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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
dmw_4814's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Age: 56
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Front Suspension Parts Replacement

I want to replace ALL the front suspension/steering components on my 1997 Thunderbird sport. Those components are as follows:

Upper control arms
Lower control arms
Inner tie rod ends
Outer tie rod ends
Tension strut rod bushings (both at the frame and the lower control arm ends)

I want all these parts replaced on both the driver's-side AND the passenger-side (I've already had new KYB struts and new Moog coil springs installed, since I had a broken front spring), and I already have all the parts (again, ALL Moog brand) I purchased myself. I have a local garage willing to intall my customer-supplied parts and they gave me an estimate of $950 for the labor.

My questions is - does $950 just for labor to replace all the above parts seem excessive? It kind of does to me!

I'm considering trying to do the work myself, but am a little hesitant. I tried to install the front struts myself, but ended-up having to take the car to this same garage for them to do it because I couldn't get the steering knuckle/spindle seperated from the upper control arm (not to mention that the strut lower mounting bolt was also seized to the lower control arm bushing)! I'm worried if I try to do this work, I'll end-up with the same problems! But, hey - I guess it doesn't hurt to try, huh?!!


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-10-2009, 11:57 PM
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The price is excessive because you are getting tagged for every serviceable line item. I just ran the numbers with standard book times which don’t factor into the equation that any of these steps are coincidental and the labor is at least halved as a result. (for instance, changing outer tie rods takes no additional effort as the existing units must be removed to service the inners and the lower control arms have to be removed for strut rod service). Talk to another shop! The pricing below does not include the necessary alignment so another $60 should be factored in. The pricing is based on $65 per hour for shop time but you can adjust it accordingly. The number at the end of each line reflects book time for the repair. They are doing you no favors.

Front Strut Shock Absorber, Replace (both) 1.6
Lower Control Arm Assy., Replace (1989-97 (1.4)) 1.9
Lower Control Arm Assy., Replace (1989-97 (1.4)) 1.9
Tension Strut Bushings, Replace (both (.9)) 1.2
Inner Tie Rod Ends (Ball Joint Sockets) and/or Boots, Replace (both sides (2.0)) 2.7
Outer Tie Rod Ends, Replace (One (.8)) 1.1
Outer Tie Rod Ends, Replace (each adtnl. add) 0.2
Upper Control Arm Assy., Replace (both) 1.9
Labor Hours @ $65.00 10.6
Total Hours 12.5
Cost For Labor $812.00 Powder & Ceramic Coating

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