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View Full Version : I gave up on my DIY Control arms/suspension/brakes do you think I paid to much?



akielb
06-23-2009, 10:27 PM
I purchased

1. FEBI full control arm kit off ebay $499.95 -%30 for using Live.com Additional %10 from Paypal. I also sold the TRE's and Sway bar links so take another -$100 - total price $200 [evilsmile]
2. ATE rotors and Mintex pads from MJM Autohaus $225
3. Monroe Sensa-trac Struts from Rockauto.com $275.17
4. A set of OEM sport springs from another member $50

I started the job last Wednesday. Doing this all alone mind you. I ran into some problems. First the pinch bolt of course would not come out, so just left it in there and removed the spindle. Not before I found out that my ball joint spreader was to narrow for our lower ball joints and I spent a long time slowly filing down the inside of the spreader so it would fit around one. The lower front was even more of a PITA so I just gave up and drug the hole spindle with three CA's still attached to it down to a shop about three blocks away. They heated everything up and got it back to me in 10min. I then started dealing with the strut. Spent a good half day compressing(harbor freight clamps) and getting everything apart then back together with the new strut and Sport spring. I got to the end and was going to put the nut on and found out that I need to hold the shock and the nut seperatley, but I don't have the tools for this so I head back down to the shop and they do it quick. At this point it's thursday afternoon and I barley had one half of the first wheel done. So I call my mechanic that I normally use and he refuses to touch anything that he hasn't purchased the parts for("that's how I make sure I eat"). I had talked to the owner of the shop up the street and he said he would work it in and just charge me an hourly rate. I then put everything back together with new brakes tightened up the control arms a tiny bit and drove the car there on monday morning. They go it in the shop some time that day and I finally got it back tonight (tuesday) at 5:00.

They charged me:

500.50 for labor guessing the labor rate at $65/hr it took them 7.7 hours to do everything
"Remove and replace front upper and lower control arms one side, double check passenger side, remove and replace front struts and springs, replace front brakes and rotors, remove and replace rear brakes, rotors, struts, and springs, tighten subrame on passenger side"

$65.99 for a 4 wheel alignment
$20.83 for shop supplies/disposal
$587.32 Total
$1390 for a complete new front end

All in all I don't think that I got ripped off and I gladly paid for them to deal with the other three wheels and torque everything.

On a good note:

WOW - The difference is amazing!! There are no clunks when I go over bumps in the road. It feels so tight. Before I started I could wiggle the wheels a ton, now it's rock solid.

Well, that's my little story.
[drive]

Seerlah
06-23-2009, 10:36 PM
Can you tell me how to get a Febi CA kit for $200?

akielb
06-23-2009, 11:13 PM
Rarely live.com has a 30% off on Ebay items up to $200 max. Go to Live.com click the extras in the upper right corner and click the Cashback account.

How I did it - I heard of the 30% off, searched for an item using the search feature on live.com, it gave me a link to ebay, then got to the page with the control arm kit, purchased it with the 10% off from paypal. 60 days later I got $150 cash back from live.com into my paypal account. so that makes the price $300, sold the TRE's and the Sway bar links for about $100 total so that makes the final price $200 :)

Google the "live.com 30%%" and you'll find more stories about it if you don't believe me

KBB5
06-23-2009, 11:22 PM
It took me and my dad ( exp. mechanic), about 12 hours to replace whole front end, uppers, lowers, tie rod ends, sway bar links, etc, with only floor jacks. We ran into a few problems, but gained knowledge for doing the job again, I got the FCP Groton Kit, excellent quality. I think you didnt get that bad of a deal. I have a set of brand new upper control arms on ebay if anyones interested.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280360406836&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT

biketsai
06-23-2009, 11:29 PM
Damn man, it sucks to see that your DIY install did not go as planned. Nothing ever works as it should =[ . I do think that you got charged a little too much, but its reasonable. Probably would have been cheaper to fly me there and I wouldve helped you for free! I can have the front struts/springs completely off etc in about less than 30 mins, brakes are maybe 10 mins. Trial and error my friend! Once you haev that pinch bolt out, everything is easyyy. Front upper control arms seriously woulk take 5 mins. But then again, they are a shop, they wouldnt make much money if they did things fast would they? haha

bob12312357
06-24-2009, 03:11 PM
Brakes with hand tools and a floor jack, takes longer per wheeljackin and properly putting the car on jack stands then changing the pads or rotor. Once its up if the lugnuts are loose enough 2 take off by hand it takes 2 to 5 minutes per wheel. Just make sure you don't do what I did and get the car in the air with the 2 rear wheels off and then rember I need the harbor freight tool 2 spin the pistons.[headbang][headbang][headbang] (thank god for mechanic friends willing to lend their shops tools) On a G35 I can do front and rear with hand tools and floor jack in under a half hour. YOu should have done the brakes yourself and taken it 2 the mechanic for the PIA part. Save a chunk of change on an easy job.

somebody5788
06-24-2009, 03:18 PM
It took me and my dad ( exp. mechanic), about 12 hours to replace whole front end, uppers, lowers, tie rod ends, sway bar links, etc, with only floor jacks. We ran into a few problems, but gained knowledge for doing the job again, I got the FCP Groton Kit, excellent quality. I think you didnt get that bad of a deal. I have a set of brand new upper control arms on ebay if anyones interested.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280360406836&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT

12 hours!!! Wow. I can do my entire front end in 4 hours or less if I really stick to it. And there's nothing really in the front that requires a lift its just convenient. Add another hour for any wheel bearing in there while I'm at it.

onemoremile
06-24-2009, 04:28 PM
It takes as long to flush the fluid and bleed the brakes as it does to change them.

The price paid wasn't too bad.

akielb
06-24-2009, 06:44 PM
I agree with some of the statements above, once I got the two PITA things out of the way the job was not that hard, but those things killed it for me. I just didn't want to spend any more time on it. As for Bob's comment that I should have changed the brakes all around myself, well I figured that they needed to remove them to do the jobs anyway, so I actually didn't pay anything to have them installed.

The shop is an Exhaust Pro's and deals a lot in BIG trucks. I knew of the owner through his father and my wife works with his mother-in-law. I think they did a really good job and I'm not unhappy in any way with the price I paid.