Does this estimate seem reasonable? - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Builds > Does this estimate seem reasonable?

FS: Jeep Fog Light LED Bulbs! Several Brightness Options! Clayton Off Road JK Short Arm Suspension Kits~Artec JK 1 TON SWAP~

Reply
Unread 06-01-2011, 07:13 AM   #1
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,122
Does this estimate seem reasonable?

Hello,

This is my very clean, stock 1981 CJ7, 258, D30/amc20, D300, and SR4 tranny. My father was the original owner. I bought it from him in 1993. The clutch is getting spongy, but otherwise she's 100% operational. Only 88K original miles.

After researching until my eyes bled, I finally settled on my wish list for Phase 1 of my build. My list included:

1. One piece axle kit with 4.56 gears for both axles.
2. OX lockers front and rear.
3. SR4 to NV3550 transmission conversion.
4. 4" spring lift with 2.5" springs and shackle reversal on front
5. New shocks
6. High quality wheel spacers to widen the stance a bit.

I'm not equipped with the necessary tools, nor shop space, to do the work myself, so I took my list to a local 4x4 mechanic for an estimate.

I was a bit overwhelmed by his $11,400 bid. It appears he's charging $90/hr labor rate, and he's also marking up the parts, as well. There's also a mysterious "Supplies" item for $211, whatever that is.

Does this seem like a fair price to you? If so, I'm afraid I'll have to bag my build plans on this jeep, as my budget is $12K and we haven't even gotten to the engine, or cosmetics yet.

JEEP - Just Empty Every Pocket

Any thoughts, or advice, will be most appreciated.

frontright.jpg  

Last edited by Matt1981CJ7; 06-01-2011 at 08:33 AM..
Matt1981CJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 07:57 AM   #2
Kenzo
Registered User
1993 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 107
If i where you i would ask more 4x4 mechanics / garages...
Then you can compare...
Kenzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,122
The mechanic also said that his labor rate goes higher if I choose to supply the parts.

I realize having customers supply parts has gotta be a nightmare, but $90/hr should compensate for that, no?

Last edited by Matt1981CJ7; 06-01-2011 at 08:19 AM..
Matt1981CJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 08:00 AM   #4
justanotherjpr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,337
I think you could buy the parts yourself and pay a fellow Jeeper to help you (most would do it for free) for less than half that cost.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge View Post
So do you actually hear your thoughts in your head or is it just sort of a dull roar before you smash your face into your keyboard and just submit whatever dumb **** ended up on the page?
justanotherjpr is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,122
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherjpr View Post
I think you could buy the parts yourself and pay a fellow Jeeper to help you (most would do it for free) for less than half that cost.
"Half that cost" might be a little optimistic, as I was planning on all new parts except for the tranny. But I agree, I should be able to improve on $90/hr, unless I'm just out of touch with mechanic's rates.

Are any of you Jeep gurus near Denver?
Matt1981CJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
Jrama
Registered User
2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Calgary
Posts: 336
I think the only logical way to go about this jeep business is to do everything you possibly can yourself and only pay a professional for the real big stuff.

Big stuff= Gears and locker
Trans swap i have no idea if its straightforward or what
Jrama is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 01:50 PM   #7
Boodyrider
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,519
The big ticket item there is the trans, followed closely by the locker. Guess you need to decide if full case lockers are a 'need' or a want; lunchbox lockers have their drawbacks but cost much less and can be installed by any average mechanic if not regearing. Since you are regearing... figure about 400+ in parts alone per axle, plus around 400 per axle labor, maybe 500 with the locker install, then the cost of the lockers themselves at nearly a grand each.

Likewise the trans. Why do you think you 'need' the trans swap? If it ain't broke... That swap does give you a stronger trans, but it also costs a LOT in swap kit parts. 3 grand or so? PLUS the trans?

If you want wider axles... why not swap in stronger axles? a pair of 44s with bracket kits might be the way to go....

As for labor costs... 90 an hour isn't bad. Many dealerships are over 100 these days... and they won't do anything involving swaps or fabrication, let alone warranty it.

Get some more price quotes, do what you can yourself, and maybe give thought to a more modest build if you you don't have the time/skills/place to do any of the work yourself.
__________________
97 TJ Sport - 4.0/HP D30 w ARB/8.8 w LS/4.88s; 35s and flat fenders on 2.5 lift

84 CJ7; frame off restoration in progress.

The technical advice you get from me here is worth exactly what you paid me for it. Warranty issues will be reimbursed at double what you paid me for the advice.
Boodyrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-01-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
Matt1981CJ7
Web Wheeler
 
Matt1981CJ7's Avatar
1981 CJ7 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elbert, CO
Posts: 10,122
"Likewise the trans. Why do you think you 'need' the trans swap? If it ain't broke... That swap does give you a stronger trans, but it also costs a LOT in swap kit parts. 3 grand or so? PLUS the trans?"

The existing SR4 tranny is on its last leg. I want overdrive, and the T5 isn't much of an improvement, so I choose the NV3550. I believe the NV4500 would be overkill.

"If you want wider axles... why not swap in stronger axles? a pair of 44s with bracket kits might be the way to go...."

True, and that's the way I'd prefer to go, but I couldn't find a set with 4.56s and lockers. The mechanic claimed a rebuild would be almost as strong. Either way, I don't think Dana 44s, set up the way I want, would be any cheaper.

"As for labor costs... 90 an hour isn't bad. Many dealerships are over 100 these days... and they won't do anything involving swaps or fabrication, let alone warranty it."

Ouch....I picked the wrong profession.

Thanks for your reply. I told the mechanic to address the shudder in reverse. After that's diagnosed, I'll have to decide from there.

Matt
Matt1981CJ7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-02-2011, 08:18 AM   #9
justanotherjpr
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1881CJ7 View Post
"Half that cost" might be a little optimistic, as I was planning on all new parts except for the tranny. But I agree, I should be able to improve on $90/hr, unless I'm just out of touch with mechanic's rates.

Are any of you Jeep gurus near Denver?
Lets see...

1. One piece axle kit with 4.56 gears for both axles.
$800
$200 - AMC 20 gears
$200 - Dana 30 gears
$200 - Install kits
$200 - One piece shafts for rear

2. OX lockers front and rear.
$1600
$800 each

3. SR4 to NV3550 transmission conversion.
$1500
4. 4" spring lift with 2.5" springs and shackle reversal on front
$1000 (MAX)
5. New shocks
Included in above
6. High quality wheel spacers to widen the stance a bit.
$150

Puts you at around $5150, though maybe I'm out of touch with the cost on the transmission swap but everything else reflects roughly what I was able to find on Google. I would be willing to bet that if you called Bond at Rebel Offroad and bought the gears, lockers, shafts and lift from him, you could get a better deal since it's such a large order.

Now $11,611 / 2 = $5805.50, leaving you $655 for incidentals before you're even to half.


Edit: You could buy (better) axles ready to bolt in set up how you want and still come out cheaper.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorcharge View Post
So do you actually hear your thoughts in your head or is it just sort of a dull roar before you smash your face into your keyboard and just submit whatever dumb **** ended up on the page?
justanotherjpr is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #10
HIGH97
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 31
I agree with justanotherjpr, join a club buy all your own parts and i am sure you will find somme guys who will be willing to help-teach you how to wrench on your jeep. There is a satisfaction you earn by working on your jeep yourself. just think of it as a giant model, instead of glue you have nuts and bolts.
HIGH97 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 06-02-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
KUK9
Registered User
2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 3,100
If I can be sold bold as to ask, what shop are you looking at taking it to? As Boodyrider said, $90/hr is about typical anymore for labor rates in the area, at least here in the Broomfield area where I work. It's not uncommon for a shop to raise labor charges if you bring your own parts - taking away parts is taking away profit, so it's got to be made back somewhere. A lot of times we won't use customer supplied parts because of the issues involved with them though - not because of profit issues.

I would ask what kind of time frame he's thinking to address this stuff. I'm not sure without trying to price stuff out myself to know if it's inline or high, but I'd definately check around & get some other estimates to compare to.
__________________
REDLYNER Racing #4550

My Build Thread:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/adapt-die-kuk9s-stretch-tj-build-1160620
KUK9 is offline   Reply With Quote




Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.