'93 Dakota distributor gear replacement

After trying unsuccessfully on my own to diagnose a stalling problem, I took the pickup into Procare. They found that the distributor gear is badly worn so that the timing is affected leading to the stall and often
a backfire in the exhaust. Fuel pressure, EGR valve, and injectors are all good.
This solution was previously suggested by users of this newsgroup.
Procare wants $1022 plus tax to do this repair. They say the major cost is to remove and reinstall the intake manifold in order to get to the gear.
The local Dodge dealer wants about $300. They say the gear can be replaced without removing the manifold.
Each party suggests the other estimate is way wrong.
I would appreciate comments.         
DLC
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DLC wrote:

There are two gears. One is part of the camshaft. The other is part of the distributor. The camshaft gear drives the distributor gear. It sounds like Procare wants to change the camshaft and the distributor gear while the dealer wants to change the distributor gear alone. -- Ken
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Totally unnecessary unless it's the gear part of the camshaft that is at fault.

Something else to consider; the 93s were built without a tensioner for the timing chain, is there any timing chain noise, as this could also be part of the problem?
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To just change the distributor gear, nothing else is required except the obvious (disconnect cap, align to TDC, remove rotor, loosen hold-down clamp, and pull distributor out). Once the distributor is out, the gear can be removed and a new one put on. It's unlikely that the camshaft gear is worn, since the distributor gear is usually bronze, so that any wear occurs on it, and not the camshaft (which is obviously more difficult to replace).
However, the first shop may also want to replace the bushing, which keeps the distributor shaft from wobbling. This is pressed into the top of the block, and does require pulling the manifold to get to it. Verify with Procare if indeed the bushing is worn (this can be felt by wiggling the distributor shaft with the hold-down loosened).
But... it's hard to justify an extra $700 to R/R the intake manifold. That's about 6 hours of labor, plus gaskets, sealer, shop supplies, etc. - and that's at a high $100/hr. labor rate, to boot. There's probably about 3 hours of real work involved in doing that.
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Uh, has anyone checked the TIMING CHAIN for wear?
If you're over 80K miles, it's probably worn out.
Budd

gear.
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