Turns out he cant get the ball joints off the control rods (think that is what he said) so he is replacing those as well and sticking to his quote as long as i pay cash
Got the truck back and man does it ride better! I guess these things were giving problems back last year, I just didn't realise it till they started making noise. I took a look/feel of the old ball joints: felt like stirring oil covered sand, gritty as can be with rotted (not torn) rubber fragments where the seal used to be. They seemed to be welded to the control rods too. I guess the late owner was a shade-tree mechanic.