98 Windstar: Replacing Manifold Intake Actuators

Our 98 Windstar has 107,000 miles on it. We were having an occasional problem with the van stalling, usually at low rpm's. When it happened, it was usually at a low speed (or from a stop), when the veh was turned
hard to go around a corner, the engine would stall (I know that the power steering adds a load to the engine, and help makes it stall). But the engine would always immediately start. So, this was not a big problem *except* for the risk of stalling when turning into on coming traffic. So I had to get it fixed!
Two days ago, I took it to a local repair shop; its a local chain like a "Firestone". I've been there before and so had some experience and some level of comfort. I left the van there.
A few hours later I got a call with the diagnosis: two intake actuators needed to be replaced. They were no longer working. And a control valve (which, if I rember correctly is vacuum controlled?) needs to be replaced.
He tells me (in an kinda embarassed tone) that the intake actuators are $254 each, and there are 4 hours labor at $79 per hour. The Control Valve is $58. I write down the numbers in disbelief!!
I am 43 old guy who knows an above ave amount about cars. I have done a lot of engine maint. in the past, so I'm not totally ingorant about the price of parts (my rule: always make a guess and mutiply by two to get the cost at a dealership). I have an employee who is a Ford Fanatic! He lives and breathes Fords (as do some of you, I'm sure) and he does ALL his own work, including Replaces engines. I showed him the price for the part, and he could not understand why the part was SO high.
Since this is a family van that my wife drives, and the stalling is a MAJOR safety issue, I tell the shop to do the work. I also ask if he wouldnt mind saving one actuator for me, as I'd like to see what it looks like. They call me later to say that he van is ready to be picked up.
Yesterday I go to get the van. I am in a HUGE rush!! I get dropped off at the shop. I look at the bill: the two intake actuators are now listed at $303 each on the bill. I tel the guy, "You quoted me $254 per actuator. I wrote it down.... I dont have the notes with me, I have them back at my office". He studies the bill, and shrugs his shoulder and mumbles some things and says its correct. I told him I'd look at my notes and call him. I ask for the old actuator. He says the mechanic threw it out and the trash has been picked up. I am in a HUGE hurry to get to a meeting. I have no choice at the moment; I have to pay the bill (by credit card) and go!
So, I paid $917 to get this part replaced, plus $90 for the diagnotic test! over $1,000!~
I just did Google searches and I could not find anything specific about this part. I'd like to see a schematic/ diagram.
Altho the price of the part changed, and I am upset about that, my main question is: Did I get totally ripped off, both on the price of the part (whether it should have been $254 or $303) AND/ Or FOUR hours of labor????
Or is this cost for parts and labor completely reasonable?
Any help would be appreciated. I'd like to hear your opinions. I'd to educate myself a little: I'd like to see a schematic/ diagram, and a part numbers. If anyone can give me a link to this info, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
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Have any codes/check engine lite on ?????
If no, try cleaning IAC valve and t-body first, It pretty easy and usually the problem of stalling.
Johan

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Look, I think you got screwed.
Look for anything on the paperwork involving your right to get the old parts
Look for any itemization involving the TPS or IAC.
Go back to the dealer and ask if there's a correlation between the price you were quoted and the listed price.. both before tax.
Have them put that in writing, whether or not
Ralph complained:

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Backyard Mechanic opined in

Sorry... should have said the shop.. not the dealer.
Go to an authoritative sourse and ask them the possibility of every moving part in a sub-system having failed at once.
If YOU cant fix it, for gods sake dont trust it to ANY national shop, Firestone Goodyear, WHOEVER!
Becuse if you know ANYTHING about cars, you probably know more than what is exercised in fixing your car. N ote I didnt say expertise.. I'm saying what knowledge is USED!
Here's what I think happened... you had a flaky TPS... but that doesnt turn enough bucks if Biz is slow.
Try looking at the TPS... is it original?
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Thanks Backyard:
yes there was a "service engine light" on ,on teh dash, but I dont know what code came up in the diagnostic.
what is a TPS?
any data on the actual cost of this actuator part?
Thanks.
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

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A TPS isn't that much, maybe $50 +/-$20 depending on the model and year. Same with the IAC and probably the vacuum controlled valve (EGR?).
Plenty of stores online that will list the price.
There is also alldata.com, you can get a year subscription for your car, has everything you would need to know about your car. If you knew the codes you could post them here and I'm sure you would get at least a few responses.
Good to arm yourself with information. I respect the craft of auto maintenance/repair but have always been wary of dealers/shops, etc. Too many horror stories and crooked people out there not to be.
Matt
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