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How much should bellows change cost? Central CA

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  • How much should bellows change cost? Central CA

    I am hoping to get my bellows changed. Everywhere I've been reading when I was considering going I/O (forums, articles, etc) has said things like, "you will have to do regular maintenance. Things like having your bellows replaced will cost about $150 plus parts at a mechanic or about $200 for the kit and a few hours of your time, so factor that in" and whatever. And that was pretty consistent, so I figured I'd budget for like $200 for the kit and $200 for a mechanic and be fine.

    I recently ordered a transom kit and have been calling shops in my area (central CA—stockton) to see how much they would charge for labor to put the kit on. I've been getting quotes of $600-800 just for labor, and I already spent $200 for the kit.

    Is this normal? Should I keep calling (i've called like 10 shops and they've all been around the same price) or am I just stuck and for some reason prices are just super high over here?

    Or is there some other option that I'm just missing?

    Thank you

  • #2
    Could be their rate for installing someone else's parts . . . Not sure, but if you called around again and asked the same question leaving out the aspect about having your own parts, and get a 'parts & labor' price, that may tell the story.
    Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

    Formula 330 Sun Sport, O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish
    Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 Sun Sport
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980)

    My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com

    Member of the Month - February 2013

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    • #3
      If you've called 10 shops and all gave the same answer...........well.......that's your answer.

      Around here (Chicago north subrubs). Bellows and gimbal bearings go together as a job for most shops. It's usually $600-800 for the whole job parts and labor. So im my opionon that's a little high.

      2000 Rinker Fiesta Vee 270-5.7 Mercruiser/TBI/Bravo 3
      1986 Smokercraft 161 Magnum-1986 Mariner 75 O/B

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      • #4
        $600-700 for bellows and gimble bearing with alignment down here in FL. total kit is $150 and about 3-4 hours of your time.
        1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

        Past Boats
        1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
        2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheasheads in Paradise"
        1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

        What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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        • #5
          Ayuh,..... P a y for Labor,..??..??......

          Changin' out the bellows, without doin' the shift cable or gimbel bearin', is probably a 4 to 8 hour job, dependin' on the condition of the drive when ya start,....

          Doin' the job Right, with the shift cable, 'n bearin', I figure an 8 hour day, possibly more, again dependin' on the condition of the drive,....

          Some days it's alot shorter,....
          Other days are 2 days long,....

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          • #6
            Yep, have the job done properly. Replacing one bellows is a small part of the entire job that should be done. Depending on your set up, replace the driveshaft and exhaust bellows, shift cable, check/replace gimbal bearing, do an engine alignment and you might as well round it out and have them replace the sea water pump as well. That way you know everything has been checked and you are for most part 100% good to go.

            I have a Mercruiser/Alpha one Gen II set up. I had all that work done, all parts were OEM Mercruiser parts per my wish, I was out the door for just under $900.00. Oh, and they had to replace one engine mounts as one was seized. In Minnesota. . . .

            Man it really feels good knowing all that stuff is new/properly adjusted and ready to go.

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            • #7
              Good info to know here!! im looking to get this done in the off season and 600 would be nice.... would love to be able to do this myself but i dont have the space.

              When asking to replace the bellows should i tell the shop to check the gimbal, do an alignment or is that Standard operating procedure? why replace the shift cable? is that something that needs to be replaced every other year?

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              • #8
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                why replace the shift cable? is that something that needs to be replaced every other year?
                Ayuh,.... Like the bellows, the cable has an expected service life of 5 to 8 years,....

                If the bellows are bad, the lower cable is close to dead too,....

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