March 30, 2020 at 9:25 pm #97241
Looking for suggestions as to reasonable labor times to install complete brake line kits (such as from AGS, Dorman etc) on full size Chev/GMC pick ups. While fishing a line behind the fuel tank to the rear is no biggy, those four lines running to the front under the cab mount can be a bear. Obviously, preformed lines would entail removing clips, old lines and reinstalling in the same manner as OE, zip ties just ain’t gonna cut it here. So what kinds of times are you seeing?March 31, 2020 at 10:23 am #97245March 31, 2020 at 1:09 pm #97267March 31, 2020 at 1:35 pm #97278Patrick McElroyParticipant
8-10 hours is my experience. Rusted brake lines around here usually means the rest of the trucks fasteners are rusted as well. And, those complete kits don’t come with the rear axle lines. Those have to be custom bent and flared. Good chance the bleeder screws are rusted. It’s always easier to lower the bill if all goes well, but that is usually not the case on these jobs.March 31, 2020 at 2:15 pm #97281Frank Scandura IIIParticipant
I would never be comfortable with a firm quote on a repair like this. I would be more comfortable giving the motorist a “RANGE” and then I would bill at 1.25 times my rate x time spent – I would trach the tech and be sure he was uninterrupted for as long as possible.
Frank M Scandura IIIMarch 31, 2020 at 4:50 pm #97287steve steebParticipant
We also have typically quote that job at 8 – 10 hours. By the time you get bleeders open, old lines off, new ones fished in place, fittings threaded in and tightened, brakes bled (and BLED!), go for a road test and clean up the mess – you have killed a day! And unless the vehicle needs some more parts (calipers, pads, rotors) the line kit, fluid and Brakleen are all you have for parts.March 31, 2020 at 8:48 pm #97291charles longoParticipant
In Connecticut with the rust problem that plagues every vehicle, especially trucks, we set a minimum at 10 hours. We are very clear to the vehicle owner that if bleeders don’t open, and additional time is required, the price will increase. We have had plow trucks that the repairs have escalated to almost $2000.00. We are currently replacing lines on a 2004 Silverado. The lines at the ABS module will no longer accept a wrench, size now unknown. Rear caliper bleeders will not open, and rear backing plates are long gone. This consumer is well aware that this is going to be a challenge and very expensive. Incidentally, NOT ONE owner every refused our proposal. Many shops in our area will not make these repairs, and many do it cheaper and very shoddy. The disadvantage of a state without an annual inspection.April 1, 2020 at 9:14 am #97296david GraberParticipant
We quote a base price judging by others we have done. But we also at the same time tell them its time & Material.April 2, 2020 at 8:13 am #97312Tommy MilazzoParticipant
We start with 10 hours and track actual time and bill accordingly. I make sure the customer knows that due to age, rust and other unforeseen issues (other brake components and rust usually) the cost can go up.April 2, 2020 at 10:21 am #97321
Decades ago, I got blamed for a broken bleeder screw, and go into the habit of checking those FIRST, before writing a quote. If they don’t feel like they will open, the customer is advised UP FRONT that if they break, or wont open, that component will need to be replaced. Same deal with fasteners, like thermostat bolts that tend to snap. I had one truck where I had to fabricate the all the lines, and I think I billed about 8 hrs, although I am sure I had more than that in it. Thanks for the replyApril 2, 2020 at 6:28 pm #97347
Yep, they do seem to take forever to bleed, especially if the auto bleed feature isn’t working.April 2, 2020 at 7:21 pm #97350steve steebParticipant
Decades ago, I got blamed for a broken bleeder screw, and go into the habit of checking those FIRST, before writing a quote. If they don’t feel like they will open, the customer is advised UP FRONT that if they break, or wont open, that component will need to be replaced. Same deal with fasteners, like thermostat bolts that tend to snap. I had one truck where I had to fabricate the all the lines, and I think I billed about 8 hrs, although I am sure I had more than that in it. Thanks for the reply
YEP! PURE Michigan! We will crack all bleeders and make sure they flow fluid (if I need to take it out and run a drill bit in the MUD to make it work -that’s a tenth or two!) before quoting the job. Great Observation!April 3, 2020 at 12:56 pm #97380
I am in rural Iowa, lots of farmers and cattle ranchers. Replace a lot of rear lines behind fuel tanks, because the frames are continually full of mud. Calipers often get replaced simply because the guide pins are seized. I just find it is a lot less headache to tell the customer you EXPECT something to break up front than to try to get them to pony up after the fact. That way if they want to cancel the job, no harm no foul. Thermostats are a prime example. With extended coolant drain intervals, (often ignored) it is hardly unusual to find housing bolts seized into the manifold. *I* am not going to buy you an intake manifold and the time to install it on a thermostat job because *you* failed to maintain the vehicleApril 7, 2020 at 11:12 am #97503john boronczykParticipant
If you are dealing with any type of corrosion/rust a good advisor will sell it at time plus parts and promise to keep the customer informed of extras if any along the way. Some type of ball park number will have to be given to start ( nobody just gives a blank check). Don’t low ball – be realistic . We do hundreds of feet of line annually and usually make out pretty good. You do have to have a labor intensive labor rate to charge it out – because you aren’t selling much for parts. In our shop each bay is attempting to make $150 + a hour including labor and parts profit. Hope this helps.
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