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Front end alignment prices? #2676940
07/12/19 10:00 PM
07/12/19 10:00 PM
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Houston,Tx.
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Lee446 Offline OP
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Two of the local shops that are willing and capable of doing an alignment on our old Mopars are charging $150 !! Why in the world is it that high and is there really more involved, labor-wise, than most modern cars? Or are they just trying to take advantage of classic car owners? This was on my 70 Cuda.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Lee446] #2676947
07/12/19 10:33 PM
07/12/19 10:33 PM
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Rancho Cordova, California (Sa...
hemi71x Offline
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Well, your in a large metropolitan major city.
What are shop hour labor rates going for in Houston, these days?
Around my area, labor rates are easily $120.00 + dollars an hour, so maybe they figure, up front, from the beginning, that your old dinosaur will be giving them trouble, and be time consuming to get done, than just toe settings on modern cars.


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Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: hemi71x] #2676992
07/13/19 07:38 AM
07/13/19 07:38 AM
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Most modern cars don't have the adjustability either. Generally toe is it without buying more parts to correct camber/caster.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Lee446] #2677020
07/13/19 09:29 AM
07/13/19 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Lee446
Two of the local shops that are willing and capable of doing an alignment on our old Mopars are charging $150 !! Why in the world is it that high and is there really more involved, labor-wise, than most modern cars? Or are they just trying to take advantage of classic car owners? This was on my 70 Cuda.




$100+ is just about right...also depends on the area, are you a repeat customer? and if the shop has the latest alignment rack/equipment it needs to make some $$$$ to pay it self off..... and

labor.JPG
Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: DAYCLONA] #2677027
07/13/19 09:48 AM
07/13/19 09:48 AM
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Houston,Tx.
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Lee446 Offline OP
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A shop that I used for over forty years went from $75 to $150 in the space of two years, that is how long it had been since I needed an alignment on an old car. The shop I went to earlier this week, charged me $100 on my 69 Sat last month, and $150 on the Cuda this week, but in all fairness, when I took the Satelite in, the owner was there and told me he normally gets $150, but was giving me a break because I was recommended by a mutual friend who owns a repair shop. There are shops around that get in the $75 range, I tend to think, that some businesses tend to push prices just to see what the traffic will bear, especially with "Toy Cars". That is why I made the post, just to get an idea of what the average prices are around the country.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Lee446] #2677035
07/13/19 10:46 AM
07/13/19 10:46 AM
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If you were the shop owner , would you go into that job without assuming that theres no way any of the cam bolts arent frozen? Price is fair.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: bbtrux] #2677054
07/13/19 11:39 AM
07/13/19 11:39 AM
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Houston,Tx.
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Lee446 Offline OP
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The owner knows everything is brand new and this is SE Texas, we don't have snow or salt on the roads to corrode everything up.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: bbtrux] #2677056
07/13/19 11:47 AM
07/13/19 11:47 AM
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Generally around $80 if it's just a toe-in adjustment & caster/camber check, sometimes there's a special around $60.
The cheaper the price, the more the shop has to hope for upselling to the general public.
On my Mopars or the Mustang with caster/camber plates, it's at least $80-$100; partially because I want certain specs.
I make sure I get along with the guy, and it's always their best guy, as I explain what I'm after going in.
The way I look at it, I want it right, and I expect to pay more than the basic quickie by an average tech & factory settings.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Lee446] #2677066
07/13/19 12:24 PM
07/13/19 12:24 PM
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I have a fairly new hunter system. By the time we get the car on the rack, put the plates under the tires (we do not have an alignment rack), Check the tire pressures, mount the heads, calibrate the heads, perform the alignment, undo everything, test drive to make sure all is good. Do the kwik detail and paper work I have over half a day in the job. At 150.00 I would be losing about twice that.

That is why I typically only do the alignments for well established customers or after we've done suspension work. Others I refer to a local frame shop. i do not know what they charge but I'm guessing 150-200.

The same applies to oil changes, I lose my backside on everyone. Hope this helps explain from the other side of the fence wink beer

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: bbtrux] #2677067
07/13/19 12:31 PM
07/13/19 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bbtrux
If you were the shop owner , would you go into that job without assuming that theres no way any of the cam bolts arent frozen? Price is fair.


Speaking of frozen cam bolts we had a 68 Dart a few weeks back that took about 6 hours to get the upper bolts out of. What a PITA

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: TJP] #2677078
07/13/19 01:05 PM
07/13/19 01:05 PM
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north of coder
moparx Offline
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over the years, i have assembled all the tools necessary for doing the alignments on my junk.
there are many reasons for this, but primarily, there are no shops locally i can trust to get me the specs i want, and i'm not going to be taking vehicles back 3-4 times to "get it close".
as was said previously, toe is the only setting on new stuff unless you obtain [or fab up] caster/camber plates.
the older stuff really responds to lots of caster, a good camber curve, and elimination of bump steer, but you have to work to get these advantages.
this may take way more than most will want, or can, do. therefore, i only do alignments for myself.
i know what's involved, what i want, and what i can accomplish. also, the older i get, the harder it is to do. hopefully, when i can no longer do this, i can find some young buck that will want to know how, and i can teach him.
beer

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: moparx] #2677085
07/13/19 01:30 PM
07/13/19 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by moparx
over the years, i have assembled all the tools necessary for doing the alignments on my junk.
there are many reasons for this, but primarily, there are no shops locally i can trust to get me the specs i want, and i'm not going to be taking vehicles back 3-4 times to "get it close".
as was said previously, toe is the only setting on new stuff unless you obtain [or fab up] caster/camber plates.
the older stuff really responds to lots of caster, a good camber curve, and elimination of bump steer, but you have to work to get these advantages.
this may take way more than most will want, or can, do. therefore, i only do alignments for myself.
i know what's involved, what i want, and what i can accomplish. also, the older i get, the harder it is to do. hopefully, when i can no longer do this, i can find some young buck that will want to know how, and i can teach him.
beer


up

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Sniper] #2677175
07/13/19 07:58 PM
07/13/19 07:58 PM
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Exit1965 Offline
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Along the lines of what Moparx said..

I'm the type that doesn't like to take my Mopars to anyone to do anything so I do it myself. Alignment isn't hard. I did it on my Dart, first time doing it, and was kind of shocked how easy it was and how well it drove on my first home alignment job. Then I wondered why anyone who likes to do work on old cars (e.g. replacing the engine/trans, suspension parts etc.) would bother taking it to a shop just for that. Seems there is some idea out there that alignment must be done at a shop. Toe in is easy with some string, and you can get a camber/caster gauge and use some tiles for turn plates. With the # of miles I put on the car being quite low, all I really care about is does it drive straight and stable. A professional alignment might be more accurate somehow, but if you can't feel the difference when driving it, and the front tires aren't eating themselves alive, I for one am happy to do what I can in the garage or driveway.

That said, if I was for some reason dead set on having someone else do it, $150 or even more for something you'll hopefully only do once doesn't seem that bad. At that point it would be more about finding people you can trust to do what you want, which might include leaving the front end height where it is.

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: Exit1965] #2677176
07/13/19 08:03 PM
07/13/19 08:03 PM
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Lincoln Nebraska
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^^^ X2 & check the utube vids. #1 get the ride height where you want it (front wheels/tires look good in the wheelwell).


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Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: moparx] #2677187
07/13/19 08:31 PM
07/13/19 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by moparx
over the years, i have assembled all the tools necessary for doing the alignments on my junk.
there are many reasons for this, but primarily, there are no shops locally i can trust to get me the specs i want, and i'm not going to be taking vehicles back 3-4 times to "get it close".
as was said previously, toe is the only setting on new stuff unless you obtain [or fab up] caster/camber plates.
the older stuff really responds to lots of caster, a good camber curve, and elimination of bump steer, but you have to work to get these advantages.
this may take way more than most will want, or can, do. therefore, i only do alignments for myself.
i know what's involved, what i want, and what i can accomplish. also, the older i get, the harder it is to do. hopefully, when i can no longer do this, i can find some young buck that will want to know how, and i can teach him.
beer


Come on now mopX ... admit it .... you are a guy of many skills but your assistant completes you ... the Ms Daisy Dukes ! grin

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: TJP] #2677202
07/13/19 09:30 PM
07/13/19 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by TJP
I have a fairly new hunter system. By the time we get the car on the rack, put the plates under the tires (we do not have an alignment rack), Check the tire pressures, mount the heads, calibrate the heads, perform the alignment, undo everything, test drive to make sure all is good. Do the kwik detail and paper work I have over half a day in the job. At 150.00 I would be losing about twice that.

That is why I typically only do the alignments for well established customers or after we've done suspension work. Others I refer to a local frame shop. i do not know what they charge but I'm guessing 150-200.

The same applies to oil changes, I lose my backside on everyone. Hope this helps explain from the other side of the fence wink beer


Over half a day in the job ? confused The most time I ever had to spend was getting a big block duster dialed in and that was about 2 hours. I use a new Hunter rack and it takes about 10 minutes to set up and compensate the heads. I've done about a dozen old Mopars on it but I do insist that all the cams move before you bring it to me and I charge $50-$75 depending on how long it takes.
Gus beer


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Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: moparx] #2677203
07/13/19 09:37 PM
07/13/19 09:37 PM
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New Mexico
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Originally Posted by moparx
over the years, i have assembled all the tools necessary for doing the alignments on my junk.
there are many reasons for this, but primarily, there are no shops locally i can trust to get me the specs i want, and i'm not going to be taking vehicles back 3-4 times to "get it close".
as was said previously, toe is the only setting on new stuff unless you obtain [or fab up] caster/camber plates.
the older stuff really responds to lots of caster, a good camber curve, and elimination of bump steer, but you have to work to get these advantages.
this may take way more than most will want, or can, do. therefore, i only do alignments for myself.
i know what's involved, what i want, and what i can accomplish. also, the older i get, the harder it is to do. hopefully, when i can no longer do this, i can find some young buck that will want to know how, and i can teach him.
beer


It took me a few hrs, each adjustment affects another so it was a process.

alignment.jpg
Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: moparx] #2677225
07/13/19 10:36 PM
07/13/19 10:36 PM
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Pattison Texas
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Originally Posted by moparx
over the years, i have assembled all the tools necessary for doing the alignments on my junk.
there are many reasons for this, but primarily, there are no shops locally i can trust to get me the specs i want, and i'm not going to be taking vehicles back 3-4 times to "get it close".
as was said previously, toe is the only setting on new stuff unless you obtain [or fab up] caster/camber plates.
the older stuff really responds to lots of caster, a good camber curve, and elimination of bump steer, but you have to work to get these advantages.
this may take way more than most will want, or can, do. therefore, i only do alignments for myself.
i know what's involved, what i want, and what i can accomplish. also, the older i get, the harder it is to do. hopefully, when i can no longer do this, i can find some young buck that will want to know how, and i can teach him.
beer


Yes THIS ^^^^^ I do the same thing.


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Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: dOc - 3.0 !] #2677282
07/14/19 09:08 AM
07/14/19 09:08 AM
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north of coder
moparx Offline
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Originally Posted by Doc Fiberglass

Come on now mopX ... admit it .... you are a guy of many skills but your assistant completes you ... the Ms Daisy Dukes ! grin


hay DoC, i just completed a 376mi round trip to carlisle in the "duke bus" without even giving it a simple "string" measurement for toe, and it drove straight and true with your hands off the wheel !
i will have to check it though, when i get a few hours.
YoU are right, however, about Ms "Daisy" complementing me. as of july 20, we will have been together 40 blissful years ! boogie
beer

Re: Front end alignment prices? [Re: fourgearsavoy] #2677325
07/14/19 12:49 PM
07/14/19 12:49 PM
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TJP Offline
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Originally Posted by fourgearsavoy
Originally Posted by TJP
I have a fairly new hunter system. By the time we get the car on the rack, put the plates under the tires (we do not have an alignment rack), Check the tire pressures, mount the heads, calibrate the heads, perform the alignment, undo everything, test drive to make sure all is good. Do the kwik detail and paper work I have over half a day in the job. At 150.00 I would be losing about twice that.

That is why I typically only do the alignments for well established customers or after we've done suspension work. Others I refer to a local frame shop. i do not know what they charge but I'm guessing 150-200.

The same applies to oil changes, I lose my backside on everyone. Hope this helps explain from the other side of the fence wink beer


Over half a day in the job ? confused The most time I ever had to spend was getting a big block duster dialed in and that was about 2 hours. I use a new Hunter rack and it takes about 10 minutes to set up and compensate the heads. I've done about a dozen old Mopars on it but I do insist that all the cams move before you bring it to me and I charge $50-$75 depending on how long it takes.
Gus beer


Please read the first part of my comment again.
By the time we get the car on the rack, put the plates under the tires (we do not have an alignment rack), Check the tire pressures, mount the heads, calibrate the heads, perform the alignment, undo everything, test drive to make sure all is good. Do the kwik detail and paper work I have over half a day in the job.

If I had a dedicated bay and was not starting from scratch ( all new front end) it would be a substantial time savings.

That is why I typically only do the alignments for well established customers or after we've done suspension work. Others I refer to a local frame shop. i do not know what they charge but I'm guessing 150-200.

In addition we also give the car a kwik inspection as well as check fluid levels etc.

beer








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