Monday, August 1, 2011

Off to the Junk Yard

No, I am not selling my car to the junk yard, I am off looking for parts.

Repeat after me...  The junk yard is your friend; the junk yard is your friend.

There is no better place to find replacement parts for your car than the local junk yard.  I say this for a couple of really good reasons.   The first reason is that the parts you find in a junk yard are usually the OEM parts for your car.  They can help keep your car as original as possible.  The second reason is that they are a lot cheaper than buying new replacement parts if they are even available.

Let me give you an example.

In my trip to the junk yard this past weekend, I found the following:  A distributor boot, coil cover, 2 rear window motors, a power window switch bezel, and trim for around the seat belt opening.

New Price
Junk Yard Price

Distributor Boot
Coil Cover
Drivers rear window motor
Passenger rear window motor
Power window switch bezel
Seat belt trim



If you look at this, you can see a savings of about $210* on this trip alone.  A little here and a little there and you will find yourself saving a lot of cash on your restoration project.

*One thing I have to note.  The seat belt bezel sold as a pair.  I cut the actual cost in half since I was only able to get one.

The down side of this entire savings, it is going to cost you some time.  The time that it will cost you isn’t necessarily all at once.  You may be going to the junk yard on several occasions trying to find the parts you are looking for.  Another downside is that you are buying used parts.  They may also be broken.  Usually the junk yard will carry a warranty on these for a few days for you to get them installed and/or tested to make sure they are good.  Let’s go back to the time part of this once more.  If you want to get the best savings on these parts, you will have to go to a self-service junk yard.  This will cost you the time of taking off the parts as well as the labor to do so.  There is a benefit in this though.  Since you are taking these parts off of a junk car, you will get practice and know how to remove the parts from your car hopefully without breaking anything.

Bonus:  While I was at the junk yard getting these parts I noticed that it had the panels for around the convertible motor and cylinders.  Although they did have some cracks in them, one was better than mine which was in pretty rough shape, and the other was still in pretty good shape.  This is a really good example of parts that you cannot find replacements for.  The grand total for these 2 parts was $20.  Since I had already taken the window motors off of this car, the parts were 95% of the way off.  All I had to do was to take off the seat belt bolt to run that back through.

Although one of the parts was not in as good of condition as the one in my car is, I can send this one off to the upholstery shop to be re-upholstered to match what my new interior will look like.

All I need at this point is to find 2 old door panels that I can send there and have them upholster both of them so they match.  Since I enjoy making trips to the junk yard, I will be doing this for most of the summer months when I have time on weekends.  Hopefully before winter comes I will have all the interior parts I need to finish this job.

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