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Old 02-10-2024, 11:13 AM   #351 (permalink)
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Don't see 9g as "expensive" anymore for a major repair just a CODB. Yes the tranny might be 2500 but figure how much labor particularly in a transverse mount. Sometimes you gotta yank the whole motor/tranny. The timing belt kit for my golf was $300 but labor to remove and replace was imho excessive @3000 and that doesn't include having the specialty tools needed or the tiny hands to fit in the engine compartment. It did take a whole day as opposed to forever for me and the shop has a reputation for good, warrantied work.

Having said that, 9 large would cause me to get a replacement, but I don't know what the costs of a new vehicle is anymore and really don't intend to find out.

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Old 02-10-2024, 12:37 PM   #352 (permalink)
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Don't see 9g as "expensive" anymore for a major repair just a CODB. Yes the tranny might be 2500 but figure how much labor particularly in a transverse mount. Sometimes you gotta yank the whole motor/tranny. The timing belt kit for my golf was $300 but labor to remove and replace was imho excessive @3000 and that doesn't include having the specialty tools needed or the tiny hands to fit in the engine compartment. It did take a whole day as opposed to forever for me and the shop has a reputation for good, warrantied work.

Having said that, 9 large would cause me to get a replacement, but I don't know what the costs of a new vehicle is anymore and really don't intend to find out.
Yes, labor is expensive but at about $100 / hour for an independent shop that is 65 hours of labor. The last transverse engine I replaced (Caravan) took me about 25 - 30 hours (2 Saturdays) and that was doing it for the first time in my garage without a lift. Any professional shop should be quicker. (I also took the time to clean every part as I swapped it from one engine to the other and cleaned and touched up the engine bay.)

Yes, $3300 for a timing belt is excessive. I just paid $1470 parts / labor to have the timing chain replaced on my Acura. Dealer wanted something like $3000. Think about the hourly rate being charged if the work was done in one business day. Even if the guy worked 12 hours (very unlikely) that is $250 per hour.
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Old 02-12-2024, 04:40 PM   #353 (permalink)
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My Subaru needed a clutch, but it had 150,000 and the head gaskets were seeping as well. So clutch, timing, waterpump and headgaskets would have been $3500 done at an independent shop 10 years ago. I bet that's at least $5000 today. It was $500 in parts and I did it myself in a weekend. I have a cherry picker but not a lift. Thought with all the Subarus around here it might be a good retirement gig. Do one a week charge $3000 plus parts.

Of couse everything seems like easy money until you run into problems or failures.
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Old 02-12-2024, 05:52 PM   #354 (permalink)
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My Subaru needed a clutch, but it had 150,000 and the head gaskets were seeping as well. So clutch, timing, waterpump and headgaskets would have been $3500 done at an independent shop 10 years ago. I bet that's at least $5000 today. It was $500 in parts and I did it myself in a weekend. I have a cherry picker but not a lift. Thought with all the Subarus around here it might be a good retirement gig. Do one a week charge $3000 plus parts.

Of couse everything seems like easy money until you run into problems or failures.
My first car, a 1996 Subaru Legacy, had a bad clutch when I got it at 120,000 miles. Of course I had to do the work myself being a broke kid out of prison... spent the weekend and did it. Jacked the car up and lowered everything from the bottom. Got another 100k miles until it was rear ended.

I'm always scheming how to work for myself, and seeing things through my rose-colored glasses assuming everything will work out exactly as I envision.

The problem with the public is that 1 in 20 really suck, and just want to make everyone's lives difficult. That's probably my blind-spot, assuming everyone is going to behave rationally, and with good will.
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Old 02-13-2024, 12:20 PM   #355 (permalink)
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Did the home mechanic thing. On the 302 in the pinto, could yank and reinstall the engine in about 4 hours, ditto for the clutch in the dodge van. Converted the ranger to electric over a summer weekend using rafter truss for the come along engine hoist... helping my son shove a late model engine into his toyota when he comes to stuff he cant do or figure out.

The golf takes $200 worth of special tools, and about 4hours labor to pull all the stupid plastic parts if you've done it couple of times and my wife has to place a couple of parts because my hands don't literally fit while holding the wrench. Iirc the labor rate was $345 hr and they did the yearly maintenance stuff,too.

Tis why I saved every spare penny for the last 50 years so I don't need to do annoying crap in the cold while I am 70.
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Old 02-13-2024, 04:48 PM   #356 (permalink)
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Iirc the labor rate was $345 hr and they did the yearly maintenance stuff,too.

Tis why I saved every spare penny for the last 50 years so I don't need to do annoying crap in the cold while I am 70.
WOW. That must be some kind of new record. I though the $185 / hour the commercial Chevy dealer charged for a diesel mechanic was bad.
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Old 02-14-2024, 11:44 AM   #357 (permalink)
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Actually doesn't matter what the rate is, you pay the final price. In this case the total was couple hundred lower than some of the other places I asked that seemed a bit sketchy for working on VW's.
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Old 02-14-2024, 12:54 PM   #358 (permalink)
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When I was the fleet manager, I'm not anymore, I saw the book time, the billed times, and I knew the approximate actual times for the jobs. Our guy was fair IMO. He has been working on these trucks since we got them in 1994. He also charges us $100/hr which is more than fair. It's all set up with a bid process. Management got all pissy with him after I left the job and tried to get a 2nd contractor. They were $180/hr, took longer, and I question some of the work I saw. I'm pretty sure they just went back to the first guy who is now even more adverse to us. I think the Post Office just wanted a guy who they could just go to and have him drop everything else. Not really fair to his other customers who have had appointments for months to get their jobs done.

Anyway, he could beat book time on most things, some were good money makers for him. Some stuff wasn't very reasonable, but there wasn't much he couldn't get close with. If he ran into a issue like a broken bolt, he could adjust time, so he wasn't completely screwed. I jokingly questioned him about something he fixed for me in 30 seconds we got a bill for 1/2 hour on, and he replied he charged me $45 for the 30 years knowledge of how to do it and $5 for actually doing it. He also would teach me those easy common fixes which technically screwed him out of more work, but he had more than he could do anyway.
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Old 02-14-2024, 01:04 PM   #359 (permalink)
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I saw the book time, the billed times, and I knew the approximate actual times for the jobs.

...I jokingly questioned him about something he fixed for me in 30 seconds we got a bill for 1/2 hour on, and he replied he charged me $45 for the 30 years knowledge of how to do it and $5 for actually doing it. He also would teach me those easy common fixes which technically screwed him out of more work, but he had more than he could do anyway.
I don't know how to reconcile the fact that a less skilled person takes longer to complete a task, yet is compensated on the time to complete it. That must be what book hours are meant to resolve.

When I first started this job, I probably took 5x more time to do anything compared to now. I had to read every technical document top to bottom first before doing anything, then read it a 2nd time going step by step. Fortunately nearly all of my customers are under contract, so they don't see a bill for my hours, but paid service would have received a huge bill.

A locksmith recalls that his first call to unlock a car door took him 90min, and the owner felt bad seeing how difficult it was and tipped him $100 for the effort. Now he unlocks a door in 30 seconds and people are angry to be billed $100 for 30 seconds of work.
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Old 02-14-2024, 01:54 PM   #360 (permalink)
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I love my relaxed paid by the hour all the same maintenance job. I get a task and if it don't know how to do it, I can learn how, usually on YouTube, then organize tools, order supplies, diver there and back, do the job, file the paperwork and it's all just paid based on when I clocked in and out that day. So initially it costs the Post Office a lot, but less and less over the years. I'm in no hurry driving trying to make time, or screwed out of time on say the admin side doing paperwork. There are preventative tasks that call for a time, but it doesn't really matter and I have found they are generous. There is also a danger some bean counter will try and find an outside contract to save money if the group of technicians is averaging a long time on certain jobs. I saw a grievance in Denver where they did hire a locksmith to change mailbox locks. It ended up going back to the post office janitors in part for security of the mail but more than anything past practice and bad documentation from management. I do feel good about a day where I get the heat back on in a building simply in a few hours when I know it would have been at least $1000 outside technician emergency call. Now if I could just get the local tradesman supply like Johnsons to sell to me without a contractors license. I can get everything though Grainger or SID tools but it takes a few days.

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