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
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.
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.
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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