Junk Yard tips??? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 02, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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I am bought to start searching junkyards for some parts, namely parts for a manual transmission, disc brake setups, etc for my 68 Camaro. I'm new at all this so I was wondering if you guys have any good tips on searching for parts in junk yards. Mostly looking for what kind of deals or working arrangements that some junk yards have given you? Maybe one price for all, you pull it deal, etc etc. Just looking for some good information that I can go in with. Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 02, 06:55 PM
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Welcome to Team Camaro Jason, im an 84 owner myself and new to this resto process myself, but i can tell you one thing, youve definetly have come to the right place, the guys here are extremely knowledgeable here and have answered all of my questions and the results have been satisfactory everytime.

1984 Chevy Camaro (305)
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 03:26 AM
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Ya know what I do? I print the threads right from these forums that pertain to what I'm looking for and take a folder full with me to the yards! One time a buddy and I split up, both armed with pages right from Team Camaro Tech Forums!

I also pack a large backpack full of tools that will fit in it and throw it on my back, and a toolbox full in the back of the truck. Depending on what I'm looking for, I'll throw the floor jack and a bunch of boards in back too, in case I have to jack something up. Rags, WD-40, gloves, goggles/safety glasses, BandAids, and last but not least..... wasp/hornet spray!

I prefer You-Pick-It type places. I don't have time to wait around for some dude to go looking for what I need and come back with pieces missing or worse yet, TORCHED off!

Most junkyards I've been to are manned by the meanest, uninterested, lazy bunch of disgruntled "people" I've ever met. I sorta understand why.
So go in with AS MUCH information as you can possibly get and give THEM the specifications, sizes, types, and names of what you're looking for. Don't expect them to help you out much, unless you catch them on a good day and they're not busy. This is by far NOT typical of all junkyards. I have a favorite where they are very helpful.

That leads to dealing with these places. I've learned to tell them what I'll pay before they tell me what they want. I tell them what I have on me and hope for the best. Usually they're in a hurry to get rid of customers so they scowl at me and accept it.
I've gone to the same yard more than once for the exact same part (outside mirrors for my wifes car that she keeps smashing off is one example!) and never pay the same amount twice! They usually just make up the prices as they go. Start out telling them what you're willing to pay.

If you need large parts like rearends, subframes, engines, trannies, and they're still in the car, usually you'll have to wait for them to pull it. Some places allow you to drive right out to the car you're looking at.... most don't. So if you don't have the tools or the time, you'll have to wait for them to pull the part for you. Come back in a couple days and they'll have it waiting for you 'up front'. Some places want a small deposit in order to do something like that.
And don't forget that a lot of parts you might be interested in will already be pulled and sitting on their shelves right up front. Ask them if they have something if you can't find it in the yard, and if they do, tell them EXACTLY what you're looking for. It'll save both of you some time.

OK, I'm done..... must be the initial caffiene jolt this morning!

Good luck Jason!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 06:44 AM
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Since many parts interchange with 68-74 Nova's that's what I tell them I'm looking for. Most yards charge a premium for parts for a Camaro so I just say Nova. Most yards (around here anyway) have started using computers so see if you can talk them out of one of their old interchange catalogs, then you can use it to find out what fits what. I actually had one guy ask me what the part cost from a dealer then he wanted 75% of that! I looked him straight in the eye and told him for a used part I would pay UP TO 50% but NO more. He didn't get the hint until I turned around to walk off, then the bargaining began. I wound up paying 1/3 of what the new cost was. Most yards get as much for one major part as what they paid for the entire car so always try to talk them down, and be willing to walk off to try again another day or at another yard.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 08:08 AM
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Get yourself a adp hollander exchange manual..It will tell you what parts from what cars will fit on your Camaro...They sell issues just for specific cars, you do not have to buy the entire set...toll free at 1800-825-0644..I have one...they are great.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 08:16 AM
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Hey HwyStarJoe, you brought up an interesting point. Why is it that bad attitudes are so prevalent in junkyards? I have a retail business and my customers would never come back if I treated them like junkyard personnel treat me. I realize that for small parts I am probably wasting more of their time than it is worth to them, but that attitude is still there when you want to buy something big. Also just to beat others to the punch, there are some nice ones out there, but this does not seem to be the norm.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 08:35 AM
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I go to the local "U-PULL-IT" and they have a printed price sheet that covers most of the stuff they sell. They can be a little ticky about what they charge you for sometimes. I once needed a smog pump/bracket and it was so greasy I did not want to carry it in my hand. I tied it to a piece of wire and they actualy charged me for smog pump and a WIRING HARNESS!!! Gimmie a break! I did not want to argue about it so I paid. The smog pump was a white fan model and they charged me all of $7.00 so I kept my mouth shut. I made a pretty penny on that deal.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 02, 11:56 AM
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I spend quite a large amount of time in wrecking yards,do not call them junkyards around the yard.I spend at least 26 weekends out of the year in various yards thru out the country.Here are some helpful tips:

1. You don't own a Camaro. The price goes up if they can stop laughing.
2. Dress like you don't have a dime.They will size you up as soon as you walk in.Leave the gold chains and rings at home.
3.Remember they are always right,play dumb.Do your homework beforehand and know exactly what you want.
4.Don't try to steal anything.You may get caught or really PI$$ them off.Don't burn a bridge.
5.Do not destroy a car in the yard just to get what you want.They can and will sell everything.You may even need more later.
6.Get to be buddy buddy with these guy's,they will help you out finding other places or people with these cars/parts.I even have helped them pull parts in their yard just to butter them up.
7. Don't ask to borrow tools....Bring everything but the kitchen sink.You will need it sooner than later.
8.The more you buy the cheaper it gets!After a while everything is eventually free.They mark up the main haul and throw in the rest.
9.SAFTEY FIRST! No matter how rare the part is, surgery costs more.
10.Show NO emotion,the am-fm is always the old radio,the posi rear is just the 10 bolt,Throw the parts in the mud if you have to before you re-enter the office.Tell them you will take a chance on these parts...Clean or reassemble them at home.

It works,I have hauled thousands of parts out of yards for as little as $50.00.Do not be afraid to barter a little.Do not insult him though.Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and pay, but nobody has a gun to you.If the price is wrong thank them and leave.Some busisness is better than none at all.Depending where your at this may be slow moving junk,they will pocket anything they can.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 19th, 02, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.
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