'94 Tbird LX V8, 73k city miles.
Had the clunk in the front, looked like stabilizer end-links, got some,
put car on rack, part of strut rod bushings are hanging down, etc.
Inna nutshell, I decided to replace front control arms (with ball-joints,
bushings, etc), end-links, and strut rod bushings. Took 3+ weeks to
get Moog, Ford parts lined up and delivered.
I can't do the work. Gotta find a responsible mechanic.
Garage 1 - Uses Alldata. Sums labor for individual replacement of components.
Comes to 10 hours, ~$1k. Sizable neighborhood garage with
Garage 2 - Mech. actually looks suspension over, sez maybe 4 hours labor.
Garage is a Ford dealer.
Garage 3 - Indicates it might take a lot more than 4 hours. Decidedly
reluctant to estimate labor cost. Small neighborhood garage with
G1 won't even look at the car. Sez they will -have- to, say, replace
lower control arm, reconnect strut arm, then remove same (to pull
strut rod, replace bushings, etc, etc). This would be insanely
unnecessary work/charges. Either they are a front for black market
<something> or, for unknown reason, just don't want to do the work.
I stop by G2 to tell mech. I'll have all the parts next week, mech.
hems/haws/kinda mumbles in his beer. Next week I find he's gone on
vacation (didn't bother to tell me). Decidedly un-enthused about doing work.
Still probably my best bet so far.
G3 doesn't want to commit, has the experience to estimate, doesn't
even want to look at car. Obviously wants to bill, bill, bill for
All these birds can make more money working for prototypical "Little
Old Ladies" (and the like) and they know it.
Suspension isn't in that bad a shape. Sure, they might have to fire
a torch to heat a stubborn bolt or 2, but the work is do-able and
not tremendously time consuming. Near as I can tell, all they gotta
do is pull the old stuff off the spindles and install the new.
What am I doing wrong? Should I just keep looking for a hungry
but responsibly experienced shop?
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."