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Thread: Valve job pricing?

  1. Valve job pricing?

    I run a small automotive machine shop in Arizona. I reciently upgraded the cylinder head rebuilding area of my shop with a CBN surfacing machine and Newen ball drive seat cuting equipment. I did this to handle the newer cylinder heads that are coming in for valve jobs. Is there anyone in AERA that has a list of valve job prices on a variety of late model engines?

  2. Valve Job Prices

    This goes for all shops:

    Pricing shop work is always an interest but boils down to your individual costs and what you are trying to achieve for profit and return on investment (ROI). This will be different for every shop so do not fall into the trap of relying on state or national averages. It will not work out the way you want it to.

    You recently purchased a state-of-the-art seat and guide machine. Your cost of equipment alone is far greater than most other shops. However, you should be able to reduce time taken per job and deliver unparalleled quality. Reducing time increases profit potential while increased quality should reduce comebacks and allows you to charge a premium. The point here is that each shop needs to look at their individual business metrics and not what others are charging for the same job. Every shop is different and has different price structures based upon size of investment and shop competencies.

    A good place to begin is to establish a reasonable hourly shop rate. Once you know all your business costs (and I mean ALL your costs), factor in what you can live with for business profit (you need to make a living at this, right?) and then a return on investment. You have a sizeable investment in equipment and tools. You will eventually have to replace these tools and machines so get something for it. With this basic information, you are now able to establish job prices. If your job price is way out of line with the market then look at why this is the case. It may be a miscalculation on job time or too high of an ROI expectation. Generally, a shop with quality equipment and competent technicians can charge a job within market and still maintain profit and ROI. It does require a very close look at your business. You have decided to buy the best equipment so now decide to charge correctly for having done so.

    John

  3. Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Waldorf Md
    Posts
    429

    Dave,
    I have a price sheet, but really only use it for the very simple jobs. Most late model valve jobs I price from experience, knowing how long it has taken us in the past. Most OHC ,4 valve per cylinder, heads are a minumum of $200. I have been trying to shoot for around $90 per hour. Most of our time is spent cleaning. Get a small stop watch and actually time yourself to see how long you really spend on each job.

    On another line .... I would be curious to see how your Newen setup works out for you. I have the same thing but have found they really do not work that well for doing your average valve job. I can do them faster and in my opinion better with my Neway cutters that I have been using for years. I can usually cut all of the seats on a typical Honda head in about the same time it takes to set up the cutter on the Newen. Also, I have not been real happy with the valve seat runout with the Newen setup. Might be my seat and guide machine (Peterson TCM25), but others have told me they have the same problem. The Newen setup is great for opening heads for larger valves etc, but for your normal "touch up" valve job, I think it is too slow.
    Bill Koustenis
    Advanced Automotive Machine
    Waldorf Md

  4. Thanks for the info on pricing. Some of my customers have asked for a valve job price list and like Mr Bill I only have set prices on earily model engines. Quoting from experience is what I usualy do. But some times they call for a quote on on a valve job I have not done yet and I'm not sure if it is a 2 valve or 4 valve per cylinder head and the dificulty of dissasembly for cleaning. That's why I was wondering if someone else had set prices on some of the late model foreign emgine valve jobs.

    The Newen setup is working ok for me. It trues up the seats on the aluminum head over heat jobs. And yes runout is a problem I check frequently.

    Thanks

    Dave

  5. Job pricing

    Dave:

    Are you using PRO-SIS? If so, PRO-SIS specs will tell you if a head is 2 or 4 valve. With over 4,500 different engines, PRO-SIS should cover most of what you are asked to bid out work for.

    Also, Shop Management Software (SMS is another AERA member-only benefit) has pre-loaded labor information in it complete with average time to do the job. It has both 2 and 4 valve labor codes for 4, 6 and 8 cylinder engines. With PRO-SIS and SMS, you should be able to accurately bid a job even if you never saw the engine before.

    John

  6. John

    I do have Pro-sis and have not been able to find 2 or 4 valve info on heads I havn't done yet. I do go to the valve adjustment page to see if it is hyd, adjusting screw or chagable disk. That way I know if I have to go through the process of toping the valve stem to adjust the valve clearance.
    The Pro-sis program is very helpful, but one of the reasons I got it for doesn't seem to be very complete. It's the cylinder head surface finish. I look there to see if the head uses an MLS head gasket. Several heads I've looked up that I know use MLS didn't have a surface finish listed.

    Dave

  7. Pro-sis

    Good point, Dave. PRO-SIS does not contain all data for all engines. It is a database that grows with every issue called into the tech department or new engine information we get from OEM sources. Surface finishes are something you call us for and we should be able to obtain what you need if it is not in PRO-SIS already. I am curious; what 2 or 4 valve engines have you not found in PRO-SIS? Let us know and we will be sure to have that information in the next release.

    John

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