It is the nature of repair of very old radios that you have to repair
the radio in order to determine the scope of repairs needed. Unlike the
estimation of many home repair activities, the repair of a radio does not
lend itself to visual inspection. In a 50-75 year old radio,failed components are not readily
apparent, but must be diagnosed by replacing other related items in order to
bring the radio "up" to the point that a determination can be made as to
which components are causing problems.For example, line cords and electrolytic capacitors sometimes must be
replaced even to power up the radio without causing damage from other
unknown marginal components.
In a lot of radios, the cheapest solution labor wise, is to wholesale
replace components known to fail rather than diagnostically track down the
exact capacitor or resistor that is bad. Tubes of, course, can be checked on
a tube tester. But most stubborn failures are not tube related. As an
example, below is a labor recount from a recent Zenith MH repair/restore.
Replace Power Transformer [4+ hours]
Replace line cord
Install line voltage drop PWR
Remove electrolytics [2+ hours]
Replace (2) electrolytics
Replace 7 capacitors
10 inch PM Speaker
Mount audio transformer [2+ hours]
Power choke Replacement
Install Speaker Terminals
Restring Dial Cord [50+ hours]
Return Shipping/Packing $90.00
The above items in RED represented huge
unexpected amounts of labor that simply could not be determined in advance.
This is similar to towing in a 1939 Ford to a Ford dealer and requesting
that the car be repaired such that the car runs well and reliably. Then
requesting a firm fixed price. If a fixed price is forthcoming - it will be
in the stratosphere in order to cover all eventualities.
That is why our estimates of the total cost of repair are usually
given as a range of costs as opposed to a firm single number. In other
words we cannot determine the final total cost of repair until we have
physically done the repair.
Radio Repair Guy