Hourly rates and Labor times - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hourly rates and Labor times

I have a shop but have always restored Mustangs but they have been full restorations, so I priced the cars accordingly.

I have a buyer that just purchased a 1969 Coupe but he just threw me for a loop and stated he wanted me to install the Vintage air A/C system. I have no problem doing the work but my issue is “what is a fair hourly rate AND how many hours would it take install this unit? ”

I have installed these units before but at my own pace. So I would like help in determining a fair labor rate (I'm in Central Texas area).

Does anyone know where I can find a book that gives me labor hours for various jobs? Such as, how many hours do I charge for removing and replacing heads after a valve job?

All help is appreciated.

Thank you!!

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 07:30 PM
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I'm not trying to be a wiseass, but you have a shop & you are asking about what to charge!
I suggest:
PM Pete's ponies
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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No offense taken. My business model has been that I buy a a car that others don't have the desire or experience to fix. I buy it cheap and fix panels, floor plans. New parts where needed and do turn key jobs. I place a price on it based on parts I have purchased and initial price of the car. No over head, have my own shop.

Guess been blessed that I price my cars well enough that if I invest $3K and get 12K , I haven't the need to put an hourly amount to my work. I seem to be getting more interest to do return customer generated work so I don't know what a fair price is. It just a simple concept and I thought an honest way of doing business.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-09-2014, 11:42 PM
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I would call Vintage Air and see what the average install time is add an hour or so and figure what you need per hour. Most shops here in Long Island are in the 85 dollar range. that is with the full cost of over head.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 12:32 AM
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Maybe get some flat rate manuals to help with the amount of time to charge, you can find the older ones on eBay now and then.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-10-2014, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warpony65 View Post
I have a shop but have always restored Mustangs but they have been full restorations, so I priced the cars accordingly.

I have a buyer that just purchased a 1969 Coupe but he just threw me for a loop and stated he wanted me to install the Vintage air A/C system. I have no problem doing the work but my issue is “what is a fair hourly rate AND how many hours would it take install this unit? ”

I have installed these units before but at my own pace. So I would like help in determining a fair labor rate (I'm in Central Texas area).

Does anyone know where I can find a book that gives me labor hours for various jobs? Such as, how many hours do I charge for removing and replacing heads after a valve job?

All help is appreciated.

Thank you!!

Www.WarHorseGarage.com

Facebook: WarHorse Garage
If you have a shop with no overhead (home shop??) and it is only you that needs to be paid.................only guessing, but, $40/hr. Others may tell me I'm wrong.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 08:16 PM
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I've had my own business in the past. While not exactly a success, in hind sight I've learned a lot. Rule #1, you're in business to make money. Rule #2, you're either making money or loosing money, breaking even is a load of BS IMO. My suggestion, how much time do you think you need, 8hrs? Then quote on 8 hours period. Leave room for error. If he doesn't like the price, let another shop do the work.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2014, 11:29 AM
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I don't think I've ever done a job on a vintage Stang that didn't take two or three times longer than expected

Impossible to reach or remove nuts, rusty parts, things that don't fit, something in the way, other part found that needs repair or replace

I think it's $75 and hour and it takes as long as it takes

Not a laughing matter but my car has a vintage air system and I find the hoses continually fall off the vents and the vents themselves should come in a gum ball machine

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-18-2014, 09:06 PM
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Vintage Air Sure Fit Gen 4 ? Plan at least an hour and a half just to modify the heater AC control levers.
After removing the old heater box and all hoses plus defog ducts ,another 1.5 ? Installing the new Heater/AC unit will be ,again, 1.5 then the underhood stuff,compressor condenser, lines and charging. Better estimate 10 hours ,of course after you do 3 or 4 you can do it in the 6 VA says it takes.

It tool me 20 hours ,but I ran all my hoses in the fender well and had to have them made,custom condenser mount , receiver dryer mount etc....
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-20-2014, 01:32 AM
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A few big IF's.

IF I was to go back in to the auto repair business and IF it was doing work other than regular maintenance services covered by a flat rate manual then I'd quote the work as a "job" based on whatever factors apply.... what the vendor says, what prep work needs to be done, exactly what the owner wants done, etc., what the job is "worth" based on competitor's quotes.. (who says you can't call a couple places and ask what THEY'D get to do the job) and whether it makes sense to me to do the job.

I absolutely HATED to send work to other shops so I'd sometimes get caught in my own web of trying to accommodate people with what I'd consider "unprofitable" jobs. For instance, in a day I could do a mix of highly profitable "undercar" work (exhaust, brakes, shocks) where I could beat flat rate by 50-100%, plus the parts markup. Then, the "custom" job would come along. Somebody would want me to do something like swap a motor or, even better, install a trailer-towing wiring harness and brake controller that THEY supplied (back in the days before plug & play).

So, after drilling the necessary holes, mounting the brake controller, wiring it, running the harness to the rear, installing the receptacle, testing everything, etc., I'd end up spending half the day screwing around to charge 4 hours at $42 per hour ($168) when I could have done 6 complete exhaust jobs and netted $600.

So, what would I charge? As much as I freakin' could.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 11:27 PM
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Vintage Air comes up a lot on this forum and others. From what I've seen from other posters it seems most shops charge around $1,000-$1,500 for the job depending on how much clean up/detail etc the customer wants done.

I've installed two of these kits. They're not difficult, but do take time by yourself. It is a lot of work, but since you have no overhead, and this is likely a friend or acquaintance? I think 800-1,000 is more than fair (the kit alone is around $1200 no including the charging, belts, or pulleys you may need, depending on car, I already had an A/C car so I was set), so overall, adding A/C is expensive. I don't know if you've ever installed one before, but be sure to let the person know that their cooling system will like NOT handle the new VA kit.

You're supposed to remove most of the front fascia, but I got away with just removing the grille, center bar, and hood latch.

I had to upgrade my C10 from a 3 row to 4 row heavy duty radiator and 7 blade clutch fan (what the truck would have come with if it had factory A/C). I also had to upgrade my mustangs cooling system. Overheating seems to be the #1 complaint I read on here after installing A/C, so just be prepared for that.

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Last edited by 65 Pony; 12-03-2014 at 11:30 PM.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2017, 10:20 AM
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Not trying to be a smart arse give some shops in TX a call maybe Gas Monkey for a price. You picked the wrong year Mustang to start working on them 69's you need to completely remove the dash just to get to the heater box. If you've never pulled one it's around 12 hours if you brake anything like a tab on the heater box their pricey when you can find one.

Search the web for 69 Mustang Cougar heater core replacement. West Coast Classic Cougars has a good video on it.

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Last edited by Bob & Sue; 07-29-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2017, 01:38 PM
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You are having a shop and then asking here. Seems strange.
Since the thread is 3 yr old, I suspect he has had the work done by now or he is REALLY taking his time shopping around

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2017, 01:42 PM
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You are having a shop and then asking here. Seems strange.
Not as strange as feeling the need to dredge up a three year old thread to comment on a member who hasn't even been here in about three years.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-29-2017, 02:24 PM
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Not as strange as feeling the need to dredge up a three year old thread to comment on a member who hasn't even been here in about three years.
And that's not to mention the ten or so other inane posts made earlier today.

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