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1985 380sl
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247 Posts
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Pricing confusion in Tucson


Am I missing something here or am I just getting ripped off? I have been to 3 shops in Tucson asking price to change out my timing chain, upper guides and chain tensioner. There coming back at $1500.00-$1800.00 including parts. Heres the thing, I look on my alldatta and they suggested labor time 5 hours (4.9). Ok that’s around $550.00. Looking at parts, no more than $300.00. That comes to $850.00. If I’m missing something fine but this just doesn’t add up.
 

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It Is What It Is, Dude
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22,841 Posts
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Typical repair shop mark up on parts is 100%, so figure if they're buying locally, it's probably at 400-500 dollars, a bit more than what you're finding on the web. I know that part sound exorbitant but you have to be aware there is a grip of overhead in running a shop of that type and that mark up plus their labor margin is what it is. That's why so many shops refuse to install customer provided parts, just the labor fees won't cover the bills.
 

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'71 250, '78 450SLC 5.0, '78 450SL, '81 380SLC 5.6, '89 260E, '15 Kia Sorento
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5,269 Posts
Pricing confusion in Tucson


Am I missing something here or am I just getting ripped off? I have been to 3 shops in Tucson asking price to change out my timing chain, upper guides and chain tensioner. There coming back at $1500.00-$1800.00 including parts. Heres the thing, I look on my alldatta and they suggested labor time 5 hours (4.9). Ok that’s around $550.00. Looking at parts, no more than $300.00. That comes to $850.00. If I’m missing something fine but this just doesn’t add up.
I've been quoted as much as $2,800 labor only, $450 labor for the chain only, and between $600- $850 labor only for the chain and top guides. If the timing chain cover is removed the prices go way up.
 

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'88 560SL, '19 AMG E53 Cpe, '15.5 Volvo XC60, '53 MG TD, '35 Ford Cpe and a few more
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221 Posts
I was quoted in the $1500-$1600 range. Sounds about normal.
About the same here in PHX, though it's only a sample size of one. I did it myself for something like $500 in parts and a few days.
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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747 Posts
Little wonder why fewer and fewer people are willing to own these fine cars these days.. a nasty two-edged sword: Higher repair cost depress resale values which in turn make significant repairs less palatable. DIY then becomes these cars' final domain.
 

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1981 380SL
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256 Posts
Agree. I would think that the only people that have fully functioning SL's are the DIY types. To be honest, learning this car's systems is part of the fun.
 

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1988 560SL 71000mi, 2015 S550 4Matic
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194 Posts
The $1500 - $1800 is what I also paid here in Phoenix. Seems like the going rate.
Michael in Arizona
 

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1981 380 SLC
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149 Posts
What parts were changed? Just chain and guides? Did it include tensioner rail?
I don't remember my mechanic pointing out the tensioner rail specifically. Under parts on my receipt it has 4 Rails @ $10.50/piece and 1 Timing Chain @ $162.99. He also did spark plugs and belts at this time, but I deducted that from my total cost.
 
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