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I just replaced pretty much every part of my suspension. New tokico blues, lower control arms w/ ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends, new upper strut mounts, and a new passenger side axle assembly. I reused my eibach springs.

The car handles great! All the bumps, creaks, and squeaks are gone.

All it needs is a 4 wheel alignment but it will have to wait because I ended up paying ENTIRELY too much for all the above mentioned parts. With labor, my bill was just shy of $1300.

~begin rant~

Here's a breakdown of my bill (I bought the control arms, tie rod ends, and struts separately)

Shock boot (x4)= $112
Rear strut mount (x2)= $160
Pass. side axle assembly= $75
Front sway bar end links (x2)= $72
Front strut mount (x2)= $120

LABOR ($85/hr. x 8 hr.)= $680 :eek::eek:

Why the [fizzle] was my labor cost so high?

On top of installing all the above mentioned parts, they had to modify the lower control arms after they were installed. The OEM replacement control arms that I got were rubbing on my brake rotors when the car was off the lift. It was rubbing on 3/16" of protruding metal from behind the ball joint section of the control arm. So the shop had to grind off the lip where the metal was pressed together, weld it back together again, and repaint the section they worked on. This alone probably cost me $170. My mechanic couldn't blame me for getting crappy parts since his parts guy had the same ones in stock.

On top of that, they had a hard time with my tie rod ends. Most of the tie rod ends were fine but they replaced one outer one that was worn. They couldn't replace the other outer tie rod end because it was too rusted to get the lock nut off of. This probably cost me another $85 in labor while they tried to loosen the lock nut.

Another crappy part is that I bought pillowball mounts/camber plates from ksport and they wouldn't work with my tokico blues. First I had to get the part of the camber plate that goes over the threads on the strut honed out because they were too small for the tokico strut threads. Then my shop called and said that they wouldn't work because they couldn't get more than 1-2 threads of the strut with everything put together. I guess tokico struts don't have very long threaded sections on them. I had to bag that idea and spend another $120 on front strut mounts. :(

It sucks that "OEM replacement parts" don't always bolt on and work properly. I can't be mad at the shop, they got the parts I needed and did their best to get everything installed. It sucks that I have to pay labor for time that didn't accomplish anything (tie rod ends and camber plates). My bank account is now empty and my credit card maxed out. I guess this kind of thing happens when you have an older car that you're addicted to fixing and modifying.

~end rant~
 

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You're kidding. This is why I hate it when shops work on my family members vehicles, because I work for Advance and I deal with these pricks all day. Always asking for the list price (which is usually double the selling price) so they can charge that for profit.
 

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I know how you feel, when I got my tranny put in they quoted me $390 the bill ended up being just shy of $1200, they added an hour to unseize a bolt... I was there it took 10 minutes, an hour to change a few brackets and stuff again I was there it took 10 minutes, and an hour to replace DS CV shaft which has to be done anyways when you are putting it back in :S stupid idiots, they also told me it shouldn't take more then a day and a half... 5 days in a row I got on the bus because they said it should be done... wasnt done til the 6th day by then just like you my bank account was dry and I had my card maxed as well and it still is :| oowell live and learn I guess i'm never doin business with him again
 

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Should have invested in some tools and done the work your self.
8hrs labor for all that? When it comes down to it, its about who knows the best way to do things. I work with guys that cant think out of the box, they will spend hrs trying to loosen one nut to save a cheap replaceable part(like the jam nut on your tie rod). As I would have just cut the thing off, and saved the owner 2hrs of unneed labor. Might need a new part, but thats a fraction of what the labor would have cost. Plus the part trying to be saved was probaly shot anyway.

I bet they cut alot of hrs off that bill before you got it
 

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This is why if you have the manual/time/tools you should do it yourself. $680 is a sizeable chunk of money that I wouldnt mind having in my pocket. Although I know how you're feeling on the whole issue. I spent the entire summer putting in a new engine and I've hit the wall for my abilities. It's going to the shop next friday and I'll be looking at the Dealership's $97 an hour.
 

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Or you could find a reasonable mechanic. $85 an hour? That's nuts. My mechanic always charges me what he quoted (within reason), has always treated me right, and on one occasion, he didn't even want to charge me anything because he couldn't fix a problem the right way. I payed him anyways, and always give him a tip. He squeezes me into his schedule whenever its necessary, and takes care of me.
 

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I do most of the work on my car myself (with a lot of help from mx6.com lol) but for some reason i never want to touch the suspension, and that seems to be the problem with all my cars (i have to have fun sometime!) But i feel your pain on shop prices! Had my tie rods done and they were at 79 bucks an hour!
 

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i'm kinda the opposite lol I dont like to do much motor work myself but I dont have a problem with suspension, brakes, exhaust, minor bodywork etc and I dont mind doin minor engine jobs like valve cover gaskets, plugs and wires etc. and I always do my own oil changes and such as well. but when it comes to head gaskets i've done one on a sunfire and never again lol unless I have no choice and like doin the clutch, tranny etc. i'm just not confident enough.
 

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Damn $1,300?! That sux...

Shock boot (x4)= $112
You are not talking about the plastic boot are you? They are like free from the yard or few bux each from the dealer.

I just did my suspension last winter, my total was $660, that's with new Tokico and Eibach. Maybe is better to work on your own car next time, Craftsman tool kit is like $100 and that's all the tool you need.
 

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firsestone here in the OK wants to charge my sister 700 bucks just to fix the strut mounts.... THE FUCK.. i told her i could do it if she rents a spring compressor from autozone and buys the new parts
 

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chef man...this is why we always preach about doing it yourself......good rant tho lol

i feel your pain tho...i had to do a tranny rebuild on my winter car...not exactly in my skillset so i got the shaft bigtime
 

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Dont be a pansy ass! Anyone can work on their own cars, get a chiltons, have some tools and dont be afraid to take shit apart and see how it works. I dont care what is wrong with my car, ill never again take it to a garage. Thats like haveing another guy take your girlfriend out on a date! I dont see how anyone would trust haveing your babe in the hands of someone else, no matter how qualified they are. So what im ranting about is, save yourself some hard earned money and try learning something new! Suspensions one of the easiest part of the car to work on anyways.
 

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Well you have to understand, some people just dont have the time, drive, or place to work on their on cars. I installed my exhaust system in my apartment parking lot, would i do it again, no! Sometimes you just need to pay someone to get it done for you, no one wants to, just sometimes need to!
 

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I could have saved you some money on endlinks.:shrug:

The price of strut boots seems really high. I know I thought they were way too expensive when I bought some for the alltrac at $18 a piece.

I've had trouble with rusted on tie rod ends before. Solution, cut the damn nut off. Worst case just replace the inner tie rod too.
 

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I definitely feel your pain, i just had to pay $60 twice to 2 different shops to have a rattleing noise looked at and neither of them even fixed the problem, and i ended up doing it myself, took me about 20 min. For next time you should take that $680 (or whatever labout is) and invest in a repair manual and some basic tools, and you should still have quite a bit left over for other stuff ie: beer money ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lol, thanks for all the comments guys.

I would absolutely have done it myself (I've done plenty of work on this car already and I was off for a week on vacation) but I've been halfway into other projects (other people's cars) and had something go wrong (seized bolts, broken parts, etc.) and it ended up costing them a ton of money to have it towed to a shop and have them redo what took us a day or two to do. That's a lot of lost time and hassle for nothing. For me, it was easier to pay someone else. It just ended up costing me $650 more than I thought it would.

About the tie rod ends: I had replacements there already. There are three brand new ones in my back seat. I guess they didn't feel like cutting the old ones off.
 

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I think they saw you coming and took you for as much as they possibly could .. Sad to hear .. sorry about your luck :(
 
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