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Old 10-18-2019, 04:26 PM   #1
Forddan
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Default Clutch replacement costs...

Hi

Could be I have to do a clutch replacement in my early 1929 Tudor.

If I would take the car to a shop, can anybody provide me a bulk idea of total costs.

In other words, if someone have paid to have this job done what was the cost.

That will give me an idea of how much I will have to save to do it, because i do not have the skills, neither tools or setup for that type of mechanical job.

Thank you all !
Daniel
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

What are the symptoms of your problem? Slipping? Grabbing? Or maybe only needing adjustment?
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

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What are the symptoms of your problem? Slipping? Grabbing? Or maybe only needing adjustment?
Looks like the clutch is almost at the end of the adjustment, so I was told that in the near future I will have to replace it. The person who tested it said that I have to push all the pedal to the bottom to avoid having some issues when i go from 1st to 2nd. Pins were worn and replaced. Gears looked fine. No need to change them. From time to time my shift from 1st to 2nd is difficult. A few times I had to stop the car and start again.

I hope this answer your request.

Thanks
Daniel
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

There are a number of antique car repair shops in your area. Give them a call. They should be able to give you an estimate. Not a bad job. I would not pull engine, but drop the rear end.

I had a Ford Tractor Dealer do our last one. It was done in two days. No problems. We supplied the clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing, and pilot bearing.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Most vintage automobile repair shops will NOT give an estimate simply because of the unknowns. Not the unknown of how to do the job, but the unknowns of what has been 'MacGuyvered' during a previous restoration. It is very believable to have two mechanics take 3-4 hours each to have the rear end out, transmission on the ground, and the clutch & flywheel ready to restore. Add in an hour or so for machining flywheel and inspecting other items. Now you have assembly time, adjusting time, and test drive time. So you are 15-20 hours possible, ...times the hourly shop rate. Shops in the New England area will have a higher flat-rate over a shop in the Midwest.

Something that many never factor in is that it is grossly different when you are working on your own car vs. working on someone else's vehicle. There are risks and shortcuts taken on your own car that a professional cannot take. Items such as covering seats, painted surfaces, and other undercarriage protection to keep from causing chips or damage. Also, folks must realize that the mechanic is always one broken bolt away from a potential 3 hour set-back.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I always wonder what the Ford shop flat rate and time estimates were back in the 1930s.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Thank you all !! I started to have an idea of potential costs.

~ $70-80 is the shop rate hour in my area.

Best
Daniel
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Do it yourself with club members. Easy to do. Most work for donuts,coffee!
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

It's going to cost you a bundle so I recommend you find someone in a club who has done many of them. The thing is, the clutch is sandwiched in between two relatively hard to move major book-ends. The engine in the front and everything from the transmission on back. You either have to pull the engine or you have to drop the entire rear end, including spreading the rear spring. If you take it to a shop, be sure to take Les Andrew's manual because it will involve a learning curve to anyone doing it, and you will pay for their learning curve.
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

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I always wonder what the Ford shop flat rate and time estimates were back in the 1930s.

Just went and checked my 1947 Chilton's Flat Rate Manual. It only goes back to 1938 so I used the data for a 1938 V8, which should be close as clutch and drive train are very similar. It shows "factory time" to replace clutch disk, pressure plate and throwout bearing as 4.4 hours at a total labor charge of $14.15. This comes out to about $3.25 per hour. Changing the pilot bearing was $1.20 extra. Total parts price for disk, plate and both bearings was about $11.25. Looks like Brent needs to light a fire under his mechanics!
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Do it yourself with club members. Easy to do. Most work for donuts,coffee!



not in NJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

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Do it yourself with club members. Easy to do. Most work for donuts,coffee!



not in NJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol

LOL.... I will talk with the club guys for sure.

The rate of $3.25 per hour in 1938 will be around $56.7 today with an annual inflation average of 3.59.

Thank you for your answers. The people on this forum are the best.

Now I have and idea that the job can cost me between $1K to $2K ...... I better buy MANY boxes of donuts to the club members .... LOL

Best
Daniel
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:23 AM   #13
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

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Just went and checked my 1947 Chilton's Flat Rate Manual. It only goes back to 1938 so I used the data for a 1938 V8, which should be close as clutch and drive train are very similar. It shows "factory time" to replace clutch disk, pressure plate and throwout bearing as 4.4 hours at a total labor charge of $14.15. This comes out to about $3.25 per hour. Changing the pilot bearing was $1.20 extra. Total parts price for disk, plate and both bearings was about $11.25. Looks like Brent needs to light a fire under his mechanics!

Yeah, my guys must be Rookies at this! I am curious how many shops will quote the job at 5 hours.

Tell you what, ...why don't you start by listing EVERY task you will need to do from start to finish to do this job. Don't forget the time it takes to re-surface the flywheel, and don't forget to factor in adjusting pressure plate fingers or pressing off the throw-out bearing and packing the new bearing before installing it. BTW, if the shop does not have equipment such as a flywheel grinder, be sure to add in the time it takes to transport it to a shop that can do it correctly. (-good luck with that!!). Also factor in test drive and other incidental time like clean-up, etc. There is no way that this job can be performed in under 5 hours.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I just dug out the paperwork for the last clutch we had changed.

Repair shop charged me for two men for two hours and one man for five hours. They also replaced the rear spring shackles, greased the u-joint, and changed the oil in the transmission. No problems or broken bolts. They had a spring spreader.

Remember this was over 15 years ago. Cost was $650.00. They were very proud of their work.

We did not have fly wheel re-surfaced. Clutch has worked great ever since.

Their estimate was ten to twelve hours in shop time if no problems came up. They came in under there estimate. I do not remember the hourly rate.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Brent is right. My shop has replaced many clutch assemblies and there is no way in He.. that it can be done in 5 hours. We choose to pull the engine and do the clutch work outside the car. Everything has to be cleaned and painted. Clutch adjustment is easier. Just need some care in removing the engine so as not to scratch paint or damage anything. 20 hours $70.00 per hour plus any parts, paint and supplies. And resurface the flywheel. Good luck with the clubs.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Our local "new" car dealer charges a $95 an hour shop rate. This is in Tennessee. It's as costly as going to the doctor or dentist.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Here in Central Ct labor is "about" $120, Honda is at $145, some of the Brands in Hartford are hovering around $160+ and very few would touch an A. JMO
Paul in CT
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:56 AM   #18
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Here in Central Ct labor is "about" $120, Honda is at $145, some of the Brands in Hartford are hovering around $160+ and very few would touch an A. JMO
Paul in CT
Paul:

All-Pro here in Old Lyme loves to work on our 1929 and other vintage cars. There are also a number of very good shops in Old Saybrook and Essex.

Come on down to the shoreline, life is good!

Your right about the new car dealers service hourly rates. Things have changed.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forddan View Post
Looks like the clutch is almost at the end of the adjustment, so I was told that in the near future I will have to replace it. The person who tested it said that I have to push all the pedal to the bottom to avoid having some issues when i go from 1st to 2nd. Pins were worn and replaced. Gears looked fine. No need to change them. From time to time my shift from 1st to 2nd is difficult. A few times I had to stop the car and start again.

I hope this answer your request.

Thanks
Daniel
The condition you describe is "too much pedal free travel". What is happening is the clutch is not completely disengaged while you are trying to shift. Recommend you do some homework and then confirm there is no more adjustment left before resorting to a clutch change. Very easy to check once you know what to look for. Good Luck.

Last edited by Mulletwagon; 10-19-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I have a old chilton flat rate book, it lists flywheel renew at 6.2 ---states that the method is to leave the spring attached to rear---of course being "flat rate" you can't worry about chipping the paint on undercarrige parts, that excessive rust, stripped- broken fasteners are upcharges ---as are modifications

the same book lists a "krw" overhaul at 20 hours including babbiting block

You may not want to watch a mechanic going at beating flat rate time, it can be brutal
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:12 AM   #21
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Even today what company X says it should take to do the job and what it really takes in the real world shop are not often the same. Flat rate started in the Model T era and many jobs that are listed as X amount of time on a new car, well lots of people even working at a good pace found that it took 3 to 4 times that amount today. Bet they did too back then.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:21 AM   #22
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
Yeah, my guys must be Rookies at this! I am curious how many shops will quote the job at 5 hours.

Tell you what, ...why don't you start by listing EVERY task you will need to do from start to finish to do this job. Don't forget the time it takes to re-surface the flywheel, and don't forget to factor in adjusting pressure plate fingers or pressing off the throw-out bearing and packing the new bearing before installing it. BTW, if the shop does not have equipment such as a flywheel grinder, be sure to add in the time it takes to transport it to a shop that can do it correctly. (-good luck with that!!). Also factor in test drive and other incidental time like clean-up, etc. There is no way that this job can be performed in under 5 hours.

Maybe we're overthinking this. JFranklin in post #6 asked what Ford's time allowance was back in the day so I listed what was quoted in a 1947 chilton Manual. 4.4 hours was 'factory time', and only included replacement of pressure plate, disk and T/O bearing. Grinding flywheel, rebuild pressure plate, reline disk, replace pilot bearing, anything else was extra. I imagine dealers had 'go-fers' and clean-up guys so the mechanic could be on another job while waiting for the flywheel. After some practice, I think a good mechanic would be able to meet or even beat Ford's time.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #23
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

In my experience if this is the first one a mechanic did, it would be a learning experience. A local shop would most likely not have a clue what was involved, not having worked on one, so the quote would be time and materials. An experienced Model A shop would know what exactly needs to be done and could quote a more realistic estimate, but would also say broken bolts and other problems would be extra, such as a flywheel that is beyond truing, front trans bearing needing replacement or other trans/u-joint work etc. It would be best to have it done correctly by someone who knows what they are doing. That person could be a local club member. A local mechanic shop were I grew up in the 50-60s had a sign "Confucius say, ask for cheap job, get same"
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

1000 to 1500 bucks
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:51 PM   #25
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Do it yourself with club members. Easy to do. Most work for donuts,coffee!
i work for cheep Beer!
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:54 PM   #26
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I drove my car into the shop, 45 min later a Friend and i had the motor laying on the floor
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:59 PM   #27
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I had gears swapped out in my trans and whole new clutch assembly installed in my 28 phaeton about 8 years ago. Bill was 700. and I bought the parts.


was done by a local mechanic who knew his sh-t!


Shifts great!
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:29 AM   #28
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In my experience if this is the first one a mechanic did, it would be a learning experience. A local shop would most likely not have a clue what was involved, not having worked on one, so the quote would be time and materials. An experienced Model A shop would know what exactly needs to be done and could quote a more realistic estimate, but would also say broken bolts and other problems would be extra, such as a flywheel that is beyond truing, front trans bearing needing replacement or other trans/u-joint work etc. It would be best to have it done correctly by someone who knows what they are doing. That person could be a local club member. A local mechanic shop were I grew up in the 50-60s had a sign "Confucius say, ask for cheap job, get same"
Here is 'real world' explanation from 'real world' experiences. Any local auto shop working on typical modern day automobiles brings a vehicle in, swing the lift arms under the vehicle and up it goes. An impact wrench with a 13mm socket zings out the drain plug into a pan, while other fasteners are removed similarly as the drain plug. In the collector car world, no matter what the vehicle looks like to the mechanic, it is treated with the utmost care. Lift arms are slowly moved into position to avoid banging into something and rags are placed over the stands to protect paint. Now, no matter whether there is old green paint on the drain plug, -or coated with rust & grease, care must (should) be taken while removing that plug so it will be hard for anyone to tell the plug has recently been removed. This same mindset should be carried out the entire process.

Now let's move up to the interior of the cabin. Most would say removing a floor mat should be less than a minute to do ...however most floor mats are several years old, and stiff like yesterday's coffee. Tear even one hidden corner and the mechanic gets to buy the customer a new mat. Now lets discuss how we need to protect upholstery, AND let's discuss old stuck floorboard screws. The novice shop quotes one price because they never thought of that, ...and the experienced shop knows this might be an issue so it is factored in.

Another thing an experienced shop has learned is the spring is removed at the hangers (shackles) and not at the U-bolts. Two strong reasons, ...generally most nuts are hanging on loose threads that are about to strip, and when removed and then re-installed, they strip. Second, most square holes in the rear crossmember are not square like they once were, and when the spring goes back in, the chance of getting it back into the exact position is unprobable, so now the customer is complaining his car leans differently and they are unhappy. Now the issue with the spring hanger is many are old cheap ones that have worn & stretched on the tie-bar side making remove/installation difficult. A novice shop has not encountered this and goes after it with a big hammer. Also, most modern shops remove lug nuts with an impact, yet back in the day, the mechanic used a 4-way lug wrench that rubbed against the wheel scratching/chipping paint. Most Model-As today do not have the correct wheel color, so trying to match chipped paint is difficult at best, -and time consuming. While the wheel may have had a few chips before it arrived, the owner will fuss about any new chips that you make. Therefore you better have the socket & extension wrapped and the wheel protected. An experienced shop knows this and has factored that into the estimate.

I could go on, but I think you get the jest of why working on collector vehicles is much different than working on modern vehicles.
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:59 AM   #29
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

We just went to 150 out here..if you want it babied its time and materials,If you want a good standard job its quoted,if you want it slammed we can flat rate it.We dont do collector cars..



If you drive enough to wear out a clutch its not a show quality car,it had dings chips.deal with it..Do it right when you build it,don't sweat it if you drive it.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:50 AM   #30
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Looks like we need to find cheaper hobbies
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:06 AM   #31
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Looks like we need to find cheaper hobbies
It is cheaper if you embrace the hobby and learn to do the repairs in your garage.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:24 AM   #32
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Looks like we need to find cheaper hobbies
Quote:
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It is cheaper if you embrace the hobby and learn to do the repairs in your garage.
Jeff, your comment has been one that has been commented on for decades.



Yes, it is definitely cheaper.

One thing about the Model-A hobby that took years for me to understand is that a good many hobbyists have no idea about nor the desire to learn about doing their own maintenance. It probably compares to the amount of new car owners who do not do their own maintenance. Just because an owner of a new sports car or muscle car cannot do the maintenance themselves does not mean they do not enjoy their automobile. For me that did not seem possible because I spent all my childhood working with my dad on his Model-As. In my pre-teen years, it seemed everyone in the Model-A club did their own restoration work to some level. At our house, we did it all with the exception of some britework and some engine machining. What flipped the proverbial 'light switch' for me was when I realized that for me, driving them was boring, but working on them and all that went into accurately/authentically restoring them was fun. Now, my satisfaction and thrill comes from turning someone else's dream into a reality. I'm sure to some people, what thrills me seems dumb to many others, ...and authentically restoring bores most people where they have no desire to participate in that. So with that said, to some it makes better sense to own and drive a car in which they just realize the maintenance is better suited for someone else to perform.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:29 AM   #33
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The problem that I have seen in a lot of collector cars is that they have been poorly maintained by owners that either don’t have the knowledge or money to complete the proper repairs.

Learning as you go isn’t always the best way to fix something. Not every Shade Tree Mechanic is a good one.

Give me a real shop, correct car lift, right tools on hand, and people that have a knowledge of how cars work, plus willing to take their time.

If we were taking about a million dollar collector car. This conversation would be going no where. It would be a joke.

Most Model A’s are very poorly maintained. I hate to say this but I do believe it is true. That is confirmed by many of the comments that have been made here.

As Brent is I think trying to say, if the car is really worth something, than it costs something to keep it that way.

How do you get a Volvo to 200,000 miles and 20 years old. You maintain it properly, sometimes spending more than the car is worth. Enjoy.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:30 AM   #34
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I did mine with the help of a local club member. I was in no hurry and learned a lot about the car in the process. I would NOT have tackled the job without having someone who had done it before. That that being said I enjoyed it, learned a lot, bought some tools that I needed and didn't have (Harbor Freight 10 ton press to do the bearings, etc) and really learned a lot. Did do a lot of other things while in the process (new pressure plate, etc) and still saved money. Berts in Denver has everyhing you need - new or used. I had to replace rear axles as well.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:48 AM   #35
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

I appreciate the comments made in this discussion. As Brent and others have said, a good restoration or antique vehicle mechanic is not only known for what he can do, but for what he doesn't do. He doesn't scratch it, nick it, dent it, dirty it, or tear it up. He knows where the problems will probably be based on experience, and will look for those he hasn't seen before. Working on something that is 80 to 90 years old, is an art in itself.


We do restoration work in our shop, and the only thing we get in a hurry for, is coffee. Any potential customer that doesn't understand that time is the most important thing they are buying, has to go on down the road.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:35 PM   #36
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Looks like we need to find cheaper hobbies

Model A's are no longer the poor or common mans hobby unless he is capable of doing most of the work himself .

There are just too many things that can and will happen with a 90 year old car .

Parts have went WAY up in the last few years .

Labor rates are very expensive . We've all got to live .
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:45 PM   #37
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

15 grand for nice paint,5 grand for an engine,labor rates that reflect todays market..no wonder folks dont drive them anymore..to me they are a 'bus man's holiday' I do all my own work,its my trade as well..One thing I stopped doing is the 'club buddy' work,where you bust ass on the other guys car for drinks and tips
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:13 AM   #38
burner31
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary WA View Post
Do it yourself with club members. Easy to do. Most work for donuts,coffee!
Gary has the right idea, hell, I'd help you if you were just a wee bit closer to me.
You'll find most Model A folks are more then willing to help for just coffee, donuts and maybe some beer and burgers.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:44 PM   #39
Jeff/Illinois
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

My comment was totally tongue-in-cheek.

I have seen plenty of Model A's that are downright dangerous to drive or even ride in because someone was either trying to save some money (not always a bad idea) or simply didn't know what they were doing in working on them. I subscribe to Dirty Harry's casual comment in one of his movies (Magnum Force I believe it was) "A man's GOT to know his limitations." That applies all thru life. It also applies to me.

I understand what is done during an appendectomy, but would I do one on someone else? Or would they even want me too? That answers itself. And I was a pre-med major out of the gun and worked in a Funeral Home years ago. I've been around autopsies and seen human bodies dissected and such. I know the parts and what they do and where they go. Like a Model A Ford.

No, just the other day a good friend was here helping us work on my wife's Mongoose mountain bike. He loves bicycles, got out of old cars several years ago and all he does now is bikes. We got to talking about 'hobbies' and I mentioned to him that it seems like everything I dabble in, or used to, has gotten extremely costly. Coins. Guns. Petroliana. Antique/collectible cars.

My buddy said 'Don't forget bicycles. Man, stuff for them has really gone up, way up in price. You can spend several thousand dollars on a bicycle if you want to it's not hard to do.'

It's all relevant.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:07 PM   #40
Forddan
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Default Re: Clutch replacement costs...

Fascinating discussions and I agree with all them. Cost will be around 1000 to 1500, as someone mentioned. I got the price from a respected antique/classic car shop. This goes in line with the suggested amount of hours and the costs of the labor per hour in my state. This shop adjusted my clutch but it will probably be the last possible adjustment. Could be I have it working for a couple of seasons more (I drove 800 miles this year, my first season with the car). That will gave me time to save the $$$.

Concerning other comments, I do agree that it will be much cheaper to do the job myself and with the club members helps. I know 0 about mechanics. BUT (big but) I am still not retired and only have weekends free. I will not feel it is correct to ask someone else to help you on weekends, also if that member is retired. Moreover, I do not have any tool to do that type of job. I will have to do it in a members house. It will take time and the car will be stuck at his garage. For all that, I am not asking help to the club. Just my way of seeing things. Also, my weekends are busy keeping the house. I have 2 acres of land surrounded by woods and lake. House has a pool also. So when it isn't the grass mowing, is the pool cleaning, a section of the house that needs repair or paint, the barn also needs maintenance etc etc. I am sure you all have the same problems, so that is not an excuse. But, if I put together my lack of time, knowledge and tools to do the job at the end i am happy paying the $1500 for the job and enjoying my free weekend time driving to the supermarket or in some of the club tours in the area.

It will come the time, in a few years, that I will have the full week to keep my state in acceptable condition and do my own car work. I am sure I will call the club guys, have beers and pizza. But then I will not be rushing against TIME. I only have time during the weekend to drive the A and every week I am hopping that i do not have to do some other house job or be raining.

That time will come.... I hope.

In the meantime reading all your comments is fascinating and a learning experience. Something that you do not find in many places. You all are great people. I am just a newbie, that wanted an antique car all his life and now at 62 I was able to make that dream real.

Thank you all !!!

Daniel
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