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Sajeev
Community Manager

Community Question: How to prep for a junkyard visit on a rainy day?

I'm gonna focus on "rainy day prep" as this is what I experienced this weekend, not to mention many folks here already know the basics of junkyarding. To some this rainy day issue might be a silly question, because you shouldn't visit a junkyard when it's raining. Except for times when it's kinda mandatory, such as:

 

  1. You need a part right now to get your vehicle running
  2. A rare vehicle with desirable parts hits the yard and everyone gets emailed/notified of it. 
  3. You prefer cloudy days because they're better than sunny days in parts of the country. 
  4. You enjoy spending less time waiting in line and dealing with other junkyard patrons. 

Reasons 2, 3, and 4 were why I visited the junkyard over the weekend. And I packed these items: 

 

  1. Poncho in my toolbox
  2. Shrimp boots in the truck (i.e. they never mess up the truck, as I changed my shoes before I left/returned to the truck),
  3. Expected stuff: Toolbox with the basic tools I need for the items I'm purchasing. (i.e. no need for pullers)
  4. Inflated the tire and lubed the axle on my wheelbarrow
  5. Filled up a reusable water bottle
  6. Brewed an extra amount of coffee for my Yeti tumbler in case I need to drink something warm after returning.  

1984 Ford LTD Fox Body that I took parts from.1984 Ford LTD Fox Body that I took parts from.

The end result?  Someone already picked over the wheels, grille, headlights and taillights from this 1984 Ford LTD wagon, because these are turning into hot commodities with guys building turbo Coyote/LS motors for Fox platform Fords. But I got a few other restoration parts for mine (emblems, automatic headlight wiring/modules, small plasticky dashboard bits) and was lucky enough to only have to deal with muddy areas around the car and a small puddle where I had to work. I used the LTD's back seat to protect myself in that area. 

 

So the shrimp boots DEFINITELY came in handy, but the poncho did not: It only sprinkled here and there as I was working on the junk car. But things got pretty scary as I was loading everything into the truck. 

Good thing I got the parts before I reeeeally needed my rain gear.Good thing I got the parts before I reeeeally needed my rain gear.

Apparently timing is everything, especially since NOBODY was in line because almost nobody was there!  That was great for me, as I got into the truck before it really started coming down in the parking lot!

 

So tell me this: when you visit a junkyard, what do you do make it as easy as possible? 

11 REPLIES 11
Todd_Z
Pit Crew

I'm usually at the yards for specific parts so I keep my toolbag inventory to a minimum.  Occasionally I'm caught without the proper tool but in the past that meant a quick 10 min trip back home to grab it so that wasn't a big deal.  

speeddog
New Driver

In Texas: flashlight to check for snakes anywhere you can’t see, and walking stick to probe for same.

DeanH
Intermediate Driver

My prep is simple  - I remove the parts I need from my vehicle so I know what tools and procedures I will need at the yard while also having said parts with me for matching. I have a tool bag I fill with any special tools I need along with the basics.

 

Here's my best cost savings tip > After the last time I bought a 5 pack of fuses for 5 bucks (!) I was at my local pick a part and realized there are hundreds of fuses of all types for the taking. Guess how little I paid for a pile of em there. All I did was clean the contacts of them on my wire wheel and they're good to go. OH, and did you know all fuses have exposed contact points on their faces so you can test them with a meter without pulling them out?

chrlsful
Instructor

nuttin ! yep, most places 'back east' have really gone corporate (in my area anyway). 10 y/o or older? gone (to the crusher).  No admittance.  Everything stacked on shelves 30 ft hi, puter catalogued, 'street signs' for the hi lift forks to navigate'n make a run from where the computer directed them.  Rear ends - over there, ford? this section only, chebby ta da left! Charkas/shell? by yr, make, model may B (again) 30 ft up. Y I even gota tranny from my guy (delivered like new prts) that he dealt w/nother yard just to fill my order. Wonder what kinda deal that wuz? Sit in the office'n wait like the doc's or dentist (no tools needed). CB or cellie back to the fork crew he has double duty disassembly "Bring up X, customer, now.".  No business? hop on a car in the garage & fix that. If they don't go go go like this they're out of business.

The maroon waggy in the pic? I'd start w/that'n build from there~ aahahahaaaa

MoparMarq
Detailer

Places out here in the west have gone corporate also.  LKQ parts bought out Foster Auto Wrecking who knows how long ago, so I don't go there anymore.  The Pick-n-Pulls out here are owned by Schnitzer Steel, so they have a source of scrap metal.  Even so, you can still wander around the yards panning for gold.  Can't tell how many times I've gotten ideas and parts off other cars for an engine swap or cooler project.  The cars only sit in the yard for 30 days before heading to the crusher, so waiting for the weather to improve is not an option.  Many layers of clothing, as well as light fabric gloves, have been needed at times, as more than once I've pulled parts when it was snowing.  The tool box is JY-only and JY-specific use; the box from Walmart and tools from Harbor Freight, so there's no delay in gathering my stuff to head to JY, and no worries if gets wet or lost.  SAE and metric sockets and combo wrenches, metric tubing wrenches, snips, pliers, screwdrivers, torx bits.  The large combo wrench serves as the ratchet cheater bar.  The screwdrivers have hex shanks.

SteveNL
Intermediate Driver

I remember when there were lots of small auto salvage yards.  Now as some writers have noted, the junk yards have gone corporate.  In some ways, that's a good thing.  So many of the old yards were environmental nightmares.    But the new, efficient yards cycle cars through more quickly and few cars as old as mine are to be found in the yards.  The salvage yards of yesteryear often has a lot of character.  Some of them were very interesting places. 

 

There is nothing more exciting for me than finding the perfect parts car, however.  At the moment, there are no E30 BMWs or W124 Mercedes in the local yards.  Most cars in the yards near me are early 21st Century stuff.

 

Hats off to you Sanjeev!!  You seem like a young guy who is into old car mechanics and restoration.  I love learning about young guys who are into cars.  I hope that you find all of the parts you need.

drjim
Detailer

I haven't been to a boneyard in years, but took pretty much everything Sajeev mentioned. I used a kid's "stake bed" wagon that I put lawn tractor tires on; Harbor Freight didn't exist, so I made my own Boneyard Crawler.

 

Whenever we had BIG stuff to do, another buddy came with his electric impact, and brought a small generator in another Radio Flyer.

 

- Jim

AG1962
Detailer

I live in Victoria, B.C., on Vancouver Island. It rains pretty frequently here for half the year, so any given trip could well be made in the rain. It’s a big island — 290 miles long and 50 miles wide. Nearly 900,000 people live here. You’d think there would be a strong demand for yarding. But for insurance reasons, apparently, the junkyards on the island no longer allow u-pull. You have to ask for parts by make and model, which means you have to know what interchanges. Hopeless. So my prep for a (rainy or dry) junkyard run would be: drive to the terminal, wait, ride a ferry to the mainland — a total of over four hours each way —, pay for the ferry (car and one passenger $75 each way)... And after you factor in those costs, FleaBay starts to look a lot more attractive...

79grandprix
New Driver

I have a wagon that I take, junkyard specific toolbox, rachet straps, yoga mat to lay on as it's more comfortable than gravel, extra drinks, and phone.

hyperv6
Gearhead

It is getting difficult to find traditional junk yards. Most hate to hold cars long or get cars over 20 years old. 

#1 rule is to know the junk yard and make sure they hav3 what you want and will let you remove the parts yourself. 

#2 remove all parts as many will just hack them out and damage items. You also can save all the hardware. Finally you will know how to disassemble the part before you do it on your car.

 

#3 carry a tool bag and socket set.

 

#4 your sprays. Penetrating oil and Raid. 

#5 make sure if the car contains rodents, bees or snakes. Many do hence the  Raid.

 

#6 As for weather you do the trip when needed. A little rain keeps bees away cold slows the snakes. Choose your adversary wisely.  

LoudV8
Pit Crew

When Craigslist fails, I'm in the junkyard. Like others, I bring tools WD-40, a make shift creeper and never ever say, "this will only take a minute" .