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Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon
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JonCrop101
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:38 pm    Post subject: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

My 2.3 go westy failed due to overheat. How many labor hours should I expect a shop to charge to put a new go westy engine in? 1985 vanagon westfalia automatic trans...
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hdenter
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

Well, I would say 1.5-2 hours to get the engine out and on the ground. 3 hours or so to swap over accessories (distributor, compressor, plenum...). An other 1.5 hours to get it back in. Provided all the accessories are in good order and the engine can fire right up, an other 1.5 hours to fill coolant, break in cam/lifters, adjust timing etc. Unfortunate problems like thermostat housing studs breaking and rusty bolts on exhaust could add on more time... So, about 8 hrs would be my guess.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

hdenter wrote:
Well, I would say 1.5-2 hours to get the engine out and on the ground. 3 hours or so to swap over accessories (distributor, compressor, plenum...). An other 1.5 hours to get it back in. Provided all the accessories are in good order and the engine can fire right up, an other 1.5 hours to fill coolant, break in cam/lifters, adjust timing etc. Unfortunate problems like thermostat housing studs breaking and rusty bolts on exhaust could add on more time... So, about 8 hrs would be my guess.

Hans


I would echo this portion of the statement and this issue is more prevalent in some regions... like mine. If your van is an AZ unit then these issues aren't likely to be a problem. I would agree if all went well 8-10 hrs. It certainly helps if the shop has T3 experience.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:02 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

From start to finish, I would expect it to take a week. I would have to be pretty hungry to agree to swap an engine into a 32 year old vanagon in a day. Main effort would be spent on insuring it did not overheat again.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:34 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

The FAQ's hold a tremendous amount of information within its pages.....

For example..... page 60-14 LONG BLOCK RENEW

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=670560&sid=0ae4ff47ba48d424ea673473473b2f27

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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

i'm with Mark Ward on this one... is your van really in great, tip top shape where the only thing you need to do is 'simply' replace the engine?

fuel lines, coolant lines, ground repair, cleaning, wiring harness repair, throttle switch repair, AFM cleaning, repainting of the bits that are being reused, new radiator (a must with a new engine), starter/alternator overhaul, and well gosh, this list goes on.

my advice, which there are good reasons to ignore, is to buy an engine hoist for $200, add an engine leveler for $50, a set of tools for $200, and go for it yourself. you'll take the time to do everything that is necessary, you'll learn about the antique vehicle you own and operate, *maybe* save some money (tho this will be offset with everything you are buying to replace), and spend a huge amount of time on it that you couldn't afford to pay a mechanic for.

you're driving a 33 year old vehicle. no one gets away for free!

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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:02 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

Agree with Dan! ^^^^

On my Van IF I had to install a long block, the work would be minimal because of all the work already performed. But in most Vans, there are days and days of work and hundreds if not thousands of dollars in parts needed to do it correctly.

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Last edited by djkeev on Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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dougass
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

My guess that a shiop with experience would say 2-3days labor PLUS a few $100 for hardware, hoses, gaskets, fluids, ect along the way.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

I did this - had a shop replace my 1.9 with a GoWesty rebuild.

It was not a VW specialist but they had worked on VWs before. They removed the old engine, swapped the usual ancillaries, stripped and crated it in the same box as the GW engine arrived in and did the install.

I had them replace fuel lines, clutch kit, and motor mounts while they were there.

They took particular care removing the manifolds to avoid breaking any studs as that would typically get you dinged on your core charge.

They billed me for 8 hours which I thought was quite fair.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It does (or at least did) reduce shipping costs each way by having the engine delivered and picked-up at their (commercial) address.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

^^^^^ That was a VERY low charge for the work, it must have gone very smoothly. Good for you! Very Happy
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bobbyblack
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

Not sure on how to give advice on this.

#1, overheated... This could be bad enough to break the thermostat housing.
#2, how long has the previous GW engine been in there? Salty roads, # of miles put on, etc, please?
#3, do you presently do any of the work on your rig on your own? Tools at hand? Physical abilities?


I have gotten (non WBX) engines out of VW's in less than half an hour (8 minutes was our team record -- me+my brother on a '67 splitty), replaced main seal and transmission input shaft seal, and had engine back in and started in 2 hours total. But, that was when I was a kid, and all my limbs worked as new. Also, NO coolant lines to deal with, etc.

Now days, a full remove of an engine takes me half a day. I would usually only have half a day of energy in my half century old body, so that would be "all day" really. Next day, I could get the new one back in, again, in half a day.

Being a DIY kind of guy AND needing to be budget conscious, AND needing to NOT OFFEND my mechanic by bringing him stuff he cant really make money on leads me to do things myself.

Having 30 years of tools gathering and VW tinkering has, of course, been the WHY I CAN portion...

Why I do is still a mystery, half crazy seems to be the answer.

Hope you have a good outcome. If able, as always, do whatever you can yourself. Even good mechanics appreciate folks who do what they can on their own, and its a good feeling for everyone. Investing in your self is always a great reward and return on investment is usually very high.

-bobby
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Butcher
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

I would spend more time in finding a good shop and just pay what they want.

Finding the lowest bidder sounds like a bad idea. Like Mark mentioned, you would have to be real hungry to take on a job like that. I enjoy what I do so the last thing I want to do is to work on a budget engine swap. I certainly would interview the client carefully to determine if it's something I want to do and if the client was concerned about money, I would pass. If I elected to take on the job, it would be done right and would schedule at least a week to allow me the time to make it right. Way too many pitfalls/quicksand.

What you could do to help the shop is to remove your junk in the back. It sucks to move/remove personal belongings and store them elsewhere in the shop/car.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

When I take a project on a classic, I charge straight time per hour. Flat rate times are only a reference.

If I was paying someone to do work for me, I'd want to pay for someone to take their time and do it right, not turn it into a Guinness world record attempt.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

Skills can do that in 30 minutes.

Your invoice will reflect market rates.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: Labor hours to replace engine with a GoWesty engine 1985 Vanagon Reply with quote

Roughly 10-15hrs, $300 in misc (small parts, fluids and shop supplies), and a weeks worth of time. Parts and laobr could climb if issues are found while performing the work. IIRC, a 1985 Vanagon came with steel coolant pipes. Those really should be replaced if they haven't already, so factor in the cost of the main pipes. If the radiator is contaminated and clogged, then that needs to be replaced too. If the radiator is clogged, then the heater cores could be clogged too. With an overheating situation, all components need to be checked.

Jobs like this should be on the slow burner. It's not something you want to rush doing. Trust me, any shop doesn't want a project sticking around and eating up shop space for a month, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. Sometimes deeper problems are found, finding/waiting on parts can take time, retesting can take time, and so on. The shop will appreciate your patience. Quality shops will be fair on their prices, just make sure to choose a specialist or a shop with a solid reputation working on older vehicles.

Owning a classic ride is like owning an old house. And just like remodeling an old home, an estimate for work is merely a guideline. A contractor can give you an estimate for remodeling a kitchen, including new cabinets, appliances, flooring, etc. But once the work starts there is no turning back. If they open up the walls and find bad electrical, plumbing, framing, etc. those things will need to be addressed for the remodel to be done properly. Classic cars are no different. No one has x-ray vision and can know exactly what it's going to take to perform a repair. This is especially true on a 30+ year old vehicle.

-Kevin
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