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Old 03-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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Default Average machinework costs for headwork?

Took my 99-00 head to the machine shop to get checked out. I was fairly certain it was warped.

Called the shop, said it was warped to hell. They haven't disassembled it yet, which also scares me and I hope the valves aren't bent as well. They said it's going to need guides and seals, etc. Then they'll also need to do a valve-job for the seats.

They said it'd cost around $230 maximum for everything that needs to be done, assuming the valves aren't bent. Is this an unreasonable price? This shop was highly recommended by quite a few reputable people, so I do have faith in them, I'm just broke haha.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #2
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Thats a great price for all that work, get an estimate in writing. Assuming they actually do a good VJ that alone would normally cost what you were just quoted. Add in guides and seals and labor for them and you would normally go over 400. Headwork is expensive in any form. Guide wear is normal for an old motor, but there isn't really a reason that they NEED to do a vj unless there is actually something wrong with them. Usually the head just needs to be tanked to removed carbon buildup. That said, a good vj only helps and I would even ask them how much extra it would be to have the stock valves back cut, shouldn't be too much more at the rates they are charging you.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
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I paid $289 for my 99 head to be cleaned, new seals, planed straight, 3 angle valve job, and valves unshrouded.

Last edited by ArtieParty; 03-23-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: forgot 3 angle valve job
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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Well that makes me feel better.

They already cleaned and tanked it. Well actually not tanked but they have this bigass cleaner, basically a dishwasher, can't think of the name for it.

I would love to have a 3 or 5-angle VJ and have the stock valves back-cut. I asked for worst case scenario costs except for new valves and he said $230-$250.

They also have my 94 head with a port n polish, its warped too . Im just going to have to have that one fixed later.

I'm just tried of my car not running, especially since its getting warmer out! I don't even have boost to look forward to and I want my car running so bad, lol.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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Ok here's another question for you guys.

I realize machine/repair shops don't have customer service skills like most public places, but I figure they would want to put some customer service in their business ethics.

Called the machine-shop on Tuesday, which is when I made this post, they said they'd get my head taken apart today(Thursday) and they'd give me a call. I thought they closed at 4:30, so I give them a call at 4:15 since I haven't heard from them all day. The polite lady that works up front answers, I tell her the name my parts are under, and what kind of parts they are, the line gets sent to the phone in the shop I suppose, guy that I talked to on Tuesday answers, and then blows up on me.

"I told you I'd call you today!" (well he obviously hasn't)
"I don't have time to talk to you everyday about whats going on!" (this is my second time talking to him)
"I've got 11 heads lined up before yours!"
"If you call again you can just come get your parts, they'll be outside!"

As he's saying these things I'm instictively saying sorry but I'm thinking to myself..... wait... why am I, the customer, apologizing for checking on things that IM paying for?



I realize he may be having a bad day and has a lot to do but GOD DAMN, couldn't of he gone about it a different way? Maybe I'm use to "southern hospitality" and wasn't expecting this guy to be rude, but I've never been talked to that way from any hole in the way repair shop around here.

Is it standard for a machine shop to flip **** when they get busy?

/vent
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:45 PM   #6
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He sounds like an *******. I hate it when people act like that. If you think he is a good machinist, maybe back off. If he gets out of line again, punish him with some of his own medicine.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by miata2fast View Post
He sounds like an *******. I hate it when people act like that. If you think he is a good machinist, maybe back off. If he gets out of line again, punish him with some of his own medicine.
Good advice.....some machinists can be ******
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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call him a few more times, and just go get it, your better off with a shop who wants your money...
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #9
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Holy crap and I thought me waiting 2 weeks for a hone and valve job was bad. At least I didn't get yelled at
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:39 PM   #10
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Heh, yeah. Come tuesday it'll be three weeks since I dropped my parts off... I alrdy checked with another local machine shop, he quoted me the same prices, a faster time, and just got done with one
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:46 PM   #11
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Often machnists will get pissy like that if they dont know what they are doing. Pull your parts.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:15 PM   #12
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Often machnists will get pissy like that if they dont know what they are doing. Pull your parts.
You really think I should?

The thing is this shop had been recommended by quite a few guys that prep cars for club racing. I guess they don't care much about small customers.

Another funny thing is when I called them last Saturday because I hadn't heard from them since I dropped the parts off on Tuesday..... I left two heads for them, the 99 and 94 that I didn't know the condition of.

I call, give them my name, what kind of parts, and what car they are for. So talking to the grumpy guy, asked him about the condition of them, he tells me both are warped and need VJs, etc. I tell him I only want him to fix one head, he snaps back "no I'm not guna fool with just one!" "you can just come get your parts if don't get the pair done" .

At that point I'm kind of dumb-founded. I tell him nicely "This is for a Mazda MIATA, it's a straight four, I only need one head." he replys " oh, it's not a v6?"

I guess should of been my run away signal but they we're highly recommended :( But they may find out about the power of the Internet and word of mouth the hard way..... If they continue on this yelling at customer streak.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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Often machnists will get pissy like that if they dont know what they are doing. Pull your parts.
I was going to say the same thing. The machinists I dealt with at the shop I worked at did the exact same thing. They would take a job, and as soon as things went south or they couldn't figure out how to do it, they start freaking out. I would also pull it from their shop.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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It sounds like the guy has way to much on his plate and might not know whats going on at all. You can try and jump in his **** being that I worked at a shop a long time sometimes thats all it takes for people to back off. On the other hand if he is asking if it is a V6 or not I would get my parts back now weather he was recomended or not. For an example I took my head off my 92 1.6L to a guy we used to use to build my bosses race cars all V8 chevrolets. He said he would give me a good deal and " hook me up" with good parts at his cost. I was getting two new valves, guides, seals, 3 angle valve job, and back cut. After about 3 weeks of nothing I called and he got shitty on the phone and told me he was almost done and now I could just pick it up and take it else where. So I did and when I got it it was not almost done it was completly apart and missing 4 valve they were MIA. I took it to another shop I heard good things about but never used and I got it back in 9 days with all the work and all new valves and it was only $100 more than my hook up. Long story short he dose amazing work on Chevy V8's and harleys not anything else. Go pick it up before it is ruined.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by flier129 View Post
You really think I should?

The thing is this shop had been recommended by quite a few guys that prep cars for club racing. I guess they don't care much about small customers.

Another funny thing is when I called them last Saturday because I hadn't heard from them since I dropped the parts off on Tuesday..... I left two heads for them, the 99 and 94 that I didn't know the condition of.

I call, give them my name, what kind of parts, and what car they are for. So talking to the grumpy guy, asked him about the condition of them, he tells me both are warped and need VJs, etc. I tell him I only want him to fix one head, he snaps back "no I'm not guna fool with just one!" "you can just come get your parts if don't get the pair done" .

At that point I'm kind of dumb-founded. I tell him nicely "This is for a Mazda MIATA, it's a straight four, I only need one head." he replys " oh, it's not a v6?"

I guess should of been my run away signal but they we're highly recommended :( But they may find out about the power of the Internet and word of mouth the hard way..... If they continue on this yelling at customer streak.
Go pick up your ****....
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:23 AM   #16
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Well because I got paranoid that they'd sabotage my **** I just let them finish it. Picked the parts up on Thursday, got the re-done head installed friday and it finally started . Started with a bigass puddle of oil at the front of the engine......

Took off the timing-gear cover and see a bunch of oil running from the cam-gears. Get the vc off and then take off one of the front cam-shaft cap, which I break lose with a 1/8ths drive ratchet... that really can't be torqued to 120ft-lbs can it? And lookie there, no cam-gear seal! Its a good thing I have extra parts laying around, heh.

I've had a pretty bad experience with this place to say the least lol.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:27 AM   #17
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120 ft/lbs on a cam cap? your joking right?
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:45 AM   #18
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ops typo, meant in-lbs. Thatd be some **** if they put them to 120ftlbs lol
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Old 04-03-2010, 01:48 PM   #19
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Is your head going to be done any sooner if the customers are calling and taking him away from his work? When it's done it's done. I totally understand where the machinist is coming from. I don't know how many time I've had to crawl out from under a customers car to answer their phone calls asking me "is it done yet?". Now multiply that by the dozen customers who have their cars in for service and oh yeh, it gets anoying REALLY fast.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #20
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Mine was about 150 back when I had a 95 gst and I did a 1g head swap, keep in mine this was a local BS shop and about 5 years ago.
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