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RaysHK Offline
#1 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 6:40:47 AM(UTC)
RaysHK

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Hi guys, first post here but have been doing plenty of reading in the forum over the last 12 months. I have inherited my Dad's all original HK Kingswood which is Pinaroo Beige with white roof, red interior which is still like new, factory bucket seats, 186 with a powerglide and disc brake front end. It's registered but the lower ball joints need replacing. I think the whole front end could do with a freshen up so I decided to buy upper and lower ball joints, inner/outer tie-rod ends, drag link, inner upper/lower control arm bushes, idler arm and suspension bump stops. I asked for a quote to swap the parts out and the workshop came back with 17.5hrs labour and just over 2k to do the work. I nearly fell off my chair. Does this seem correct?

cheers,

Ray
HK1837 Offline
#2 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 7:50:54 AM(UTC)
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Just get another quote. Labour isn’t cheap today though, and people who are prepared to tackle cars over 50 years old are few and far between so they ask a premium.
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Smitty2 on 30/10/2021(UTC)
Dr Terry Offline
#3 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 8:15:16 AM(UTC)
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3 comments here.

The quote seems reasonable, if you break it down $2K is about $1,800 + GST, so for 17.5 hrs, that's around $100 per hour, which is the norm these days.

Secondly if you ask for a "quote" up front to do a large job like that, the workshop has to "over quote" to cover has backside. What I mean by that is the job could be done in less time, so the mechanic could be in front, but also things can go very wrong (stripped threads, broken bolts etc.) so he has to build in some margin to allow for any unforseen dramas. You are probably better off getting an "estimate" to do what is necessary & this could be less $$.

Thirdly, I would be careful just replacing all of those parts on a whim. I've seen many guys end up with a lousy result, because they've removed perfectly good Australian made parts (which didn't really need replacing) and fitted Chinese bits in their place. A better way to approach the job is to find an old guy who is familiar with old Holdens & get him to strip it down & only replace the parts that need replacing. Everything else will just need lubricating & adjusting etc.

Dr Terry
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8D11PCH2 Offline
#4 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 8:20:58 AM(UTC)
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Agree, shop around. My mechanic charges $88 per hour inclusive of GST.
Labour prices can vary quite a bit but I am guessing you could expect most small to medium size workshops to come in between $88.00 and $121.00 per hour inclusive of GST.
HK1837 Offline
#5 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 9:08:10 AM(UTC)
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Dr Terry is spot on. Most normal mechanics are working daily with cars that they can buy new bits local to them and have them delivered withing a few hours. They will be the lower priced guys. For work on older cars that once apart may end up taking up space on a hoist for a few days, and where they have the time and knowledge to tackle older stuff might cost you $100 an hour or more.

I work for an hourly rate and believe me, by the time you take out Insurances, Accounting and similar overheads it gets eaten away quickly. And I don't have the added overheads of premises, utilities for it, cost of servicing hoists, compressors, consumables, workshop licencing etc.
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If we all had the same (good) taste, who would buy all the Fords?
RaysHK Offline
#6 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 9:59:07 AM(UTC)
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Hi guys thanks for the reply and all valid comments. I can see what you mean about potentially being a bigger job hence overquoting. It just seemed too high for my liking, but I'll shop around. Ball joints definitely need doing as does the idler arm. Maybe I'll just take it into a suspension place first and get them to check it out.

thanks again.

Ray
gm5735 Offline
#7 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 10:25:32 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post


Thirdly, I would be careful just replacing all of those parts on a whim. I've seen many guys end up with a lousy result, because they've removed perfectly good Australian made parts (which didn't really need replacing) and fitted Chinese bits in their place. A better way to approach the job is to find an old guy who is familiar with old Holdens & get him to strip it down & only replace the parts that need replacing. Everything else will just need lubricating & adjusting etc.

Dr Terry


x2 for this one.
I restore HKTGs for a living, and almost every day I see previously functioning components that have been "restored" to destruction.
It's unlikely, for example, that upper ball joints need replacing on a HK. Just replacing a whole lot of perfectly good parts with new, but imperfect, parts on speculation will give you a poor quality outcome and cost far more than it needed to, particularly as many workshops are no longer familiar with older cars, or have the special tools required. They will quote based on the risk.
The time you've been quoted isn't unreasonable, but as a comparison, with the correct tools I'd allow 4-6 hours for bottom ball joints, including time to check wheel alignment, and to check other components.
RaysHK Offline
#8 Posted : Saturday, 30 October 2021 11:02:05 AM(UTC)
RaysHK

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Great thanks. So bottom balls joints I know are shot so I may just get them done then see how it drives.

Ray
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