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Help...AC Control unit

Hi Folks,
    I just got back from my trip down to DC and back. My 89 200q was very
good to me, only one minor problem with the Cruise. I was very happy at her
    Anyway... I get home tonight and a very good friend of mine's father
calls me up and asks me for help with his 87 5000S. I haven't the foggiest
what the exact problem is or what he should do about it. 

    Apparently the dashboard climate control unit has gone sour his 5K. He
says that the blower motor works intermittantly, and that the buttons on
the control unit itself are non-functional. He doesn't think it is the
blower motor itself b/c he had it replaced two years ago. Anyway.... he had
his mechanic check it out, and the mechanic said that it was the dashboard
control unit. He gave him an estimate of replacing the control unit. The
estimate totalled to $360. This mechanic doesn't work with used parts...
which I found rather strange. 

Lets assume that the mechanic's diagnosis is correct. But his estimate is
out of line. Can someone please 
suggest a alternate mechanic? He lives down on Long Island in Bellmore.

OR is the control unit on the 5000s fairly easy to replace. This guy dosn't
sound too mechanically skilled, but if it is a simple plug and chug
procedure, perhaps he can handle it. Does the 87 5000s have the same
climate control unit as my 89 200? Will the Bentley schematic be the same?
I can't see his 5000 to confirm this. 

Thanks alot for your help guys (and gals).

Osman Parvez
Albany, NY
89 200q, TAP Chip, 173K (daily driver)
85 Mr2, 77K (in storage)
92 Miata, auto, 6K, For Sale (Mom's) 
91 Cannondale 3.0 (always reliable)