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My 69 fastback is ready for a new upper ball joint. I can't complain since it is the riveted ball joint from the factory, and I have owned it since 1975. I live in Missouri and I was quoted a price of $400 to replace it and align the front end. The rest of the front suspension is good. Is this a reasonable price?
 

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Well, I'd venture to say that the ball joint, itself, is probably going to be sold for $30 (The average consumer can buy one for $12.50 "over the counter").

Next, figure one hour labor at $100. per hour and $80 for alignment.

Without tax, that's $210....

It's not a job that requires a rocket scientist and I can see it taking more than an hour as it pretty much only involves removing the wheel and tire, the outer tie rod end, undoing the upper ball joint castle nut and dropping the spindle, then zipping off the rivets and replacing the joint.

Hint: In the past, I have chained up the coil spring with the weight on the suspension so when the front end is jacked the spring doesn't extend. Makes uncoupling the ball joint from the spindle a bit easier.
 

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Sure, if $200 an hour sounds reasonable.

An upper balljoint typically runs $20 or so, the most expensive one I could find was $50 from NAPA. That leaves say $100 for the alignment and the rest is labor. I could swap an upper balljoint in under a half hour with a lift. Hardest point is the rivets, which for s hop is no issue since they'll use an air chisel to knock the rivets out. I think you were given a "don't wanna do it" price.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=203238&cc=1132489&jsn=3381

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NCZ2601088?partTypeName=Ball+Joint+-+Front+Susp&keywordInput=balljoint
 

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The shop probably gave you their standard estimate for replacing one minor item and aligning a 50-year-old car. The shop expects to have rusted fasteners leading to more parts needing to be replaced and then spending twice as long getting it aligned properly. A high estimate can also mean they would rather not do it
 

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If it were me; buy this stuff for the upper control arm. The boots are Drake OE replacements. Look for an alignment shop that does these cars all day everyday. This is what they do and if your not happy they can make you happy. Do not go to ' just any ' shop. Use the one the local classic/muscle car club guys use. May require a little research ? Brian
 

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A friend of mine was charged $240 labor to replace 4 shocks and $300 labor to replace the tie rods with sleeves on her 66 Vert. I told her it was too much before she had the work done but she didn't listen.

That's too much for the ball joints. Get a shop manual and do it yourself.
 
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