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Old 07-20-2019, 11:19 PM   #1
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Question Second opinion on repair quote?

I had a mechanic come out because I knew my harmonic balancer bracket was broken. During the diagnosis, they noticed what they believe to be an exhaust leak. They stated they could "hear" a 'tish tish tish' sound while the engine was running. They prepared the following quote for me:

Labor
Install Harmonic Balancer- STBD 237.50T
Labor
Repair Exhaust Leak- STBD 237.50T
Part
Harmonic Balancer- STBD 125.99T
Part
Manifold Gasket 14.00T
Part
Elbow Gaskets 20.00T
Misc. Shop Supplies
5% of total labor hours for misc. materials/supplies (30 Hour Cap) 21.25
SUBTOTAL 656.24
TAX 52.39
TOTAL $708.63



Fast forward two rescheduled appointments and they came out to fix everything. After repairing the harmonic balancer, they attempted to repair the exhaust leak. However, they stated they were concerned that the bolts were going to break off. If they do, they've given me this worst case scenario quote.

Labor with Helper
Remove Manifold by Force-STBD 1,120.00T
Labor with Helper
Remove Heat Exchanger and Various- STBD 280.00T
Labor with Helper
Remove Intake and Head- STBD 420.00T
Helper Labor
Transport Head to Shop, Prep and Inspect for Overhaul 135.00T
Labor with Helper
Clean Surfaces- Mount Head Valve Train-STBD 490.00T
Labor with Helper
Mount Intake and Exhaust Manifold- STBD 350.00T
Labor
Run Engine 95.00T
Part
Head Gasket 80.84T
Part
Intake Gasket 91.62T
Part
Exhaust Manifold 415.00T
Part
Spacer 252.00T
Part
Mixing Elbow 263.00T
CHV-47-0000
Exhaust Manifold Gasket 9.99T
18-0897
Merc. Riser Gasket-Center Rise Exhaust Elbow 4.37T
18-2849-1
Merc. Exhaust Elbow Gasket- PKG of 2 12.51T
21414-PK
Antifreeze 77.94T
15W40- GAL
Oil- Rotella 15W-40 Gal 56.97T
Part
Head Rebuild 295.00T
Part
Oil Filter 5.57T
Misc. Shop Supplies
5% of total labor hours for misc. materials/supplies (30 Hour Cap) 106.25
Environmental Fee
Oil/Coolant/Fuel disposal fee- Per gallon 4.05

SUBTOTAL 4,565.11
TAX 367.52
TOTAL $4,932.63


Am I being taken for a ride, and should I get a second opinion? Or does this sound plausible?
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:45 PM   #2
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That quote seems reasonable to me. The only bit that seems high is removing the manifold, which seems 50% high to me. But, I haven't seen the boat or arrangement.

I'm not sure I see the reason forbthe head work, though.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:58 PM   #3
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I guess it depends on your local market. From my experience this seems reasonable compared to what I pay in Washington. They're probably being conservative since they don't know what might go wrong.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:11 AM   #4
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You are not getting a deal. You are not being taken for a ride. You did ask for a worst case quote.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
You are not getting a deal. You are not being taken for a ride. You did ask for a worst case quote.
But what I don't understand is that they stated it was an exhaust head gasket. Why are we not replacing ALL the other parts listed?
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:55 AM   #6
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It`s a head gasket, not an exhaust head gasket. The quote is predicated on the bolts breaking. My guess is if they don`t, the head work should not be needed.
They priced a lot of parts, I assume the labor includes replacing those parts. It might be easier to understand if you have a schematic "exploded view" of the engine in front of you.
As to the $, from over here,no idea, but it`s amazing what a failing exhaust gasket and 2 iffy bolts turn into once the head has to come off.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:46 AM   #7
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Is the mechanic / shop a dealer for the engine and what is their hourly labor rate? If not a dealer, are they very experienced with your make and model engine? I don't like to pay for on the job training. I also prefer mechanics who take more time to finesse stuck bolts as opposed to creating more work.

I do give them credit for not preceeding, ringing the bolts off, and essentially limiting your options.

I find their worse case price high, but possibly not unreasonable based on not knowing engine model and difficulty of head R and R.

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Old 07-21-2019, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toocoys View Post
I had a mechanic come out because I knew my harmonic balancer bracket was broken. During the diagnosis, they noticed what they believe to be an exhaust leak. They stated they could "hear" a 'tish tish tish' sound while the engine was running. They prepared the following quote for me:

Labor
Install Harmonic Balancer- STBD 237.50T
Labor
Repair Exhaust Leak- STBD 237.50T
Part
Harmonic Balancer- STBD 125.99T
Part
Manifold Gasket 14.00T
Part
Elbow Gaskets 20.00T
Misc. Shop Supplies
5% of total labor hours for misc. materials/supplies (30 Hour Cap) 21.25
SUBTOTAL 656.24
TAX 52.39
TOTAL $708.63



Fast forward two rescheduled appointments and they came out to fix everything. After repairing the harmonic balancer, they attempted to repair the exhaust leak. However, they stated they were concerned that the bolts were going to break off. If they do, they've given me this worst case scenario quote.

Labor with Helper
Remove Manifold by Force-STBD 1,120.00T
Labor with Helper
Remove Heat Exchanger and Various- STBD 280.00T
Labor with Helper
Remove Intake and Head- STBD 420.00T
Helper Labor
Transport Head to Shop, Prep and Inspect for Overhaul 135.00T
Labor with Helper
Clean Surfaces- Mount Head Valve Train-STBD 490.00T
Labor with Helper
Mount Intake and Exhaust Manifold- STBD 350.00T
Labor
Run Engine 95.00T
Part
Head Gasket 80.84T
Part
Intake Gasket 91.62T
Part
Exhaust Manifold 415.00T
Part
Spacer 252.00T
Part
Mixing Elbow 263.00T
CHV-47-0000
Exhaust Manifold Gasket 9.99T
18-0897
Merc. Riser Gasket-Center Rise Exhaust Elbow 4.37T
18-2849-1
Merc. Exhaust Elbow Gasket- PKG of 2 12.51T
21414-PK
Antifreeze 77.94T
15W40- GAL
Oil- Rotella 15W-40 Gal 56.97T
Part
Head Rebuild 295.00T
Part
Oil Filter 5.57T
Misc. Shop Supplies
5% of total labor hours for misc. materials/supplies (30 Hour Cap) 106.25
Environmental Fee
Oil/Coolant/Fuel disposal fee- Per gallon 4.05

SUBTOTAL 4,565.11
TAX 367.52
TOTAL $4,932.63


Am I being taken for a ride, and should I get a second opinion? Or does this sound plausible?
$57 for a gallon of Rotella?
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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It appears they are being reasonable and responsible giving you a worst case quote. If the potential broken bolts in question are those that fasten the exhaust manifold to the head and they were to break in such way the head had to go to a machine shop then you enter the worst case scenario. A less responsible shop would tear into the work, hoping for the best, then when the bolts break hit you with the ugly $4,932.63 surprise.

I see some parts listed as Merc. Does that mean it's a Mercruiser gasser? If so this is one of the times you'll be happy you have a gasser not a diesel. I just got two quotes on head gaskets, head reconditioning and fuel pump seals on Cat 3208s. Average of the two is $8,875 per engine. If your engine is a diesel then the quote you have been given is a great deal!

Gasser or diesel if it were me I'd do some research into the costs of short block, long block and complete drop in. Just in case it's worse than the worst case.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:05 AM   #10
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A good repairman can remove broken bolts without removing the head. I have done it. One thing is to use an induction heating gun before trying to back the bolts out. If they don't have one, I wouldn't deal with them. They are common in the automotive world. I would think the marine businesses would be an early adopter just to bring in business by saving people money due to broken bolts.



When I remove broken bolts, I weld a nut onto the broken part. The heat will usually break the threads loose and it should back out. The other thing I do is grind the broken part flat, center punch it, and drill it out in steps until I can retap the original threads. I only up the thread size if absolutely necessary.




These are made with different tips for accessing tight areas. The good ones are about half the size of the one in the video and extremely versatile. This one is more of an advanced DIY unit.



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Old 07-21-2019, 09:14 AM   #11
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You didn't get taken for ride, you got screwed!


As soon as work exceeded the estimate you should have advised


THe $57 for a $18 gal of oil is the biggest red flag
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:49 AM   #12
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Does the oil charge include time?...from getting it, transporting it to adding it, to checking it, to discarding the empty?


Sometimes you have to step back and see the forest for the trees..


Out of working on houses, cars, aircraft, heavy equipment, and boats.... Boats stand out as being one of the more difficult of all.


Sure you can be cheated, but also look at the difficulty involved.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lipets View Post
You didn't get taken for ride, you got screwed!


As soon as work exceeded the estimate you should have advised


THe $57 for a $18 gal of oil is the biggest red flag
What V8 engine only uses 1 gallon of oil. My guess is something got lost in translation.

Short blocks go for $3500 then you have labor. Complete drop inís go for $14,000 plus labor.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:16 PM   #14
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Bolts always break. It's part of dealing with marine exhaust systems. Drilling out the bolt and installing a helicoil should be a 30 min job. Assuming $100/hr rate, they are gouging you 10 hours for a 2 or 3 hour job.

You indicated there was an exhaust leak. You didn't say where the leak was, but I am guessing it was an exhaust manifold gasket. The yard gave a detailed professional quote for a head overhaul. I don't see the connection between removing an exhaust manifold and a quote that wants to to remove the whole head. Seems excessive. Get a second opinion.
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Old 07-21-2019, 12:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SoWhat View Post
Bolts always break. It's part of dealing with marine exhaust systems. Drilling out the bolt and installing a helicoil should be a 30 min job. Assuming $100/hr rate, they are gouging you 10 hours for a 2 or 3 hour job.

You indicated there was an exhaust leak. You didn't say where the leak was, but I am guessing it was an exhaust manifold gasket. The yard gave a detailed professional quote for a head overhaul. I don't see the connection between removing an exhaust manifold and a quote that wants to to remove the whole head. Seems excessive. Get a second opinion.
Bolts really shouldn't always break, but they sure can. Most mechanics just get to anxious. I've found that if one takes his time, use heat and a great penetrant like Kroil, they come out fine. I've never broken a bolt, out of hundreds, however, mostly aircraft engines which are probably a bit easier. Now, if they do break, they can certainly take longer than 30 minutes, especially if they are hardened or stainless, and the break is below the surface.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:13 PM   #16
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Look for someone that specializes in removing broken automotive studs and bolts. They are mobile and bring an arsenal of tools to remove a stubborn fastener.

I had an auto dealership break several studs while removing an exhaust manifold that required head removal on a turbo diesel. They wanted $6,500 for the R&R. I found a stud removal specialist and he removed the broken studs without removing the engine. He charged $550 for removing 3 broken studs.

Check with hot rod, auto racing and Harly shops for a mobile stud removal specialist recommendation. They are difficult to locate because they do other things and stud removal is a sideline.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:00 PM   #17
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What helps a lot, put marine grease on the bolts. Marine grease tends to stay in place and not wash away. Or if it gets hot, use antiseize.

I do all my own work. I also have rebuilt car engines and transmissions and gear boxes, and I rebuilt my velvet drive. But I can imagine if I was much older, I may not be able to physically do the work.

One good technique, weld a nut onto the broken stud. The heat will break the rust. Then you can most likely spin it out.

An oxy acetylene torch has saved me a lot over the years.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:31 PM   #18
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You could save 5G if you learn mechanics. If you just broke loose the exhaust bolts you'd save a bundle.

From many years of engine work - If you take rusted nuts and bolts loose with an impact wrench, rarely will you break off a bolt or stud. If you use a breaker bar and maybe a pipe extension, many will twist and break. You can rent an electric impact wrench. Or buy one for almost the same cost at Harbor Freight.

Better yet, use a lube designed to penetrate steel threads first. I use Kerney Rust Cutter (on eBay about $15). It includes a mild acid that penetrates and eats the rust. On badly rusted threads, sometimes after applying, I can turn the nut by hand. Nuts, bolts and studs. Also work good on piston rings seized to the cylinder. It's made for high voltage transmission tower linemen or is it line persons?



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Old 07-21-2019, 08:16 PM   #19
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I see some parts listed as Merc. Does that mean it's a Mercruiser gasser?

Marine Power 454's
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You didn't get taken for ride, you got screwed!


As soon as work exceeded the estimate you should have advised


THe $57 for a $18 gal of oil is the biggest red flag

The work HAS NOT been done yet. This is their quote for 'in case' the bolts break. They supposedly 'have a plan' to attempt to prevent breakage at all costs, but if they can't this is what the cost would be.
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