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Lowering Spring Installation
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  1. #1
    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member SeaDawg's Avatar
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    Lowering Spring Installation

    I've been reconsidering adding H & R lowering springs. The problem is that I'm pretty anal about letting shops other than dealers work on my cars....Fiats or Chevy's. Not only that but info like torque values for suspension bolts etc aren't exactly in abundant supply, nor is the car as common as your Chevy. As the car was in for it's first oil change (6 months, not 8,000 miles) I asked the Maintenance Manager about installation of the springs; YIKES! He stated 1.5 hours PER WHEEL @ $99.00 per hour labor cost...that's insane. What do dealerships get for a flat rate per hour up in the northeast? Has anyone up there gotten a somewhat more reasonable quote from a dealer for installation of the spring kits? Also stated $148.xx for an alignment.

    At these prices, I'll make do with what came with the car.

    Other thoughts?
    Max
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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaDawg View Post
    I've been reconsidering adding H & R lowering springs. The problem is that I'm pretty anal about letting shops other than dealers work on my cars....Fiats or Chevy's. Not only that but info like torque values for suspension bolts etc aren't exactly in abundant supply, nor is the car as common as your Chevy. As the car was in for it's first oil change (6 months, not 8,000 miles) I asked the Maintenance Manager about installation of the springs; YIKES! He stated 1.5 hours PER WHEEL @ $99.00 per hour labor cost...that's insane. What do dealerships get for a flat rate per hour up in the northeast? Has anyone up there gotten a somewhat more reasonable quote from a dealer for installation of the spring kits? Also stated $148.xx for an alignment.

    At these prices, I'll make do with what came with the car.

    Other thoughts?
    Most of the dealers I've been to in the Hudson Valley have a $110 + labor rate. The rear springs would not take 1.5 hours per side to change. There are no struts that need to be disassembled. Just remove the lower shock bolt and lower the axle and the springs can be eased out. I'm sure someone or one of our sponsors can speak up on the ease of the rear.

    The fronts require the struts to be disassembled, and that does take some time. I would think the entire job all the way around could be done in 3 hours. Call around to a few dealers to check that time.
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    Senior Member Chris's Avatar
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    $$ Doesn't sound too bad... but is your dealer the best to do a mod? It's not something they are trained to routinely do.
    I have another mechanic that, if I wanted to mod anything, they'd get the work as they do all sorts of custom stuff. (I realize a different set of springs isn't exactly a tough mod but you get my point).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    Most of the dealers I've been to in the Hudson Valley have a $110 + labor rate. The rear springs would not take 1.5 hours per side to change. There are no struts that need to be disassembled. Just remove the lower shock bolt and lower the axle and the springs can be eased out. I'm sure someone or one of our sponsors can speak up on the ease of the rear.

    The fronts require the struts to be disassembled, and that does take some time. I would think the entire job all the way around could be done in 3 hours. Call around to a few dealers to check that time.
    Hey your in the Hudson Valley? like Orange county or?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaDawg View Post
    I've been reconsidering adding H & R lowering springs. The problem is that I'm pretty anal about letting shops other than dealers work on my cars....Fiats or Chevy's. Not only that but info like torque values for suspension bolts etc aren't exactly in abundant supply, nor is the car as common as your Chevy. As the car was in for it's first oil change (6 months, not 8,000 miles) I asked the Maintenance Manager about installation of the springs; YIKES! He stated 1.5 hours PER WHEEL @ $99.00 per hour labor cost...that's insane. What do dealerships get for a flat rate per hour up in the northeast? Has anyone up there gotten a somewhat more reasonable quote from a dealer for installation of the spring kits? Also stated $148.xx for an alignment.

    At these prices, I'll make do with what came with the car.

    Other thoughts?
    The $99 per hour is a pretty low rate for a dealer. Most are between $110-125 per hour. We charge less, but we are not a dealer.

    In regards to 1.5 hour rate per wheel... Are you saying they want 6 hours @ $99/hour for a total of $600 to install a set of springs? If that is the case, then yes that is a bit too high, but then again a dealer has different overhead then an aftermarket shop.

    The job should not take more then 4 hours to complete if the tech knows what he is doing. It can be done in less if he has done it before and does not have any other distractions.
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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member sjmst's Avatar
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    $400 sounds right to install springs

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member SeaDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmst View Post
    $400 sounds right to install springs
    I think for the moment I'm going to take the $$ for the H&R Springs and buy an electric garage door opener. It's getting to be a pain to get out and open the damn door in the rain, especially when you have upholstery that stains when you look at it cross-eyed, let alone get rain drops on it.

    Springs, maybe someday?
    Max
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    Just installed H&R sport springs with my Alfa mechanics. It took 2 hours by the time wee found all the right tools. Special tools included a lift, inverse torx (rear shock bolt), spring compressor, point jack, and offset box end to remove strut nut. It was a straightforward job with no surprises. Toe in remained unchanged so realignment was not necessary. Negative camber increased slightly (good). Front lowered about 1/2 inch, rear about 1 inch. This may drop a little further with time. The stance, and look, of the car is dramatically changed. Ride is more solid, but not harsh. Feels more 'planted' than stock. Flatter around corners. Less bouncy. All-in-all an easy job and a worthwhile improvement.

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member SeaDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Stidsen View Post
    Just installed H&R sport springs with my Alfa mechanics. It took 2 hours by the time wee found all the right tools. Special tools included a lift, inverse torx (rear shock bolt), spring compressor, point jack, and offset box end to remove strut nut. It was a straightforward job with no surprises. Toe in remained unchanged so realignment was not necessary. Negative camber increased slightly (good). Front lowered about 1/2 inch, rear about 1 inch. This may drop a little further with time. The stance, and look, of the car is dramatically changed. Ride is more solid, but not harsh. Feels more 'planted' than stock. Flatter around corners. Less bouncy. All-in-all an easy job and a worthwhile improvement.
    My H&R springs for my Sport arrived Wednesday. Unfortunately I have given up wrenching mainly due to age. Going to local Fiat dealer on Monday. Good to know times though. Initially, a couple of weeks or so ago, Service Manager quoted 1.5 hours PER WHEEL @ $99.00 per hour. Then he said he didn't want to scare me off. I told him; TOO late. When I called him this morning we agreed 3-3.5 hours to change all 4. He also doesn't think it will require realignment. I'll be sure to post my observations after the changeover.
    Max
    FIAT Number 1:
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    FIAT Number 3:
    2013 Bianco Perla Pop - 6A
    FIAT Number 4:
    2016 Verde Chiaro Sport (Automatic)
    Avorio Interior
    Automatic Temperature Control A/C
    UConnect Touch Screen with AM/FM/Sirius Radio

    2019 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring

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    Senior Member msjulie33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Stidsen View Post
    Just installed H&R sport springs with my Alfa mechanics. It took 2 hours by the time wee found all the right tools. Special tools included a lift, inverse torx (rear shock bolt), spring compressor, point jack, and offset box end to remove strut nut. It was a straightforward job with no surprises. Toe in remained unchanged so realignment was not necessary. Negative camber increased slightly (good). Front lowered about 1/2 inch, rear about 1 inch. This may drop a little further with time. The stance, and look, of the car is dramatically changed. Ride is more solid, but not harsh. Feels more 'planted' than stock. Flatter around corners. Less bouncy. All-in-all an easy job and a worthwhile improvement.
    pictures?

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