potentially a difficult question here. It's looking like I'm going to be moving out of state for a new job here in the next few months, which is throwing a big wrench into projects I have going on. For one, my Scout II. I recently had the engine rebuilt and remounted, but all the ancillary stuff, like radiator hoses, wiring, etc, has to be either redone or rehooked up.

Now this is a basic set up, nothing particularly difficult, and the majority of work has been finished. I'm considering paying someone to finish it off for me.

This would include:

  1. reinstalling the radiator
  2. reinstalling the heater and core
  3. installing a newer, better alternator (I already have this, but a mount would need to be made, and wiring beefed up
  4. Drag link replaced (old one is bent and unsalvageable)
  5. Some wiring redone in the engine bay, as I had to cut it
  6. New speedo cable made

It's all in the engine bay, nothing else really needs attention.

I hope that gives you an idea of what needs to be done-it's all stuff like that-nothing particularly herculean, save for the alternator.

If I were to have a shop do this, what kind of time would I be looking at? How much would I roughly be spending? I'm trying to have someone do it so I have a car when I move, instead of buying a beater and pouring money into that. I am already greatly familiar with how unpredictable these things go, and appreciate any information. I was also given two different shop rates, one at 75.00, and another at 90.

You can find out more here: https://localmotors.com/Ellocomotive/howitzer-make-the-hurt-feel-good/

After getting ripped off once, I feel very confident in who I'll decide to do business with.

  • 1
    Thanks-should I clarify? I just want to know how long this would take an average shop to execute on. Is this a multi month affair or multi week? Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 0:55
  • I completely missed that ... saw the money and made the mistake ... vote retracted :D Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 0:57
  • As a swag, I'd say probably 8-10 hours of labor, then whatever parts you need, like the draglink, alt, and speedo cable. Biggest cost is probably going to be the wiring stuff. Then I guess getting the alt mounted might take some as well. Everything else seems straight forward. You can probably pick a speedo cable up in the "Help" section at AutoZone or Advance Auto. Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 1:00
  • Parts are pretty rare for this thing, but thankfully I already have the majority of them. Typically can't go through channels like Autozone without waiting a ridiculous amount of time. Thanks for the context! Commented Feb 13, 2015 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


I want to open with, I'm not really a car guy.

I want to add, I haven't worked in a shop in over 25 years.

With my lack of qualifications I will submit my opinion.

Flat Rate Background Rant

Typically, from my experience, flat rate rules the day. Dealerships, shops large and small, use a flat rate methodology to be profitable. This construct is an ideology that that was designed to set an expectation with a customer regarding cost of repairs. In all fairness, this is a pretty good idea to keep guys on the up and up. Customer asks for a rotor replacement on [insert manufacturer/model/year here] and service desk/service writer guy looks in his book and says 2.5 hours. Car goes into the service bay, at some point, and knowledgeable mechanic (frequently shielded from customer) goes at it and finishes the job in 4.2 hours. Customer picks up and car and pays for 2.5 hours. Seems pretty fair.

Fast Forward to Retromod

Dude rolls up in an [insert 30 year old vehicle make here] and wants a quote. Flat rate is not applicable in this situation. It's truly unfair to the knowledgeable mechanic to force him to commit to how long it would take to make a bracket to mount a dookicky to a lateral wtf.

This situation is a negotiation. Predicting time in these situations (as you clearly understand) is unfair. You need to have a shop that can actually perform the tasks you require. If you goto the guys that work on yodo's and ask them to make you a cable, they may or may not be able to complete the task simply because they don't have the contact. They just don't know a guy that makes cables. They work on Yoda's and they order an OEM Yoda cable when they need one. They don't make stuff.

Resource Management

I'm living in a world that say's, "Don't count on one guy to know everything about all the things you want done." Not being cynical, just saying that some jobs are good for some guys and other jobs are good for other guys. That being said, sorry for the long rant, maybe what you want needs to get sourced over, minimum, two different resources.

One Two

Resource one has a CAD machine and lasers to measure stuff. (There are a bunch of young guys around Chandler Air Park, right near your that qualify) They are meticulous in finding zero and strive to make a surface flat in their machining. You know that kind of guy, he makes your mounts. He's a college guy and likes math and physics, his rate might be around 120/hr or he might do piece work on his Mitsubishi 3D CAD box.

Resource two does all of the work that is assembly and standard. His rate is lower. The skillset required for him to make money is more common so your really looking for thoughtfulness, good communication and attributes that lend themselves to personal responsibility. He might be in the 75/hr range.

Perhaps there is resource 3. He makes cables, he lives in Wisconsin and can make a speedo calbe for '67 Triumph Fastback or a 240Z. He doesn't care. He just wants to make cables so he can retire.

I know this doesn't answer your question but in a way, I hope it does. Good luck. Love going to Local, you guys are all awesome.

  • I think this is a great answer to the question "what will it cost to get X done to my classic vehicle" Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 4:05

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