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Any recommended shops in Northern Virginia

Old 11-28-2018, 11:58 PM
  #21  
hcallaway
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Default Look South to Richmond

http://masismusclecargarage.com/

Robert Masi has done numerous cars for a close friend of mine. Give him a call and let him know Holt and PJ suggested you call.
He is doing a frame off SWC that is one of PJ’s. I think you would be impressed with what Robert’s shop can do. This is right up their Alley.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:53 PM
  #22  
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I've known Chuck for over 25 years. Nice guy, and would suspect he could do the job, or knows who could.

Regarding other shops in the area, they all are terrible. The last independent shop worthwhile was Coopers Corvettes in Dumfries. When Bob Arnold pulled back his operations to just sales now, he eliminated a good service shop. Tom McGrath who was their serve guru, now manages Koons Automotive in Fredericksburg.

Joe Malo was another good guy in the area and used to work at Koons Tysons Chevy. He was tied to dealership rates though, but well worth the coin.

This nonsense about a "Corvette Shop" in Chantilly is just that. It's the same ol story about a "good shop", but has no real qualifications. Good luck.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:39 AM
  #23  
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John, your trans cash return could be $800-$1400 depending on buyer preference. Based on what I have read and talked with owners about other conversions, there are happy owners and unhappy owners. Labor is critical for exact alignment of the trans to the belhousing. It must be done with a dial indicator. It could require the trans being in/out one or more times for dowel adjustments. Trans in and out on our cars is not like any other car. A shop might just pull the engine...yes, it's been done. Will the shifter align through the factory hole or will mods be required? Does the kit include the driveshaft? I'm not trying to justify the shops prices, just the point that you can buy a tanker load of gas for the cost and aggravation of this effort. Good luck! Dennis
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:30 PM
  #24  
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Default 5 speed install

You guys were so right about them trying to screw you in No Va. Got 2 quotes (Chuck in Haymarket never got back to me) of $7k and $8K. WTF! I even had a shop in Chantilly tell me everybody in NO VA is rich. The Tremac 5 speed kit is $3749 my cost, they could probably get it cheaper. My mechanic in Florida, where I spend winters, will put it in my 66 for $350. He put my crate motor in for about a grand including new clutch and flywheel. Ha!
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:31 PM
  #25  
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Default Try Dan at AA Speed

Dad Marrow at AA Speed in Woodbridge (703 494-1330) did some clutch and transmission work for me about 2 years ago. He knows C2's (his wife has a 64). I felt his prices were fair. I know he also put a removable X-member in a C2 for someone on the forum a few years back.

Ralph
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Old 12-04-2018, 06:33 PM
  #26  
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glide,
Except for maybe Tony's Corvettes up in Gaithersburg MD (which is a bit of a hike for most of us in North VA) unfortunately most of the "corvette" shops are either too expensive, or they do poor quality work, or we do not trust them well enough to work on our C2's unsupervised. The majority of us in North VA (myself included) have ended up buying two or four post lifts and help each other with what would be considered fairly major work; especially during the winter months when we don't drive our cars all that often. It is a shame it has come to that. We are happy that you were able coordinate with your mechanic in Fla and are now dealing with a great price with someone you can trust. Enjoy the Tremec!
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:32 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by After38Years View Post
Dad Marrow at AA Speed in Woodbridge (703 494-1330) did some clutch and transmission work for me about 2 years ago. He knows C2's (his wife has a 64). I felt his prices were fair. I know he also put a removable X-member in a C2 for someone on the forum a few years back.

Ralph

I hope AA Speed is under new ownership then, as they could not figure out how to install guide plates or self-aligning rockers on a 5.7L of mine, which ended up bending pushrods. This was back in 1993, so I'll give benefit of a doubt they have new people there, but still...


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Old 12-05-2018, 11:39 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by *89x2* View Post
I hope AA Speed is under new ownership then, as they could not figure out how to install guide plates or self-aligning rockers on a 5.7L of mine, which ended up bending pushrods. This was back in 1993, so I'll give benefit of a doubt they have new people there, but still...
Doubt they could stay in business for 25 more years if that was typical of their work....
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:11 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by After38Years View Post
Doubt they could stay in business for 25 more years if that was typical of their work....
Hence my question, if they are under new ownership.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:16 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by glide View Post
I'm looking to change my 4 speed transmission to a 5 speed for better (and quieter) drives on the highway. Does anybody know a good (and fair) shop in NoVa? I live in Manassas, Virginia. Found a shop but they wanted $7k minus $2k for my old tranny (original). Are we in the ballpark? Seems high to me. Should I even give up original 4 speed? Original motor is already gone, so I figures if I add a modern trans to the new crate engine I can call it a resto mod, eh. Also looking to upgrade original radio, speaker.... Like to get this done before Christmas if possible. Oh, I'm talking about my 1966 Coupe with a sbc).

TIA
Glide (John)
John please call me at 703-629-0206
Thanks
Chuck Berge

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Old 12-06-2018, 12:05 PM
  #31  
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I digress......(sorry) .....It just amazes me that several people in this thread have had the same experience in NOVA. All been treated like walking wallets!
I have been in this area since 2000, and do not hail from NOVA, like many living in this area. The healthy job market draws people from all over the place. As a result, in my opinion, NOVA lacks soul, and is deficit in a sense of community as well. Where I grew up - Long Island - in the 60's and 70's, people gave each other a break, helped each other out, and that included speed-shops. It is appalling to hear people are essentially being told "hey, everyone is rich here so......bend over", that just blows me away. As a young man, I worked in a shop for several years as a grunt. I saw what the owner did for his customers, and in return, what they did for him.
Come to think of it, if one goes to Katie's Cars & Coffee in Great Falls VA, on any given Sat morning (weather permitting), when you see the cars there, you'll likely see the reason things are the way they are here. Nothing like an 18 year old, driving Dad's Lambo to a cruise-in. The "money cars" there, many daily drivers, are incredible. It's almost obscene in a strange way. It feels like people have money to burn, hence why that "culture" has likely ebbed into the local mod/repair business models. I guess (even though, I am a white-collar-executive), at my roots, I am still a "blue-collar" Long Island kid, who thinks everyone, despite their income should be treated well, and respected. If someone ever opens a shop in these parts, that's treats the customers like gold, and is honest as the day is long, they will make a fortune. There are a good many folks, who are car-savy, and do well, but are not lemmings, and smell that vibe a mile off. Oh well, I am just ranting......apologize. I was just thinking how a local "work-on-your-own-car" shop in Sterling (they provided a lift & tools - how cool is that!) closed down!! ...lol I guess that says it all. I am a dinosaur! Me, and three other guys miss it. lol

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Old 12-06-2018, 12:52 PM
  #32  
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Truth is many shops no matter where in this country they may be, see a corvette and assume the owner has money, its far and few in between where you will find a shop that will charge a fair price for work done. this is the reason I have always done my own work even if I could afford to pay those prices. and I understand that its not everyone who can do it all themselves. as someone recently stated, you could round up a few gear heads friends and do the work collectively. i have always believed you can make money with the volume of work you will get from being fair and honest, too many shops want a big payday for every job they take in.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Jonz79 View Post
...The healthy job market draws people from all over the place. As a result, in my opinion, NOVA lacks soul, and is deficit in a sense of community as well...
Having lived in the DC metro area for 50 years and in NOVA for 39 of those years, I will suggest that your indictment of the area is unwarranted. I can guarantee there is a sense of community here. It is lessened by dual income families and long working hours, but If you do not feel the community, then perhaps you are not participating.

I too am not from the area originally. Think western PA and defunct manufacturing towns. I recall people making the same accusations against auto repair shops when I was growing up. It is not easy being a small business owner here. Over-regulation is an industry in itself and costs are very high. Blue collar workers have a tough time living in the area as well, so getting good help is difficult.

There are some rip off artists here, but the healthy job market you cite is also responsible for inflated house prices, taxes and overall cost of living. When it's time for me to move from my house, will I be a rip-off artist if I accept five times what I paid for it 39 years ago? You are undoubtedly familiar with the old rule for any job: Low price, Excellent work, Fast Completion - pick any two. Rambling Rant Over....
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:15 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Jonz79 View Post
I digress......(sorry) .....It just amazes me that several people in this thread have had the same experience in NOVA. All been treated like walking wallets!
I have been in this area since 2000, and do not hail from NOVA, like many living in this area. The healthy job market draws people from all over the place. As a result, in my opinion, NOVA lacks soul, and is deficit in a sense of community as well. Where I grew up - Long Island - in the 60's and 70's, people gave each other a break, helped each other out, and that included speed-shops. It is appalling to hear people are essentially being told "hey, everyone is rich here so......bend over", that just blows me away. As a young man, I worked in a shop for several years as a grunt. I saw what the owner did for his customers, and in return, what they did for him.
Come to think of it, if one goes to Katie's Cars & Coffee in Great Falls VA, on any given Sat morning (weather permitting), when you see the cars there, you'll likely see the reason things are the way they are here. Nothing like an 18 year old, driving Dad's Lambo to a cruise-in. The "money cars" there, many daily drivers, are incredible. It's almost obscene in a strange way. It feels like people have money to burn, hence why that "culture" has likely ebbed into the local mod/repair business models. I guess (even though, I am a white-collar-executive), at my roots, I am still a "blue-collar" Long Island kid, who thinks everyone, despite their income should be treated well, and respected. If someone ever opens a shop in these parts, that's treats the customers like gold, and is honest as the day is long, they will make a fortune. There are a good many folks, who are car-savy, and do well, but are not lemmings, and smell that vibe a mile off. Oh well, I am just ranting......apologize. I was just thinking how a local "work-on-your-own-car" shop in Sterling (they provided a lift & tools - how cool is that!) closed down!! ...lol I guess that says it all. I am a dinosaur! Me, and three other guys miss it. lol

I do remember the DIY Garage in Sterling, where one could rent a bay and tools, and perhaps even get some knowledge.

One reason the area "is like that", or pretentious in thinking everyone has money, is that's how most of the people in the area "put themselves out" as having it all. I bet most neighborhoods, many are living beyond their means, paycheck to paycheck and with very little in savings.

Another thing I noticed is how towns are even pretentious in names. An example if this is your "town" of Potomac Falls. What a bunch of made-up nonsense that is. It's "Countryside", in Sterling VA. But once the Cascades shipping center went in, plus all the rest of the development, "Old Sterling" wasn't good enough and the name changed to "Potomac Falls". Sugarland was to the east, and Sterling Park was to the south (other side of 7). Fairfax County is guilty of the same, with "Oak Hill" and others.

Back to car shops in the local area. Coopers Corvettes was one of the last of the "good guys" who I know serviced the hobby like you describe. Fair prices, and really tried to help.

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Old 12-06-2018, 01:25 PM
  #35  
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What in the world? It takes a day to change out a transmission and parts with a new clutch should be around $2800.
These quotes are crazy
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:27 PM
  #36  
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But they are offering you a premium for your original transmission @$2,000. It might be worth $700 on eBay on a good day.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:05 PM
  #37  
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People/shops are PMing me to tow my car to another (their) state to get the work done cheaper. Also suggest I go with Hurst over Tremac , .81 instead of .64 overdrive (5th) I realize that No VA has very high cost of living. I still have sticker shock coming from Charles Town WV (northern No VA). Previously did my own wrenching but still recovering (will I ever at my age?) from broken back.

Now I'm looking for a car trailer (preferably aluminum)!

Where do all you No VA peeps cruise in the good weather? Katie's is too far. Went once. Manassas Airport BK draws a big crowd. I'm thinking of joining the No VA Corvette club. The Corvette club I belong to in FL hasn't really worked out. Not much to do but eat and go to Corvette shows.

Thanks for keeping this discussion open!
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:12 PM
  #38  
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After 38, dare I say, you are likely correct in some respects. I meant no disrespect to those who have lived in the area for many years, or were born/raised in NOVA. I have met many great people, kind, generous as can be, no doubt. I think the area suffers from a huge influx of "outsiders" (myself included), who get caught up in the furnace this area has become. It is fed by the fires of industry and technology, and now, it keeps a huge amount of fire (calories in human time/resources, and sweat equity) to keep the furnace going!

The "long-timers/natives" I talk to occasionally, mention car clubs that used to exist, drag-strips, cruise ins, and such that have all but disappeared. To an outsider like me, over the last two decades, witnessing the insanity of $2,400/mo day-care, and $200K houses selling for the mid $700K mark, and more,.....it all seems like it could never have been anything but what it is. I know deep down that is not the case. The crazy thing is (and I will not name the shops) I actually went on a sort of quest if you will, to see if I could locate/network my way to a shop, an oasis of humanity if you will.....steeped in fairness and good honest customer-service. Total bust. To be frank, I encountered one buffoon after another, as ridiculous in pricing and approach as the next, and back-biting/bad-mouthing each-other's places of business!!
Bottom line is: 65SilveRVert is right: the prices are ridiculous!!! They sure are.
The question remains, WHY? The answer stands,.....not as indictment of the people living in NOVA, rather of the culture we are allowing to propagate. There is little doubt, snobbery is contagious. It self perpetuates. I loathe it.
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:21 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by After38Years View Post
Dad Marrow at AA Speed in Woodbridge (703 494-1330) did some clutch and transmission work for me about 2 years ago. He knows C2's (his wife has a 64). I felt his prices were fair. I know he also put a removable X-member in a C2 for someone on the forum a few years back.

Ralph
If its the same guy down there in Dumfries/Woodbridge, he worked on my 67 and did the crossmember. I went to him for two things: to see if he could better tune my 383 that had a rather large Lunati roller cam AND I asked him to use some crossmember flanges I bought to make my crossmember removable. I didn't want to fight the removal of my TKO600 if it ever had to come out again.

He he made a mess of the tune on my 383. Essentially, I learned that I had it dialed in and its street manners were what they were. However, he did great work on my crossmember.

Id say if you are looking for him to swap in your 5 speed, he is probably a good guy to do it. He is good at setting up rear ends and doing custom hot rod type work.

BTW: I have done two of these swaps myself. I haven't read all the posts in this thread but I did read one that was inaccurate. Just know to dial in the runout on the bell housing to the trans, only the bell housing has to be connected to the engine...meaning the trans doesn't have to go in and out to dial in the runout. It takes two folks to do this whether you did it in the car or with the engine out. One has to spin the engine by hand and the other has to record the reading from the dial indicator. A couple sets of offsetting dowel pins are a must before you start. Other than that, fighting the nonremovable crossmember is the other big issue. You also have to use hockey pucks (or some derivative) to level/raise the floors...the floors tend to sag and you'll need every bit of space to squeeze the TKO into place.

Overall, stuffing a TKO into a C2 with a nonremovable crossmember is a bitch on a good day. However, it can be done with the engine in or out, and I prefer to pull the engine, drop the steering arms down and reinstall the engine and trans as a unit. Doing it this way makes dialing in the bell housing and setting the clutch much easier with the engine and trans out of the car vice on my back.

If I was doing these swaps for money, I would charge about $2K for my labor/knowledge. With all the parts and a little help, I can install a TKO in a day maybe a day in a half. That assumes the car doesn't weigh in with something silly. (Murphy)

Anyway, there are thousands of threads and posts on these topics over the years that can give you an idea of whats involved.

As a former NOVA guy, yes, I have seen folks want to charge a little more based on ones zip code

Best of luck!

Last edited by Crunch527; 12-07-2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:33 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Crunch527 View Post
If its the same guy down there in Dumfries/Woodbridge, he worked on my 67 and did the crossmember. I went to him for two things: to see if he could better tune my 383 that had a rather large Lunati roller cam AND I asked him to use some crossmember flanges I bought to make my crossmember removable. I didn't want to fight the removal of my TKO600 if it ever had to come out again.

He he made a mess of the tune on my 383.
I've been through three (3) carbs before I found a nice streetable tune on mine. Try a smaller carb and it won't be a fire breathing brute but will be more enjoyable to drive. I ended up calling Summit Racing and asking what carb they dynoed the motor with. Maybe the Holley Street Avenger. Thanks for your insight into my forth coming transmission swap!

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