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Recommend an honest mechanic in Northern Virginia???

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by jlafollette, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. jlafollette

    jlafollette

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    Hoping someone might have some recommendations for a good shop in Northern Virginia.

    I have a 67 FJ-40 with a V8 conversion. It needs some pretty serious work (Both Axles, rear driveshaft, Brakes, Suspension, etc) so I'm looking at a pretty big price tag. I've had an evaluation done by 4x4 connection in Winchester and they are quoting me $62/hour labor + parts.

    My questions are....
    Is this a reasonable rate?
    Does anyone have experience with 4x4 Connection?
    Do you have a place you would recommend instead?

    Thanks for any advice you might have!!
     
  2. CruisinGA

    CruisinGA

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    My mechanic (part time, family friend) charges me next to nothing. He wanted $15 labor for a complete brake jop. (Master, and all 8 wheel cylinders, install, bleed, adjust). I paid him $100. A quick job and he won't ask for anything. Then again hes a family friend. But he charges about the same to non-family friends as well. Look around, I probably wouldn't have a large 4x4 shop do lots of time intensive maintenence type work for me. At $62 an hour you are looking at a large price tag for just labor.
     
  3. toddslater

    toddslater SILVER Star

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    Might be worth a call to Trevor Griffith at treasured motor car in (I think) Reiserstown, MD.
     
  4. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

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    I'm at the same point where you are. Where are you located. i live about an hour west of DC. and i need a good mechanic for my 82 fj40. i have two guys that know cruisers but both are pricey and one will milk me for all i'm worth if i let him and the 40 already does that enough no matter who works on it.
     
  5. DLJ

    DLJ

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    Dudes, I just met a guy through another LC owner. he is West of DC and has over 20 years exp turning wrenches for Toyota. Spoke to him breifly about a 22RE and he seems like a real straight shooter with reasonable rates. Email me to discuss further.
     
  6. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

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    Ok well who is this guy and where can we find him. does he have a shop
     
  7. DLJ

    DLJ

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    I dont want to post up his info here as he has work to do for me and I dont want him to get covered up and distracted ;)
    email me and I'll send you my phone# to discuss.
     
  8. offcamber40

    offcamber40

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    Hello,

    For Basic repairs, Springfield Toyota does some good work, not sure about axles and all that.. My buddy works over there, and the general manager owns 2 40's and is currently trying to track down a 55. I know they just brought in a mustard yellow 77 40 w/ a v8, and the techs are giving it a once over right now before they sell it.. They have 2 others over their for sale as well.. for a dealership they like the old stuff! Also, I met a guy working for a shop down in culpeper, vA yesterday that works on them as well, I stopped by because they had a 78 40 sitting out front and I wanted to leave a message for the owner to contact me.. talked to the tech and they have done all the maintanence and reppair on that one for the life of the vehicle, including a new clutch two days before..
     
  9. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    I live in Sterling VA, and I went to a place here, that did a great job. I was having some exhaust problems, and they seemed to keep the price down, and solved the problem. I'm not sure if the do any custom stuff, but they seemed like straight shooters. They also had a great rating in the "Washington Checkbook Service" which is something I always look for. The name of the place is Perfection Auto, on Cedar Lane. It is like .5 miles from 4x4 connection, I believe. I used to go to Cruiser Connections, when it was located in Sterling, but Winchester is just too far away.

    Hope this helps.
    Sony
     
  10. jlafollette

    jlafollette

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    Did you have good luck with 4x4/Landcruiser Connection when you went to them?
     
  11. spfrancis

    spfrancis

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    I only had those guys do alot of the preventive stuff, and diagnosis on leaks, and stuff like that. For my fj80, that end's up being 80% of the issues. I did have a fj40 like 8 years ago, and I was grappling with with to do with it. I ddin't really feel comfortable with James's diagnosis. This was my first cruiser, and it was a 71 with a chevy 350, 38 swappers, and a spring over conversion, done the poor man's way. I was probably naive for getting the truck, but it looked so cool. THen when he started quoting me really high prices for what it would take to bring it back to stock, I was shocked. After talking to some people on the various list's, I did get some better ideas on what to do with my cruiser.

    The one other thing that miffed me was when I was having a AC problem with my 80 series cruiser. When I took it to them, they wanted to do classic AC diagnosis to resolve the problem. After posting it on the 80series list, one of the guys said that there was a recall item for the AC expansion valve. I took it to the dealer, and they ended up fixing it for free. Now this was back in 1998, and maybe they hadn't dealt with too many 80's yet. Their pricing has alway seem pretty fair, not high, but not low. All the work they have done, was good work, and I have never had to go back for something not being done right.
    The two things to take from my posting is:
    1. Use the power of the list, it is great.
    2. If you have a 40 series with spring over.......get ready to get your hand's dirty, or just
    sell it, and pay the extra money to get a decent one.... :D :D
     
  12. VA.CRUISER

    VA.CRUISER

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    I live in Winchester and even though I have not used them for any work I have not heard anything bad about them. I have bought some parts from James and about to get a knuckle kit for the front from him unless someone knows where I can get one for under $125 ????

    Burl
     
  13. bernefj60

    bernefj60

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    First off, James and the 4x4/Land Cruiser Connection have been around a while, and James knows Cruisers. I won't speak to anyone else who may work there, but i've known James for a long time, and he's always pointed me in the right direction if i needed advice. A caveat: I have never had them do work for me, though when they were loated in Sterling, i bought parts from them.

    Seriously, if you're in NOVA, come to the Club Meetings. The Capitol Land Cruiser Club meets the first wednesday of every month, and so far we've had two tech days in the last 3 weeks. We lifted one guys 55 3 weeks ago and lifted my 40 last weekend. We also replaced a master cylinder and installed new rear brakes. The lift installs both had new shocks, springs, spring pins and shackles. All it cost was sodas and water. It may take a week or two to work you in to the schedule, but we plan knuckle rebuilds next.

    The President is out of town this week, so the meeting was rescheduled for next wednesday, the 13th, when I'm out of town. Go figure. Anyway, the meetings are held at the Fuddruckers in Alexandria on Duke street.

    As far as having TRUE mechanics work on your junk, check out the Vienna Mobil. They're about the same price as everyone else in terms of labor, but the techs know Cruisers and the service manager does, too. The manager, Sam, used to have a 71. They're honest, reliable, and funny guys. Bring beer and things get cheaper. ;)

    Your local club can be a real asset. I would go there first.

    If you have any questions, contact me. I'm the Vice President of the CLCC.

    202-903-9671

    Rob
     
  14. bernefj60

    bernefj60

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    [quote author=VA.CRUISER link=board=1;threadid=3714;start=0#msg28761 date=1059113755]
    I live in Winchester and even though I have not used them for any work I have not heard anything bad about them. I have bought some parts from James and about to get a knuckle kit for the front from him unless someone knows where I can get one for under $125 ????

    Burl
    [/quote]

    Burl,

    Check out the archives - I got mine from Rick Donnelly for around $100, and JTO and Cruiser Outfitters both sell them for around the same price. I checked Cruiser Outfitters today and they we $87.50 for the kit, and $13 for the felt and brass.

    Rob
     
  15. 76FJ40

    76FJ40 Old Fart SILVER Star

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    Burl,

    I got a knuckle rebuild kit from Heart of Texas Off Road for $78. It included everything but the moons (available separately if you need them) and even had Koyo bearings.

    Mechanic in NOVA,

    Try Waterloo Motors in Warrenton. The owner has several Cruisers and the mechanics are competent and familiar with Cruisers.
     
  16. LuvenMud15

    LuvenMud15

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    James at 4x4 connection.. he knows his stuff.... :)