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Old 11-25-2012, 08:08 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by xperfectxdarkx View Post
Are they just trying to gouge me because I'm a 20 something female or is really that hard work that they feel it's justified to charge that much?
This is more than likely the case.

However, changing shocks is time consuming. Close to 90 minutes per wheel and up to 4 hours for the entire car. Ask these workshops what their hourly charges are. That would be a good way to decide if they are trying to rip you off. Speak to those who have already quoted you and ask them to separate out the quotes into parts and labour. You need to do some more research and get more opinions and quotes from other workshops too to help decide.

Another suggestion I can give you is to combine several long term wear and tear elements along with the main shock absorber change. This will drive your parts bill up and sometimes significantly, but not your labour bill by much. Removing the shocks exposes many things to easy access and your wallet can reap the benefits of that.

1. Springpads top and bottom. $10 each. Busted springpads cause your car to tilt to one side.
2. Bump stops. $10 each.
3. Shock absorber mountings. Now these can be expensive if you purchase the best, which is currently Meyle HD. Around $100 for a pair or so. The additional labour involved is not much...around 10 minutes per mounting. However, you can only get to this if you remove the shock absorbers, which is a big job. Good bushings give your car a firmness on the road...its alot about ride quality.
4. You might want to consider installing lowering springs at this time, if you don't already have them and like the look. Around $200-$400 for a set of 4. Zero additional cost of labour as they need to remove the old springs anyway.
5. Check your brake discs and replace them ($50 each) if they are getting worn. No additional labour charges.
6. Good time to swop out brake pads as well if they are getting there. A ten minute or less job for each calliper. They shouldn't increase your charges by much.

Any and all of this is not strictly necessary but if you intend to keep your car for the long term, are not on a tight budget, and put alot of stock in the car's drivability, you might want to consider doing one or more of the above for pure cost efficiencies.

You can purchase parts first yourself and ask them to quote you for labour alone.

You probably need a third opinion on whether your rear bushings need to be changed. Which bushings are they referring too? Trailing arms ? You can take pictures or refer to (put in your chassis number and your car and its diagrams will appear) and you will be able to strip out the right part and its number.

Even worn shocks are not show stoppers and do not need to be changed if you're not a stickler. Why are you considering changing yours ? Do they have any leaks ? Or are they very bad, ie the car behaves as if there are practically no shock absorbers at all ?

It would be a good idea for you to look through the maintenance sticky thread at the top of these forums, and download and scan through the E34 bentley manual, for a better idea on priorities for the car, especially if you're working on a budget (who isn't ?). You can take some time to study the matter and decide where the priorities lie.

I always recommend that new owners change the fuel pump, the fuel pump's relay and the crankshaft position sensor to all oem ones, unless they have evidence that they were changed in the past couple of years. These three culprits tend to fail suddenly at this age and they lead to 90% of our no-start issues, and they occur without forewarning, which can be a pain to diagnose, and drive costs of repair up if you factor in towing and cab charges etc. Furthermore, most of the E34's sudden overheat issues are centred around failed water pumps and thermostats, so unless they were changed recently, I would go for those too as a precaution. The time involved for doing everything I just mentioned here should not exceed 3 hours, so budget for labour accordingly. Parts cost up to $400 typically for oem stuff for these before shipping. Only buy oem for these mission critical components, penny wise is definitely pound foolish here.

Good luck.

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