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Recommendations for VA Area 911 transmission work

Hello Pelican,

This is my first post but I have found this forum to be immensely helpful in my journey to buying my first 911. I am in Richmond, Va and am looking at an '81 911SC Targa that my German mechanic bought from a long-time client. He's been servicing it for 17 years and it's generally in good nick, but the 915 gearbox needs new synchros (or at least third gear). I'm trying to do a deal that includes the synchro repair. He's been working on my family's MB's and BMWs for over ten years, also works on porsches, but the transmission job is out of his skill set. He tried all the local people he knows and we talked to the local Euro sportscar specialty shop (who works on my '67 Duetto), and they don't have anyone who can do it either. There is one shop in town who said they can do it but quoted $4k for the job. Based on what I've been able to find on the Pelican threads, this should be a 10 hour job including removing the transmission, so $4k is a bit of a rip off (as I'd heard about this particular shop). Does anyone have any recommendations for a shop that might be able to do this work in Virginia or the Maryland/DC area? Our last resort is to send it to a specialist we found in CA who will do it for $1500 but we'd prefer to keep it local. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Richard

1967 Alfa Duetto (Farina blue/red)
2003 BMW 325iT (5 spd; DD)
2010 MB ML350 Bluetec (the wife's)
2002 Chevy Suburban
Old 12-06-2017, 09:01 AM
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rnaylor View Post
Hello Pelican,

This is my first post but I have found this forum to be immensely helpful in my journey to buying my first 911. I am in Richmond, Va and am looking at an '81 911SC Targa that my German mechanic bought from a long-time client. He's been servicing it for 17 years and it's generally in good nick, but the 915 gearbox needs new synchros (or at least third gear). I'm trying to do a deal that includes the synchro repair. He's been working on my family's MB's and BMWs for over ten years, also works on porsches, but the transmission job is out of his skill set. He tried all the local people he knows and we talked to the local Euro sportscar specialty shop (who works on my '67 Duetto), and they don't have anyone who can do it either. There is one shop in town who said they can do it but quoted $4k for the job. Based on what I've been able to find on the Pelican threads, this should be a 10 hour job including removing the transmission, so $4k is a bit of a rip off (as I'd heard about this particular shop). Does anyone have any recommendations for a shop that might be able to do this work in Virginia or the Maryland/DC area? Our last resort is to send it to a specialist we found in CA who will do it for $1500 but we'd prefer to keep it local. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Richard

1967 Alfa Duetto (Farina blue/red)
2003 BMW 325iT (5 spd; DD)
2010 MB ML350 Bluetec (the wife's)
2002 Chevy Suburban
10 hours including r&r? That’s laughable. Expect at least that long inside the gearbox. Anyone advertising a $1500 rebuild will hit you with a whole lot more once they have it apart or they aren’t doing anything more beyond $1000 labor and $500 for 5 new synchros.
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:37 AM
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Anyone Know Heinz Peters
Old 12-06-2017, 10:12 AM
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Hampton at County trans in Vienna is good with old BMW boxes, not sure about Porsche but it might be worth calling and asking.

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Old 12-06-2017, 12:12 PM
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RPM in Lorton VA. If they can't do it they will at least be able to give you a recommendation.

There is a shop in Richmond that advertises in several national magazines. I tried to get some work done with them about 4 years ago. They refused to touch the car unless I did several things first. Its a German name. Anyway, I won't be going back there (not that I ever went).
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:39 PM
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Heinz Peters can do it. He lives in Herndon Va and is retired, but takes on work from his home garage. PM me your contact info and I will contact him to provide your info.

Regards,
David
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:06 PM
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In the shop defense it’s kind of hard to determine what’s wrong without opening it up. Especially a transmission that can be a can of worms. The quote for 1500 will end up at least 1000-1500 over I’m willing to bet. Was the quote for 4K a full rebuild.

My local shop has a minimum of 500. Sounds crazy but any repairs on a Porsche quickly become 500. Or you throw a while you are in there repair.
Old 12-06-2017, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewb0051 View Post
RPM in Lorton VA. If they can't do it they will at least be able to give you a recommendation...
I have used these guys and would recommend them. I don't know if they would send tranny work out.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:43 PM
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PM me if Fairfax or Alexandria is a better location for you...I have an excellent resource I've used for two 915 transmissions.
Old 12-07-2017, 04:30 AM
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Lüfteknic – Porsche parts, service and motorsport in Richmond Virginia – Dedicated to the development and preservation of the Porsche sports car heritage
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These guys did the 915 in my son's SC. Best shifting 915 I have ever driven.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewb0051 View Post
There is a shop in Richmond that advertises in several national magazines. I tried to get some work done with them about 4 years ago. They refused to touch the car unless I did several things first. Its a German name. Anyway, I won't be going back there (not that I ever went).
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Dots connected...
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:08 PM
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I probably would have also said the same thing if I found out your were bragging about the Ring with your wipers on.....
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:12 PM
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eric wills from willswerks great gear box rebuilder 703-266-1356 www.willswerks.com
Old 12-08-2017, 07:20 PM
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eric wills from willswerks great gear box rebuilder 703-266-1356 www.willswerks.com
+1....has rebuilt two 915 transmission for me...great guy and highest quality work.
Old 12-09-2017, 05:26 AM
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I am in Richmond, Va

There is one shop in town who said they can do it but quoted $4k for the job.

Based on what I've been able to find on the Pelican threads, this should be a 10 hour job including removing the transmission, so $4k is a bit of a rip off (as I'd heard about this particular shop).
Richard, I know it can feel like Robert is hitting you between the eyes with the estimate. I had his shop go through my engine after I did my own rebuild to make sure that I did not miss anything and double check my work. If anything, for my own piece of mind. He did catch a few things, nothing major because it was dealt with before the engine was started. At first, the extra expense on my project stung a bit but three years later, I still have not had any issues. Yes, some of that is because I was so careful to do things correctly but having an experienced builder double check my work and help me prevent any issues from happening was well worth his fee.

Good luck in whatever to decide to do.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:55 AM
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There tends to be two schools of thought on writing a bid without a teardown.
1. Quote the bare minimum. If the client bites and there’s extra wrong who is going to say ,”put it back together without fixing the other stuff.”
2. Quote the kitchen sink and if you don’t need everything you save a little bit off what you expected.

Robert is the 2nd kind of shop. Keeps from having customers freaking out or trying to blame you for not being able to X-ray vision inside an engine or gearbox and see what’s wrong.

The only real quote is the one that happens after tear down. Everything else is a guesstimate to get you in the door.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:37 AM
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I think it is easy to hit 3-4K to properly rebuild a transmission. If you are already having shifting problems and crunching gears, synchros alone won't completely fix the problem. As Mr. Monson has said, no proper estimate can be given until after complete disassembly and cleaning to inspect all parts. Most likely it will need multiple dog teeth, operating sleeves and brake bands, stop bits, etc. What if the ring and pinion is pitted from differential work that was improperly setup? What if the bearing races are spinning in the case?

Then there is removal and replacement of the transmission and engine unit. CV joint issues? Clutch problems?

I would think that planning for at LEAST 5K would be a smart bet. All that said, most Porsche specialty service shops will rebuild a 915 transmission in house. Unless ring and pinion setup is needed, there are only a few factory tools absolutely required to do the job.

Best regards,

Eric Wills

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Alexandria, VA
Old 12-12-2017, 02:38 PM
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Old 12-12-2017, 02:44 PM
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Thanks to all who have responded. "At least $4k" seems to be the consensus but that doesn't sound that bad if it involves more than just synchros. I appreciate all the good contacts - it looks like i have plenty of resources close by. The insight on Lufteknic is particularly helpful.

I'm going to get the car, just for less than i'd have paid with the transmission sorted. It isn't that bad - i can get it into third without grinding if i give a good pause or double declutch. And obviously my familiarity with the 915 is limited at best so it may need some getting used to. And a fully sorted box sounds pretty good once i get over the purchase!

Thanks again! Looking forward to being part of the Pelican community!

Richard
Old 12-12-2017, 03:46 PM
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