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Install Cost$

This is a discussion on Install Cost$ within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; OK guys spoke to my install guy today and he said something that scared the crap out of me. First ...

  1. #1
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    Install Cost$

    OK guys spoke to my install guy today and he said something that scared the crap out of me. First of he is doing the following. Install new Raptor 700e Trans, Ls6 heads, MS4 Cam, Pump, Chain, 90/90, lifters, SLP line lock kit, Trans temp gage and piller mount, Dyno tune. I think thats everything, stopped at the shop today and he was just starting to take the heads off. He said he had two full days on the car 16 hrs at 75.00hr. Intake was removed, headers, radiator, valve covers and put the 90/90 together, thats it. He said job would take 80hrs and two weeks of work.[B]WTF THATS $5600 LARGE sounds like to much to me just for labor. I provided parts. What do you guys think. Thanks

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    Senior Member rajiv1998's Avatar
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    i think its a little high but close enough if there a good shop. Trans stuff aint cheap. H/C aint cheap either, and ur getting valve train stuff to. Headers not that bad and the 90/90 is easy.

    Lets say $2k for the trans
    another $1500-$1800 for the H/C
    Another $300 for headers
    Prolly $150-200 for the 90/90
    and a good dyon tune shud cost about $500 give or take.
    Do the work urself, or ask some1 to help you.

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    Dude everything, but the trans install you could do in your garage. A couple of special tools (for measuring and torquing) and you'll have money left over for a NOS kit and a twelve pack for you and a helper. My .02

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    ouch. I think I would've gotten a quote before he started. Seems excessive to me. I would hate to second guess someones work but there's no way that would take me 16 hours to do. I could have that done in less than half that time pretty easy.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    No I disagree....sounds very reasonable.....as long as it's a real quality shop and qualified mechanic/tuner and your getting quality work....yes...that price sounds right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    No I disagree....sounds very reasonable.....as long as it's a real quality shop and qualified mechanic/tuner and your getting quality work....yes...that price sounds right.
    2k to R&R a trans sounds reasonable to you? That's a little over 26 hours at $75/hr. Everything else rajiv1998 mentioned sounds 'spot on', however. My .02
    Last edited by LS1_TA_2002; 05-11-2007 at 04:16 AM. Reason: Clarify

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    16 hours to do the intake, radiator,headers, valve covers, and put a 90/90 together? If that sounds reasonable then I'd like to be your personal mechanic.

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    Member camarolvr69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LS1_TA_2002 View Post
    2k to R&R a trans sounds reasonable to you? That's a little over 26 hours at $75/hr. Everything else rajiv1998 mentioned sounds 'spot on', however. My .02
    x2....why would he charge 2k to install a new trans?? All hes doing is takin out the old one and putting in a new trans.

  9. #9
    Impounded MikeSomething's Avatar
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    If you have a garage u should just invest in some tools & research the installs on your comp...

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    Member SSpdDmon's Avatar
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    I call BS. The heads/cam/lifters/intake should be done in under 16 hours. It should only take someone with a lift who knows what they're doing 2~3 hours to drop the k-member. Then you can fly working on the motor while it's out of the car. There was a guy who was going to do a head/cam swap for me in 1 weekend if I helped. Granted, things never go back together as easily as they come apart. But, 2 weeks? Come on! Maybe if he was waiting on parts or working on other cars. If that were the case though, that's not chargeable labor time.

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I went to the shop and showed the owner the LS1 How To print out that shows hrs to complete. He didnt have much to say. I think he has reconsiderd his approach. It is a good shop they are very Meticulous and freindly, but that dont mean they can rape me. There is no signed contract so I will negotiate if I feel the final bill is out of line. In the State of Maine I think he is the only shop that Dyno tunes. Kinda puts him in the drivers seat a little. As far as me doing the work I do have a brand new 2bay garage and house, but very little patience, I would brake something. Thanks again for the response it gives me a better perspective now.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    I dont see where he says $2K for the trannie work at all. I've read it three times now! Help an old man out...I see a partial list of major component work but no breakdown.....$5K for trannie/gauges/H-C/Headers/Timing Chain blah blah/Tune fluids/gaskets done up right and work under warranty...bet your ass $5K is reasonable.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    16 hours to do the intake, radiator,headers, valve covers, and put a 90/90 together? If that sounds reasonable then I'd like to be your personal mechanic.
    Allen Nelson would be pissed

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Oh yeah....
    Bunch of Cheap Bastards!!!!


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    Member SSpdDmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    Oh yeah....
    Bunch of Cheap Bastards!!!!

    You're damn right I'm a cheap bastard. If someone tells me they're going to do a weeks worth of work and bill me for two weeks...at over $70 an hour, you can damn well believe I'm going to speak up. Now, if he was going to bill me for a weeks worth of work and take two weeks to do it because other cars need attention too, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But seriously...a qualified mechanic taking more than two days to do a H/C swap on a car??? Be real! Personally, I'd say anything over $3000 is pushing it for that list. Then again, I'm from MI where speed shops are pleantiful.

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    The only items I did not supply were Injector O rings $60.00 and fluids. I purchased a Delux Head Cam gasket kit from Texas Speed. That contained all bolts and stuff = $300.00. I am going to email Owner tonight and ask how many hrs of billing at end of Friday. When I was in today heads were off and cleaning of gaskets was taking place. Front of motor had yet to be cracked open. Maximum hrs as stated on LS1 How to are 25.5 if you take all alloted time to complete entire job, ie. slow as shi** ,not to include Trans swap and tune that will be additional. If he says 24hrs for what he has done so far we got problems folks. If thats the case I could have gone to the stealership and probably still saved money. I will let you guys know his response.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSpdDmon View Post
    You're damn right I'm a cheap bastard. If someone tells me they're going to do a weeks worth of work and bill me for two weeks...at over $70 an hour, you can damn well believe I'm going to speak up. Now, if he was going to bill me for a weeks worth of work and take two weeks to do it because other cars need attention too, I wouldn't have a problem with that. But seriously...a qualified mechanic taking more than two days to do a H/C swap on a car??? Be real! Personally, I'd say anything over $3000 is pushing it for that list. Then again, I'm from MI where speed shops are pleantiful.
    I guess I have been involved in sooo many mods like the one he describes.....I have seen the cheap routes ( $3000) and I have seen it done right ($5000) and all in between. Hey whatever blows your dress up man...top wrench/tuners get top dollar...if you want the best turning wrenches on your ride your gonna pay for that and I use the top dogs and they dont come cheap. But to try and compare a top quality shop and it's rates to a middle tier shop aint comparing apples to apples.....I had Clay Smith custom grind my last cam....Comp could have ground the exact same cam for 1/2 the cost Clay Smith did....but it would be lower quality ( softer metals) and looser tolerances....Clay Smith was exact.....and I paid for it....so dont be so all fired up when folks ask about price on any internet forum and lump every shop and wrench together and start comparing prices so quick...if the guy is a top shop then the price is right...if he is a middle tiered shop then the price is wrong....

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    I feel much better about things after getting his response to my concerns here is his email:Ahahaaaa! All this is totally understandable and I'm not put off a bit by it. I appreciate your approach.

    Most all custom shops such as mine do what's called time and materials. Estimates are difficult to give as many customizing jobs are not always as they appear so shops like mine rarely give estimates. Just time and materials. This works fine if you respect the shop and trust that they would never take advantage.

    I have you on the schedule for a 2 week block of time, meaning 2- 40 hour weeks for all the work engine, and trans. Tuning time is really the only unknown variable with this project as it seems like you've put much thought and preparation to ensure this install goes smoothly for us. Thank you again for that!

    Today we had to quickly dyno a Range Rover for East Coast Rovers (a company that uses our facility for testing their buildups). It was a prior commitment that should have taken a shorter time than it did. Pissed me off to be off the Fugitive for any amount of time because I have a one job at a time rule. The other cars you see here are either waiting months for parts to come in from overseas or their a part of my fabricators work. You haven't met John he comes in nights, great guy.. Incredible Fabricator!

    I never flat rate a job of this magnitude for several reasons. However it seems as though we are on target for the 25hrs without issue. The LS1 printout you provided states a max time of 25.5. Again everything so far has gone smooth and I don't anticipate any reason to deviate from that estimate. I understand that a LS1 specific shop could use air tools and with lots of experience doing this particular job could finish the project sooner than 25hours.

    In an effort to crystallize the estimated times, I am comfortable quoting you at 25 hours on the work that's on the printout heads, cam etc... I will flat rate you on this. @25hrs

    However installing the new oil pump, drilling holes in the lifter retainers and assembling the new intake manifold (i.e. swap vac lines, fuel rails, sensors, gaskets, throttle body, injector o-rings etc) are not in the instructions as part of that 25hours. FYI the new manifold is already completely assembled less the new o-rings for the injectors. When complete I will add the hours and charge you less than 5 more at the maximum. So now we are at 30hrs max time

    The transmission work will be based on alldata (what all dealers use as national average) Alldata has a trans swap for your car at 9 hours. The rear end is straight forward gasket and fluids Alldata at 1hr. I will not charge you any more than that even if it takes longer I go by Alldata. We are now at 40 hours. We can discuss that before we proceed if you wish.

    The tuning is up in the air completely but I don't envision any surprises there. (knocking on wood) Hopefully less than a day of dyno time!

    I blocked you for 2 weeks as a worst case scenario. I hope we are done sooner, maybe then I will get 5 minutes to get my car ready for race season..lol I can't let this job effect the schedule and need it to be done within that time frame so other eager customers stay on track to get their cars serviced..

    I understand all your economic concerns and will work with you to ensure you leave here thrilled. I want your car done correctly and ASAP. I am not here to drag it out so I can bill you more hours. I have never seen the motivation for why some shops do this. Its the good blood that keeps you booked. When slammed like I am there's absolutely no justification for stretching a job. My business plan since day one has been to do low volume, high quality work. I am plenty busy enough to grow but am afraid emails like this would go unnoticed if I take more on, I could loose quality control in exchange for short term profit.

    People are mad cause your car is here instead of theirs..lol No seriously!

    There is obviously got to be some level of trust between us for all this to work. Hopefully this correspondence has left you more at ease. Stop by anytime! Have a great weekend!

    Ryan Hanson

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    Member sfletch2000's Avatar
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    Hearing all of this makes me really appreciate my mechanic. He specializes in ls1's and does the work at his house, he has a lift in his garage. I payed only 550 in labor to have my headers, cam, valve springs, and a tune done. And after taking my car to the the dyno the initial tune(not on the dyno) was almost dead on. I made 396 rwhp on it and it was only a little rich up top and i ended up making 407 rwhp after the dyno tune. When i buy new heads he said he'll do the swap for only 400, excellent work for cheap so there's no way i'd even attempt to do this stuff myself.
    Last edited by sfletch2000; 05-11-2007 at 05:40 PM.

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    Senior Member greatwhiteZ28's Avatar
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    that seems about right, my sop wanted 800 just for install on headers soo

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