as well because they left out quite a few things I can see already.

The prices for their parts are WAY up there, you're looking at $350 just for 4 ball joints, they run about $35-50 a piece. But this is to be expected when you buy your parts from a shop.


Also there is NO reason to replace camber shims unless you lower or lifted IMO, the stock shims can be adjusted to bring the camber alignment back into spec.
Why do they want to sell you camber shims? Camber shims literally take 10 minutes to install max when you already had the knuckle off, etc.

Now why in the world anyone would replace one radius arm bushing is beyond me.

Your looking at a total of $1340 for front end work according to this estimate, I would get a second and third opinion. Also ask them why they didn't tell you about other costs that will be included in the final estimate (or costs that are included in this one, but not listed) like re-packing the wheel bearings which requires new grease seals, cleaning and inspecting the brake calipers/pads/slide pins. They will likely hit you with new a new Ford Y tie rod setup once they dig into your steering, then U jointsm etc.

Bottom line is that is ALOT of $$$ for a 93 truck.
Yes you can do all of this on your own, many people have come to this forum and decided against paying a shop and done these themselves. The alignment is the only thing I would drive it down to my local guy for personally. You can rent a ball joint press for free. You may have to grind/cut some rivets for the radius arm bushings, etc.

I am not impressed with that estimate at all. shop around and search this forum.
An informed consumer is not as likely to get ripped off.

Being a 93 truck and likely neglected there are also some other things in the front end that may require attention, depending upon your plans for the Exploder.....you can check your ball joints yourself, they may be fine. Your camber shims are fine unless you lifted or lowered your truck, you may need shocks, you may need all new U joints, the diff fluid should be swapped out, the hubs cleaned, spindles bearings lubed, brake pads and rotors, etc....
 






JStrider

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thanks for the response.... too bad your not closer...

this is prolly gonna mess up my plans to go to moab... dunno for sure yet...

my friends brother is a mechanic so I'm gonna see if he'll come with me to check it out... and i'm definently gonna get a few more estimates....

the mechanic put 2 Radius arm bushings on the quote... but the guy at the desk said he was sure there was only one... I told him I was sure there were 2... but I still wrote down 1

might cancel/delay my moab/explore utah plans for the 2.5 weeks between semesters and work on my car in the parking lot by the dorms... be way bummed about missing you guys if thats what I do.... :(

thanks again for the response, I'll let y'all know what happens after I've been there and seen it and whatnot...
 






410Fortune

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there are 4 ea radius arm bushings in the kit along with 2 nylon donut spacers.
 






JStrider

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ok... so after talking with my buddy, i'm gonna go for it, and try to do it myself... he's gonna help me,

gotta figure out what exactly to buy, got any recomendations for brands and whatnot? I dont mind spending a little more to get quality parts

are there any things I should check out while i've got the front end apart?

gonna have to spend the next few days doing some research and poking around the forums...
 






410Fortune

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great idea, searching around.
the Haynes or chiltons book is also a required tool if you are going to do this ford front end for the first time.

I reccomend Moog ball joints, Timken wheel bearings and timken grease seals.
Also use a good marine grade wheel bearing grease.

If you have auto hubs, now is a GREAT time to upgrade to manuals, o with Warn for those.

If you need new brake pads I suggest Performance Friction carbon metallic
If your caliper slide pins are original then you can pick up 4 new ones (makes a big difference)

Any auto parts place or Ford can get you new urethane radius arm bushings, the kit comes with 4 bushings (2 front, 2 rear) and 2 new nylon spacer rings.
You will want to get 1/2" grade 5 or 8 hardware to replace the rivets.

I am not sure what brand for tie rod ends but you should be okay with whatever the parts computer pulls up.

You will need an alignment most likely, I say this because you are replacing tie rod ends (it is possible to replace them w/o needing alignment) and because you included shims in your original estimate.

Autozone believe it or not has all the parts mentioned above, along with most other parts stores. Autozone also has an awesome website for getting prices and availability on all these parts. I have seen recently napa has a great website for this too. they will also rent you the ball joint press you need if your ball joints are in factr toast. I reccommend the grease-able type ball joints if you think you can get under there with a grease gun every 4-6 months or so, if not get the non grease-able style.

At the end of the day if you do all this work yourself, even with manual hubs and lots of new parts (not even listed on that estimate) you will be under 1/3 of that estimate cost

Again happy searching almost everything I just said is covered on this board :)
 






JStrider

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i've got a chiltons book...

doing the hubs also is very tempting... when i've had my autos off they look to be in good shape... and i'd rather not spend more money... i'll have to look at prices

as for the bearings... guess I cant really tell if they need replacing or not till I have it all apart right? or after 140k they'll almost definently need replacing?

I did notice that I already have bolts in the Radius Arms.
 






410Fortune

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GOOD NEWS
after 140K your wheel bearings are shot and so are your hubs VERY likely.
Keep in mind the auto hub will blow up on you when you need it most, Warn hubs and spindle nuts are a GREAT investment if you plan to keep this truck for a bit or do any kind of wheeling at all

If you have bolts in the radius arms then the bushings have been done before, or you have a lift kit :)
 






JStrider

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well finally got around to fixing it today, my friend looked at everything and said it all seemed to be in good shape... but we had the play in the wheels... so we pulled out the bearings on the passenger side, they looked alright but had more play then the driver side so we replaced them and it seems good now

on the driver side we reseated them and adjusted the big nut and it took out the tiny bit of play that was there,

all the rubber joints and bushings looked to be in good shape, no play there... my friend said my alignment was a little off and that I should take it to get an alignment

I think I'll keep the extra parts for now... take em to Moab so one of you guys who knows the explorers well can take a quick look and lemme know what you think...
 






Exploderpilot

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i don't know if firestone is nationwide, but out here it's 179 buck for lifetime alignment. very valuable to the offroader.
 






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