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Transfer Case

Anyone here able to give me a rough idea how long it would take a mechanic to replace the transfer case on an 03’ Sonoma 4x4 p/u? I think i trust the mechanic I go to, but he quoted $1200-$1500 for this job (1200 w/ junkyard part)…I’ve seen this part on online classifieds for $200-$300 (I know, risky to get a used part, but finances require it :frowning: ) and the mechanics labor rate is $50 and hr…something isn’t adding up!

Can’t say about yours, but new Transfer case on some trucks requires removal or moving the transmission, loosening the motor mounts and repositioning everything. That means disconnecting both shafts and all the accompanying linkage. I have seen a quote of $2k for similar work on other truck for a rebuilt . That isn’t too bad. It is labor intensive. IMHO, it’s a job that could be measured in days not hours.


Here are the chilton labor times

3.8hrs to replace the transfer case

0.3hrs additional with a skid plate

0.6hrs additional with a tank

So . . . between 3.8hrs and 4.7hrs

Note that Chilton labor times are guidelines, meaning a shop may charge more or less

Now, as for that junkyard part, is the mechanic also removing it from the wrecked truck? Or is it already sitting on a shelf, waiting for him to pick it up?

The first red flag I see is a $50/hr labor rate. In this day and age there is no way that a shop rate of $50/hr is enough to maintain a competent mechanic, tooling, equipment, service information, and other overhead in a professional environment. $50/hr might be enough for a backyard nuts and bolts type guy to make a living. That aside…

I’d think it’s reasonable to bill the job out at 4 hours at $90/hr (not having seen the truck, if it’s been lifted or otherwise modified from stock it might be more), and I’d buy a used transfer case for $300 and double the price to you, making it $600. Add some fluids, you’re at $1000, tax will make it $1100. Doubling the cost might seem high, but used parts have a much higher failure rate than rebuilt, and the lost time from doing it over again has to be paid for somehow.