Replacing shocks and or a cam/wedge alignment, can they be done outside an auto shop?

I took my truck in and the people recommended 1k in work. The thing is none of it is necessary, it is all to make the ride go smoother but in order to increase resale value i may do some of the work.

One of the big expenses they want is to replace the shocks on my car (a 1999 Ford ranger Splash 2.5L 4x2). They want $80 per shock & $240 in labor to do this.

I have a friend whose brother is an auto mechanic. I am wondering if a person can have an auto mechanic replace shocks or if it requires special tools he wouldn’t have at his house. I am emailing him right now but it may be a couple days before he replies.

i can get shocks for a 99 ranger splash 4x2 for $40 each on the internet (maybe $30 each on ebay) and the mechanic place said it would take about 3 hours labor, if i paid my friend’s brother $20/hr then i could get $430 of work done for about $200.

Same thing with an alignment Cams/wedges, they said i should get these adjusted. is this something that can be done by a mechanic at his house or does it require special tools.

naturally im not going to commit to anything until im 100% sure i can get the right kinds of shocks or he can do the work in his driveway.

The labor for the shock replacement sounds quite high to me.

Shock replacement can be normally be done without special tools. Sometimes, though, there’s more involved, e.g. a seized mounting bolt. If there is a “beyond normal” problem, it might not be possible to deal with it without the resources of a shop.

Alignment requires an alignment machine. It will need to be done at a properly equipped shop.

thanks. i am asking on another board and they said the only tools needed for shocks are a coil compressor.

They charge $71/hr for labor and it says labor costs for removing & replacing the old shocks will be $227.20. If my friends brother does it hopefully it’d only be $80 or so.

My books show that year Ranger having shock absorbers, not struts. While a spring compressor is needed to replace struts, it is not needed to replace shocks. Normally, only wrenches are needed to replace shocks. The folks on that other board are wrong.

The labor quote you provide figures to 3.2 flat-rate hours*. My estimator book shows .8 to do both front shocks, and .8 to do both rear shocks, for a total of 1.6 to do all four. Estimator books are only guides, and I wouldn’t think that 2.0 to do all four was unreasonable, but unless they’re figuring some beyond-normal work, I think 3.2 is unreasonably high.

*A flat-rate hour is not a unit of time, it is a comparative unit of work. It is not the hour we all know as 60 minutes on a clock, but it is commonly called just an “hour” in discussing auto repair. You can see how this can be confusing.

does your estimator book take into consideration removing the old shocks as well as putting new ones on? if you assume 0.4 hours to remove and 0.4 hours to put new ones on it comes to 3.2 hours total.

Yes, of course. The book “times” are to remove and replace (R&R) the indicated item. Trust me, I’m quite familiar with reading the estimator. The quote you got is double what the book suggests.

alright. what about the cams/wedges alignment or the regular alignment, what will happen to the car if i don’t get them? will it cause expensive damage or will it just wear out the tires a little faster?

In order to answer your question, I’d need to know what the current alignment readings are. But in general, alignment typically affects handling and tire wear. Depending on how far off it is, it might cause slightly exaggerated tire wear, or greatly exaggerated tire wear. Likewise, it might have a minimal (and likely imperceptible) effect on handling, or a significant effect. Misalignment would not normally cause expensive damage. It’s mainly an issue of safety and tires.