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Nomad New Reader
7/3/08 3:50 p.m.

I finally made it to the local junkyard for the first time and it was pretty cool. I'll befinitely be making this a monthly thing if I have time.

So after hoofing it around for a while I wondered what others were doing that made their lives a little easier? I saw a guy with a dolly like thing toting his Craftsman small steel toolbox. Cool idea as it toted his tools as well as his findings and was way easier than the old rusty shopping carts they had around.

My plastic single handle box was too heavy with tools and a pain to carry. I did find a hammer and pliers there which just made it heavier.

So what do others do? What does your toolbox look like? What tools do you bring? Essentials? Nice-to-haves? Aerosols? Do you bring your good tools or a set of harbor freight tools? Do you note everything that you see and come back for them later or grab all you can possibly afford?

Do you go with one part in mind or browse?

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/3/08 4:02 p.m.

I tell "Vern" to pull it and I will be back when it's off.

No tools other than people skills required ;)

SupraWes HalfDork
7/3/08 4:14 p.m.

I have a dolly with a 5 gallon bucket strapped to it. Throw a bunch of tools in the bucket and theres usually still room for parts too. I also have one of those 2 liter insulated drink containers with the spout on top filled with ice water. Also a thing of those moistened degreaser rags are a big help to throw in there.

Hocrest New Reader
7/3/08 4:37 p.m.

What I take depends on what I'm looking for and what the weather is like. I go in with as little as a set of linesmens Pliars, 10, 12 &14 racheting wrenches. If I'm gonna for more I'll take my full bag. This is about a 14" nylon tool bag that will carry most of my tool set. Since I don't have a garage with a tool box, most of my things are in this bag. I have full sockets both 3/8" and 1/2" in all the Subaru Sizes 10,12,14,17,19; a set of racheting wrenches in those sizes. 3/8 and 1/2" ratchets, breaker bar, pliars, vice grips, dykes, screwdrivers, prybars and punches. Pretty much anything I need to do anything to a Subaru. This bag weighs about 25lbs, and I carry it on a shoulder strap. Sometimes I'll lighten it but I hate to go back to the car for stuff.

Then there are the times when I take in my bag on a hand truck. When I take the truck I'll also take along a BFH, big prybar and straps to tie things to the truck.

DILYSI Dave SuperDork
7/3/08 4:38 p.m.

Carry tools, WD40, water bottle, etc. in my old high school Jansport backpack.

Evan_R New Reader
7/3/08 4:52 p.m.

Yes, either a backpack or a bag with a shoulder strap.

If I'm just foraging, all I bring is:

2-way screwdriver 8/10mm open-end 12/13mm open end folding Torx set

I figure that if I come across a prize that requires more/other tools, the walk back to the car is MUCH easier than lugging the whole bag around for nothing.

ddavidv SuperDork
7/3/08 5:37 p.m.

I use a backpack. Since I tend to work on only so many types of cars, I can usually guess in advance what tools will be needed. I've never bothered with aerosols. Waterless hand cleaner or wet wipes are essential. The drywall bucket strapped to the hand truck is ideal assuming you can haul the thing in your vehicle.

daytonaer New Reader
7/3/08 7:04 p.m.

Phone/camera for the cool stuff you just can't bring home, and can't believe.

If you can, buy it. scrap metal is up, stuff getting crushed and it sucks looking for something that was there last week but is gone now.

The coolest thing to do would be to pull parts the week before a big sale and hide them in a non-suspecting car, go back for 50% off day and rejoice. Usually a once a year thing.

I like using a dolly with a milk crate strapped on, some yards have wheelbarrows. Its always nice to have all your tools. If you get stuck carrying stuff again, cut some seatbelts and use as a shoulder strap.

mad_machine SuperDork
7/3/08 7:55 p.m.

wish I had thought about the seatbelt thing when I needed a door for my old Hyundai Excel. Best one was at the back of the yard and for such a little car, the door was surprisingly heavy.

I think I had a dent in my shoulder for a week afterwards.

I may have to try the 5 gallon bucket and handtruck too. They make folding handtrucks that should fit into most any car

Hocrest New Reader
7/3/08 8:01 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: They make folding handtrucks that should fit into most any car

But the small wheels on most of those would get eaten up by the gravel, ruts, puddles and debris at the yards I go to.

Seatbelts make great straps, and can even be used to pull an engine. I've also tied things together with pieces of wiring harness and antenna's. Rear back seats and hoods make nice platforms to lay on underneath of cars.

Nomad New Reader
7/3/08 9:07 p.m.

great ideas. I definitely want to get a soft bag with shoulder strap for my tools now. I was really lusting after that dolly/toolbox I saw and got evil thoughts of pneumatic harbor freight wheelbarrow tires on a small folding luggage dolly

TransMaro New Reader
7/3/08 10:02 p.m.

It's not a "bring to the yard" tool but it's useful anyway.

Next time somone leaves a shopping cart in your alley, "liberate" it and cut the basket off at the bolts that hold it to the chassis.

You now have a PERFECT V8 or V6 engine cart.

The flywheel or flexplate fits into the hoop at the front of the chassis, the crank pulley sits on the crossbar at the rear and the engine mount brakcets fit on the shoulders that once held the basket.

They work great, I have three or four of them and even if you need to buy one, they only cost a quarter!


P90Puma Reader
7/4/08 9:26 a.m.
TransMaro wrote: They work great, I have three or four of them and even if you need to buy one, they only cost a quarter! Shawn

No roll eyes smiley yet Tim?

Nomad New Reader
7/4/08 12:06 p.m.

Here's a tip i thought of for beginners like me:

Don't break stuff you don't need in the uninstall, you may need it later.

It was 100 degrees and I was baking in the car trying to take out some stubborn trim and I ended up cracking the adjacent piece to get it out. Well, I figured out later that it would have been great to get that piece too... :(

neon4891 HalfDork
7/5/08 1:33 a.m.

hack saw...just because

TransMaro New Reader
7/5/08 2:26 a.m.

For those of us who come later..

Don't break unnecessary stuff to get the part you need. I hate finding a nice, uncracked dash only to find some dirtball took the gauges out with a crowbar!


Travis_K New Reader
7/5/08 9:16 a.m.
TransMaro wrote: For those of us who come later.. Don't break unnecessary stuff to get the part you need. I hate finding a nice, uncracked dash only to find some dirtball took the gauges out with a crowbar! Shawn


You wouldnt believe how many nice parts are ruined by idiots that dont know how to take things apart, or how many times i have had to sweep broken glass out of a car cause someone smached all the windows for the fun of it, or whatever else. I think people that break windows in junkyards need to be banned from coing back forever (or maybe hit with whatever they are using to break the glass. :P)

Nomad New Reader
7/5/08 10:06 a.m.

Yeah, I saw lots of screwdriver gouges on parts I could have grabbed.

I must say though, thanks to the people who put the performance stickers on the car. It led me to some nice Eibachs but I missed out on some headers and cams.

slantvaliant New Reader
7/5/08 6:07 p.m.

I keep an updated BOLO (Be on the lookout) list for parts and donor cars just for trips to the boneyard. It helps me remember to look for which year/make/models to look for, and what I can harvest from them.

curtis73 New Reader
7/6/08 4:52 a.m.

I, too have a craftsman toolbox on a dolly. In that box I make sure there is a good set of crescent wrenches (what I like to call "adjustable metrics"), a complete set of screw bits to fit my magnetic driver, in case I find a torx, robertson, or allen head that needs attention, and a wide assortment of both long and stubby wrenches. Another inescapable need is a good set of vise grips and assorted pliers.

Then on top of that I have a bucket that has a cordless sawzall, a can of PB blaster, a cordless impact gun, some brake parts cleaner and a brass brush (to check casting and stamping numbers), and a good prybar. Many times I've tried to remove something like an exhuast manifold after a tranny has been removed and the exhaust is holding the engine up. Being able to pry on things is a big help. I also usually carry a multimeter to test parts, a flashlight to help see my work, and a small transistor radio to listen to Prarie Home Companion.

steamcorners Reader
7/6/08 7:25 a.m.

Yeah, I need to find a better way to haul tools/parts. I never seem to get there early enough to grab a wheelbarrow from the yard. So I'm left carrying a huge tool chest thru the yard for hours--it causes me to skip some interesting stuff just to get what I absolutely need. . .

chknhwk New Reader
7/6/08 7:30 a.m.

I'm surprised nobody is using a small wagon like at swap meets. I've seen them all over but never for sale. Where do you get them? I think they'd be perfect for junking.

924guy HalfDork
7/6/08 8:10 a.m.

i gotta get back to the pick-n-pull... just reading this makes me think of a list of stuff i need , actually, parts of stuff i need.. i usually just use a soft sided craftsman tool bag. couple of screw drivers, bag of bits (torx, ect) ,adustable box wrench, pair of channel locks and smaller plier with cutting edge is usually enough to pull most items im looking for. If im going for a hard mount item ill throw in a small socket set and a pry bar.. if i cant get it out with the basics, ive found its generally a better idea to buy new or rebuilt unless its made of unobtainium or ohmybejesus expensive.

DONT CUT THE SEATS PLEASE.... last time i went some idiot had razor sliced the seat bottoms on half the cars i looked at, brought a tear to my eye, a few were nice sport buckets.. if i ever find him, hell have a backwards craftsman imprint on his forehead permanently from my wrench... now i need to go make my list .... :)

walterj HalfDork
7/6/08 9:22 a.m.

I go to a local place for small stuff but I have a reason to go to big U-Pull it for a transmission... will they flip the car with a forktruck or something or are you responsible for bringing your own cherry picker? Will they let me down there with the the truck to haul it back out?

slantvaliant New Reader
7/6/08 12:36 p.m.
chknhwk wrote: I'm surprised nobody is using a small wagon like at swap meets. I've seen them all over but never for sale. Where do you get them? I think they'd be perfect for junking.

Harbor Freight has some with expanded steel floors and big knobby tires.

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