1 2
laz New Reader
5/30/10 12:01 p.m.

I was at the junkyard yesterday pulling a motor and a 5spd swap for a friend's plymouth voyager turbo (http://mysteriesincracing.blogspot.com). Gotta love half price day.

I pulled the pedal assembly at one point, which requires removal of most of the dash and the steering column. I meticulously remove each panel's fasteners, then disconnect the wiring at the connector before chucking the panel in the back of the minivan. My friend pops up to take a break from pulling the axles from the transmission and helps me pull the dash. He removes 80% of the fasteners, then pulls progressively harder until the panel cracks out. Any wiring holding it back gets yanked or cut. While this technique seems more expedient, I can't bring myself to do it. I'll cut hoses and belts on the motor, but that's about my limit. If there's a connector on the wiring I'll spend an extra 20 seconds figuring out how it comes apart. Parts come out whole, unless it's already junk or I screw up.

Do you hack and slash at the junkyard? Am I obsessive/compulsive in an odd way?

Streetwiseguy Reader
5/30/10 12:04 p.m.

Its a losing battle. I wish stuff was dissassembled properly, but its not going to happen. Thing that really galls me is when wires get cut off so close to the plug you can't even solder a new wire onto the tiny stub left.

VanillaSky Reader
5/30/10 12:11 p.m.

It depends with me. Every car is different. If I'm pulling the dash out of a car with a mint interior, I carefully pull everything, making sure not to break anything. If it's beat to E36 M3, then I just rip it out.

If it's a part that someone else might want, I'm careful with it. If it's another Civic with a painted interior, I just rip it out, because who is going to want an interior panel with chipped rice yellow paint?

Then you run into cases where it's easier to disassemble properly. Often getting to speakers is like this.

One thing I've found that makes me tend to remove items properly, especially interior parts, is a battery screwdriver. Even a $15 one helps. I have one that my dad got me and it's one of my junkyard toolkit tools.

4g63t Reader
5/30/10 12:15 p.m.

I tend to disassemble donor cars respectfully, as I believe somebody may NEED the part I'd otherwise break.

dimeadozen New Reader
5/30/10 12:35 p.m.

Depends- on a few particularly crusty/stripped older Nissan products, I have cut both ends of every spade/bullet connector in the engine compartment, as Nissan used nice brass terminals with rubber boots on them, and I wanted a stock for modifications/replacements. The cheap Home Depot ones oxidize too easily, and look like crap.

Generally, I try to be more considerate. I feel sorry for anyone looking for headlight surrounds for a Mercedes W123- at least locally, the fanbois/ eBay vultures absolutely destroy them to get the 6'' round foglights out. The same thing applies to any E30 with ellipsoid headlights. I've removed a few sets too, but always carefully remove the headlight surrounds and place them intact in the trunk.

Locally, one yard won't let you bring jacks, but will let you bring an axe or hatchet. I once saw a particularly unfortunate Audi 5000- the headlights, grille, and bumper cover were lying on the ground destroyed, and the radiator and core support had been hacked at, I think in an attempt to remove the AC condensor. The odd thing is that this yard will allow you to bring cordless Sawzalls, and if you walk around the yard listening, you can always find one to "rent" for 5 or 10 bucks.

The people who get me are the guys who buy a bottom end, and throw the leaking cylinder head on the formerly pristine driver's seat. THROW IT IN THE TRUNK!!!

One time I came across 3 REALLY nice Saab/Ronal Minilite-styled wheels. The yard has a 30 day full refund policy, so I called the bluff of the guy who bought the 4th, and took the other 3 home. One week later, I returned and bought the 4th wheel off the return pile.

DrBoost Dork
5/30/10 12:40 p.m.

Like others here, I'll do it with respect unless the car is trashed and the part in question isn't worth anything to any one. Even then it feels wrong to break something.

benzbaron HalfDork
5/30/10 1:04 p.m.

I've used both techniques and to take it apart correctly is much less frustrating, less likely to result in injury, and more likely to remove that brittle plastic part intact. Also taking a car apart correctly gives you a heads up on installing the part correctly and not destroying it using brutish technique. There are enough brutes out there. To use your mind and not your strength is what separates man from beast.

novaderrik Reader
5/30/10 1:35 p.m.

depends on the part and the car it's on.

sometimes, it's easier to just go all caveman on things and get it apart. the reasons can range from not having the proper tools with to the car just being a total POS and wanting to get out of there as fast as possible.

other times, it's best to be like a surgeon.

the local junkyard in the small town i grew up in liked to use a torch for everything. i once watched the owner use a cutting torch to remove a windshield- and he didn't crack it. it was beautiful to watch. he was like 65 years old and knew how to take anything apart.

ReverendDexter Dork
5/30/10 2:39 p.m.

Depends on the junkyard.

I hate the one here locally, so the times I'm in there, I just slash and burn.

porksboy Dork
5/30/10 3:34 p.m.

Not to hijack but maybe you can anwer a question for me. If I get a door do I need to strip it of the regulator, window, mirror etc. to avoid paying for each of them or does the price of the door include everything?

lewbud Reader
5/30/10 4:22 p.m.

In reply to porksboy: I would think that the price of the door would include everything. However, it wouldn't hurt to ask.

SkinnyG Reader
5/30/10 4:56 p.m.

My students brag about going to the wreckers just breaking windshields and taillights and other useful stuff. ~My~ kids are being brought up differently - I am always careful not to destroy or damage anything; you never know what someone might want. It's part of being courteous.

Feedyurhed HalfDork
5/30/10 5:09 p.m.
SkinnyG wrote: My students brag about going to the wreckers just breaking windshields and taillights and other useful stuff. ~My~ kids are being brought up differently - I am always careful not to destroy or damage anything; you never know what someone might want. It's part of being courteous.

Yep, I see a lot of that kind of thing. Of course my personal favorite (meaning my least favorite) is when someone locks all the doors with the windows rolled up. I don't know if they do it to be funny or they are trying to save a part for themselves. At any rate, I had to break a side window once because of that. Really it wasn't that easy with just a bag of hand tools.

Hocrest Reader
5/30/10 5:09 p.m.
porksboy wrote: Not to hijack but maybe you can anwer a question for me. If I get a door do I need to strip it of the regulator, window, mirror etc. to avoid paying for each of them or does the price of the door include everything?

It depends on the yard. And at some yards it depends on who's working the counter. The one clerk at Harry's in Hazelton charges for EVERYTHING, most of the others charge you for the big hits and pass through on the little things/trim/switches...

4g63t Reader
5/30/10 6:11 p.m.

Which is another reason I LOVE the yard I go to. He never has any Galants, and it's a 150 mile round trip, they just point me at the 1Gs, give me and my tool bag a ride to the cars, and tell me to take anything I need. This is NOT a U-Pull. I love this place. Now, I could fall out of my bed and land in the one owned by "The Alien's" family, but I go to the one that's an all day trip. I go to Daddio's for my 3G and SWMBO's wedgie Galant.

irish44j HalfDork
5/30/10 6:35 p.m.

I usually cut wiring, but I cut it as close as possible to the middle so the connectors at both ends are still usable.

Otherwise, if the part will come out easily, I'll take it off correctly. If it's being a pain in the ass, it's time for a prybar or something.

oldopelguy Dork
5/30/10 6:52 p.m.

I often go to the yard to pull it apart first, so I know what is going to be in the way and what I'll probably break. Then when I work on my own car it's the second time around and I can do it right.

oldtin Reader
5/30/10 8:32 p.m.

I unplugged wires today - pretty sympathetic pulls. I did clip lines to a transmission cooler (took the trans).

Woody GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/30/10 8:39 p.m.

I try to avoid the hack and slash when I'm the one stripping the car. I'm often the guy who's back there a few weeks later looking for more parts.

But the last junkyard engine that I bought had the remnants of the wiring harness attached (the yardman's handiwork). They made about six cuts and left everything attached. That kind of surprised me, but I'm sure it's a thousand times quicker for them and they hardly ever get requests for harnesses.

It sure made it easier to make all my connections when I reinstalled the engine, though. I left the cut harness in place and quickly matched the connectors up with my original harness.

Travis_K Dork
5/30/10 8:43 p.m.

About the only time i ever break things is when it has already been damaged so it is either no longer useable, or not able to be removed without damaging it. it makes me really mad when people destroy things becasue they are too lazy ot take it apart. I saw a mercedes w123 with a nice cloth interior, and later I went back and someone has ripped one of the door panels off to get one of the armrests.

M030 HalfDork
5/30/10 8:46 p.m.

I always always always take stuff apart carefully in the junkyard. The number of yards around here that let you pull your own parts is dwindling, and I try to be as respectful as possible because I appreciate the trust they place in me when I'm out in their yard.

patgizz SuperDork
5/30/10 10:04 p.m.

going to pull a rear axle this week for the chevelle from a monte carlo at the yard. i'll unbolt the driveshaft but the rear trailing arms are getting hacked with the cordless sawzall. way easier than fighting with 40 year old bolts and nuts without air tools and unlikely anyone would want them anyway.

if it is nice stuff or stuff people tend to need i am careful because i know how pissed i get when something nice i need is laying there broken in two from the jerkoff getting to the 5 cent part behind it.

dimeadozen New Reader
5/31/10 1:40 a.m.
SkinnyG wrote: My students brag about going to the wreckers just breaking windshields and taillights and other useful stuff. ~My~ kids are being brought up differently - I am always careful not to destroy or damage anything; you never know what someone might want. It's part of being courteous.

One local yard has a sign up offering a $50 reward to rat out anyone seen intentionally destroying glass for their amusement- I'm not sure if they ever pay out on it, but I have noticed nearly all the glass in their yard is intact.

At another yard, the staff has a group of "customers" they refer to as "fencers"- they will have one guy walk up to the concrete block wall that separates the front of the yard from the parking lot, and throw a part over the fence to a guy in the parking lot.

The manager once admitted to me that he's not as worried about lost revenue as he is about the potential for a lawsuit from a customer getting hit by a flying car part, as starters, alternators, etc. are all fair game to be thrown over the fence..

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/31/10 10:02 a.m.

Why many of the U Pull it yards are going away. There is just less profit in it for the yard when half of the cars money making parts are destroyed by the idiots.

The ones that are there and think, hay lets break every piece of glass on the car while we are there to get a door Handel. How do people really think this way? In one yard I know of they actually will toss you out if they catch you doing this. Or the $5.00 interior trim piece becomes a $50 piece.

I actually was hanging at the front counter while they were looking for something for me and they told a guy that they were charging him for unnecessary damage he causes of the car. The guy stormed out threatening legal action. I later found out he was notorious for literally destroying cars that would otherwise pay the yard several hundred dollars before being crushed.

shadetree30 New Reader
5/31/10 11:42 a.m.

Boneyard Karma: Yes, it exists...

I always try to be a good neighbor, and it has rewarded me with being allowed into the yard by myself (it's NOT a U-pull) and pulling stuff and NOT being charged for every little thang. And when they pulled a trans for me (E-30!) they made sure all the brackets and E36 M3 came with it. (BTW, Dwight, you know where this is, but I don't know if they have any more E30s)

1 2
Our Preferred Partners