I am installing all new ball joints and shocks and struts and camber bolts into a fiero owned by a guy who works at the same office as me.
I do not want to over charge him, but I also don't want to way undercharge him because it is a lot of work. What should I charge for labor? I torque everything to spec and spend a lot of time making sure everything is perfect. I have seen huge variation online for ball joint costs and they almost always include the parts estimate where I already ordered all the parts for around $327. I have seen anywhere from 360 for two ball joints, and 500 for front struts. I am planning on charging around $600 for all the labor, is this reasonable? The car is all stock so stuff is going to be hard to take apart.
If you're doing it for money charge whatever you guys can agree upon, but personally for under the table work I wouldn't ask for any more than half of professional shop rates at the very most. Jobs like this are usually done more as favours and to help someone out more than anything. Keep in mind he will need to get the car in for an alignment immediately after the work is done, but I'm sure you're aware of that.
Realistically the front shocks will be done in about an hr or less and if you can get the bottom strut bolts out without too much of a fight they won't take more than half a day working at a leisurely pace including assembling and disassembling them yourself with DIY spring compressors. I just did my rear struts 2 weekends ago, I spread the job out over a couple of nights but the total time was probably about 3 to 3.5 hours. I had an electric impact and only one of my lower bolts put up a bit of a fight, but even that one wasn't that bad. Honestly the hardest/most time consuming part of it was swapping the springs and mounts onto the new struts. I also wasted a bunch of time pissing around trying to find the right tool combinations
I can't comment on the ball joints - I've never done them..
[This message has been edited by Ry86GT (edited 08-01-2013).]
I usually charge a case of beer and dinner, but I guess I'm cheap.
I would too if this was a small job or for a friend, but this is going to take a while and probably be pretty annoying. I work on my friends CJ7 with him almost everyday, probably have done thousands of dollars worth in labor to it but snacks covers that payment. I am being hired as a mechanic by someone I do not know so of course I am going to charge money.
[This message has been edited by zkhennings (edited 08-01-2013).]
I have done all of this work before, I expect it to take (including setbacks) around 12 to 14 hours, I figured I would charge like 45 an hour which is less than half of a dealership and almost half of what a shop around here would charge hourly rate. I live in MA like 15 minutes from Boston and getting work done to you car here costs a lot. On my mom's sienna it was over 1200 including parts to do her ball joints at a shop, and this shop always gives her discounts for being a repeat customer.
I am being hired as a mechanic by someone I do not know so of course I am going to charge money.
I have done all of this work before, I expect it to take (including setbacks) around 12 to 14 hours, I figured I would charge like 45 an hour which is less than half of a dealership and almost half of what a shop around here would charge hourly rate.
Again, this is in my humble opinion, if this is a business agreement rather than a favour for a colleague and fellow Fiero enthusiast then approach it as such. Give them a quote, write it down, tell them the amount of work you think it's going to be and what rate you're valuing your time at. Let them know that if you are going to have to go past x amount of time that you will have to ask for more money (if that's what you plan on doing). Outline your gaurantees/warantees (if any) before hand. This is all to make sure that you're both on the same page in the event that things don't go as planned or something doesn't work out.
[This message has been edited by Ry86GT (edited 08-01-2013).]
I would've settled this before ordering the parts.
Ok the situation is different than most. I told him to take it to a shop, but he wants me to do it instead of a shop because I do everything with quality. I worked in a shop for a summer job a couple years ago, no torque wrenches were even owned by the shop. I am using all moog parts and monroe sensatracs. I also have done this before on a fiero, and I have all the tools to do it. He has seen my work and he wants me to do it for him.
I would not usually do this and did not really want to, so he is going to pay me like he would a shop. I already told him that if a lot of things go wrong and like every bolt is stuck and I have to get all new bolts and hardware/ anything goes extremely wrong it could be up to $1000. He is fine with that and also I would never charge $1000 I just wanted a good buffer to be safe. This is all decided on.
We used his card to buy all the parts.
Everything is set to go, I am just wondering from other fiero owners who maybe had a shop do this for them what the shop charged. I would like to charge around half the cost of a shop. I want to give him a deal but I am also going to make some money because I would otherwise not be doing this.
I think half a mechanic shop's labor rate (plus parts and materials expenses) would be a good starting point.
BTW, since you're replacing ball joints and struts, the suspension will need to be aligned. Are you going to take care of that also, or will the customer take care of it on his own time?
Yeah, me too. Plus, it's a good idea to add some extra time to the estimate... just in case.
It is not his daily driver so he does not care about timeline, I plan on doing everything in a weekend. And yea I was going to drive it to an alignment shop after I finished. I usually align my own car but I will get his professionally done
You are a brave soul. I refuse to work on any coworkers cars, because the minute something goes wrong when they get it back, belt squeal etc they come do you first and expect you to fix it even if you had nothing to do with that part. Hopefully this guy is better than that and won't complain to you that the car started doing something after you worked on it. Good luck.
the point of this is that the other person is paying for you to take his place to work on the car. so you charge them what it cost you. for all the time traveling, gas spent traveling, parts, and labor.