One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Sometimes we wonder why people pay for our old clunkers? Most of the weight of a car or pickup truck is steel. Currently steel is worth about $150 per ton or roughly $300 a car. Cars are also valuable to many people for parts. Car manufacturers must only ensure parts availability for 10 years. Junkyards are the only source for rare, classic or older car and truck parts. A salvaged door goes for only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost of a new car door. Doors, Bumpers, hoods, trunk lids and truck pickup beds are all junkyard bargains. Salvaged parts can be big business. Engines and transmissions are in high demand and as mentioned above body parts are also valuable. The difference between gem and junk is in the ‘eye of the beholder’. That beat up old truck the guy down the street the owner is willing to sell for $50 may well be a gold mine to the serious hot rodder or hobbyist.
Scrap Iron & Sheet Metal Recycling from Junk Automobiles
Springs in older trucks built before 1963 are made of high carbon steel which also makes them an inexpensive material for making some quality knife blades. Truck beds make great trailers. The frame rails are shaped similar to channel steel. The box part is pre-mounted and even comes with its own axle. If you remove the body and cut the frame just behind the cab and in front of the rear wheel risers, you can bend them and add a trailer coupler and jack. All you need now is a piece of channel or more frame parts to put in a cross member ahead of the box just behind the hitch bend. It’s already wired and with a coat of paint to match your pickup or SUV, you have yourself a trailer. Blacksmiths see a lot of potential in the other metal parts of an old truck. Old trucks have solid front axles with a lot of iron in them. Consider all of the sheet metal available. Beginning blacksmiths can experiment by building a forge out of an old break drum. Drive lines are strong, and by cutting the ends off they can be used as a bird feeder bath or mailbox pole. Sheet metal lends itself to countless metal art projects too. If you need sheet metal for an odd project or two, invest in a power sheer or a power nibbler and cut to your heart’s content. Keep a metal cutting power saw or cut off grinder for the odd spot-welded bracket or two. A cutting torch will work too, just keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Selling Used Engines & Transmissions
Old car engine and transmissions are high value as well. If you are building a street rod, consider the fact that truck engines tend to be heavy duty models that in many cases share many features with a high performance engines. A three or four speed transmission can be sold while a floor-shift kit can convert a three speed for a street rod. Many old trucks with an automatic transmission are ideal for hot rodding.
Re-purposing Auto Glass, Bench Seats & Other Car Components
The flat glass in rear and side windows can be removed and incorporated into a cabinet door or other similar uses.
An old bench seat could make a fine porch swing. It’s important to consider the value of some parts. Those who restore older vehicles need fenders, doors and bumpers. Cars have similar value as well. The only caveat in considering cars is that most of them are unibody construction with no actual frame.