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studebaker-R2-4-me
09-24-2011, 10:30 AM
An 82 year old member of our club is in a pickle and gave me a call last night. He has a 62 V8 Lark with a leaky timing cover and a rear frost plug that is leaking antifreeze. Brought the Lark in a local repair shop that has worked on his modern car to do the repairs... He has supplied the materials for the repair. The shop racked up 23 or more hours of labour.

I'm PO'ed! I consider myself very knowledgeable in removing drivetrains and know how long it should take. 23 or more hours is simply ripping off this guy. There is no Power Steering or Air conditioning in the Lark.

How long do you think it should take to R and R a Studebaker drive train? I have my Idea what are yours?

Allen

PackardV8
09-24-2011, 12:12 PM
How long do you think it should take to R and R a Studebaker drive train?Allen, FWIW, I've both those repairs with the engine in the frame.

jack vines

avanti76
09-24-2011, 12:46 PM
Time to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau !

whacker
09-24-2011, 01:02 PM
I have pulled a V8 by myself in 4 hours.

aenthal
09-24-2011, 01:05 PM
He brought the car to people who do modern plug and switch repairs on computer modules.
I don't doubt that it could have taken them 23 hours to figure out what to do and how to do it.
This was the wrong kind of shop to take it to. I say it was a learning experience for both of them--he should learn not to take an old car to a shop that fixes new cars. Take 2008 Toyotas there instead.

JDP
09-24-2011, 01:30 PM
I have pulled a V8 by myself in 4 hours.

Me too, but it would take at least another 8-12 hours to do the seal and plugs, reinstall and hook everything else back up. I don't think 23 hours is that far out of line for a shop that has not done a few dozen Studebakers.

Welcome
09-24-2011, 01:48 PM
>>>I'm PO'ed! I consider myself very knowledgeable in removing drivetrains and know how long it should take. 23 or more hours is simply ripping off this guy. There is no Power Steering or Air conditioning in the Lark.

How long do you think it should take to R and R a Studebaker drive train? I have my Idea what are yours?

Allen

Can’t answer your specific questions because I’m not qualified …but there are several details of this saga that beg to be known before anyone can say that a fellow SDC Member got ripped off …such as:

How many dollars did the Shop originally quote him?

What was the hourly labor rate the Shop charged? i.e. 23 hours at $35. p/h = $805 …23 hours at $95. p/h = $2,185

Were the repairs made to the SDC Member’s satisfaction? If they were NOT; no matter how little …or much he paid, he got ripped off!!!:eek:

ROADRACELARK
09-24-2011, 03:52 PM
According to the 1964 Motor's Flat Rate Manual....."Timing case cover, R&R", w/o AC and w/o PS, 1957-1964 V8 calls for 2.8 hours. Welch Plugs (water jacket plugs), renew (side of block) 1957-1964 (ONE), except below, 0.5 hr. No. 2, right, 1.2 hr. No.2, left, 0.8hr. Therefore, the right side would be 2.2 hr. and the left side would be 1.8 hr. total, 4.0 hr for freeze plugs, and 2.8 hr. for the Timing Cover R&R. GRAND TOTAL...6.8 hr. THAT'S IF they did ALL 6 freeze plugs!!! If it was only ONE rear plug, that would be only 0.5 hr or a TOTAL of 3.3 hrs.!!! Granted this does NOT include flushing or digging the crud out of the water jackets, but still, that's a LONG way from 23 hours!!!!!!! Welcome, You're correct...He did get ripped off!!!

Dan Miller
Auburn,GA

JDP
09-24-2011, 03:59 PM
According to the 1964 Motor's Flat Rate Manual....."Timing case cover, R&R", w/o AC and w/o PS, 1957-1964 V8 calls for 2.8 hours. Welch Plugs (water jacket plugs), renew (side of block) 1957-1964 (ONE), except below, 0.5 hr. No. 2, right, 1.2 hr. No.2, left, 0.8hr. Therefore, the right side would be 2.2 hr. and the left side would be 1.8 hr. total, 4.0 hr for freeze plugs, and 2.8 hr. for the Timing Cover R&R. GRAND TOTAL...6.8 hr. THAT'S IF they did ALL 6 freeze plugs!!! If it was only ONE rear plug, that would be only 0.5 hr or a TOTAL of 3.3 hrs.!!! Granted this does NOT include flushing or digging the crud out of the water jackets, but still, that's a LONG way from 23 hours!!!!!!! Welcome, You're correct...He did get ripped off!!!

Dan Miller
Auburn,GA

If someone can replace a freeze plug and a timing cover seal in just over 3 hours, I need them in my garage. If they actually pulled the driveline to do the job, 23 hours might not be far off.

studebaker-R2-4-me
09-24-2011, 05:59 PM
According to the 1964 Motor's Flat Rate Manual....."Timing case cover, R&R", w/o AC and w/o PS, 1957-1964 V8 calls for 2.8 hours. Welch Plugs (water jacket plugs), renew (side of block) 1957-1964 (ONE), except below, 0.5 hr. No. 2, right, 1.2 hr. No.2, left, 0.8hr. Therefore, the right side would be 2.2 hr. and the left side would be 1.8 hr. total, 4.0 hr for freeze plugs, and 2.8 hr. for the Timing Cover R&R. GRAND TOTAL...6.8 hr. THAT'S IF they did ALL 6 freeze plugs!!! If it was only ONE rear plug, that would be only 0.5 hr or a TOTAL of 3.3 hrs.!!! Granted this does NOT include flushing or digging the crud out of the water jackets, but still, that's a LONG way from 23 hours!!!!!!! Welcome, You're correct...He did get ripped off!!!

Dan Miller
Auburn,GA

Dan that is exactly what I was looking for! I too have pulled my drivetrain in less than 3 hours by myself with the exception of removing the hood. Once disconnected it took me less than 15 minutes to pull the drive train. I think my point is that a qualified shop should be able to say to a customer "Gee this is really not up my Technicians alley but XYZ shop would be able to do that." The biggest problem these guys are not mechanics, they are "technicians" who plug and play with computer components and have no idea how to twist a wrench. (They might get a little greasy) I can tell the exact number of bolts to remove this engine, the easy way,... make me mad this owner is ripping off this old guy. By the way the labour rate is about $90 an hour including reading the manual. He told me today when I gave him some new front motor mounts for Lark Convertible project, that this guy charged him over $300 for a Feltpro timing cover set! It only get worse the more I think about it. I'm going to go and see this guy on Monday and have a chat about his business practices and see what he has to say.

I think JP is correct with the timing seal cover and frost plugs but I am sure once the engine is out on the floor it's not a big deal to punch them out and pound some new ones in. I would give them about 4 hours to complete it.. This job is no more than 15 hours to have it completely done and out the door with the tools available in a modern shop with lifts etc.

Allen

ROADRACELARK
09-24-2011, 09:39 PM
Allen,

If you think about it, in the shop manual, it dosen't require or reccomend you pull the engine to preform either of these repairs. Considering the time it would take to pull the engine, you could do both of these in less time,( only 1 freeze plug, not all freeze plugs and a block douching). You talk about an absolute mess cleaning out the block!!! Thank goodness for strong water pressure, a real good floor drain, a throw-away rain suite and face shield. Mandatory you have the approprate tools & equipment to do the job. Done it many times. It helps also to have a freeze plug installation tool...with it you can reach all the plugs with only removing the starter. In some instances with single exhaust and a crossover pipe, you may have to drop the pipes down.

Dan Miller
Auburn, GA

JDP
09-24-2011, 10:25 PM
What you may not think about is the time guide does not address 50 year old parts, a 30 minute estimate to replace a heat riser could turn into a 4-8 hour job. i.e the stud breaks, so you have to remove the manifold, but the manifold to head bolts are rusted solid so you have to pull a head, bust the manifold with a hammer and remove the bolts with a torch and a pipe wrench. BTW, I actually had to do that more than once over the years.

ROADRACELARK
09-25-2011, 08:36 AM
John,

Yes, you're absolutely correct.....been there-done that more times than I would like to remember. Anything dealing with the exhaust system from the bolts that mount the manifolds to the heads, to the back bumper can become an all-day job, especially if you don't have the right tools/equipment.....in this case, just as you say, the trusty "blue-flame wrench"! Thanks for your input John.

Dan Miller
Auburn, GA

mmagic
09-25-2011, 09:11 AM
Smells like a geriatricly leveraged up sell. I'm a CPA, not a mechanic, but I've changed a few frost plugs in MOPAR's, in the garage with really makeshift tools. I don't ever recall spending more than a few hours. Perhaps Stude frost plugs are more substantial than MOPAR's but I suppose if I had started by removing the tail lights I could have done it in 20 hours or so too.

gordr
09-25-2011, 10:06 AM
The only reason I can see to remove the engine is if there was a frost plug in back face of the block that was leaking, and I don't think there are any there, save for the one behind the distributor tower, and it goes into the crankcase, not the water jacket.

I'd say incompetence played a role here, but the guy should have known better than to take the car to such a shop in the first place. Modern shops simply aren't geared to working on collector cars, even if they are vastly simpler mechanically.

I agree that the flat rate guide is next to useless. Once you factor in lack of relevant experience, corroded fasteners, and years and years a dirt, it all goes out the window.

studebaker-R2-4-me
09-25-2011, 10:43 AM
The only reason I can see to remove the engine is if there was a frost plug in back face of the block that was leaking, and I don't think there are any there, save for the one behind the distributor tower, and it goes into the crankcase, not the water jacket.

I'd say incompetence played a role here, but the guy should have known better than to take the car to such a shop in the first place. Modern shops simply aren't geared to working on collector cars, even if they are vastly simpler mechanically.

I agree that the flat rate guide is next to useless. Once you factor in lack of relevant experience, corroded fasteners, and years and years a dirt, it all goes out the window.


What you may not think about is the time guide does not address 50 year old parts, a 30 minute estimate to replace a heat riser could turn into a 4-8 hour job. i.e the stud breaks, so you have to remove the manifold, but the manifold to head bolts are rusted solid so you have to pull a head, bust the manifold with a hammer and remove the bolts with a torch and a pipe wrench. BTW, I actually had to do that more than once over the years.

I guess I should add that this particular Lark is an example of a time machine dating back to 1962. It spent most of it's entire life in a climate controlled museum and I doubt there is a rusty bolt anywhere on this car. When the owner took possession of this car it had roughly 6000 miles on it. Today I would imagine it is hovering around 12,000 miles. It still has that new car smell used only to go to local cruise night in the area.

Allen

starliner62
09-25-2011, 10:45 AM
I find myself working on old cars (Studebakers included) at least once a week. I did front wheel cylinders, brake hoses and shoes on a rusty 63 T-Bird yesterday. I had to deal with rusty bolts and brake lines (and the grumpy old fart that owns the car). Only a couple of hours worth of work.
The last front cover I pulled off of a Stude was in a Champ truck. Only a couple of hours,including converting the front seal.
Granted, I spend more time on these cars and trucks than I should, but I tend to slow down to keep from breaking stuff. Patience has become my friend.
This poor guy with the Lark got bent over pretty hard. I could not, with a good conscience charge anyone labor prices like that. I think I tend to under charge a bit, but I don't rely on working on old cars to support myself and my family. Fedex does that.

Anne F. Goodman
09-25-2011, 10:59 AM
Hey I am qualified to answer this question. In my knowledgeable opinion after reading all the facts . They saw him coming and thought that they had a patsie . My father had an auto repair business all my extra time was spent helping down at the shop. They just flat ripped him off. I would have a nice talk with the owners of the establishment on his behalf. If it wasn't resolved by the talk then I would have him demand a partial refund. If they failed then small claims court , Better business bureau, California dept of Automotive repair complaint. Well you see where this is going. We have got to stand up beside our friends and neighbors and say this ain't right. Be a part of the solution or you are part of the problem. Feel free to print and take this with you. Thank you for helping him. If I was closer I would in a heartbeat.