What we do and how we estimate. February 24, 2017 02:09

Estimating work for past, current, and potential clients.

Lets start with a little background, as some know that we here at Throttle Works, don't specialize in one given make, or certain services. We are Idaho's premier one stop shop for custom and modified vehicles. Each one of us in the shop is knowledgeable in most aspects of modifying cars and trucks, but we have all started with a few different niche's, that collectively, covers 99 percent of modifying/tuning cars.

We are enthusiasts, and partake many different kind of racing, but we all have a huge soft spot for road racing. With that in mind, we each have our own personal vehicles that we build to our own tastes and to what certain racing sanctions have set for class rules. So with that said, we have a pretty solid foundation of knowledge for certain ways to go about a build to obtain class specific cars. Some enjoy full custom builds to have for their weekend warriors, others want to stay specific to SCCA Solo rules. There is just list after list after list from various sanctions like SCCA, NASA, Global Time Attack, etc. that all have different rules. But a few sanctions do share very similar rules as well.

With all of this said, I want to go into what it takes for us, as professionals, in doing work for you.
As I stated, that we don't specialize in one certain thing, it has its challenges. Again, with all of our different experiences, we as a shop are able to cover quite a bit of the automotive world. The biggest thing to understand though, is it is also a very vague statement.

-"If you can cover so many different services, and cars, then you should be able to do anything, right?"

That is a good question. We do like to challenge ourselves, and do things that we have never done, or something we haven't done in a long time. 
So what does that mean for the client?
It means that we are going to do our best for you, whether that is building you a rollcage for that one car, that isn't the typical one you would see with a cage, or a certain car that was only manufactured in Japan that needs some specific parts. There are so many different variables that come into to play when modifying a vehicle to begin with.

You want your car to be different. Be a one off. Something that has never been done before.

That is great! And we would certainly love to help you.

This is where one of the hardest parts of the job comes into play. Estimating.
We did a turbo kit for 1 car with some custom fabricated parts, and labor was 40 hours, without tuning. So you want to the same thing, but you want a different sized turbo and different engine management. Well, the turbo may not fit the same as the previous car, because you want a bigger turbo. So that will require a different manifold, or modified manifold. This will then require an exhaust modification, and charge piping placements will change. Because of these changes, it is new to us, because it is a one off setup. So with this comes time. Time is money.

There are so many different scenarios that doing any modifications to any vehicle can and will change, sometimes more drastic than others. 
Its not like a typical automotive repair shop that says, "for us to replace your brake rotors, calipers, and pads, that will 3.2 hours." There are labor guides available to shops to help them establish a well rounded estimate on replacing parts.
So you now want to upgrade your brake setup from the 2 piston caliper to a 6 piston, and go up in in rotor size, from 12" to 14". This no longer becomes a 3.2 hour job but maybe 7 or 8 hours. Because of the additional parts that come into play in order to accommodate the larger set up. There may be a modification necessary to get the new caliper bracket to work. We might have to take off the knuckle/spindle, in order to do that mod. We may not know right off the bat, because it may be a customer supplied part, which is fine. 
And often time, with customer supplied parts, that every part that is needed may not be there. We wont really know until we start getting into the work. It's not that it adds difficulty, it adds time which can be difficult on the clients end of things.

We are always willing to help you shop for the right stuff, especially when you're willing to buy from us, or if we will be doing the work. It not only helps us offset the time that we spend helping make sure you get the right stuff, or everything you need, it ensures that the client that they receiving years of knowledge in the proper selection of those parts.

We have much love for many different cars that have ever been manufactured, which is why we just cant focus on anything specific. We love what we do, which is why we do what we do. We understand the feeling of having something built, or done that no on else has, or something that improves the overall condition and performance of the car. It truly is indescribable on the relationships that enthusiasts form with their cars.

We hope this helps you understand why a little more money may be necessary in doing a job. It is a tough conversation to have because we have to be vague in quoting a potential job before it starts. And we hope that you get a little better understanding as to why. Modifying your car is a commitment, especially when costs can be substantial. So we hope that anyone who plans to seek professional work, that having an open mind to how quickly costs can change. But whatever the cost, we will always ensure that we put out a quality product and work.


Thank you for your time, we hope to hear from you for your next automotive venture!!