why do things cost so much

toyotaguy

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speaking of costs. Why do a-arm setups cost so much. yeah i know the time and research invested in to making them right cost money, but so does everything people try to sell as their own. What I am saying is everything costs money to develop, but why do shops jack up the price so freakin much to the point that some people who want it really bad can't afford it. I know for a fact that if there was a kit out for my tacoma for 2000 I would have already bought it along with many other people. But reality is that there is not one for less that 3100.

My point is that one has to test and research to come up with a new product, but why charge so much that most still wont buy it. I say drop the price and sell more leaving the shop with more profit in the end. 100 at 2000 = 200000 50 at 3000 = 150000 makes sense to me. That is 50 more happy people with 50000 dollars more in the shops pocket. Plus with the added bonus of more people to break stuff and come back for repeat business. IMO
 

John Bitting

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Unfortunately things dont work that way. You have materials and labor, That alone keeps prices up. If your thinking worked you would have a lot more choices. The best thing you can do is start your own shop and see how profitable this industry is because its not.. People cannot give things away. A $3100 long travel kit is a good price if you ask me. I am paying close to $10k for mine because a kit is not made and that is without the FOX coilover, bypass and air bumps that I bought per corner. I say you are getting off cheap.
 

empire231

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thats the way society seperates the big $ boys from the average joe. everyone would like to have the top dollar stuff, but only a few can afford it. say all the kits sold at the "average joe price", then everyone can have it, but theres gonna be some people that say "I want mine w/ more travel", "I want mine to be smoother", "I want mine to be faster, and plain out "I WANT MINE TO BE BETTER THAN YOURS". thats just the way it goes, you could get a bolt on cst or fabtech longtravel kit for a fair price, and it'll do good, but then your gonna want better so you save more money and get a camburg kit, tc, etc. and it's business, there is alot of competition! and alot of overhead for the shops(payroll, rent, materials, tools/machines, advertisement, etc)
 

In_the_works

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Bottom line: building a desert worthy truck takes a lot of time and money. It sucks, but thats the facts of life. If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to sell my truck out of frustration, I'd have enough for some triple bypasses! My advice is not to give up though, the end result is well worth the wait.
 

desertracer

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This same concept applies to fabber's when you want high quality work you are just gonna have to pay more. There are certain companies that have established themselves as great shops, Jimco,Newline, Baja shop, camburg... the list goes on, and that is why you have to pay if you want to have their name and high end product. You could possibly get the same product from a lesser source but you will not have the guarantee that it will work and hold up as well. The old saying goes you get what you pay for and that applies very much here.
 

Ryan B

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I think you should try to geta job at a fab shop sweeping or something and build up your fab skills and then you can build whatever you want and it'll be way less than paying someone else. And you can say that you built the truck.
 

martininsocal

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He has a point to some extent. With very few exceptions, many "fab shops" just buy someone elses A-Arm/Radius Arm/trailing arm and copy it. A shop does a lot of R&D to get something right, then Joe the Stick welder comes along, copies the dimensions, Changes teh size or location ox a dimple to an X and presto!, Same product without the R&D costs so they off the thing for 50 bucks cheaper. Eventually the real fab shops get pissed off or frustratde and they may just walk away from this sport or only concentrate on the high dollar custom work that others can't copy with a pencil and napkin.
Here is something that has always bugged me. 30 years ago if you wanted a small handheld computer that could do math functions and would fit into you pocket, it would cost 100 bucks +. Today if you want the same thing, you can buy it out of the barrell next to the cash register at the AM/PM for 2.99 + tax. 25 years ago if you wanted to buy a long travel front end kit for a VW(sorry, trucks were all custom parts back then), the cut steel pieces were about 60 bucks. If you want the same pieces today, they will cost you about 59.99. Inflation did rear its ugly head, but the prices didn't get cheaper either. Some may say that competition or demand for calculators has gone way up reducing production costs, but hey, how many more VW shock tower kits were cold over the years as multi-station flame cutters came into existence increasing the number of parts that could be produced to as much as 10 times in the same time frame.
How can FORD sell the 2004 pick-up for the same price as the 2003 even with a style change, etc...? Think about it. Almost all prices are artificial in some way. Everything has multiple price levels, etc... Even offroad parts. Not to bash, but 25 years ago, even the busiest race shops were not making the kind of money they do now, and some of that was because the expectation of what SHOULD be earned was based on different values.
Take a welding class at your local JC, Read some books on car handling and proper race geometry set-up, and buy some tools. You won't do it any cheaper than that.
 

jim_moulton

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One thing you all are missing is the cost of liability insurance. Any body that has anything to lose has to have it. And if a truck is going to be driven on the street its even more of a risk. So part of the cost of these suspension kits is going to pay liability insuance. I personally don't want to lose all that I have worked 20+ years to aquire.
Jim Moulton Racing Fab
 

Ryan B

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really good point. i never thought about in those ways. i know that the liability thing is a huge deal. I just made the suggestion because i just got my first fab job where i actually get paid and am just trying to build up my skills with all the different tools so i can someday build my own truck.
 

Jim_Dizney

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Interesting point Jim. I know a lot of chassis builders, both race and sand car, and most never carried product liability insurance; too cost prohibitive for the relatively small net income they generate. Without naming names I can tell you the majority of those who did purchase a policy haven't renewed when premiums started skyrocketing in recent years. Unfortunately the creation of an LLC or California Corporation probably won't protect their personal assets when their business is held liable for an injury or worse yet a death.

Moulton chassis have an excellent reputation but I'm sure you'll agree that your production numbers are far less than say Chenowth or Jimco. With that in mind I'd be interested in hearing how you've dealt with the liability insurance issue and rising overhead. How can you afford to market your product, make a profit, and still afford the exorbitant insurance rates necessary to protect yourself against a liability claim?
 

martininsocal

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Jim- In that same veign, Can you even get Liability insurance for Race Products? I have looked into Insurance from some Large Carriers and they are willing to post Liability and Damage for OffRoading, but refuse to cover any incidents if they occur while racing. This seemed to be the norm when I was looking for some coverage when I was thinking about a line of tool bags for racers, but again, they wanted nothing to do with racing, period. Is it even possible to get liability insurance for say, a race chassis you have suppied to someone?

Martin
 

jim_moulton

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Liability Insurance for race cars,if you could get I'm sure you can't afford it even if you build as many cars as jimco. As a racer my life insurance policy was even cancelled. I was actually talking about anything that gets run on a street vehicle. I personally don"t work on anything street legal. I don't build roll cages, I build roof support structures.Can you actually buy a roll bar for your bed anymore? I have spoken to a couple of lawyers over the years and the only defense I have on my side as far as race cars is they are built to score rule specs. Which is an industry standard. As far as defending against a major lawsuit. The legal bills would bankrupt even the largest companies out there.
I do still build race cars but not alot, my main income comes from my machine shop. Attached is a pic of a new class 12 car just about finished.
 

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Jim_Dizney

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I misinterpreted the intent of your post concerning liability insurance. Obviously the exposure to risk will be much greater to companies marketing suspension kits for street use rather than racing. And you brought up another good point, the resulting lawsuit could bankrupt the largest of companies whether their product was actually at fault or not. Product liability insurance can be obtained for a reasonable premium but as soon as the word "racing" is associated with that product the costs will skyrocket beyond the reach of most companies. It seems silly but Martin's example of a tool bag is typical of the problem all new product suppliers will face. How could a "tool bag" cause any kind of a problem worthy of a lawsuit? All it takes is a plaintiff with enough pocket change to file a legal complaint and you'll find yourself hiring an attorney to fight for your self preservation. Guilty judgment or not, it's going to cost you a bundle!

While on the subject of insurance I can tell you some race car fabricators carry policies for "test and tune" that provide liability coverage as long as the vehicle isn't actually being raced. Part of that high entry fee paid to SCORE provides secondary coverage for entrants while pre-running as well as racing. Don't assume ALL promotors provide this protection because they DON'T! Additionally many well financed race teams carry their own liability policies to protect themselves at all times, including racing. Herbst, McMillin, and Sourapas are among those that feel the risk justifies the high premiums while most of us just hope we'll never have to deal with a problem. The cost of these policies has risen dramatically during the last few years and teams have had difficulty finding an underwriter willing to even write a policy regardless of the premium. I believe Steve was one of the racers shopping for a replacement after his existing company decided to pull all business associated with racing endeavors late last year. Perhaps he can share a little enlightening info.
 

Steve_Sourapas

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Yes I do have liabilty insurance that covers me during a race for 2 mil but I don't have any coverage for test and tune but I'm working on that.I strongly suggest you look into getting some coverage as the promoters policy most likely will not provide any protection at all for you.The cost for insurance if you can get it ranges from 2500-3500 a race but I would never race without it with the way things are today with lawyers.Image a worse case situation and believe it could happen to you and protect yourself,your family,and your assets no matter how large or small they are.Lastly always talk to a professional to make sure what your buying will protect you in case of an accident.Remember even if you are in the right you still can get sued and who will pay that large legal bill that's coming.
 

FABRICATOR

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It may be luck or dispare depending on which side you are on, but the racing environment also makes winning or collecting any claim very difficult at best.
 
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