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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm really thinking it may be time to start a performance shop for spiders. Engine + Transmissions, along with custom drivetrain work and ECU build ups. Custom fabrication of fuel tanks, fuel lines and pump (notice singular!), fuel rail, injectors, etc...Should I give up my day job?:confused:
 

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I'm really thinking it may be time to start a performance shop for spiders. Engine + Transmissions, along with custom drivetrain work and ECU build ups. Custom fabrication of fuel tanks, fuel lines and pump (notice singular!), fuel rail, injectors, etc...Should I give up my day job?:confused:
You like to walk into things, don't you.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You like to walk into things, don't you.:)
I'm actually being 100% serious. I'd charge less than $30 an hour, I've already been over my spider and it's weakness 1000X over and it's still running, very strongly I might add. My transmission never misses a beat, the engine revs strongly and freely and the rear diff grabs at the road like there will be no tomorrow...
 

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Move to Tulsa OK and work with Greg Gordon. Seriously! He is already a god with the transaxle cars and has just got his first spider (the he is supercharging no less).
 

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yes it is a good idea
and add to it fiberglass replacements for spoilers front and rear, sideskirts and center console with cup holders!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yes it is a good idea
and add to it fiberglass replacements for spoilers front and rear, sideskirts and center console with cup holders!
I agree and the question never is "can it be done?", but rather, "how can I make it done?"...
 

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I agree and the question never is "can it be done?", but rather, "how can I make it done?"...
wich one? fiberglass is quite easy to do, the biggest problem is mold ;) if it is single thing, plaster thingy is good, for more than one thing, wood... as for the center console... well cardborad at the begining than something harder - maybe plaster thingy to get final mold, and than you can start production.
And you have spider so you can get molds out of it. (zender type spoilers may be cool thing)
 

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Hi DD,
At "less than $30/hr" you'd starve....
I think you'd need to start slowly and build a clientel. Not all Alfisti are looking for the ultimate, beyond stock.
I'd encourage you to practise some of your creative ideas, but don't leave the steady paying job and its benefits, just yet...
The BB is a good place to let us know your results, it will attract a market, but remember the Alfa Community is spread out all over the place.....

Best regards, Elio
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi DD,
At "less than $30/hr" you'd starve....
Yes, you are correct, supply and demand. I'd need about 3 engines or 5 transmissions a week. For the life of me, I don't understand why someone would have an engine rebuilt to factory specs, not just talking about over the top rebuilds, but any way, thanks for the words of encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I would of had you do my rear crank seal replacement I would of saved $50 an hour plus I bet you would have gotten it done in less than 12 hours too. :eek:
As I told you in PMs it was ashame you didn't live down the street from me, because you would have done it and learned alot in the process for free. Knowledge, Murray, is power! Which is proably why I don't own my own shop, I have a problem charging for things that don't seem so significant. I would starve as pointed out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What would you charge for a transmission rebuild, if I had already removed it and brought it to you?
At $30 an hour I'd say $120, unless your dogrings needed to be polished or grinded back into shape. Micro grinding or polishing would add $30 to each gear that needed it done, usually just 2nd gear as I had to do to my own transmission. This too, is assuming you pay for parts, which ever you think or I suggest to replace.
 

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At $30 an hour I'd say $120, unless your dogrings needed to be polished or grinded back into shape. Micro grinding or polishing would add $30 to each gear that needed it done, usually just 2nd gear as I had to do to my own transmission. This too, is assuming you pay for parts, which ever you think or I suggest to replace.
Private message sent! THX!
 

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I'm really thinking it may be time to start a performance shop for spiders. Engine + Transmissions, along with custom drivetrain work and ECU build ups. Custom fabrication of fuel tanks, fuel lines and pump (notice singular!), fuel rail, injectors, etc...Should I give up my day job?:confused:
I'm the sort of Alfa owner who never pays anyone to work on my cars (never have), but if I was, the first question I'd ask is "What's your experience?". From there I'd have to move on to ask for examples of your work, references, etc. Not to put a damper on your business plans, but how exactly would you answer such questions from potential clients? Nothing personal, but rebuilding one gearbox, and installing one ignition system doesn't seem like it would count for very much. Many of us have owned Alfas for decades, not months, and believe it or not, Alfa-specific experience is what counts in this case. Perhaps an apprenticeship of sorts, as '81gtv6' already suggested, would be in order before going solo. Otherwise, I'd have to say that success in such a venture would be highly questionable. But hey, that's what makes the world go 'round, and there's nothing wrong with learning by doing.
 

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Ddouglas, I have a couple of constructive suggestions for you (in no particular order):

1) One thing you should seriously consider is spending some time road racing Alfas, with the SCCA or in vintage racing. The lessons learned in racing will be invaluable whether you are working on hot street cars or track cars. Racing and working on race cars is really an exercise in critical thinking under pressure and I think it can really accelerate the learning curve. Most of the really top notch Alfa mechanics I know have experience driving or preparing race cars, and I think it's part of what makes them great wrenches.

2) If you're going to start a shop, jump in with both feet and open a legitimate business. Get a commercial location with decent equipment. Get a tax ID and a retail license. Get insurance. In the long run, this approach will much better serve you and your customers.

3) Get as many Alfa special tools and factory manuals as possible, right away. They are becoming really scarce and believe it or not there are several that are real deal-breakers if you don't have them, especially for a business trying to make book rate.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Both of you guys make very valid points and constructive criticism, thank you!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
On a brighter note, just got a call from a pharmaceutical company, set up an interview for today, want to hire immediately for $1.15 more an hour than what I'm making at Klosterman's...It's a start in the right direction at least.
 
A

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I am probably a year or 2 away from selling the tool collection, if you need parts supply or other items, pm me.
 
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