4 Nov 2013

How To Save A Fortune By Getting Car Parts From A Scrapyard

Scrapyards have something of a bad reputation.  Dangerous places, manned by shady types is how they are portrayed in films and TV.  But you can save money by buying car parts from them.

That reputation is only half deserved.  They are certainly manned by failed mechanics, and they are full of old cars with glass, bent metal and heavy machinery all over the place.

They are also a mine of car parts just waiting to be removed from some unfortunate wreck for an utter bargain.

I'm lucky enough to have a scrapyard, or vehicle recyclers, near my home.  In the past I have saved cash by buying such things as a Mk4 Golf headlight and Corsa indicator stalk for just a few quid.

My most recent trip came about when a friend sent me a text which read, "Alright mate, did you know there's a shit brown 924 at the breakers? X-reg."

My own Porsche 924S is in great condition but does have some faults.  The passenger side electric window doesn't work, due to a knackered loom, and both door locking mechanisms are loose and don't work properly.  About once a month I have to take at least one of them apart and free the mechanism.  The passenger side door only unlocks from inside the car.

So I shot down to the scrapyard one Saturday morning to find the shit brown 924.  Sure enough, there it was:
But it didn't have door handles on either side.  However after digging around in the dirt I found the driver's side handle, and it was in good condition.

I eventually got in the car by shoving a screwdriver in the lock.  Part of the door had been cut open so I could get to it.

First job was removing the wiring for the electric windows, which I forgot to photograph.  Then I moved to the passenger side door and removed the entire locking mechanism.  This is what it looked like beforehand:
Then on to the driver's side which had to be unlocked and opened from the inside.  Happily someone had already removed the door cards:
And that was it.  One wiring loom, two door locks and one door handle.  On eBay it would have cost £150.  Ordered from Porsche it would cost around £400.

I paid £10 for the whole lot.  It took one hour and I used these tools:
Removing your own parts from cars at scrapyards is satisfying and saves money.  OK they are muddy places and you have to beware of the risks, and you need to have the ability to take the pieces off yourself with zero help from the staff - but it's a worthwhile exercise.

Here are some photos I took of the scrapyard whilst I was there:

Article by Matt Hubbard