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Does this seem to high?

February 8 2018 at 5:20 PM
Jase  (Login jasonbasis)
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Posted awhile back about a 410 build that was leaking oil like a rainstorm and I was at wits end because it was the third time the engine had been completely gone through by supposedly reputable shops. Well after deciding not to give up I found another supposedly reputable builder here in Massachusetts to take a look at it. He said it would take a month when I dropped it off on November 20th..

I just got a phone call from him saying the engine was done (nearly three months later) and that he could not find any issues. He replaced the mains because he said they were a bit scratched up from some crud running through the oil system. Ok. And he cut the intake a bit to match the heads. The price for this work?

$2800

He didn’t have to machine the block or heads or anything, nor were any parts replaced other than main bearings and gaskets. He had to just tear it down, inspect and reassemble. Am I insane for thinking this is about $1200+ too high? He’s also trying to talk me into running it on his dyno at $1000 per day because of its previous leaking and the fact he couldn’t find anything....

Not sure what to think of this...any advice would help...


Jase
67 Galaxie Fastback

 
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Royce
(Login RoyceP)
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Its not 1975 any more

February 8 2018, 6:13 PM 

Sounds reasonable to me. You are in Massachusetts. Much of what you are paying gets eaten up by taxes. He's got to make a living, not just break even on your job.
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R
(Login RainyDaysAndMondays)
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Did you get an estimate/quote?

February 8 2018, 6:37 PM 

?

 
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Lance
(Login 428kidd)
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You can always

February 8 2018, 6:41 PM 

as for a itemized bill if you have questions on what was done and how much it cost? There is a lot of labor in tear down , inspection and reassemble. That's before one single part gets billed out. Ask him for a itemized bill if there is a issue. thanks Lance

 
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Leland
(Login lhstanford)
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How about a warranty/ guarantee? Sounds a little high to me too, but

February 8 2018, 6:45 PM 

I continue to live in the past. I worked in engine building shops and I know what it used to cost, so I have a really hard time wrapping my head around today's prices.

 
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winr1
(Login winr1)
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Jase ... leaked when sitting as well or just running ??

February 8 2018, 7:22 PM 

Ricky.

 
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Jase
(Login jasonbasis)
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Leaked when running...

February 9 2018, 4:25 AM 

Oil pressure would start at 40lbs at idle and end up at 14 when hot, oil not pouring out from the rear of oil pan, but close. Lots of dripping, losing maybe a quart in ten mins of run time. Had a tiny bit of weeping from the rear of the China wall on the intake. The intake had lost a gasket once before and didn’t seat very well, which is why he gave it a shave, last three builders didn’t....
67 Galaxie Fastback

 
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Jase
(Login jasonbasis)
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Quote

February 9 2018, 4:20 AM 

When I dropped it off the shop lackey said a build was $1k - wasn’t specific on whether that included tear down and build - I think that’s why the $2800 seemed so high to me, part of me was using that as a frame of reference...
67 Galaxie Fastback

 
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Button
(Login cliffrod)
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My two cents vs his $2800

February 8 2018, 7:46 PM 

I was hoping to hear good news about things this time, Jase. Not cool.

With that said, given a few hundred$$ in gaskets, bearings and incidentals, the balance seems to be around 3-4 days of typical shop rate labor for tear down, cleaning, inspection and reassembly plus cutting the intake. Not sure that it's that unreasonable. It's also a known unknown-problem project that often turn into a never ending warranty pia which I now avoid like the plague. No way to charge enough unless you charge too much. Pretty impractical to provide a firm reasonable quote on a total unknown project. I'm not surprised he didn't provide a number up front.

When I do take on someone else's failed work, I don't do it lightly or for cheap money anymore. I've been burned enough times. I'll bet the $1k/day dyno recommendation is his way of mitigating warranty issues- pay up or you're on your own.... You can always ask him for an itemized bill and maybe get a break on the price. But if he did check everything like you asked, he did what you asked.

That's just how I look at it, as someone who has been on both sides of the issue.

Edit- meant to add. If the main bearing were scratched from ?? In the oil, what about the cam bearings? If the oil was supposedly dirty enough to damage main bearings, wouldn't replacing the cam bearings as well make sense especially if it needed a thorough cleaning?
1967 Galaxie 500 Red original Q code 428
1967 Galaxie 500 White with Black stripes 428PI clone- car is dead & long gone, sold near Oak Ridge TN 2000, would love to find it.....
Please visit http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/ for pictures, information and video links to my work.


    
This message has been edited by cliffrod on Feb 8, 2018 7:52 PM


 
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WerbyFord
(Login werbyford)
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Chilton says 33.5 hours, $201 labor

February 8 2018, 7:57 PM 

Oh wait, that's 1965.
Ok, multiply by 8x for inflation, 1965 vs today so that's $1608 labor in today's dollars.
That's for a complete recondition, bore, new parts, carbon&valve job and tune up.
That also comes out to $6/hour back in 1965.

The same 33.5 hours today would be more like $2000 at a typical $60/hour shop time. And even that maybe out of date. Still, $2800 sounds a little high for what he did especially if no boring or machine work.

I have one with a bad rear main leak right now, the builder has already agreed to go thru it again and fix the leak, for free parts&labor. And this is in Super-High tax California, not the USA. Schedule is slow though. It's been 2 years and the builder "hasn't got around to it" yet.

Well ok, "the builder" is me.......

 
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Brent Lykins
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Not out of line, IMO....

February 9 2018, 3:02 AM 

My assembly labor starts at $1600 and goes up from there, depending on the application, right off the bat. That's not including labor to do a careful disassemble (careful, meaning, not using an impact wrench on a core engine to get it yanked apart quickly), and look for problems.

There's a lot of scraping, cleaning, and washing with an engine that's been ran. Even when I have an oil pan gasket leak or something on the dyno, it's a considerable amount of time to get it up on the engine stand, drop the pan, scrape gaskets, etc, etc. To have to scrape intake gaskets off that have been glued on, oil pan gasket, timing cover gasket, etc, etc., is a considerable amount of work.

Most of us don't slap a set of main bearings in without checking clearances. Since he didn't build the engine initially, I would assume that he measured the crank, then torqued all the main caps up, then checked main bearing clearances with a bore gauge. I would. I would also assume that he did that with the rods too, just to cover himself. He wouldn't want the engine coming back a few months down the road because bearing clearances were whopper jawed, something had taper in it, out of round, etc. Most likely checked piston ring gaps, piston clearances, the whole nine yards.

A set of hipo main bearings is about $80. Gaskets can go up to $200, if you stay away from the junky gasket kits and use quality individual gaskets.

Cutting an intake manifold is not cheap. Lots of set up involved to do a quick cut. Most guys I know charge $150-175 just to do that alone.

If he's gonna put his name on it, then he probably looked over everything with a fine tooth comb, because he wouldn't want it coming back for a problem that was not his...i.e. paying for a mistake that another builder made.

Again, I don't think he's that far out of line. I would consider letting him dyno it just so that he can be sure the leak is gone. A run stand usually won't find a lot of leaks, sometimes it takes spinning them up with a load to see things.

 
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Jase
(Login jasonbasis)
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Thanks for the perspectives fellas...

February 9 2018, 4:16 AM 

I think after reading everyone’s comments and reflecting that I’m probably butt hurt about his price because I’ve already paid $3k three separate times to each of the previous builders on this engine in the last two years. Its a lot of money to have spent on a mild 410 build, not including parts. At this point I have close to $12,000 just in machine shop labor invested into this engine. It actually freaks me out to say it out loud haha. Anyway, I will ask for an itemized bill and see if he’d be willing to do an out the door price for labor and dyno time...

I’ll post some photos when I pick her up...thanks again

Jase
67 Galaxie Fastback

 
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jim o
(Login FOMOCOLOCO)
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way too high

February 9 2018, 5:08 AM 

granted ks is not ma but i could get that done for half of that. not that i would. the only way to protect your self is to DIY.

jim

 
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Jase
(Login jasonbasis)
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Just got off the phone...

February 9 2018, 5:13 AM 

He doesn’t offer warranty and it turns out the intake was not cut, so no machining was done, just disassembly, clean, new mains and rods and rebuild. He said he’s got 23 hours in at $125 an hour hence the pricetag.

Not sure how to feel, still seems kinda high to me, but I told him if I could get it out the door and dyno’d for $3500 then I’d go for it and he said he’d see what he could do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Live and learn I guess...
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Don
(Login vtdon)
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Rediculous!

February 9 2018, 5:57 AM 

I don't pay my dentist $125/hr and he is one of the best locally. Beyond that, I have a machine shop with over $3M in assets and 40 years experience. Maybe the best in North America at what we do here, and I can't charge $125/hr. He's on drugs!

 
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TorinoBP88
(Login TorinoBP88)
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I dont know, but around here detests get $90-120 for 30 min. $180.hr

February 9 2018, 11:12 AM 

That's for a basic teeth cleaning tech only.

Our local 'cheep' engine guy who is good, but a one man show, is $1200 min labor, $1800 typical bottom end, $2500 for complete bottom and top before special machining.

$250.head for basic heads, $$500 set, before parts and guides, etc.

He charges double if you bug him while he works.


They have to earn their salt.



    
This message has been edited by TorinoBP88 on Feb 9, 2018 11:13 AM


 
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e.philpott
(Login pooreric)
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23 hours for a "somebody worked on it before us job"

February 9 2018, 6:17 AM 

is totally reasonable and I bet they had more time than that in it .... run it and see if it leaks , if it don't leak your done and never take it back to the " shops that worked on it first" which is who really ripped you off ...

 
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Button
(Login cliffrod)
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Next thing to resolve before anything else is done

February 9 2018, 8:44 AM 

is if he does dyno the engine and finds a dripping, sloppy mess- what's the next $step? Since he has been through it, checked & found nothing to fix and built it as a finished engine, will he fix anything he missed before it leaves his shop as his responsibility and expense for finding nothing wrong & proceeding or just start the $clock running all over again?

For the record, I bid my work and once it is deposit-secured as a sold job, that is the price I charge the customer. Just finished a project yesterday that I have learned I far underbid, so it hasn't been a lucrative project. But, since I'm always cutting into a solid piece of stone, any unseen natural inclusions/flaws that are found are simply part of the job. If the customer wants it replaced because of those discovered unknown issues, it's the same money all over again because I will not/cannot guarantee what I cannot see. Any rework charged at full price in a new piece of stone that must be purchased. Not knowing what was in an assembled engine is much the same.

As much as it hurts & costs, this builder is not responsible for what was done or spent before he touched the engine. I've heard that song and dance here many times before about who wrecked what stone already or what piece of stone was bad and how they really want it but now don't have enough money to afford my price. Not my fault or responsibility- they should have called me first.

Be careful.
1967 Galaxie 500 Red original Q code 428
1967 Galaxie 500 White with Black stripes 428PI clone- car is dead & long gone, sold near Oak Ridge TN 2000, would love to find it.....
Please visit http://carolinasculpturestudio.com/ for pictures, information and video links to my work.

 
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Don
(Login vtdon)
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my experience

February 9 2018, 5:26 AM 

I had my side oiler freshened by a shop in Fitchburg about 18 years ago. Included dyno time to sort out carbs and timing. Has run flawlessly since. I couldn't be happier. Shop has since been sold to the lead man that did much of the work. No recent feedback to verify current reputation. For reference my freshening included, Edlebrock heads, new cam & lifters, custom JE pistons, rings & bearings, check balance, rod bushings, ARP fasteners, cam chain, gaskets, labor, About $8000.00

Minor advise. Last year I was in very ugly litigation with a home contractor. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER set yourself up to be screwed with time & material charges. ALWAYS get a FIRM written quote. If a shop can not accurately predict cost, they don't have the experience to do the job. Have a contract that deals with every potential element of additional work mutually deemed necessary. In auto restoration such a contract addresses milestone payments as work progresses. That way no rude surprises. I build custom, ultra high precision machine tools and run my business as such. Absolutely no surprises to my customers.


    
This message has been edited by vtdon on Feb 9, 2018 5:35 AM


 
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Leny Mason
(Login LENYM)
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Bite your lip

February 9 2018, 6:01 AM 

I would not take it out of his shop with out the run time, if you do he will get a free ride if it still leaks. if he does not fix the problem if it leaks then it is time to get some lawyer help, it sucks this kinda stuff happens do your homework on a shop before you take your stuff to them, if you are on this sight much you must know there is some vary good builders here take advantage of them shipping is worth every penny. Leny Mason

 
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