How much should I charge for a resto?


evintho

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I posted this on another forum and got some good feedback. Figured I'd post it here where all the Ranger people are and see what ya'll have to say.

A friend wants me to restore a Ford truck for him. Problem is, I'm not sure what to charge him. I'm retired and I've got the time. This ain't my first rodeo so I've got the knowledge/tools/etc. I enjoy doing this stuff, so there's that. It's a basic '88 Ford Ranger V6/auto w/180k.




It runs good, no codes and his only complaints are no A/C and a lot of oil leaks. I'll run compression/leakdown tests to validate the bottom end then pull motor/trans. Motor will get a valve job, timing chain/gears and oil pump. Any broken/worn parts will be replaced and it'll be given a seal-n-shine. Trans to a trans shop for inspection and seals. I'll rebuild the brake, cooling and HVAC systems and go over the front & rear suspensions. Every square inch will be cleaned, painted and polished. Client will pay for all parts and materials needed. Body and paint will be a separate deal and therefore a separate charge.

The going rate for a qualified mechanic in this area is in the $100-$150 per hour range. I won't even go there, he's a good friend. I figure I'll charge him a flat fee. Right now I'm thinking a flat fee of $1500 for my labor. I'm sure I'll be on it every day for a couple of months (I work slow). Give me an idea of what you guys think a fair charge would be.
Thanks in advance!
 


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Dirtman

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Paying someone else to do a restoration is absolutely insane. The sheer amount of time spent finding parts, painting, sanding cleaning scraping, wrenching etc makes the cost astronomical. You could litterally put hundreds of hours in doing a full blown frame off restoration.

Unless you dont value your time, or your friend is the illegitimate son of jeff bezos... walk away. Or at most just offer to lend a hand once in a while but leave it in his hands.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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A restoration costs close to the same amount of money and time regardless of make or model. That's why most restorations done for money are done to something that is worth big bucks at the end of the job. Unfortunately a Ranger isn't one of those vehicles.....yet.
 

Ranger850

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Flat fees never work. you end up working way more than you want to and may start resenting your buddy. maybe more like 5 to 6,000 bux for labor, plus parts. and since its your friend, you can throw in extra touches for free.
 

adsm08

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$10K labor to start.

At my labor rate I have nearly $30K of time into my mom's Mustang that I am still not done with.
 

stmitch

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Spending $5-10k on a $2k truck doesn't make financial sense for the owner.
Doing thousands of dollars worth of labor for $1500 doesn't make financial sense for you.

But, not everything has to make financial sense. So if your friend has enough emotional investment in this truck to justify spending several times what it's worth on a resto, and you don't really care about getting anywhere near the going rate for labor then charge whatever lets you sleep at night. It's basically charity.
 

OldMan2

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Tell him $50 per hour plus parts, and keep documentation of time and parts. Review costs frequently with him.
This sounds like a good way to lose a friend.
 

Denisefwd93

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50k pimp his ride!
 

Denisefwd93

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What it really comes down is your friend is trying to exploit your abilities and talents. Restoration is a very unique time demanding and expensive, endeavor,. We (now just me) have restored two cars a baby grand piano numerous wooden boats, and other smaller items,. It's almost impossible to put a price tag on restoration.

Maybe some of us get caught up in cable TV shows like Rick's restorations Grease monkeys, pimp my ride.. but it takes years to restore a vehicle even full-time... If you want keep the friendship, pass on the resto..
 

sgtsandman

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I would pass. It is going to take longer and cost more than expected to do a proper restoration, guaranteed. And that isn’t factoring in your time and what it is worth.

A project like this either has to be done by a pro with the insurance and legal backing or by the owner, personally, as a labor of love.

The can of worms this would open isn’t worth, more than likely, losing a friendship.
 

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Price out needed parts, add some extra that isn’t going to be enough anyway. Figure up labor and add a little extra... that won’t be enough anyway.

Then prepare for him to flip out because it is too high before you start... and/or too high when you find more wrong than your crystal ball can see from the outside.
 

evintho

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OK, maybe 'resto' wasn't the right word. I plan to pull the drivetrain, do a seal-n-shine, address any issues found and put it all back together cleaning and organizing as I go, just like I've done to half a dozen other projects. If I can pull $1500-$2000 to add to the bankroll for my next project and give Auggie a solid little truck that he can pass on to his boys, we'll both be happy. Auggie isn't a car guy so he couldn't do it himself. In addition, he's quite well off financially. Since I finished the roadster I've been itching to get my hands dirty. Going crazy, actually! I need a bit more of a bankroll before I delve into my next project that's waiting in the wings - '54 Ford Customline 302/AOD combo.
I think this Ranger project would satisfy both me and Auggie. Oh......I'm gonna do it. We still need to have more discussions though. It won't happen until this fall anyhow. When I do begin, I'll make a build thread and post it here as I progress.
Thanks for all the input! I do appreciate it!!
 

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Current shop rates at near $100 an hour these days... even if you did it half that... you would have about 40 hours to complete.
 


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