93 ford aerostar

my problem is that on some days my van wont start so im thinking distributor cap. now i took it to a repair shop and they said that was the problem and also i need a tune up and wires and they quoted me $600.00 to
put new wires and new cap and air filter and fuel filter so my question is $600.00 to much to pay?.and is there any way i can do it myself with a book or anything else. by the way i am a woman could that be why the price is so high. please help.
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klmmatt wrote:

$600 is a lot for that; it should be $300 or less for plugs, wires, cap & filters. If you want to try it on your own, get the FACTORY Shop Manual from eBay (used) or from www.helminc.com (for new). You should also have a set of socket & open-end wrenches, a test light, a torque wrench, and a code reader. The first thing I would do is put in fresh spark plugs, which go a long way toward helping a car start. Another design weakness preventing a quick cold start is the Idle Air Control valve that wears out over the years & miles.
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Sharon K. Cooke wrote:

I agree, $600 is WAY too much. Around $300 would be reasonable because the Aerostar is so difficult to work on, considering dealer labor and parts. Being a woman may make a DIY repair easier, as your hands and arms may tend to be smaller than the average gorilla male technician. ;) I did a quick search for manuals on Ebay. There are a couple of paper EVTMs (Electrical diagrams) but I didn't find any of the main service manuals in paper form. For a complete set there would be 3 books (EVTM, PCED, and Volume H). There are lots of CDs though, and they cover all of the material in the 3 books. The Ford service manuals have been available on CD since 1992. They take a little getting used to but are the same info as in the paper manuals. Here's one: http://makeashorterlink.com/?K24352ADD . This is a (possibly illegal?) copy of the CD used in the dealerships. To do the tune up may take up a weekend the first time if you havent attempted to work on your car before. It would be good to have a knowledgable friend for backup. With the proper tools, as mentioned earlier, it should cost ~$120 using good parts. Use Motorcraft plugs and good (~$70) plug wires. Good luck.
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..
As a summat advanced DIY with relatively small hands... I recall doing rotor, cap and wires in about 2 1/2 hours. Wire routing takes longer than anything else.. and I still didnt get it exactly right.
Plugs were done another time as I only have short rations of patience. The right (passenger) bank took about an hour.
I'd suggest the OP remove the engine cover and make sure of the present wire routing (though it may be wrong, if it's been done before) maybe take a picture. Then inform whatever shop selected that the job should duplicate the stock routing.
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klmmatt wrote:

is there any way i can do it myself with a book

I have owned a '91 Aerostar and currently own a '93 Aerostar and a '96 Aerostar. Between the three vehicles I have put on about 700K miles and the '93 and '96 are still going strong. First off, if you've never replaced spark plugs on anything, the Aerostar is not a vehicle to learn on. I've seen a dealership tech take four hours to replace the plugs and wires and simply give up. $600 is too high, but it all depends on what they are going to do to it. As far as spark plugs on this vehicle, I only recommend Autolite or Motorcraft double platinum. If I had to recommend one brand of plug wire, it would have to be Motorcraft. Do NOT put cheap plug wires on this vehicle. You will regret it within 5K miles. The A4LD tranny on this vehicle will last a long time if it is serviced regularly. If you forget about the tranny you will regret it later. My procedure for replacing the plugs: The left side can be gotten from the front. The two front right side plugs are accessible by taking the tire off. The back right plug you get from underneath. The proper sockets, extensions and ratchets are a necessity. YMMV.
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Yeah, did my own as well. Certainly not a 'learner' vehicle. I didn't have to go underneath for any of mine, but I have skinny arms. ;) Mine ran like a top at 108K miles until some bozo in an Astro (hate those durn-ugly vans) t-boned it. It was most uncomfortable.
G

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