What our customers do around here.
On this page we’ll highlight some of the projects we’ve had knocked out by our customers here at the shop. The list is long and not at all inclusive of everything, but we thought it might set some minds at ease to see all of the various things that get completed here. If you wonder about certain things being done here – or wonder just how “self-serve” we really are – hit us up by filling out this form (or email directly) and ask! We’ll let you know if it’s feasible here, if it’s been done, how it turned out and perhaps even add it to this list!
This is definitely a staple – everybody comes here for oil changes when they a) don’t want to be on the ground or out in the elements and 2) they want to know exactly what’s going into their crankcase and know that it was done right. We’ve got both high and low drain pans, we’ll recycle your waste oil (and other fluids) and dispose of your old filter. We’ve even got an Oil Service Sticker for your windshield! Don’t have the oil and filter you need? That’s cool, we’ll order it up from one of our auto parts stores and have it brought to you!
Probably second on our list of things done most frequently here, brake jobs are something that nearly anyone of any mechanical experience can get done – and if you’re not sure, we’re here to help! Don’t have the brake pads you need? Got the wrong ones sent from Rock Auto? Easy day, we’ll get you the right stuff sent directly to your bay and into your hot little hands. We recycle the brake pads and rotors too, no need to figure out how you’re going to get that dirty-as-all-get-out stuff home or to a recycle center. Bleeding brakes is made easy with our one-person brake bleeding tool too!
Struts, Shocks, lower control arms, ball joints, bearings and bushings!
We also get a lot of suspension work done at our place. Being as these are pretty important, constantly in use and definitely wear items, a lot of money can be saved by DIY’ing this stuff. For replacing springs on struts we’ve got a wall mounted spring compressor which is great for safety – MUCH better than the old school scary strut compressors that would sometimes let go and damn near shoot your face off – and not always found in a self-serve setting. (Though we also have the scary ones when nothing else is going to work) We’ve got a MAP gas torch on-site as well as a hydraulic press for those difficult bearings. Sometimes it goes easy, sometimes not so much but either way we’ll help get it done with as little fuss as we can manage.
A lift kit contains a number of modification items which are installed on your vehicle in order to lift its body or suspension away from the road. Installing a body or suspension lift kit means that there is often much greater clearance between the underside of your vehicle’s chassis and the road or ground, if off-road. By installing a lift kit, you create a much bigger space where your tires usually fit, thus meaning that by installing larger tires, you can increase the distance between your vehicle and the ground or road still further. Lift kits not only serve a practical function, but also an aesthetic one too. They can not only add to the usefulness and adaptability of a vehicle, but considerably improve its looks and appeal too. You probably knew that already, but if you didn’t – well there you go. 😉 We get lift kits and leveling kits in relatively frequently at a couple per month. Though they can take a while to get done, we’ve got all the equipment on-hand to make sure the install is a success. $30 an hour for a six to eight hour install certainly beats a shop’s $75-$100 an hour, especially after purchasing the lift kit for $300-$1200! 🙂
While leveling kits may not get as much attention as complete suspension lift kits, truck leveling kits are nonetheless important pieces of equipment for a variety of reasons. Typically, leveling kits are the unsung heroes of vehicle performance: a finished painting that is complete in every way, but hangs on your wall slightly crooked. This is where truck leveling kits step in to do their part. At its core, a leveling kit functions similarly to a body lift kit, but with a slightly alternative purpose in mind. Whereas a body lift is intended to produce an even lift of a vehicle, leveling kits will provide additional lift for either the front or rear end of one. This makes leveling kits particularly useful on vehicles where weight distribution causes a vehicle to have an uneven stance. For example, a modified truck with a heavy-duty winch and front bumper mount is heavier on the front end due to the added weight of the extra hardware, and thus may sag unevenly towards the front, causing an imbalance in your suspension. Tow a lot? Then you might want to raise the rear end a bit for when you’re towing, so everything is level when on the road. Aside from looking unsightly, this imbalance can affect a variety of other factors, including handling or tire and suspension wear. Again, we get these in fairly frequently and have what’s needed to get ’em done as safely as possible. You’ll save a ton of money doing it yourself.
The clutch’s job is linking your car’s engine to its transmission. Since your engine is always running, even when your wheels aren’t turning, your clutch has to be able to both link and separate. If the clutch no workie, then your car no workie. Typical lifespan for a clutch is between 65 and 100,000 miles – depending on driving habits, of course. While clutch replacements can be more difficult to do and require more knowledge and research, they’re certainly not impossible and our customers have shown that repeatedly; it certainly helps to have a friend or family member along who is familiar with the process. Typical clutch jobs can take between 6-8 hours and cost between $600-$1000 when done at a shop. Definitely a chance to save yourself some good money here by doing it yourself.
Much like clutch jobs, swapping in entire transmissions gets done fairly frequently too. Again, knowledge and experience can really come into play here and make your project considerably easier or much more difficult. Be it a manual or automatic transmission, you’ll want to have made sure you have exactly the replacement needed before starting a project like this as it can go sideways in a hurry if not. These swaps typically take longer to do than a clutch job but most can be wrapped up in a full weekend day, sometimes spilling over into a second day. If you’re sending out a transmission to be rebuilt, we can push your car into our parking lot in a space there until the transmission is ready for reinstall; then we’ll push her back into a stall so you can get ‘er done. No charge on the parking lot stay for up to two weeks, beyond that it’s $25 a day; after all, we’re not a storage unit. 😉
Rear End Swaps
Yup, ye olllllllde rear end swap. Have had several of these in and they’ve all gone pretty darn well. Using a lift and high transmission jacks really helps make this project go relatively smoothly and certainly a lot easier on the back. Want to just swap the rear gears? That can be done too. 😉
You know what they are, you know what they take. If you don’t, well, they take some doing. We’ve had probably a dozen engine swaps done in-house during our first two years and all have gotten done, some have gone better than others, sure, like all things, but they’ve all gotten done. Most “simple” swaps (exact engine being swapped for an exact engine) have gone fine. It’s when you get into the more complicated stuff (not exact engine, different engine management system, etc.) that it gets hairy and really need to have researched your stuff. Same thing applies for engine swaps as it does for transmission swaps (and any other project, really) – we can push your car into our parking lot in a space there if you need more time or have to hold off finishing up for a time. Then when you’re ready we’ll push her back into a stall so you can finish your project up. No charge on the parking lot stay for up to two weeks, beyond that it’s $25 a day.
“Cab off” Work
More unusual than our everyday run-of-the-mill stuff, this is one of those “WHOA” kind of projects. Lifting the entire cab up and off of a truck in order to more easily get to the engine in some of these larger trucks seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but oftentimes it’s the only real way to get the work done. Yep, been there, done that and took pictures of it!
Again, just some of the many DIY projects we’ve had in here from our customers taking advantage of the best self-serve garage around! Try your hand at some maintenance, some upgrades or some repairs and head on down to your DIY garage away from home!