View Full Version : How many hours labor to Install Speakers

05-01-2008, 09:29 AM
Just curious..I was charged for 12 hours labor to install four MC speakers two with lights, one amp,breaker switch.. Should it take that long ??

05-01-2008, 09:35 AM
Without seeing the tower, equipment and knowing what is needed for disassembly, mounting, running wires safely and mounting the amp, there's no good way to say. It's not the same as installing this stuff in a car, though. It does take longer, in many cases.

How many people worked on it? Were you given an estimate before they started?

05-01-2008, 09:35 AM
if i'm not mistaken all of that is done off a "rate" time to do the work not actualy time a dude spent in your boat

05-01-2008, 09:36 AM
double post... may bad

05-01-2008, 09:40 AM
if i'm not mistaken all of that is done off a "rate" time to do the work not actual time a dude spent in your boat

Thats what sucks. If the rate says 12 hours and it took the guy 7 hours to do the work. You are still going to pay for 12 hours of labor and and so is the mechanic. I know that how auto repair places work. The mechanics want to work faster to make more money because they get paid on a rate as well and not by hour.

05-01-2008, 09:49 AM
that is exactly why i do as much work to my boat and cars as i can. i can't see paying someone to do something that i have the ability too.

05-01-2008, 10:17 AM
Some things are quoted from a "flat rate" guide or book, but not all shops use this. Depending on the task, the book may be accurate, or not. The job will be priced based on how the shop associates what is needed with what they find in the book. Some jobs are way off and some won't be found, so the name of the task may be under "General Electrical".

Not all shops have someone who is good at estimating jobs like this and some have service managers who haven't done much, if any, mechanical work. Personally, I find it completely baffling that a service manager has little mechanical experience, but that's because I've done this kind of work. I just don't see how they can be effective if someone asks what it takes, or even how they can know who is best for certain jobs.

Anyway, the pre-installation details haven't been revealed, so all that will happen here is wild speculation and dumping on service departments. As I said, working on a boat is not like working on a car. Some things are easier, some things aren't really harder but they take more time.

If someone makes $100/hr in their job (approx. $208K/yr) which isn't improbable, based on the surveys of MC owners that were out when I worked at the dealerships, working on their own boat is not financially sound. Sure, they aren't taking time off from work to do it, but their time is worth more than they're paying for the job. I understand the "If I can do it, I don't want to pay for it" thinking but if specialty tools are needed, buying them won't make the job any cheaper. It also won't necessarily be done better, either.

I'm in this position now, since I got a quote of $550, or more, to replace the upper control arm bushings on my truck. Two bolts out, pop the ball joint loose and the arm is in my hand. Press the old ones out and press the new ones in. It ain't rocket surgery, but it is BS. The bushings I bought were $65 for both sides and when I started to do this, I had the bolts out in a couple of minutes, so almost $500 for labor is insane. OTOH, what they quoted for upper ball joints was more than I wanted to pay and longer than it took for me to replace them.

Either way, we don't know what was said before the job started.

05-01-2008, 10:32 AM
"if i'm not mistaken all of that is done off a "rate" time to do the work not actually time a dude spent in your boat"

I know people complain when they feel they were charged too much but does anyone say anything when the job was quoted for less than the time it took (and they were charged for)?

I didn't think so.

Not all work is quoted from the book. A good shop will make money, as well they should and it's only fair that they be given the opportunity. However, they should make sure they don't gouge customers. If a tech can do a 12 hour job in 7, it's because they have become more efficient or cut corners. The rate books show average time for that job, based on surveys completed by service shops around the country. They have been compiling this info since the '50s, when the insurance companies saw wild variations in prices from repair shops and wanted to find out why they varied so much.

05-01-2008, 11:00 AM
if it's something technical that's more than changing the oil or tranny fluid... which most people can do w/ relative ease... but when it comes to a timing issue or something more technical w/ engines there's a lot i know i may not have the soundest grasp on when it comes to modern engine and i am more than happy to take it to someone who has the technical expertise and tools to get my machine running correctly... it does frustrate me to know that it's going to cost me $120 to get my boat "looked at" but that's part of it... you pay for knowledge... and i'm not worrying about a MC tech coming in and engineering their own beer cans so they shouldn't have to worry about me trying to fix a technical problem w/ my MC... i don't feel at liberty to take food off his table

05-01-2008, 11:28 AM
Has anyone asked for a justification of the shop's rates? If it's set only because that's what the other shops in the area charge, while I admit that it's part of how competing businesses operate ("if they can get it, we should too"), if the show doesn't have the facilities, staff or equipment to justify it, they should charge less. One guy charging $120/hr when he has a fully equipped (not full of unused tools and machines), a well-trained staff and a well-organized department is one thing but some guy in a one-car garage with a set of bad tools, a timing light and a dream doesn't mean he should charge the same rates. If he can get the job done as well as the other shop, it means the one with less overhead profits more. A well-equipped shop with a hack doesn't warrant the big bucks.

88 PS190
05-01-2008, 12:10 PM
The book can work both ways for you. Some jobs legit take more time than book will indicate, and if something is screwed up, rusted in place, breaks they are going to be fixing it on the book.

05-01-2008, 01:14 PM
I just installed new Wetsounds 3 some, a new amp and I have at least 8-12 hours in it. I had 4 wires from orginal speakers, but had to drill holes run new wires, new connectors, mount amp, run power/ground cables hook up in line fuse, cable covers ect. I would think if you had the materials that you could finish in 8 hours.

05-01-2008, 01:42 PM
For what it is worth I just installed two factory JL tower speakers with lights on my MC and it took a total of maybe 12 minutes myself who has never done it before. All the wiring was there and just needed to be connected. I am having the breaker and switch installed in a couple of weeks. There flat rate for switch and breaker is $250 for parts and labor. Amp install is $175 including adjusting sound levels etc.

05-01-2008, 01:46 PM
There's 5 hours 12 minutes of labor. :D

05-01-2008, 02:31 PM
I just bought two more JL cans and a new amp. The dealer told me two hours at 90/hr. so $180 total for two speakers and amp install.

I already have two speakers and an amp installed so the amp is only unpluging the old and plug in the new. the wiring may take some time but I assume they will just follow the wires that are already in place.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay that much but now that sounds like a great deal!

05-01-2008, 04:23 PM
the switch and breaker are needed since I originally never had tower speakers so they need to install the switch on the ballast control panel that operates the lights which also includes a breaker. If it was only an amp and speaker install then it would be around 175$.

05-01-2008, 07:39 PM
12 hours seems a little high, but not outrageous. Plus it's hard to say w/o knowing the exact circumstances of the install.

05-01-2008, 08:26 PM
We installed 2 amps ,1 sub, two cans on the tower and two sets of components in my ps 190. AND a second battery with a selector and isolator and it only took 8 hours. Sounds like they did not want to work on your boat that day. In the Atlanta area my best friend owns the stereo shop. Casteel

05-01-2008, 08:43 PM
You want to play; You got to PAY