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Old 11-25-2006, 11:42 PM
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labor and parts cost of hot rod project....

I have no plan of doing the labor myself.

There are too many people who are far better qualified to do the work than I can.

Besides the amount of money that I might save by doing the labor is probably is far less than the amount of money I can make doing something else.

Still, I want to be able to budget the process.

My goal is gradual.

I want brand new high performance engine, trans first, and maybe later add other performance parts as the legacy parts in the project car wears out gradually.

This will help me getting to "know" the particular "quirks" of the project car so that I can better identify what I need for performance upgrades and have the option of changing the shop if they don't do a good job.

So here's the question.

What would be the labor cost of installing high performance engine and trans in terms of percentage of the parts cost (the engine, and trans)?

For example if the engine and trans cost $10,000, then how much would be labor?

This will help me budget the process more efficiently.


Last edited by Red Grant; 11-25-2006 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:22 AM
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Hello Red.
I need some more information.
What is the engine and trans combination you're wanting to use?
What vehicle are you planning to put them in?
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:43 AM
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Mr.Goodwrench 502 cid rat engine with 700R4 overdrive auto trans.........on preferably Aston Martin Lagonda from 80's, but if I can't find a good deal, I might have to go for Volvo 760 GLE from mid 80's. (Can't you tell I'm a sucker for boxy, wedge look?)

But I don't know whether Volvo would be big enough for 502 cid.
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:58 PM
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I suggest you drop back three paces and think about what you are saying. Neither vehicle is suitable - not impossible, but not viable choices for farmout work.
Irelands child
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:21 PM
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I've installed countless engine and transmission packages into cars they did not belong in, so here is my professional opinion. After preping the body for the install, the engine will go in and out many times to settle all the engineering details like, motor mounts, trans cross member,firewall/floor clearance,header or exhaust manifold clearance and design. Bracketry issues which include details like, a/c, p/s alt,etc. which must all clear the body and chassis. Radiator and a/c condenser issues. Then when theese foundational issues have been compleated there are a host of other issues like, wiring,operational guages and instruments, compleating the a/c system,more fabrication like shifter linkage,driveline,etc. Then of course dont forget the time it takes to work out the bugs, and there will be bugs. I have been doing this a long time and can tell you this, most projects wind up costing about 50/50 half parts, half labor, depending on your labor rate and the experience of your mechanic. as an example we just completed a 6.1 hemi install in a 66 Satellite, without listing the details this project cost the customer $12,000. labor and $14,000. for parts. This may not be what you wanted to hear but you asked.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:44 PM
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I'd talk to the guy that did this:
500 Caddy in a Volvo 740

He'd have some tips for you, I'm sure.
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:54 AM
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The Volvo should be a good candidate, the Lagonda also. Both will require a lot more custom work than the Hemi in a Satellite though. The satellite at least came with a similar sized V-8 to begin with. The Lagonda is low, but did have a V-8, the Volvo will need stronger front springs to name one obvious problem area. I think I could do it in 200 or so man/hours with a helper. A little over two weeks if it's the only project I'm working and all parts are readily available. Most shops work more than one project at a time, and you have to wait on parts. So the actual process would probably take more like a month if it's given priority in a shop -- usually 2-3 months for something like this. The faster you pay, the higher the priority will be! Most shops do so much work then send a bill, continue work when the bill is paid. No one wants a lot of money tied up into someone else's project, and no shop owner wants to go through the process of confiscating a project to pay off bills.

There was a Buick dealer who stuffed Buick V-8s in 240 Volvos. You might want to step back to a stroker small block instead of a 502 big block. Sure would be easier to fit in either of the cars mentioned! A 383 small block would privide lots of power in a 760 (or 960) Volvo. I have a 960 (wife's car). The rear axle should even hold up to a small block, at least for a while. Otherwise it's retrofitt a Jaguar axle or live axle.
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:39 PM
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Unless you have a huge bank account, I don't recommend it. It would be pretty sweet in the end. By the way, a big block Chevrolet is dimensionally large, and watch for hood clearance (if you want it to look somewhat stock)!

A smallblock would fit much better, and especially in the lighter aston, I'd go with a high-revving 302.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by spankys rod shop
This may not be what you wanted to hear but you asked.

On the contrary, that was exactly what I wanted to hear.

This way I can budget the process properly to begin with.

Thank you, also to you 66GMC, now I know I'm not the only one trying to put V8 inside the 760.

To farna,

Thanks for all the detailed advice. Originally I was inspired by Evel Knievel's custom Lagonda.

He, too, was taken by the wedge look of Lagonda, and went through 3 different tries, including mopar engine, till he decided 502 rat was the best engine.

Well, now I'm going to start googling and waiting for a beat Lagonda (less than $10,000) suitable for the project.
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:03 PM
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HOURS OF LABOR..................................445 HRS

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