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Old 08-19-2009, 09:44 AM   #1
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Rear wheel bearings

Just got back from a local Porsche expert engineer (not the dealer).

Asked about changing the bearings. Price offered was
$228 for bearings
$784 labor (7+ hours as they said)

So, I think I'll do it my self

Anyone with the special tool from pelican parts willing to rent it?

Thanks

George

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Since you're "saving" $700+ in labor, why not buy the hub puller kit from Pelican for $260, do your business, and then resell it for a discount (your rental fee, so to speak)?

There's gotta be a good market for a "like new" hub puller among on the DIYers on this board and many others. I'm guessing the puller can be used on 987, 996 & 997, plus who knows how many other models.

Gary
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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What wheel bearing was that to replace?

It was only $40 in parts and $350 in labor for my front driver side on my 01' S.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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gschotland:
Yes, I would be willing to buy a used one :-). If I don't find a used one I'll buy the one from pelican parts.

blinkwatt:
Check out this link:
google search

Evidently, it all depends on where you buy them and what make are the bearings. It's strange that the OEM are less expensive than others... Of course the price I got from the mechanic is way above the web prices... They just replaced the spark plugs for $200 (60 for the spark plugs and $140 labor). It was the first time I went to this mechanic as I was very disappointed from my last one (first and last visit 2 years ago for a top motor replacement- $2200... ouch!). I am done with mechanics... I will become one my self...

Should anyone be interested who are these non-dealer stealers, pm me... I'd be more than glad to give more info...
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:14 AM   #5
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I actually went there with my laptop and showed them the price search for the bearings and the DIY webpages that say that this is a 2.5 hours project.

They said that they don't think this is doable as a DIY and that the price for the parts is what they get and they can't change this...

Pretty fancy shop though
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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My local independent was going to charge me $600 to do two wheels, just the labor, no parts. I was going to pull the wheel carriers and bring them into the shop and have them simply press out the old bearings and then press in the new ones, maybe a 1 hour job. They still would not move from their $600 price. They have a book where they look up the time required for a job, multiply it by their hourly rate, and then give you a labor cost. It's that simple and most shops simply won't budge on that screwed up formula.

The shop you're using should not object to you bringing them the parts as long as they are good quality. If you can get them cheaper, then more power to you, right?

Also, do a search, we just discussed this. Someone else here wanted to rent the Pelican tool. They ended up buying the $80 Harbor Freight version. You should send them a PM to see if that worked, I haven't seen a report back.

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Old 08-19-2009, 06:05 PM   #8
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the problem with the harbour freight tool is that I don't see how you could use it to remove the wheel hub from the carrier. the pelican tool has a horseshoe attachment for this purpose. you can pm for info on the pelican tool (which is actually manufacture by SIR tools) since i rented one from a member on renntech. I'm suspect he wouldn't have a problem renting it to you, if you wanted to go that route. on the other hand, if you bought the tool yourself, you would have no problem re-selling it or renting it out and getting your $$ back.

-jimmy

btw, the prices you were quoted for the job are absurd! the bearing i bought from VERTEX auto was OEM (I think it's manuf by FAG) and was only about $35 or $40. i understand the need for markup and to make money, but....
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:52 AM   #9
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I haven't been able to find a shop that agrees with me bringing the (OEM) parts to them. "It's against their policy for safety reasons" or something... In other words... extra $$$

Generally speaking, when I go with an SUV in a shop for maintenance I don't really care what they do (as long as they charge reasonably). But with the Porsche I am really unconfortable when they take her in and leave me in the the "waiting room". I like to be there and see what they do. I also like to get receipts of all the new parts they use. And I would very much appreciate it if they gave me back the part that has been replaced. But mechanics don't do these things...

Anyway, my neighbor was fixing cars some years ago. He's unemployed now, but still has a ramp and all the tools one can imagine. So, I am going to him today to ask him if we can do this together and pay him for his service (at least I will be helping someone I know needs to $$$). Is the tool needed to remove the bearings a special Porsche tool or something conventional can do the job anyway (in case he has something conventional).

The funniest of thing is this... I am a chemical engineer, with a Ph.D and a postdoc. If I calculate how much I charge per hour (of course I get a yearly salary but I can always divide...) it's about $100 an hour. The mechanic/engineer charges about the same money without having spend half of his life studying. And then they overcharge you for parts etc... It makes you wonder why should someone study?
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:41 AM   #10
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here's the tool folks keep talking about (the SIR tool) that's sold by pelican, etc.:

http://www.samstagsales.com/Porsche.htm

again, you can use a different tool, but I'm not sure what you would you to pull the hub from the wheel carrier. if you look at the SIR tool (ST B 90-P2 ) it has that horshoe attachment for pulling the hub out. I'm sure if your neighbor is a good wrench, he can improvise, I'm just not sure how you would do so, even having done the job myself.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:15 AM   #11
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what shops?

@ gstoli - What shops in Boston have given you a hard time? Give Motor Sport Garage a call in Cambridge/Allston. I found them in the Nor'Easter, the local PCA mag.

I have taken in parts there before, just made sure I told them over the phone what I had. This way they could be sure to have any extraneous parts on hand that may be needed to complete a job. Not sure what they would charge for the work you are looking to have done.

410 Cambridge St, Allston MA
(617) 783-3078

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Old 08-20-2009, 10:33 AM   #12
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I prefer not to post my bad experiences... Some of these guys may well be forum members.

What I can do is post the quotes I've been getting today:
Shop // two rear wheel Bearings price (parts and labor included) // front engine mount price (parts and labor included)
- Auto Engineering : // 1012 // 338
- Motorsport garage : // 904 // 577
- European Performance Engineering // 850 // 425
- Auto Sport Engineering // 1100 // 462

I am in the middle of changing jobs and houses... no time for DIY's... And my neighbor is on vacations. And I still need to work to make this extra $1K And it's a pity not enjoying the very few summer days in Boston...

Still looking though :-)

Last edited by gstoli; 08-20-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:57 PM   #13
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whoa.. A little info needed here:

Shops charge X amount on top of what they pay wholesale. Now.. there are a LOT of parts whores out there that operate on moving a lot of parts cheap with nearly NO margin (this is who you find online) The reason for the shop markup? It is their WARRANTY on the part. If the part you bring in FAILS.. YOU (the car owner) is going to EAT the second repair. If the part the shop installs FAIL then the SHOP eats it.

Pretty simple.

This why shops don't want you to bring in your own parts, it is to protect them and to protect you.

Now.. I'll read the rest of the post


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Old 08-20-2009, 08:10 PM   #14
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The mechanic/engineer charges about the same money without having spend half of his life studying. And then they overcharge you for parts etc... It makes you wonder why should someone study?
Overhead. Plain and simple. You make a salary and somebody else pay's the rent/lights/insurance A shop in your area charging $100 an hour *might* clear $35-40 after expenses. I have a very large Excel sheet matrix that takes into account ALL the expenses of running a shop with and without employees, with and without workmans comp (which isn't needed if the owner is the only person running the show/wrenching)

Don't throw us under the bus so quickly


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Old 08-20-2009, 08:24 PM   #15
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OK. Now onto the task at hand.

I do these at the track.. but I use the proper tool

and I use MAPP gas to heat the carrier prior to the install of the bearing and I freeze the bearing prior to install.

The rear is hard to do and requires quite a bit of physical labor that cannot be avoided.

The first thing I'd like to ask:

How are you going to break the axle nut loose? or torque it properly when you are done? (340lb ft!!!) Most "home users" do not have a $500 LONG torque wrench capable of torquing the nut properly. I'm willing to bet ANY Porsche shop you take the car too will have ONE of these large torque wrenches that is shared amongst their techs.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from trying to do this at home.. but you need to be real about this. Some of the "markup" helps techs pay for the special tools that you are asking about here.. and pay for tools you are not asking about!!


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Old 08-20-2009, 08:40 PM   #16
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Great posts Brad. I like the first hand knowledge you bring to these discussions.

Another thing I can add to the discussion of why the mechanic charges $100 per hour: I work on motorcycles all day (and I have a physics degree, for what that's worth), but it would be an extrordinary day if I billed out even 5 hours of labor. I'm at the shop about 10 hours a day. So even without overhead, I'm already down about 50%. We keep the overhead low by not having any employees (no workman's comp, etc.), but that also means no paid days off, no sick leave etc. So anyone whose salary is equivalent to $100 per hour, is probably making closer to $140 once benefits are accounted for.

If I wasn't doing all of my own wrenching, I would definitely try to develop a good relationship with a local indi mechanic. That way, when you have a problem, you just take it to them and get it sorted, and feel good about it. The time saved shopping around each time will be worth the investment in getting to know a shop you can trust.
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #17
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Dude Brad it's GREAT to see you around here!
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:46 PM   #18
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22 years of Porsche shop owning/running other shops/plus PRO crew support and chief'ing cars in ALMS and Grand-Am gives you a perspective for this stuff that most cannot fathom.

Sometimes that is good.. sometimes that is bad



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Old 08-20-2009, 08:48 PM   #19
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Dude Brad it's GREAT to see you around here!

Been busy building Boxster''s and working on a LS1 conversion for Boxster's



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Old 08-21-2009, 05:41 AM   #20
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Brad, really great posts!

I don't fully agree about the overhead charged by repair shops, but it is what it is...

For instance, I disagree with the warranty issue... Things fail, computers, appliances clothes, furniture... almost everything can be broken and fail. If focus on electronics you can take crutchfield and amazon as examples. Amazon offers the same electronics for a considerably better price. Should something fail, you can always return it and get your money back (it's exactly the same procedure with crutchfield and it happened to me with both shops; returning something). So why do you pay extra in crutchfield? For all the technical support they give you, for the amazingly good technical info/harnesses/cables etc that they provide for free, for the fact that when I was installing my aftermarket HU in my car (2 pm in the morning) I called them and someone was there to answer my call and help me!

So back to the repair shops... Can you call them after 5? No... Are you allowed to be there and be guided through what they are doing? No... Can you ask for receipts, old parts, finding a less expensive option etc? No... What you can do is go back several times and ask them to get it right (if you are not satisfied with what they did). But this costs me the $100 an hour I should be making, while I wait in the shop...

Nonetheless, business is business... things may go wrong... a replacement part may fail... the mechanic might do something wrong... Just don't charge me for what is your business and your risks... They same way everyone else is taking their risks in business....

The point made by roadracer311 was a really good one...

If I wasn't doing all of my own wrenching, I would definitely try to develop a good relationship with a local indi mechanic. That way, when you have a problem, you just take it to them and get it sorted, and feel good about it. The time saved shopping around each time will be worth the investment in getting to know a shop you can trust.

My problem is that I haven't been able to find someone I can trust and work with...

After all, it's a Porsche and I guess the majority of Porsche owners (obviously not the members of this forum) just want the job done and get back with their lives/business. Since, I don't belong in this category I will be doing my own wrenching if I can. Not this time though :-). Time is what can't afford right now, so I may get lucky and develop a good relationship with the local mechanic

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