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Old 05-26-2010, 10:17 AM   #1
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How much labor should I expect to replace my suspension system

I have the parts and been getting estimates to get them installed

4 new shock/struts with new strut mounts
inner and outer tie rods both sides
new lower control arms on both sides
cv shaft replacements on both sides

I just got quoted 14 hours which seems awfully high to me or is this about what it takes to do it?
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimitroffVodka View Post
I have the parts and been getting estimates to get them installed

4 new shock/struts with new strut mounts
inner and outer tie rods both sides
new lower control arms on both sides
cv shaft replacements on both sides

I just got quoted 14 hours which seems awfully high to me or is this about what it takes to do it?
you+tools+fsm= a menag a tois of savings.
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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I know shocks and struts gonna take at least 3 or 4 hrs. I wd say to do everything, 10 hrs. Certainly not completed in a day.

EDIT for grammar

Last edited by cashoit; 05-26-2010 at 10:53 AM..
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:57 AM   #4
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if you TAKE YOUR TIME 10 hrs.

if you are very inclined mechanicly(sp?) then 6-8
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Old 05-26-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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where are you located?? 14 hours sounds right if you add everything up. However, they're not an honest shop cause most of the things are already taken off. I.E., in order to change out the axle, your suspension was already unbolted. To change out the lower control arm, your axle and suspension comes off the control arm in which already saved labor. They prob looked up the job individually and added everything together. Its kinda like asking how much is it to replace wheel studs when you're getting your rotors and pad changed. It should be close to nothing cause everything is already off.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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A lot of these people want to charge me over $100 just to put springs on the shocks/struts. I didn't think it was the difficult.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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A lot of these people want to charge me over $100 just to put springs on the shocks/struts. I didn't think it was the difficult.
its not, you can pick up a simple spring compressor for under $50 and do it yourself. trust me, learning how to work on your car will save you more money than you know, plus if something goes wrong you know YOU did it, and you wont have to screw witha a shop trying to get your money back.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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that sound's like pepboys................
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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if you TAKE YOUR TIME 10 hrs.

if you are very inclined mechanicly(sp?) then 6-8

Yeah but the mech gonna be taking his time and has to do rear struts as well as fronts. Unbolt steering knuckles and remember where everything goes again. Takes an 1.5 to 2 hrs hr jus to do front brakes and make sure everythin clean.

I think 14 hrs if he takin his time.

6-8 hrs if he workin nonstop and knows maximas. factor in lunch/food/smoke breaks and other crap that may come up with other ppl cars, questions, reading FSM, then its 10+ hrs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:59 AM   #10
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Yeah but the mech gonna be taking his time and has to do rear struts as well as fronts. Unbolt steering knuckles and remember where everything goes again. Takes an 1.5 to 2 hrs hr jus to do front brakes and make sure everythin clean.

I think 14 hrs if he takin his time.

6-8 hrs if he workin nonstop and knows maximas. factor in lunch/food/smoke breaks and other crap that may come up with other ppl cars, questions, reading FSM, then its 10+ hrs.
so you just agreed with me?

im willing to bet once he tackles the front end the rears will become a breeze, it sounds like he has never worked on his car before which is good. plus if he does all of his research before hand he'll see that its not as difficult as it looks on paper.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:59 AM   #11
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its not, you can pick up a simple spring compressor for under $50 and do it yourself. trust me, learning how to work on your car will save you more money than you know, plus if something goes wrong you know YOU did it, and you wont have to screw witha a shop trying to get your money back.

springs compression is two man job. Plus, unless he gonna need a lift, he gonna be on the ground alot, pulling and pryin, tryin to unbolt stuff. Im all for DIY, but once i got raise the vehicle i bring it to my mech.

i hear u about mechanics screw-ups tho. thats the worse
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #12
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springs compression is two man job. Plus, unless he gonna need a lift, he gonna be on the ground alot, pulling and pryin, tryin to unbolt stuff. Im all for DIY, but once i got raise the vehicle i bring it to my mech.

i hear u about mechanics screw-ups tho. thats the worse
no argument here, but you have to assume the may not have the funds for a mech to do this job. which is why i am such an advocate of do it yourself. me personally ill change a spindle at a truck stop if i have to (which i have) at 2am, thats because i learned long ago that the only time my car sees the shop is when its #1 beyond my skill, #2 I have the funds, #3 i need it done quickly. other than that. nope
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Naw man, gonna take 10 hrs at least.

6-8 hrs is if the mechanic is rushing or workin like a madman. I jus cant see it.

The OP would definitely need 14 hrs if he doing it himself. maybe more if never done it before.

Hell, the first time i did the plugs it took me 3 hrs. Second time it took me 2hrs and thats cuz i learned a way to gettin those damned firewall side plugs out faster.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:16 PM   #14
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no argument here, but you have to assume the may not have the funds for a mech to do this job. which is why i am such an advocate of do it yourself. me personally ill change a spindle at a truck stop if i have to (which i have) at 2am, thats because i learned long ago that the only time my car sees the shop is when its #1 beyond my skill, #2 I have the funds, #3 i need it done quickly. other than that. nope

i feel u.

for me, add #4 raise and support the vehicle. I dont have a 2 ton jack and i hate using factory jack. that thing adds at least 45 min to ANY job lol
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:17 PM   #15
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Naw man, gonna take 10 hrs at least.

6-8 hrs is if the mechanic is rushing or workin like a madman. I jus cant see it.

The OP would definitely need 14 hrs if he doing it himself. maybe more if never done it before.

Hell, the first time i did the plugs it took me 3 hrs. Second time it took me 2hrs and thats cuz i learned a way to gettin those damned firewall side plugs out faster.
what the whole job? yeah, i said 10 if he takes his time. or do you mean the spindle? you can drop a spindle in about 30 once you know what your doing.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:19 PM   #16
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i feel u.

for me, add #4 raise and support the vehicle. I dont have a 2 ton jack and i hate using factory jack. that thing adds at least 45 min to ANY job lol
i got a 3 ton at wal mart for 50 bucks a low profile one too, stands are 20 for a set. get yo *** to the store man!!
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #17
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i got a 3 ton at wal mart for 50 bucks a low profile one too, stands are 20 for a set. get yo *** to the store man!!
lol....my boy keep telling me to get one. I got nowhere to put the damn thing. No gargage and no storage. My neighbor got one and air tools so im good.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:04 PM   #18
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I'm calling you out on that cashoit. 3 hours to do plugs? Seriously? Have you ever picked up a wrench before? 1.5-2 hours for front brakes? Wtf are you smoking? Even before I became a mechanic I would do my own pads and it would only take me 30 minutes, while doing it on the ground with BS tools. Now I do them in 15 minutes on a lift. Standard labor rate for front pads is 1 hour. News flash: Mechanics are not paid by the clock hour. We get paid per job, and each job has a set labor time. Thats why we work ao fast. A good mechanic should be able to look at any bolt or nut he has removed from the car and know EXACTLY where it goes, even if they aren't familiar with the car.

It wont take anywhere near 10, or even 8 hours to actually do it. The amount of labor time he pays will be different. Theres SO much overlap in the work its not funny. And no, it does NOT take two people to compress springs, I do it by myself all the time. I would expect about 10 hrs worth or labor. I could personally do the job by myself in 4 hours.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #19
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I agree with Blackwind do it yourself. It will save you a lot of money. I did my struts and springs in about 2 1/2 hours. With all you have listed I would agree with atleast 10 hours. If I were you I would wake up early in the morning and get it started. You can finish in one day if you have the tools to do it and if you know what you doing. Its good to learn whats in your car. Try it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:36 PM   #20
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I think I might do the rear suspension myself since it is not as much to change. If it doesn't prove to be to difficult I might do it all myself. But I am kind of paranoid of working under cars. I had a family member die by having a car crush them while they were working on it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:31 PM   #21
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I think I might do the rear suspension myself since it is not as much to change. If it doesn't prove to be to difficult I might do it all myself. But I am kind of paranoid of working under cars. I had a family member die by having a car crush them while they were working on it.
I can appreciate your apprehension about working under the car, but a lot of the work you need doesn't really require you to be down below. For the struts, only your arms will be in the wheel well. For the tie rods and ends, the only time you "need" to be under the car is to cut the boot ties, and you can do that with one side of the car on a curb (if you use something like the Lisle inner tie rod tool to do the job). If you can manage these then your labor costs could be cut in half. And no, you don't need 2 people to compress a spring - if you have an impact it's a 5 minute job to compress, swap, and uncompress.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:04 PM   #22
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If your gonna do the rear struts yourself you might as well do the fronts also, their just as easy if not easier. If your afraid of working underneath a car just be sure to do it the right way. USE JACKSTANDS. If im working on my car at home I always use two jackstands and keep the jack under there, better safe than sorry.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:46 PM   #23
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do it yourself

I've done every task you got listed within the last several months. But since I did them seperately it added up to around the 14 hours you mentioned earlier. The only jobs I did together was the LCAs, outer tie rods, along with the sway bar links. As stated in post 6 doing these jobs together will cut the time in half.
The rear struts are easily replacable and don't even require a spring compressor. You can rent a compressor from an auto shop. You also don't need any assistance with that compressor, unless it takes you 3 hours to change plugs .
If you have the tools and space you can do these jobs yourself. They're all laid out in the How To's thread. If you need more asistance then submit another post.
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Old 05-27-2010, 06:25 AM   #24
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I'm calling you out on that cashoit. 3 hours to do plugs? Seriously? Have you ever picked up a wrench before? 1.5-2 hours for front brakes? Wtf are you smoking? Even before I became a mechanic I would do my own pads and it would only take me 30 minutes, while doing it on the ground with BS tools. Now I do them in 15 minutes on a lift. Standard labor rate for front pads is 1 hour. News flash: Mechanics are not paid by the clock hour. We get paid per job, and each job has a set labor time. Thats why we work ao fast. A good mechanic should be able to look at any bolt or nut he has removed from the car and know EXACTLY where it goes, even if they aren't familiar with the car.

It wont take anywhere near 10, or even 8 hours to actually do it. The amount of labor time he pays will be different. Theres SO much overlap in the work its not funny. And no, it does NOT take two people to compress springs, I do it by myself all the time. I would expect about 10 hrs worth or labor. I could personally do the job by myself in 4 hours.
Now im callin u out lol. 4 hrs is crazy. Even with airtools. 1hr to do brakes????? Takes half an hr jus to get vehicla raised, tires off, brake line, calipers off and u need the special brake tool too. If the rotors are rusted, it gonna take even longer. THen bolt up tight and test drive. 1.5 hrs for front brakes. Ima stand by that.

Back to the 4hrs part....Struts part of suspension, tie rod and control arms part of steering. 2 seperate systems. Unless the mechanic rushing like a madman, he cant do it in 6-8 hrs. Besides, wd u want the guy to rush?? U want the mechanic to take his time and do it right. Jus like a good barber, u want him to take his time and do it right .


Now the spark plugs...yeah man 3 hrs. I timed myself. Front three were a piece of cake. 1hr to get tools, remove cover on coils, remove coil screws, remove plugs, lubricate new plugs, gap plugs, reinstall.

the back plugs???? whew man, those are a PITA. U can barely see them, can barely get them out, cant tell if they correctly reinstalled. Those took me 2 hrs. But again, im not rushing. Im tryin to take my time and do it right. THe second time, i did the plugs it took me 2hrs and thats cuz i learned to use the coil to remove the plugs fron the spark plug well instead of using spark plug socket. Hell, most of that time was lost jus tryin to get the plugs out of the damn wells. PITA!!!!!!

but this thread aint about me, its about OP

14 hrs is too much time, i think. especially at 70 bucks/hr. Labor alone is 980 bucks. But if u kno the guy does work well, and u dont have the time to do urself, then u gonna hafta bite the bullet or try to negotiate the price.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:10 AM   #25
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He is quoting All Data but I know that it would take 14 hours if you did each job individually but if they won't give a discount for doing it all at once than I am going to find a different mechanic.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:24 AM   #26
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I'm calling you out on that cashoit. 3 hours to do plugs? Seriously? Have you ever picked up a wrench before? 1.5-2 hours for front brakes? Wtf are you smoking? Even before I became a mechanic I would do my own pads and it would only take me 30 minutes, while doing it on the ground with BS tools. Now I do them in 15 minutes on a lift. Standard labor rate for front pads is 1 hour. News flash: Mechanics are not paid by the clock hour. We get paid per job, and each job has a set labor time. Thats why we work ao fast. A good mechanic should be able to look at any bolt or nut he has removed from the car and know EXACTLY where it goes, even if they aren't familiar with the car.

It wont take anywhere near 10, or even 8 hours to actually do it. The amount of labor time he pays will be different. Theres SO much overlap in the work its not funny. And no, it does NOT take two people to compress springs, I do it by myself all the time. I would expect about 10 hrs worth or labor. I could personally do the job by myself in 4 hours.
I'm sure that we agree that the mechanic is claiming too much hours. But for cashoit being slow? Look at my hours. LOL

I am confident in my ability to do work on my car. As long as I have a workspace and tools. It took me 2.5 days to change my cali front exhaust manifold to fed, install 3 o2 sensor bosses in a warpspeed y pipe, extend the wires of 2 o2 sensors, drill out some antifoulers for the sensors, drill out a broken catalytic converter screw and install everything.

A full day to install a shift kit (which ****ed up my tranny) tranny cooler and tranny temp gauge.

A full day to rebolt a flywheel in a Prelude engine swapped civic because the transmission was getting jammed. Another full day to replace that same transmission because I didn't know that the clutch had to be aligned or that there was something called a clutch alignment tool. LOL. I was lucky the first time.

A full day for a heater core in my 90 Buick Regal.

I ALWAYSSSS run into something that eats up a few hours. Air tools would have helped though

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Old 05-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by DimitroffVodka View Post
He is quoting All Data but I know that it would take 14 hours if you did each job individually but if they won't give a discount for doing it all at once than I am going to find a different mechanic.

Well see, thas why i say negotiate. Tie rods and LCA are related so he shd only charge labor for replacing struts and tie rods. Might drop labor charge to 500 bucks or so. All four struts at least 250 for labor and another 250 for tie rods. THey both take time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by EsQueue View Post
I'm sure that we agree that the mechanic is claiming too much hours. But for cashoit being slow? Look at my hours. LOL

I am confident in my ability to do work on my car. As long as I have a workspace and tools. It took me 2.5 days to change my cali front exhaust manifold to fed, install 3 o2 sensor bosses in a warpspeed y pipe, extend the wires of 2 o2 sensors, drill out some antifoulers for the sensors, drill out a broken catalytic converter screw and install everything.

A full day to install a shift kit (which ****ed up my tranny) tranny cooler and tranny temp gauge.

A full day to rebolt a flywheel in a Prelude engine swapped civic because the transmission was getting jammed. Another full day to replace that same transmission because I didn't know that the clutch had to be aligned or that there was something called a clutch alignment tool. LOL. I was lucky the first time.

A full day for a heater core in my 90 Buick Regal.

I ALWAYSSSS run into something that eats up a few hours. Air tools would have helped though
O yea man. Im no slouch when it comes to car repair but some stuff i jus dont have the time or willingness to do. I basically will do anything to my car that does not require raising and supporting vehicle. Anything else i let my mech do.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:14 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimitroffVodka View Post
I have the parts and been getting estimates to get them installed

4 new shock/struts with new strut mounts
inner and outer tie rods both sides
new lower control arms on both sides
cv shaft replacements on both sides

I just got quoted 14 hours which seems awfully high to me or is this about what it takes to do it?

hey just take it to another mechanic to get a quote and see if the hours match up .
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:53 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashoit View Post
Now im callin u out lol. 4 hrs is crazy. Even with airtools. 1hr to do brakes????? Takes half an hr jus to get vehicla raised, tires off, brake line, calipers off and u need the special brake tool too. If the rotors are rusted, it gonna take even longer. THen bolt up tight and test drive. 1.5 hrs for front brakes. Ima stand by that.
Standard shop time for front brakes is 1 hour. Ask around. Rusted rotors wont have anything to do with it. You DO NOT need any kind of special tool. You might be thinking of the rear calipers, which need the pistons turned in. Even then the tool is NOT needed. Ask me how I know.

Quote:
Back to the 4hrs part....Struts part of suspension, tie rod and control arms part of steering. 2 seperate systems. Unless the mechanic rushing like a madman, he cant do it in 6-8 hrs. Besides, wd u want the guy to rush?? U want the mechanic to take his time and do it right. Jus like a good barber, u want him to take his time and do it right .
Yes their technically two different systems but they work in unison. Theres a massive amount of overlap in the work the guy needs done. There are two speeds for me when im working. The "normal" speed, and the "luxury" speed. "Normal" speed is fast. "Luxury" speed is taking my time because im probably working on a mercedes, bmw, audi, or whatever. Maximas defintely dont fall in the "luxury" speed category.

Quote:
Now the spark plugs...yeah man 3 hrs. I timed myself. Front three were a piece of cake. 1hr to get tools, remove cover on coils, remove coil screws, remove plugs, lubricate new plugs, gap plugs, reinstall.

the back plugs???? whew man, those are a PITA. U can barely see them, can barely get them out, cant tell if they correctly reinstalled. Those took me 2 hrs. But again, im not rushing. Im tryin to take my time and do it right. THe second time, i did the plugs it took me 2hrs and thats cuz i learned to use the coil to remove the plugs fron the spark plug well instead of using spark plug socket. Hell, most of that time was lost jus tryin to get the plugs out of the damn wells. PITA!!!!!!
Sorry bro, but thats just pitiful. Why did you do them a second time? Spark plugs last for a long, long time.

Quote:
but this thread aint about me, its about OP

14 hrs is too much time, i think. especially at 70 bucks/hr. Labor alone is 980 bucks. But if u kno the guy does work well, and u dont have the time to do urself, then u gonna hafta bite the bullet or try to negotiate the price.
I agree. 14 is absurd. If he can go in there and act like he knows what hes talking about, then he SHOULD get the time lowered. Or call around, estimates are always free.

Quote:
Well see, thas why i say negotiate. Tie rods and LCA are related so he shd only charge labor for replacing struts and tie rods. Might drop labor charge to 500 bucks or so. All four struts at least 250 for labor and another 250 for tie rods. THey both take time.
Your contradicting yourself here. The only way tie rods and LCA's are related is that they both bolt up to the spindle. You said it yourself, tie rods are part of the steering system, and LCA's are part of the suspension. If you had ever taken the wheel off you would see it plain as day.

Quote:
I'm sure that we agree that the mechanic is claiming too much hours. But for cashoit being slow? Look at my hours. LOL

I am confident in my ability to do work on my car. As long as I have a workspace and tools. It took me 2.5 days to change my cali front exhaust manifold to fed, install 3 o2 sensor bosses in a warpspeed y pipe, extend the wires of 2 o2 sensors, drill out some antifoulers for the sensors, drill out a broken catalytic converter screw and install everything.

A full day to install a shift kit (which ****ed up my tranny) tranny cooler and tranny temp gauge.

A full day to rebolt a flywheel in a Prelude engine swapped civic because the transmission was getting jammed. Another full day to replace that same transmission because I didn't know that the clutch had to be aligned or that there was something called a clutch alignment tool. LOL. I was lucky the first time.

A full day for a heater core in my 90 Buick Regal.

I ALWAYSSSS run into something that eats up a few hours. Air tools would have helped though
Ya, your times are pretty slow. But Cashoit's times are just pitiful. No offense dude, really.

You pretty much summed up the problem most DIY'ers have. Its the lack of tools, knowledge, experience, or all three. I would say cashoit lacks all three. So pretty much if your just a DIY'er, then ya, everything will take longer, but thats ok.

Let us know what ends up happening DimitroffVodka. I'd be interested to see how it turns out.

Last edited by Daniel1120; 05-27-2010 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:06 PM   #30
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DimitroffVodka, I just saw your post in another thread asking about parts. I saw the kit you bought off ebay. It also includes sway bar end links that you didnt mention. The kit does not appear to have new sway bar end link bushings, you will need new ones. The energy suspension ones from vatozone will work fine. I also did not see in your original post about the inner tie rods. That will add time.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:06 PM
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