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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:33 am 
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4 BBL ''Hyper-Pak''
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 4:03 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Passssssssadena, California
Car Model*: 1981 B-150 original California short passenger Van
My 1981 B-150 Slant 6 van is in a local shop for emissions work, related to again failing the biennial emissions test here in California (Pasadena). I’ve been seeking a full-service mechanic who’s good and whom i can trust. Not sure if this place is it or not. I asked them to go over the vehicle like i was about to buy it, and make a list of what needs work (other than exclude the leaking rear main seal, weak battery, and some body rust).

I’m already in for $319 for the initial emissions test + diagnostic work + an attempt to get it to pass emissions via carburetor work. I’m comfortable with the additional $435 for a new rear catalytic converter and related emissions work.

I am not especially comfortable with the additional $970 (total bill would be $1724) for replacing both front upper control arm and ball joint assemblies plus doing a full wheel alignment. I’ve never done this sort of work, so i have no clue whether that’s reasonable or not. Rock Auto is showing the highest-end assemblies at $101 each. So let’s say they used those, that’s $200. Then if they double the price mark-up the way we did at the home audio repair shop where i used to work, that would be $400. Throw in shipping and i could see $430 to $450 for the parts (if they use top-end parts). I don’t recall what i last paid for a wheel alignment, but i’m thinking it was around $50. So that’s about $500. I’m struggling to understand how the labor could be $470.

Thoughts? Does this estimate seem reasonable to you? Stratospheric? Am i missing something here?

Thanks!

))Sonic((

_________________
1981 B-150 short Van, stock 225, California emissions package, Electronic Spark Advance (digital Lean Burn), Non-feedback Holley 1945, AT
Driven for economy, not for speed.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:38 am 
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TBI Slant 6

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:25 pm
Posts: 120
Location: SW PA
Car Model*:
$450 list for both arms sounds typical, Our dealership charges ~$80 for an alignment, with some known exceptions We shoot a labor time of 1.5hrs. a side/arm if We don't have a labor guide number.
What is the shop's labor rate out there, and did the total include sales taxes, and what is that rate? One issue with older cars that have air inj. is the ports to the exh ports clog and no "tuning" will
clean them up, ran into that before a long time ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:01 am 
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Supercharged
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Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 9:20 pm
Posts: 12102
Location: Fircrest, WA
Car Model*:
$450 for a pair of upper A arms? That sounds like robbery to me. www.lkqonline.com has one for $27 in Ohio. www.autowrecking.com has a bunch for both sides around $35 each. For $450 they better be powder coated tubular aluminum arms with $150 cash back.

www.rockauto.com lists a Mevotech "Front end kit" that includes both front control arms, with ball joints installed, both lower control arms, with ball joints installed, both tie rod ends, and the center link, all for $470. Rockauto also lists new Moog upper control arms assembled with NEW Moog ball joints and NEW Moog bushings for $100 per side. Lowers with the same new parts run about $100 each, as well.

Hell, for $1700 you could buy the parts, buy the tools needed to do the work, and do the work yourself. Or just buy a different vehicle and be done with it. That shop is screwing you over, badly.

I have seen numerous slant heads with the air injection ports above the exhaust valves where those air injection ports are completely clogged by carbon buildup. Clogged ports = no air injection = a catalytic converter not funtioning optimally.

I would let them do the emissions work, then take the van home, install the Moog parts from Rockauto, and go get it aligned.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:49 pm 
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EFI Slant 6
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 8:14 pm
Posts: 289
Location: West Covina, CA
Car Model*:
i would bet their prices r high. . . just because its Pasadena.
but i work in that area and i may be jaded.

try to find a second estimate.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:22 pm 
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EFI Slant 6

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:19 am
Posts: 474
Location: SC
Car Model*: 63 Dart 81 D150
The price would be high for my area, but I am in a very small town in the south east. The $100 arms we would mark up to $150 to 175 each. We would let you bring your own if you wanted to. We charge $85 an hour labor. We would charge 2 hours each side on an older vehicle. Alignment would be $80 to 120, with the absolute latest top of the line Hunter alignment equipment. Worst case would be $810 where I work. We would install new bushings and ball joints in your arms for probably a little less than the new arms would cost you. Would probably put you down in the $700 area. Provided there is nothing wrong with your arms.


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