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How long to remove/clean out a carb?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by pl1985, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I brought in a commercial lawnboy that was running real rough and then shutting off to my dealer, he took apart the carb and cleaned it, replaced it, charged me 175.00. His published labor rate is 58/hr. To me this seems real high- I've seen a carburetor taken on and off a similar mower in 20 minutes, I can't see how it took 3 hours just to clean it. Is that a reasonable amount of time by normal dealer pricing standards?
  2. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Posts: 1,546

    I see that you posted this in another forum here, and I wouldn't want to second guess another mechanic. :rolleyes:
    Personally, when some one come in and tells me that they have a bad carb, I just smile to myself, because they are wrong half the time. So even so I will trouble shoot the machine. Fuel valve not open all the way, hole in the fuel line, clog in the in tank fuel filter, clogged inline fuel filter, all will let just enough gas pass to start the machine and my list could go on. Even had a guy with an empty fuel tank :laugh:
    So maybe this mechanic took his time and did a good job checking for other things before he pulled the carb. On top of that, he must have done a good job cleaning the carb, (you didn't complain about it not working) that could take time as well. BTW, I know of a shop here in South Jersey that charges $95 an hour.
  3. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Posts: 2,231

    I think you got hosed if it was a simple carb rebuild. When I worked in a shop envoirnment 4 years ago, a simple carb rebuild was $48 plus parts. Now it's 54 + parts. If you had a 2 stroke commercial with a Suzuki, a rebuild kit is probably close to $25-39. What was stated on the work order for parts or was it all labor? If he didn't itemize I would ask him to do so. Unless it's a commercial that I'm not familiar with I can't imagine it being more than a half hour job even for the village idiot.

    Just my two cents.

  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    Guy, You got hosed royally on that one. Even if a rebuild kit cost $40.00 he stuck you with 2hrs. labor if that's all he did. :dizzy:

    I get 1hr. on WB's $50.00 (going price for our area) for check-over and rebuild plus parts.
    That includes fuel filter if equipped new plug and clean/replace air filter.

    But, Most of the time a new carb is cheaper than parts and labor to rebuild in which case is only a half hour for check over and replace.

    IMO, You need to find another dealer for sure......
  5. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    You wrote that he replaced it. Wouldn't that mean you had to buy a new carb? The old one was removed, attempted to clean and rebuild, found bad, replaced with a new unit.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I put a new carb on a LB DuraForce early this Spring. The entire assembly was $65. If you know what you are doing, taking off one carb and putting on another is about 20 minutes, 30 maximum. In my long, and unpleasant history with this mower, the first removals and remounts took longer. But, now it is almost worth the challenge to put a timer on my efforts -- this is NOT a good situation! There are many other tasks I would like to get experience doing, but not LB carbs!!!

    If you want some pics of LB carb repair, send me a PM with you e-mail.
  7. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I meant literally replaced it, like bolted the cleaned carb back on the machine. Haven't picked it up yet, just found out over the phone.

    I also forgot to mention there may have been other minor work done (they didn't mention it when I asked what was wrong and what they did). 2 out of 4 of the holes for the bolts that hold the recoil assembly onto the engine were stripped, and I asked if he could drill new threads for that.

    For the record I tried this myself today on another lawnboy I have. It is a 4-cycle Briggs not the 2-cycle Duraforce (the one cleaned at the dealer was a 2-cycle duraforce). To remove, take it apart and clean it, and put it back on took me between 30-40 minutes. I really took my time, and made a couple mistakes too and had to start over putting it back on. And that was the first time in my life I've ever removed, disassembled or cleaned a carburetor.
  8. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Nevermind on the whole thing. Repair included new throttle cable which was affecting the choke and the hard starting. Also included new "lower oil seal", and new fuel filter and line. The carb cleaning itself was 58.00, the other work 49.00 plus parts. The price was pretty reasonable.
  9. Juan_Deere

    Juan_Deere LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    So then you mean re-install. When you remove something, clean it, and put it back on, you are re-installing it, you are not replacing it.

    It doesn't matter how long it took YOU to remove it, take it apart, clean it, and put it back on. Most dealers have a chart that they go by. It is a standard for how long a job should take and how much, labor rate, they should charge a customer. That way, if they work on a job for four hours, that would take most people one hour to complete because of their lack of experience, they can't charge you for four hours worth of work. Not to mention, sometimes when you detail clean a component, it also involves checking and adjusting other items and parameters. Not everything is as simple as it seems.

    From what I can see, you are complaining about what they charged you, and you don't even really know what they did, and don't know what their actual costs were. I think the most important thing to remember. If you don't want to pay, don't take it to the person that does what you are asking for a living.

    The other day I was getting my state inspection done on my 10 year old Blazer. The mechanic said the only thing I needed was to replace my blown out license plate light, in order to get my sticker. I knew I could swap it out for fifty cents myself, but I didn't feel like doing it. I let them do it, and it cost me $13. Everyone knows when you take stuff to a mechanic, you are going to pay more than doing it yourself. So why would you complain and start comparing how fast you can do something? Not everyone works at the same pace. And not everyone can accomplish the same things in the same amount of time. Does the carb you worked on in 30-40 minutes even work now? There is a difference between running an iron over your clothes and actually getting all the wrinkles out.
  10. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Yes I understand how contractors and dealers work in their pricing. I am a contractor. Yes, the carb I worked on does work, the mower wasn't starting at all before and now it runs well.

    Actually, the word replace means exactly what I said. I put it back where it was originally was- I replaced it.

    You miss the point. My dealer charges 58.00/hr. Generally, the work of a skilled lawnmower repairman goes for 50.00-75.00/hr. I have little mechanical skill and experience, and I'm pretty uncoordinated. I could not charge my work at 58.00 like a skilled repairman. Maybe 25.00 at the most. Anyone whose work is charged out as if they were competent at what they do should be able to work faster and more proficiently than I can. I am basically incompetent at lawnmower repair, and I can do it 40 minutes. I don't care that "everyone works/accomplishes at a different pace"- any employed mechanic worth their salt should be able to it faster and better than me.

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