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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apparently the bearing on my water pump is heading south and needs to be replaced. The mechanic (who is familiar with Zs) quoted me a $50 pump and about 4 hours of labor to do the job.

The factory service guide sure makes it seem easier than that. One has to 1) drain the coolant, 2) loosen the fan bolts and belt, 3) move the alternator, 4) remove the fan, and 5) remove the pump. Is removal and installation really a 4 hour job?

Thanks,
Javier
 

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Maybe 4 guys working 1 hour each?

It's vey easy, only hard part is limited clearance on the 10mm bolts that hold the fan to the pump. Like you said, it's drain, lossen, remove and reinstall. It's an easy Saturday project. 4 hours is way too much time on a 70-83 L6 engine.

mark
 

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I totally agree...this is a no brainer project. The 10mm bolts are the worst. I think you can get a new water pump for about $40 from MSA (plus shipping).
 

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so basically, hes trying to pawn you for your money... is this a Z speciality guy, or just a local mechanic...tell him you want to go with it, but sit there with him while he does the work and time him. that way, he cant overcharge you!
 

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Is he charging for doughnuts and coffee too? I changed mine on my '76 in under 2 hours. Hardest part was getting the fan shroud off.
 

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It is not a 4 hour job, but mechanics typically charge by what "the book" say it wiil take, and those hours are not very realistic.
Unless three of the bolts break when you take them out and you count the three trips you take to get the "other stuff" you forgot when starting.
 

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That mechanic is trying screw you.

I have one of my books out and it says the job requires a "semi-skilled" mechanic and the book time shown to r&r (remove and replace) is a whopping total of 1.9hrs.

Since book hours always seem to use the time it takes for a moron to perform the work I'd say that a skilled mechanic who has performed the task many times before should spend no more then an hour replacing the water pump.
 

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"Flate rate" or "book time" is what you pay when someone else works on your car. If you can't do it yourself, you need to get over this. This is industry standard. Yes, a certified, skilled mechanic can do it in alot less time, especially with air tools. So what do you want to do, penalize the guy for being good or putting forth the CASH to buy airtools? If a job books out at $200, shouldn't he get that for the repair. If your car's book value was $15,000 but it was given to you, does that make it worthless? This standard keeps the industry balanced and supposedly fair. Would you rather pay an inexperianced non-certified smuck $15 per hr real time and have him take 10 hours to do it over and over till he gets it right? Not to mention possibly breaking other things while he's in there, which will cost you more. I bet you didn't once consider the $40,000-80,000 he has tied up in just the tools in his box nor the fact that he pays more in garage liabilty insurance than some people make in a year. Not to mention E.P.A hassles, city ordinances he has to deal with, much less the years of headaches from jobs gone bad knowing "what not to do". Oh, what about having to relearn everything in 4-5 years to keep up with technology? All of these things cost money. Guess what, if he's sent the wrong or defective parts, if it goes to **** one week later, he has to do it again for NOTHING! Try doing this stuff for a living and see how much you like it. I've charged people over book time and they were so happy with my work they gave me extra cash on top of the original price. A good, honest Tech is worth his wage.

I'll check my labor guide tomorrow, but I don't think it goes back that far. I would say off the top of my head about 2.5, maybe three max end. But that's for me, it's what it'll take for HIM to do the job. Don't like it? Fix it yourself or bring it down the road. Better yet, bring it to Pep Boys and let their tire installer learn on your car.

If you're going to drive a 20year old car you better learn fast or pay hard. No one is forcing you to drive an outdated car with over God knows how many miles on it. As my Dad{second out of 3rd generation Techs} would say "it all goes wit it".

I don't mean to sound harsh, most people just don't get what it takes to survive in this industry {which I'm no longer in due to the crap mentioned above}. Please don't get offended, it's not meant that way. Good luck, do it yourself, it's a good first project.
 

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Kellysguy....

The point is that the book I HAVE SITTING IN FRONT OF ME states 1.9hrs. You are correct paying for book hours is no problem, but this guy is doubling the book hours so that he can get paid half a day's work for a simple task.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The fact that he has to deal with tools/shop/insurance etc have absolutely nothing to do with his estimate of how long it will take to complete a job. If a mechanic feels that he deserves more money, he should raise his hourly rate, not bluff the length of the job. There is a marked difference between "I'm a Z specialist so I charge $80 an hour," and "Yeah replacing that alternator is going to take me 5 hours."

I work in tech and have to keep up with changes too. He made his decision to go into his industry and I made mine. Neither of us should particularly care about the other.

I like the guy though; he only works on Datsuns and is usually pretty honest. So I'll bring the FSM and say that I asked around and heard that it's more of a 2-3 hour job and see what he can do. I'd much rather have him do it than some mech at 123 Auto Repair.

The 21 year old car has 78k on the clock, by the way, and can be seen here.

Thanks for the responses, guys.

Javier
 

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"since book hour always seems to alway use the time a moron....." you obviouly haven't ever encountered ridiculiously low times, especially on newer cars. Once apon a time, book time was based on an actual tear down. Not anymore, it's an estimate, a guess. No tear down involved, just some idiot looking under the hood "figuring" times. I'm not saying in this instance. Like I said, 2.5 maybe 3 max, which is just above what you have. That was my "estimate" of actual book time {Milton}. I don't know which one you or he has, so to judge is unfair given he isn't present and the facts unclear. Would you feel better if he charged $100 hr @ 1.9? What's the difference? That's HIS price! Yes, some techs are more expensive than others. There is no such thing as a $2000 hooker, just a $2000 john. He's only screwing him if HE IS CHARGING FOR WORK THAT DOESN"T NEED TO BE OR HASN"T BEEN DONE!!! There's a guy down here who's prices are higher than Girraffe nuts. All of his customers know it and love him. Sometimes it takes him MONTHS to get to there cars, but THEY DON'T CARE! MY price is my price, his price is his, and if you're a tech, your's is your's. Truth is, javlopez needs to fix it himself. Lord knows this is just the start. I'm sure your guide differs from mine, maybe his is a program and your's is a glorified Haynes. I've never seen a labor guide give skill level required. If you don't already know what it'll take or can't see the difficulty yourself, you don't need to be digging into it, right? { not you personally}. As far as half a days work, I have a friend who stubbed 40 hrs IN ONE DAY!!! Granted he said it was a tough day. I see your point but truth is we don't know what he is looking at or if even wants to mess with it at all. I have never spoken badly of another tech's practices, I feel it's unethical to do so. I alway give another tech the benifit of the doubt. I would hate to have someone not knowing all of the facts running around saying I'm screwing someone, wouldn't you?
 

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Javier, I walked out to the shop in the rain,here's what mine says. 2.0 standard with a "severe" time of 2.5 {rusted bolt, stripped, bent ect..}. I also show radiator removal time of 1.5-1.7, which he may verywell prefer to pull also. If so, figure an overlap of labor time of .5 because both figure in refill. So, if both added together gives 3-3.7. I'm not saying the rad has to be pulled, but he might be figuring that in. Some guides only give one time, some two even three! Sounds like you trust him. I know if someone "shops" me, I'll send them down the road, so tread lightly if you want him to work on your car in the future. You really should consider fixing it yourself. Oh yeah, nice car.
 

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The do it yourself and get back to us on how long it takes you. Especially after you break one of the bolts off in the block and the timing cover has to come off.

BTW a ZX isn't like doing a Z, especially if it has power steering. IMHO it's worth an extra hour over one without it.
 
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