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  #1  
Old November 27th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Are these workshop prices reasonable?

So, a certain person I know has acquired a Land Rover 110. It's at a Land Rover specialist shop in a major North American metropolitan city. I'm trying to keep things vague. Here's what he was quoted to do some work:

1. Front brake job -- $360.00 parts, $360.00 labor -- if wheel bearings are in poor condition, then those parts would be replaced at same ($140.00 parts) with no extra labor

2. Rear driveshaft u-joint replacement -- $33.00 part, $180.00 labor if nothing is seized

3. Replace rear shocks -- $200.00 parts, $120.00 labor

4. Replace r/rear brake wheel cylinder and bleed system -- $60.00 part, $180.00 labor if nothing is seized for brake lines

5. Replace all tie rods and pitman arm joint -- $185.00 parts, $420.00 labor

Does this seem reasonable to you? I am having a hard time justifying these labour prices. I know Big City prices are higher than where I live, but still. $180 for a u-joint or a brake cylinder (OK, with bleed, but still) just seems outrageous. If I'm the one who's out of line though, then I'll let him know.

Thanks,
- Andrew.
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  #2  
Old November 27th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarke View Post
So, a certain person I know has acquired a Land Rover 110. It's at a Land Rover specialist shop in a major North American metropolitan city. I'm trying to keep things vague. Here's what he was quoted to do some work:

1. Front brake job -- $360.00 parts, $360.00 labor -- if wheel bearings are in poor condition, then those parts would be replaced at same ($140.00 parts) with no extra labor

2. Rear driveshaft u-joint replacement -- $33.00 part, $180.00 labor if nothing is seized

3. Replace rear shocks -- $200.00 parts, $120.00 labor

4. Replace r/rear brake wheel cylinder and bleed system -- $60.00 part, $180.00 labor if nothing is seized for brake lines

5. Replace all tie rods and pitman arm joint -- $185.00 parts, $420.00
labor

Does this seem reasonable to you? I am having a hard time justifying these labour prices. I know Big City prices are higher than where I live, but still. $180 for a u-joint or a brake cylinder (OK, with bleed, but still) just seems outrageous. If I'm the one who's out of line though, then I'll let him know.

Thanks,
- Andrew.
I personally won't pay those prices.

That's why most of us Rover owners end up "learning" how to wrench.

He's most likely using the numbers from the book @ $120/Hr.

The ones IMO that are a tad high are #5 and #3.

#5 is a 30 minute job and I've done it at least on 4 of my trucks... And I'm slow as shit.

#3 is a 15 minutes job.

The rest are probably within reason.

Removing a u-joint can be a PITA and I'll let you know about the brake cylinder. I need to do the ones on the 109".
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  #3  
Old November 28th, 2013, 12:22 AM
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You're in Canada.
Is you friend in Canada or Us?
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 03:54 AM
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#1, #3, #5 are high, would also be better to source the parts himself and avoid the mark up.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Thanks. The owner and the vehicle are not in the same location, so the owner is hoping to get some things done to get it road worthy. Someone else is on-site looking after the vehicle in the meantime and dealing with this shop. This is one of the complicating factors in this case. I'm trying to stay very vague so as to not cast aspersions on anybody.

Yes, the shop rate is $120/hr. Looking at the rates, it just seems like they're using the close-to-worst-case scenario, and then tacking on a "plus more if things are rusted on". I don't even really disagree with an hourly rate of $120/hr if you're in a large, expensive city, but I have a hard time believing that a bunch of professionals with all the experience and tools at their disposal would need to take as much time as they're budgeting to do some of these jobs. Additionally, they're saying 1.5 hours / $180 on the u-joint "if nothing is seized", so if things go wrong they're going to charge even more. I replaced the rotoflex on my Discovery in the rain in a public parking lot. I'd never done it before, and I'm not sure it took me 1.5 hours.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I'll pass it on.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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I would throw out there that your buddy isn't in a very good position to be pinching pennies. When you're somewhere else and getting work done remotely, isn't a few bucks (like a couple hundred total in this case) worth the peace of mind you get for a smooth easy job by a reputable shop? I'd argue that worrying about a 10% +/- on a job like this isn't worth the stress and strain.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
I would throw out there that your buddy isn't in a very good position to be pinching pennies. When you're somewhere else and getting work done remotely, isn't a few bucks (like a couple hundred total in this case) worth the peace of mind you get for a smooth easy job by a reputable shop? I'd argue that worrying about a 10% +/- on a job like this isn't worth the stress and strain.
That's true, but it feels more like pinching hundred dollar bills than pinching pennies. And maybe more like +20%.

It just seemed to both of us that the people looked at this as a way to make money from someone they perceived as having money to spend, as well as having no other options. That rubbed both of us the wrong way, and isn't really how I'd want to start a relationship like this if it was me. However, I could be completely off-base and these might be reasonable numbers, which is why I asked.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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IMO the labor sounds reasonable. Business real estate costs in major metro areas is out of control. Special zoning in the DC/VA area is pushing shops out of business. These shops have to average a certain dollar per hour of operation or they have to just hope to stay open.

Unfortunately parts don't magically appear at the shop. There's areal cost/risk to sourcing parts you have to give credit to too. Maybe you have idk.

Clay
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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
IMO the labor sounds reasonable. Business real estate costs in major metro areas is out of control. Special zoning in the DC/VA area is pushing shops out of business. These shops have to average a certain dollar per hour of operation or they have to just hope to stay open.

Unfortunately parts don't magically appear at the shop. There's areal cost/risk to sourcing parts you have to give credit to too. Maybe you have idk.

Clay
I agree. $120/hour is expensive, but so are wages and rent. It's more the number of hours I've been questioning than the hourly rate.

I'd willingly pay $120/hour to an expert who knows what they're doing rather than $60/hour to a mediocre mechanic who has never seen a Land Rover before.

I'm getting the impression from the general bent of the answers is that the number of hours seems high, but not so high that the consensus is that they're trying to take advantage of the person. Maybe most of us would rather work on the truck ourselves than pay these prices, but in this case it's not an option. It's also not my truck and not my decision, but I said I'd ask around and see what comes up.

Thanks everyone for your responses,
- Andrew.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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Suggest your friend joins the local LR club. For a few beers, burgers and bucks people are always happy to wrench
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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Suggest your friend joins the local LR club. For a few beers, burgers and bucks people are always happy to wrench
I've often thought wouldn't it be bad ass if our local LR groups could organize such that everyone throws in some cash on an annual basis and commits to X number of evening/weekend hours and in return the club provides a place to store parts and a location to drink beer, deliver pizza and wrench on our trucks? Damn, that would be sweet.

Clay
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Changing all the rod ends and pitman arm in 30min?. Not useful information at all. Saying 30 min per joint would be more accurate.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
I've often thought wouldn't it be bad ass if our local LR groups could organize such that everyone throws in some cash on an annual basis and commits to X number of evening/weekend hours and in return the club provides a place to store parts and a location to drink beer, deliver pizza and wrench on our trucks? Damn, that would be sweet.

Clay
This sounds like a business arrangement, not a bunch of friends helping eachother out.

On the original question, I would suppose the going labor rate is about right. And there's really not much your friend can do I guess. Have it towed to another shop? At what expense???
Prices like that are the reason I do ALL my own work. Most of the work on older trucks is stupid easy anyways.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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If the place is reputable ... then like JimC said ... he's probably in a decent position. He might pay more than a shady tree mechanic but he should be getting a good job.


I think the only chance here is for you buddy to agree a fixed price job and avoid the 'well it was rusted' conversation after the work is done.

A mechanic should me able to make a decent assessment of the state of these parts by having the truck on a ramp for a few minutes.

The pitman arm without a hydraulic puller could take a bloody site longer than 30 mins for example.

Google "defender labor operation times pdf" and lookup the book times ...
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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If the place is reputable ... then like JimC said ... he's probably in a decent position. He might pay more than a shady tree mechanic but he should be getting a good job.


I think the only chance here is for you buddy to agree a fixed price job and avoid the 'well it was rusted' conversation after the work is done.

A mechanic should me able to make a decent assessment of the state of these parts by having the truck on a ramp for a few minutes.

The pitman arm without a hydraulic puller could take a bloody site longer than 30 mins for example.

Google "defender labor operation times pdf" and lookup the book times ...
Thanks for the tip on that book. I didn't know it's available.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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You are describing an old domestic pickup or Jeep from that list -- there is no specialized work here. I'd find some small independent shop in the country that works on trucks and commercial equipment. Why pay these high fees perpetuating that there is some mystique behind these Defenders? Would anyone pay these rates on a rusty old Ford pickup? No, yet those trucks are still maintained and on the road.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1of40 View Post
I've often thought wouldn't it be bad ass if our local LR groups could organize such that everyone throws in some cash on an annual basis and commits to X number of evening/weekend hours and in return the club provides a place to store parts and a location to drink beer, deliver pizza and wrench on our trucks? Damn, that would be sweet.

Clay
Ummmm....you mean Church?
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Old November 28th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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This sounds like a business arrangement, not a bunch of friends helping eachother out. On the original question, I would suppose the going labor rate is about right. And there's really not much your friend can do I guess. Have it towed to another shop? At what expense??? Prices like that are the reason I do ALL my own work. Most of the work on older trucks is stupid easy anyways.
I had co-op in mind.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Seems like it was done off the time charts (Labor Operation Times). I do most of my own work, but when I feel lazy or just don't feel like doing it (mk4 VW clutch comes to mind), I pay. The good thing about book rates is that if the mechanic is slow, most shops will only bill for the "book rate". If a mechanic is extremely proficient, he or she can accomplish over 12 hours of billable work in under 8 hours.

Either way, seems pretty normal for me.
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Old November 28th, 2013, 04:57 PM
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Extremely proficient or cuts corners.
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