The tale of two transmission shops - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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The tale of two transmission shops

So,the original TH350 in my 76 Corvette is starting to slip a little. Figure its time to freshen it up. Has 166K miles,never been out of the car. Plan is to drop the car off at a shop of choice and call me when its done.

I called a local shop first,about 3.5 miles from my house.Very convenient. They rebuilt a TH350 for my 1979 Trans Am about 3 years ago,cost was $900 and I supplied the convertor.
Was very happy with the transmission and price and this is why I called them back.

This time around, they quoted me $2,000 for a stock rebuild and stock convertor. Then, I let them know their price sucked (in a professional way of course) and also reminded them we did business 3 years ago and was very happy with their work, but you are not getting my business this time around.His only retort was "we don't build and install anything for $900 anymore"

Next call: a transmission shop that used to be very local to me (now they are 20+ miles away-still local so to speak)
These guys are great, they built the transmission in my Chevelle 18 years ago for $700 installed and my Grand National 13 years ago for $1200 also installed
Have not had an issue with either units and I have raced the Chevelle for 18 years on their build.
Of course they remembered me and I was quoted $1000 for the Corvette

Both shops offer 12 months/12K mile warranty.

Needless to say,the shop that built the Chevelle and GN transmissions gets the Corvette.
Some people know how to do business and keep that business and some others not so much..
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:14 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

My favorite transmission shop was sold, and the new owner was basically the same as you ran in to with the shop close to home. I found one of their employees, who had become a friend, and he does my work for me now. In fact, I'm taking him my son-in-law's 67 Chevelle wagon this week for work on the TH350.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:18 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

I have found it disturbing how expensive a tranny rebuild is nowadays.

$1,000 dollars is considered cheap, $1500 and up is normal retail.

I don't know how those who live paycheck to paycheck can afford a repair to their daily driver and put food on the table.

How much do you think is parts and how much could be labor?

Mike

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SHEVL View Post

How much do you think is parts and how much could be labor?

A decent TH350 rebuild kit is about $100-150 retail,rebuilt stock convertor $75-100


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:35 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

I've always said that transmission shops are a racket. I think they know the average enthusiast and even some above average are not willing to tackle an automatic transmission. As for the people with no mechanical aptitude? I feel sorry for them with repair cost's the way they are. Even finding a shop that does good work at a reasonable price is a struggle I'm sure.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

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I've always said that transmission shops are a racket. I think they know the average enthusiast and even some above average are not willing to tackle an automatic transmission. As for the people with no mechanical aptitude? I feel sorry for them with repair cost's the way they are. Even finding a shop that does good work at a reasonable price is a struggle I'm sure.
What I have seen lately with "newer" vehicles (something like a Ford Escape for example) is the average rebuild cost is $2400-2800 easily and there is a "if it comes back with issues" built into that price.


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 11:32 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

I pay a local guy $500 plus parts to rebuild TH400's. I take the transmission out myself, drop it off at his place, and re-install it myself. He is actually the transmission guy at a local Ford dealership, and does this on the side. Both of the TH400's he has done for me turned out super.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 11:40 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

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Originally Posted by mr 4 speed View Post
A decent TH350 rebuild kit is about $100-150 retail,rebuilt stock convertor $75-100
How about what they call "hard parts"?
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

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Originally Posted by 69SHEVL View Post
How about what they call "hard parts"?
well, you start breaking sun and planetary gears the cost goes up.
Even the basic rebuild kit will have clutches and steels.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 11:50 AM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr 4 speed View Post
well, you start breaking sun and planetary gears the cost goes up.
Even the basic rebuild kit will have clutches and steels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknblue View Post
I've always said that transmission shops are a racket. I think they know the average enthusiast and even some above average are not willing to tackle an automatic transmission. As for the people with no mechanical aptitude? I feel sorry for them with repair cost's the way they are. Even finding a shop that does good work at a reasonable price is a struggle I'm sure.
Sounds like Troy is right.

Like Georgia69 says, it helps to know people.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 12:54 PM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

If you have the time and the ability to get the transmission out of the car, and all you are looking for is a stock rebuild, iíd encourage you to buy the parts and give it a whirl. Although itís been a very long time, Iíve rebuilt two automatics. A TH400 and a TH700R4. The 700 needed a reverse (drum?) and I bought it from a local transmission shop. It scared the heck out of me to have them open, but once inside I realized that they were very simple devices. I just had to be careful and keep everything very clean. Both transmissions worked well for many years until I eventually sold the cars they were in. The sense of satisfaction was boosted only by the extra $$$ in my pocket when the jobs were done.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 1:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

Good advice Tom. In my case,I really don't have the time or room to tie up a car and rebuild a transmission. Very familiar with the internals and how they work.
Dropping $1000 and not having to do a damn thing works in my book.


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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 1:55 PM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr 4 speed View Post
Good advice Tom. In my case,I really don't have the time or room to tie up a car and rebuild a transmission. Very familiar with the internals and how they work.
Dropping $1000 and not having to do a damn thing works in my book.
I get that. I too must admit that as Iíve gotten older I find that Iím often more inclined to break out my checkbook before my wrenches.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 4:28 PM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

I break out wrenches.
Way back when I was building the TH350's it cost me 22.50 for a converter and 22 for a rebuilt front pump.
About 50 for all clutches and steels and band and filter.
I spent about 10 on cleaner to clean it all up.
I hated cleaning parts.

Friend had the TH350 built 3 times in his 305" nova.. it kept breaking.. usually reverse would go out.
I ended up with the Nova and went through the trans and ran 11's in it and never broke it.

What the heck were these rebuilders doing to a TH 350 to make it fail??
I have done the c6 and a 5 speed out out of a 4x4 foreign car.. they all seem easy enough.
You do need time and space though.
Cores for the TH350 are not around much any more..I was giving $12 each for cores.

Man those days are gone. about 10 years ago I priced a rebuilt front pump and it was $75 for the TH 350. OUCH!
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old Nov 27th, 18, 6:14 PM
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Re: The tale of two transmission shops

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Originally Posted by any4xx View Post
I get that. I too must admit that as Iíve gotten older I find that Iím often more inclined to break out my checkbook before my wrenches.

EXACTLY !!!!
I've put off an LS swap project for 6 months...waiting for a buddy to do it for me.
Rather pay him and just assist/supervise.

In the good old days, I would have completed this project in a week.
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