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I do not do any of my own fixing so certainly used to paying for labor and it adds up in a hurry on these things. I have a list of things not as extensive as Dookiller mentioned over past 3 years and think it would be over $25000. This a cost of business, but guess if I thought that had an imminent $40000 engine job it would get my attention.
 

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You can't possibly be accounting for labor costs with those numbers, and what you pay for parts isn't what average joe pays over the counter.
For most farmers, labor is sunk cost. They are paying their hired guys whether they work on the engine or not. So in the winters when things are slower, it's a great use of resources and the only cost for the labor is opportunity cost of whatever else needed to be done.
 

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Interesting how some of you look at spending money on an old truck, I'm with Joe...when you can buy another one for less than what a reman engine is worth, not sure I see the logic in it. I will say, if I had to drop money into my trucks over the years like some of you are, when I was moving rigs I would have lost my ass and my truck would have spent more time in the shop than it did in the bush lol
When you buy an older high mile unit, you need to look into its past. IMO best is a fleet unit from a large company, they tend to have better maintenance than many privately owned. An older truck that has had multiple owners is also one to possibly avoid. And biggest thing, is don't fall in love with one, there are thousands of them out there for sale, wait till you get what you want with some history as well. No fleet or large company wants those older high mile units, so only interest in most of them is guys like yourself. Took me two years to find what I wanted when I was looking for a updated hiway tractor, but ended up with almost exactly what I wanted, just over 1mil, ten years old, N14, up to date safety, new recaps, and all for 12K. But then I got no prob running an International. All I have put in it in seven years is steering tires and a thermostat, and had to get the ecm repaired after a ground cable failed. When that truck when thru RB, previous owner told me point blank I was the only one who had contacted them and asked about. He told me everything they knew about it. Silly me, they even told me they had replaced the ecm already once, I should have checked things and not assumed it had been properly fixed...so much for Stahl Pete in Ft Mac lol.
And as mentioned, if you avoid Pete or KW, you will save thousands or get a newer truck with less miles for the same money.
 

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Farmers never pay themselves for labour.
I realize that, you "pay yourself" via other means. The problem that arises is that it becomes easy to under-value the costs involved in the labor quotient of repairs when performed at a dealership or other repair shop. I really wish it didn't cost what it does to have diagnostic capabilities at the dealer level, but that software and those comm cables don't come cheap. Neither is it cheap to pay a competent tech (one that shows up on time, without attitude or addictions) to rebuild your engine, or diagnose that problem, or just simply put grease in ALL the grease nipples. I don't have a massive shiny shop, or drive a new vehicle (far from it), but competent knowledge and skills aren't cheaply acquired these days.
 

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I realize that, you "pay yourself" via other means. The problem that arises is that it becomes easy to under-value the costs involved in the labor quotient of repairs when performed at a dealership or other repair shop. I really wish it didn't cost what it does to have diagnostic capabilities at the dealer level, but that software and those comm cables don't come cheap. Neither is it cheap to pay a competent tech (one that shows up on time, without attitude or addictions) to rebuild your engine, or diagnose that problem, or just simply put grease in ALL the grease nipples. I don't have a massive shiny shop, or drive a new vehicle (far from it), but competent knowledge and skills aren't cheaply acquired these days.

I completely understand that and have no trouble paying the shop rate when it's diagnosed and fixed proper. Not just throw parts at a problem till it goes away.

I know there are lots of variables but what would the man hours be to inframe an engine on average?
 

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It used to be fairly common to quote an average time allotment of 36-ish hours to perform a complete in-frame overhaul. A hard working tech that operated efficiently and had all parts readily available, and no surprises to account for could do it faster. But now, engine bays are far more complex, there is a lot more hardware and components to remove for proper access to the engine, and labor times have increased. It is also far more common to need to machine counterbores in the block, and shim cylinder liners to achieve proper liner height so that head gaskets can seal properly. Anybody can throw parts at an engine, but it takes time, skill, and patience to build an engine properly the first time, so there are zero comebacks. Yes, it's going to seem like it's going to cost more, up front. But ask yourself what's worse, paying for a $15k overhaul twice, or paying for a $25-30k overhaul once? There's cost, and there's perceived cost. I would probably estimate ~50 hours for a 2005 or newer engine, realizing that this vintage is now approx 15 years old with lots of miles and hours resulting in the likely need for block work, resurfacing, etc etc. Newer engines, such as a Detroit DD series, Mack MP8, Paccar MX13, etc would probably be minimum 50 hours, just for dealing with all the extra hardware (compound turbo arrangements, more complex plumbing, wiring, etc). I get to fix the aftermath of cheap repairs, and it quite honestly keeps repeating itself: pay me now or pay me later. Damaged and broken fasteners, leaks, repeat failures, sloppy workmanship, these are the hallmarks of slipshod work performed in an effort to stay under quoted time allowances. Take your time and do it right.
 

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It used to be fairly common to quote an average time allotment of 36-ish hours to perform a complete in-frame overhaul. A hard working tech that operated efficiently and had all parts readily available, and no surprises to account for could do it faster. But now, engine bays are far more complex, there is a lot more hardware and components to remove for proper access to the engine, and labor times have increased. It is also far more common to need to machine counterbores in the block, and shim cylinder liners to achieve proper liner height so that head gaskets can seal properly. Anybody can throw parts at an engine, but it takes time, skill, and patience to build an engine properly the first time, so there are zero comebacks. Yes, it's going to seem like it's going to cost more, up front. But ask yourself what's worse, paying for a $15k overhaul twice, or paying for a $25-30k overhaul once? There's cost, and there's perceived cost. I would probably estimate ~50 hours for a 2005 or newer engine, realizing that this vintage is now approx 15 years old with lots of miles and hours resulting in the likely need for block work, resurfacing, etc etc. Newer engines, such as a Detroit DD series, Mack MP8, Paccar MX13, etc would probably be minimum 50 hours, just for dealing with all the extra hardware (compound turbo arrangements, more complex plumbing, wiring, etc). I get to fix the aftermath of cheap repairs, and it quite honestly keeps repeating itself: pay me now or pay me later. Damaged and broken fasteners, leaks, repeat failures, sloppy workmanship, these are the hallmarks of slipshod work performed in an effort to stay under quoted time allowances. Take your time and do it right.
Well said and you address an issue so often that comes up...that doing things cheap is not the best or the cheapest in the long run. When I get into anything technical, even my own, you have to take your time to be through and precise so things are done properly. I too have had many things show up where someone else had been mucking around and now the damage or costs are even more so than before had they never touched it. I'm willing to bet like me, you stand behind your work, unfortunately thats becoming less and less these days with many shops, which speaks volumes about the quality of their work.

And further to what I had posted earlier about dropping big money into an older truck not being wise IMO, what one needs to look at is that not only the engine is of concern, next thing you are investing thousands into power dividers, differentials and trannies, now you got a 12 to 20 year old truck worth a quarter of what is invested in it and because of its age, it carries a huge bullseye target on it and now you got every DOT that sees you on the road harassing you.
This is why like others mentioned, you gotta do your home work as to whether a ten year old truck is really worth spending 30K plus under the hood anymore. Not many farmers are running their trucks 10K plus miles a month all year like the transport industry does, very quickly it can turn into nothing more than a huge tax write off and money pit that you will never get it back out of.

Also something that I don't think was mentioned before, is with an older truck, the issue of the frame and components joints swelling and hemorrhaging from salt corrosion between, spreading them apart, is becoming a more common problem as it is now something that can quickly fail a truck in an inspection. My brother is seeing this more and more in his shop on trucks under 12 years, and while he made fun of me years ago salvaging an old '79 Western Star to make into a gravel truck that I picked up for next to nothing, now he has done several himself. It gets expensive and time consuming. Bolts alone for my old Star was over 500. And except that I enjoy doing things like that, so didn't really value my time, for that one of mine, never would have paid for a customer to have had me do it in a million years.
 

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For the cost of an engine you can buy a newish Volvo. They basically give them away.

If you can handle driving a girl truck it's a pretty hard deal to beat.
 

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For the cost of an engine you can buy a newish Volvo. They basically give them away.

If you can handle driving a girl truck it's a pretty hard deal to beat.
Ok go ahead and laugh. My Girl truck is 20 years old and just a single axle, but for 5000USD with an awesome running 12.7 series 60, I can throw the rest of it away and have a nice series 60. I know what you are talking about. I was looking for a tandem straight truck but happened upon this single axle tractor and single axle hopper trailer for a lot less money. 2 seasons on the setup on our small operation and I am happy. Oh sure I would like a Pete Michigan special that the gravel haulers have, but I can't justify it. :)
 
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