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Old 07-23-2019, 02:17 PM   #1
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$1700 for ball joints + brakes??

I took my bus (a 2001 Ford E-450, 7.3L) to a spring shop in Denver to double-check whether my failing leaf spring could be evened out with an extra leaf or needed to be replaced completely.

While there, I had the shop check the alignment and suspension.

Shop came back recommending replacing all 4x (upper and lower) ball joints on each of my front wheels. And to replace the brakes while they're in there, to "save" on labor.

When I asked the shop to show me how loose the ball joints are, they yanked on the wheel with a pry bar. This seems like too much leverage, versus being able to wiggle the wheel with two hands.

A. Is $1,7000 a rip off for ball joint replacement (upgrading to Moog greasable joints), alignment, and replacing front brake rotors and pads?

B. Should I even trust whether the ball joints truly need to be replaced? The shop guys said no, the joints aren't broken or cracked, just worn.
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:32 PM   #2
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While the experts may weigh in on cost/procedure, I would like to share how, when I brought mine in for it's $57 NH safety inspection, I was told my king pins were shot, & HAD to be replaced.
No problem in handling, tracked arrow-straight. But I needed that sticker in order to be legal.
When you have them by thier 'nards, their hearts & minds will follow. So, close to $2k later tacked on to the $57, I was legal...
Sounds like they're more honest, in telling you that they're worn, so might behoove you to git 'er dun. But it's impossible to say, not seeing any possible stealthy nuances.
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:41 PM   #3
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Unless the ball joints were completely shot you'd never be able to man handle a heavy bus wheel enough to see anything--so the pry bar is OK. You might want to watch the ball joints and spindle while the wheel is being pried on to help sort out what if anything needs fixing. If the price includes new rotors not just turned rotors the price is about what I'd expect.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:38 PM   #4
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Thanks, y'all. This makes me feel a bit better. Glad to know around $2k isn't totally crazy.

Yes, the quote does include new rotors.

I also called another shop and they quoted $1800 just for the ball joints + work, not including any brake work. Of course they're estimating conservatively on their time, but still...gives me some peace of mind.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
While the experts may weigh in on cost/procedure, I would like to share how, when I brought mine in for it's $57 NH safety inspection, I was told my king pins were shot, & HAD to be replaced.
No problem in handling, tracked arrow-straight. But I needed that sticker in order to be legal.
When you have them by thier 'nards, their hearts & minds will follow. So, close to $2k later tacked on to the $57, I was legal...
Sounds like they're more honest, in telling you that they're worn, so might behoove you to git 'er dun. But it's impossible to say, not seeing any possible stealthy nuances.
My memory is failing me. I lived in Texas and may move back one day. I remember having an inspection sticker on my windshield but cannot for the life of me remember ever having an inspection.

What is the requirement? Annual? Done by the state or private shop?

Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:43 PM   #6
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Wa'al... it is crazy...
But not unreasonable.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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That's OK. I'm the poster child for the CRS Foundation.
Can so clearly recall the aforementioned incident so clearly, coz it so clearly still pi$$es me RTF off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
My memory is failing me. I lived in Texas and may move back one day. I remember having an inspection sticker on my windshield but cannot for the life of me remember ever having an inspection.

What is the requirement? Annual? Done by the state or private shop?

Thanks.
I now have three stickers on my front glass: the ancient VA sticker, the 2 year old NH sticker, and the TX registration sticker.
Annual safety inspxn, best done at a shop in the boon-toolies with a GAS attitude!
Basic functionality verification, and a quick tootle to confirm that the brakes brake and ain't broke.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:53 PM   #8
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PNW Steve, I lived in Texas for 22 years. I don't live their currently and don't have my bus registered there, because registering it as a MH was a big pain there.

But the inspection requirement is annual, and the state recently changed procedures so the inspection is now tied to your vehicle registration. Can't re-register until the inspection is done. I think it's a few dollars, and usually quick unless they catch major issues. Inspection and registration must be renewed annually.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:54 PM   #9
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Oh, and can be done at any private shop that has the "certified Texas inspection" sticker in their window.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad1865 View Post
PNW Steve, I lived in Texas for 22 years. I don't live their currently and don't have my bus registered there, because registering it as a MH was a big pain there.

But the inspection requirement is annual, and the state recently changed procedures so the inspection is now tied to your vehicle registration. Can't re-register until the inspection is done. I think it's a few dollars, and usually quick unless they catch major issues. Inspection and registration must be renewed annually.
:

Well that may explain it...... In my younger years I may have had a GAS attitude and blown off the inspection if it wasn't tied to the registration.

If I move back it will be to "home base" and will be on the road most of the time. I may be able to get away with VT registration.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:13 PM   #11
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I do Ford Superduty ball joint all the time. Moog is top of the line and it's the ball joint I recommend. Labor time is like 6 to 8 hours, but a 2wd would be less. In my shop it would be under $700 with parts and labor for that job.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I do Ford Superduty ball joint all the time. Moog is top of the line and it's the ball joint I recommend. Labor time is like 6 to 8 hours, but a 2wd would be less. In my shop it would be under $700 with parts and labor for that job.
Man do I wish I still lived in Cleveland.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:53 PM   #13
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My E450 had 90k miles on it and needed the whole front end replaced. Steering was loose as a goose. Brakes needed a refresh too. About $750 just for the parts but I did those myself.
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