Aloha: 2007 ST 2wd Suspension - shocks questions

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DaBoss

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@DaBoss If you want to learn this truck so that you can do some or most of your own work, you may want to invest in a 2007 Ford Sport Trac Shop and Service Manual.

Look around the internet, and sometimes you can pick up a good deal on eBay. I like the old fashion book versions, but some people are fine with just the computer CD version, which would probably be cheaper.

A set of manuals will help you tremendously in learning how to work on your own truck. A good manual set will pay for itself many times over.

Also, I have a fairly expensive ODB2 reader, but my oldest son has this one.

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool for iPhone & Android

It's not going to give you everything, but it's simple, and it'll point you in the right direction when something goes wrong. It will really help you keep your truck in tip-top shape, and if something goes wrong can help you diagnose problems in your cars and trucks. You'll be able to come on this and other forums with the trouble codes, which will help people like me help you much easier.

Good luck!
Aloha Evox, thank you for all the information. I try to do as much as I can, given my space, etc. I am blessed to have a great mechanic that was once the head/master mechanic at our local Ford dealership. I would always buy parts from this place then some things came up where I didn't think I could do the job as well, a friend who runs the parts department told me about this mechanic they all go to on the side! I couldn't believe it, this gentleman has a lift, etc in his garage! It's pretty incredible and he is so fair with us, that I give him extra. He has saved my wife and I $1000's. So, for the rear strut/springs I just received the large box with the rear Monroe Quick Struts that folks on here seem to like, I will let him install these as he can put my truck up and also look at other issues going on underneath. I have never had a Cel yet for my EGR valve but may attempt to take it off to clean it or put on a new one. I will ask my mechanic by chance, what it would cost to clean it out or replace. BTW I also have an older 96' Powerstroke, now there is room underneath to work there so I have changed my own oil, added in a good oil filter system, I have done electrical repairs in the engine, changed out the air-intake system, etc. I love the room in that vehicle to work, lol! Mahalo!
 

Mike Palguta

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I've given myself a few days to stew over Evox's comments regarding the oversimplified procedures for replacing the EGR valve. I have had a heart-to-heart discussion with the service manager at Bob Boyd Ford, and we went through the parts and procedures for this repair. They spent a total of 5 hours on the R&R, and the parts total was $220.00 (new EGR valve, bracket, downtube to exhaust manifold, electrical connector). Bear in mind, this was the original EGR valve, (164,000 miles) never once having been removed even for cleaning. With all due respect Evox, 30 minutes for this R&R, given the parameters I outlined, is bunk. There, I said it. Any others with similar work done, chime in please.
 

Evox

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I've given myself a few days to stew over Evox's comments regarding the oversimplified procedures for replacing the EGR valve. I have had a heart-to-heart discussion with the service manager at Bob Boyd Ford, and we went through the parts and procedures for this repair. They spent a total of 5 hours on the R&R, and the parts total was $220.00 (new EGR valve, bracket, downtube to exhaust manifold, electrical connector). Bear in mind, this was the original EGR valve, (164,000 miles) never once having been removed even for cleaning. With all due respect Evox, 30 minutes for this R&R, given the parameters I outlined, is bunk. There, I said it. Any others with similar work done, chime in please.

...bunk?

You realize you've changed the variables. You've added jobs and parts.

Originally you said replacing an EGR valve was a complicated $800 job. It isn't.

In my opinion, it's one of the easier jobs a DIYer might try to do for the cost of parts. But EVEN IF you paid a competent mechanic to do it, they're not going to charge you 5 hours of labor. Here is a more realistic estimate for that job in your zip code:


$379.61 includes $100.99 labor (not 5 hours), $256.20 parts (while you can get it cheaper, that's a bit more than buying a Motorcraft EGR valve at a parts store) 22.42 tax.

For comparison on a 4.0L (my truck), the estimate shows this in your zip code:


$273.70 That includes $100.99 labor (ridiculous I did it in 5 minutes), $158.81 (I can get a Motorcraft EGR valve for $87 at O'Reilly's), and $13.90 tax.

I'd encourage anyone with a modest amount of mechanical skills or motivation to do it themselves. I stand by my statement; regardless of the book hours, a competent mechanic can replace an EGR valve on a 4.6L in under 30 minutes. For 4,0L, 5 minutes. Neither jobs are complicated or expensive.

With that said, I think $379.61 is a lot closer to a fair estimate than $800.00, which is what you originally posted.

I don't know what rate Ford dealerships charge, but I know they will charge on the high side for labor because it's a dealership and some of these dealerships are absolutely beautiful.

Replacing the downpipe is easier, but it probably requires some heat and muscle to get it off. The biggest PIA on getting the EGR valve off on 4.6L is getting the (2)10mm bolts off that hold it on. Mainly because of their location and rear-facing orientation.

As to the other jobs you've listed, I can't imagine why your tech would have to replace the bracket or pigtail connector. Did he break it?

This isn't a contest. I'm a fairly competent wrench, and I'm talking from actual personal experience.

PS: IF you can't or don't want to do your own work, I suggest finding a competent and honest independent mechanic. Dealerships are good for recalls, warranty work, and perhaps electrical diagnostics. Otherwise, I would not use them; you are paying for beautiful dealerships.
 
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DaBoss

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...bunk?

You realize you've changed the variables. You've added jobs and parts.

Originally you said replacing an EGR valve was a complicated $800 job. It isn't.

In my opinion, it's one of the easier jobs a DIYer might try to do for the cost of parts. But EVEN IF you paid a competent mechanic to do it, they're not going to charge you 5 hours of labor. Here is a more realistic estimate for that job in your zip code:


$379.61 includes $100.99 labor (not 5 hours), $256.20 parts (while you can get it cheaper, that's a bit more than buying a Motorcraft EGR valve at a parts store) 22.42 tax.

For comparison on a 4.0L (my truck), the estimate shows this in your zip code:


$273.70 That includes $100.99 labor (ridiculous I did it in 5 minutes), $158.81 (I can get a Motorcraft EGR valve for $87 at O'Reilly's), and $13.90 tax.

I'd encourage anyone with a modest amount of mechanical skills or motivation to do it themselves. I stand by my statement; regardless of the book hours, a competent mechanic can replace an EGR valve on a 4.6L in under 30 minutes. For 4,0L, 5 minutes. Neither jobs are complicated or expensive.

With that said, I think $379.61 is a lot closer to a fair estimate than $800.00, which is what you originally posted.

I don't know what rate Ford dealerships charge, but I know they will charge on the high side for labor because it's a dealership and some of these dealerships are absolutely beautiful.

Replacing the downpipe is easier, but it probably requires some heat and muscle to get it off. The biggest PIA on getting the EGR valve off on 4.6L is getting the (2)10mm bolts off that hold it on. Mainly because of their location and rear-facing orientation.

As to the other jobs you've listed, I can't imagine why your tech would have to replace the bracket or pigtail connector. Did he break it?

This isn't a contest. I'm a fairly competent wrench, and I'm talking from actual personal experience.

PS: IF you can't or don't want to do your own work, I suggest finding a competent and honest independent mechanic. Dealerships are good for recalls, warranty work, and perhaps electrical diagnostics. Otherwise, I would not use them; you are paying for beautiful dealerships.
Aloha Evox- in talking with my mechanic, he does recommend getting the Ford EGR when the time comes but it is expensive. The other thing I learned about my 2nd generation ST is that many times due to wear and tear it can be tough getting the EGR off of the original bracket, so some mechanics I read about mentioned to save time on the overall procedure, sometimes it's a lot faster and cleaner of a job to just remove the old bracket with EGR and install new as the bracket is not terribly expensive. Again, though, they say this in order to save on time. Anyhow, my mechanic said for my ST at just over 150K, since it is doing fine, not to replace the EGR until it starts to throw codes. Mahalo
 
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DaBoss

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2007-10 Gen 2 has four wheel independent suspension. No leaf springs or shackles and uses struts.
Aloha SWS- well, still going as they say. Replaced the rear struts with the Monroe Quick Strut kits first. Remember, I was hearing a weird noise that seemed to come from the back end, I was wonder if my exhaust hangers were loose. My mechanic in all his years and with this particular model showed me something he's never seen: my right side strut kit was fine, he thinks it could have still gone a little longer. The left side he had to really work it and be careful as the piston/plunger portion of the strut had come loose! It was not secured in the strut mount! It was rattling around. This was the sound I was hearing especially on local roads and hear in the SF Bay area, the roads stink! So many cracks, pot holes. The changing of the rear strut kits made a huge difference and no more excessive bouncing.

Just had the fronts replaced with the Monroe Quick Struts as well, also made a big difference but he found that my upper control arms are shot! The vehicle does have 150K+ miles on it. Not sure if it is cost effective using Rock Auto or CariD to the islands? I have been using these two online services to get the parts. Usually Rock Auto is a little cheaper but tax here in CA is terribly, we just had another sales tax hike and my area is over 10% approaching 11! So, for the front and rear struts alone I paid over $50.00 in sales tax! Wish I were back in the islands enjoying the 4%+ tax! Because I am blessed to have this Ford certified mechanic work out of his home, he has his own lift in his garage!, I decided to go with Ford parts for the upper control arms via CariD, cheaper than the dealership and these are warrantied for 10yrs or 150K. We'll see about that. Anyhow, after all of this, I am sure I will need to get an alignment! I still have some red dirt on the vehicle in places, I don't want to wash it off! Take care now and Mahalo!
 

Evox

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Glad it worked out for you. I'm glad you found a good independent mechanic you can trust.

As far as the EGR valve job goes, that is one job. Replacing the bracket or anything else are separate jobs. Each carries their own book time and part cost. So, if you're replacing an EGR valve and a bracket, downpipe, and connector, that's FOUR separate jobs. An honest mechanic will overlap them, so they aren't tagging labor hours for each job. Your mechanic is spot on. If you have a bracket that's gone, you'd remove it and not compound the labor hours. There is a difference between "book hours" and actual hours. A good mechanic can do jobs in less time than "book hours."

EGR valves can last a LONG, long time. Mine has over 300k miles on it, and I took it off and put it under 5 minutes just for fun. The one on the 4.6L is more complicated and more expensive. I get that. But it's not a complicated $800 job.
 
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JC2008SportTrac

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Dealerships are good for warranty and recall work. Beyond that, you are paying top dollar for labor. As I said, I do my own work, but if I couldn't or didn't want to, I'd try to find a good honest independent mechanic and develop a relationship.

There are a lot of dishonest mechanics out there. I once sent my wife to get an alignment. She called and said they wanted $1300 to replace some components. I told her to come home with the quote. When she got home, I went out and inspected the suspension myself.

The alignment tech had disconnected my wife's front sway bar links; his big mistake was he had screwed back on the bolts confirming what he had done. Had he only disconnected one and left the bolts off, he could have made the argument that the links bolt just fell off. But removing them and putting them back on confirmed what he had done. Not only did this make the truck handle terrible, it put my wife's life at risk.

I trust very few people when it comes to working on my cars and trucks. While I believe a man should be paid fairly for his time and skill, there are many mechanics out there that go for more.

If I had to rely on other people to fix my ST, I'd probably sell it. I'd probably buy or lease new vehicles under warranty and sell them as their warranty expired. I'm so thankful now that I grew up learning how to work on my own vehicles. And in a way, I'm glad most people didn't, because it makes used vehicles so cheap.
Amen, to ALL of that!!! Stay away from ALL dealerships for anything but under-warranty work (that isn't costing you anything!)

I've got two mechanics that I trust, based upon what work is being done. One is for major upgrade work on my Mustangs (speed shop guy that started in his dad's garage, that put a Vortech in my '94 Cobra, back in about '04 - but they had a Ford GT sitting in the other stall, so a little trust was warranted. ) The other mechanic is for all regular-maintenance stuff on all other vehicles (all Fords). I met this guy as a renter in one of my rent houses, and he did some odd-jobs for me like brake changes, shock/strut changes, etc. The kind of jobs that I COULD do myself, but didn't like to get that dirty. BUT, I knew what to look for/inspect, to make sure it was done right. Each time, he did it better than I could have done myself, and better than he was paid for! He now has his own shop, with three bays/lifts, and still does the same quality work.

But, there are still some things that we can do ourselves to save a buck. And the EGR valve is definitely one of those. Anyone quoting you $800 should be kicked squarely in whatever bits they have downstairs. That's ludicrous! If you have a couple socket sets, and a 1/2" drive/breaker (mainly to loosen super-stuck stuff/loosen the idler pulley), you can work on most anything on this truck, with the help of some boob-tube videos.

I'm enjoying getting back to my shade-tree mechanic'ing days with this truck. Had to replace alternators on mine ('08 V8), and my GF's ('06 V6), both went out within a week of one another. It's been some time since I've wrenched on my own vehicles to any degree. Hell, the last three vehicles have been two Shelby's, and a '06 GT with a KB. So I didn't have alot of upkeep to do to those. But it made me feel good to know that I still could turn a wrench, and I plan to keep my '08 ST for awhile (or at least until I find out more about the supercharged AWD Adrenaline, still learning about those!)
 
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JC2008SportTrac

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...bunk?

You realize you've changed the variables. You've added jobs and parts.

Originally you said replacing an EGR valve was a complicated $800 job. It isn't.

In my opinion, it's one of the easier jobs a DIYer might try to do for the cost of parts. But EVEN IF you paid a competent mechanic to do it, they're not going to charge you 5 hours of labor. Here is a more realistic estimate for that job in your zip code:


$379.61 includes $100.99 labor (not 5 hours), $256.20 parts (while you can get it cheaper, that's a bit more than buying a Motorcraft EGR valve at a parts store) 22.42 tax.

For comparison on a 4.0L (my truck), the estimate shows this in your zip code:


$273.70 That includes $100.99 labor (ridiculous I did it in 5 minutes), $158.81 (I can get a Motorcraft EGR valve for $87 at O'Reilly's), and $13.90 tax.

I'd encourage anyone with a modest amount of mechanical skills or motivation to do it themselves. I stand by my statement; regardless of the book hours, a competent mechanic can replace an EGR valve on a 4.6L in under 30 minutes. For 4,0L, 5 minutes. Neither jobs are complicated or expensive.

With that said, I think $379.61 is a lot closer to a fair estimate than $800.00, which is what you originally posted.

I don't know what rate Ford dealerships charge, but I know they will charge on the high side for labor because it's a dealership and some of these dealerships are absolutely beautiful.

Replacing the downpipe is easier, but it probably requires some heat and muscle to get it off. The biggest PIA on getting the EGR valve off on 4.6L is getting the (2)10mm bolts off that hold it on. Mainly because of their location and rear-facing orientation.

As to the other jobs you've listed, I can't imagine why your tech would have to replace the bracket or pigtail connector. Did he break it?

This isn't a contest. I'm a fairly competent wrench, and I'm talking from actual personal experience.

PS: IF you can't or don't want to do your own work, I suggest finding a competent and honest independent mechanic. Dealerships are good for recalls, warranty work, and perhaps electrical diagnostics. Otherwise, I would not use them; you are paying for beautiful dealerships.
Don't EVER use a dealership for electrical-gremlin work!!! They're probably the WORST place you can go for such things! I know why you'd think they MIGHT be the first place to start (it's their vehicle make, they should know what's going on, have heard of similar, etc.), but what I've found, they'll take something that's a relatively simple diagnostic job (again, nothing easy about diagnosing electrical work), and make it seem like it's multiples more difficult a fix than it is. I guess I just don't trust stealerships anymore, for anything other than work that's going to be paid for, in its entirety, by Ford. And even then, depending on what it is, I'll likely do it myself (unless costly!)
 
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