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Scrapyards......WTF are they thinking????


bezzabsa
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Popped into my local yard in Crawley GW Bridges yesterday with my son looking for trim bits for his fiesta. Car park was quiet only two others cars there, a BMW estate with the boot open and tools everywhere while he inspected a cylinder head on the floor. The other car was a Mercedes C class about 6 years old.
We only got as far as their yard gate to read a sign stating: yard closed collection only from counter. Just my luck.


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I visited a local breakers the other day. The complete looking fusion they had on eBay was pretty stripped and didn’t yield any parts I was after. A tour around the piles found mostly modern write-offs. The most interesting car was a fire damaged TVR. They did allow me to crack on with mooching and rummaging undisturbed  though which was nice. 
 

There’s another breakers I’m hoping to try soon that has piles and piles of cars everywhere but always seems to be closed when I drop by. I got fed up trying breakers and ended up buying the bits from eBay. image.thumb.png.571b92a4c0fdcaf6535b29c66debd407.pngimage.thumb.png.a80dc92980c5da09d146ddd8d232b37d.png

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7 hours ago, rainagain said:

My mate was buying some bits for his mini (this was back in the day when they were just a cheap old car) and asked if they would throw in a bit or carpet from the top of the dash. They wanted £30 extra for it, he said no so the guy just launched it out the door into a puddle, very strange negotiating tactic. 

I witnessed something similar once, over a rear side window for a Capri; the guy on the desk wanted twenty quid for it, but the customer swore blind he'd been quoted a tenner for the glass by the other fella who worked in the yard when he'd first arrived.

Eventually, after much argy-bargy, the guy behind the desk picked the piece of glass up and casually frisbee'd it out through the open door of the hut, where it smashed on the ground outside.

"There y'go, you can have it for free now."

Weird business model.

No, they're no longer trading.

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16 minutes ago, Datsuncog said:

I witnessed something similar once, over a rear side window for a Capri; the guy on the desk wanted twenty quid for it, but the customer swore blind he'd been quoted a tenner for the glass by the other fella who worked in the yard when he'd first arrived.

Eventually, after much argy-bargy, the guy behind the desk picked the piece of glass up and casually frisbee'd it out through the open door of the hut, where it smashed on the ground outside.

"There y'go, you can have it for free now."

Weird business model.

No, they're no longer trading.

Very similar to what happened at a scrappy near me about 8 years ago.

Went in to pick up a few bits with a mate, got what i wanted no bother, paid up. He spotted a nice bonnet for his Punto that had a rusty one, so whipped it off and took it over to the shed.

'Hi mate, i'll have that bonnet off ye too, how much ye wantin?'

'£80'

'What?'

'£80'

'Are you serious?, £40 man, c'mon....'

'£80 or fuck off'

'I'm no taking it for £80'

'Well fuck off then'

Guy got up of his chair, walked out the shed, over to the punto bonnet, gave it an almighty fucking boot right in the centre, picked it up and launched it into a skip.

Fucking weirdo behaviour. I've never been back either.

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8 hours ago, rainagain said:

I quite like u-pull-it at Inverkeithing. The majority of the staff are alright and the online price list makes things easy. They can be a bit mental with prices when you try to buy something not listed online.

There's one guy in there who can be a complete fucking dick (and a total jobsworth, if you remove a part, he will go all over the thing inspecting it in case there was something like a little hose or something attached or heaven forbid, a sensor, and he will then charge you full whack for everything he thinks isn't the one part), everyone else i've ever dealt with have been really helpful and sensible.

Definitely agree though on the pricing. They're very much 'if it's not listed word for word, pick a number, any number, add a zero to the end and times it by six....little coathook clip for the grab handle in a Fiat Cinquecento?....Not listed so £20'.

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20 hours ago, beko1987 said:

Around me I don't have many scrapyard. We have ASM who are an auto recycle and tbh were handy when we had the Zafira (a whole set of vectra alloys with good tyres were cheaper than finding a new 18" penta and a tyre for it) but I've had zero luck with anything I've ever owned.

They have a cutoff of 2010ish too I've noticed, anything older and the parts never appear on the website. 

You've got Smiths of Bloxham not a million miles away. They let you in to take parts off yourself. Haven't been for a couple of years but they were always worth a run out.

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Lots of scrappies seem to have odd attitudes to pricing. My dad occasionally recounts the tale of climbing up the stack to remove a speedometer, tearing his coat in the process. At the office he tried to haggle over the price which saw the owner launch it over the fence into the ditch.

In a similar vein, I spotted a 3 door Renault 5 Monaco outside one I frequented,  on enquiring they quoted £350 for it which I felt was a bit steep being as it had crusty sills, and the Campus I was driving cost me £80 a short time before.

A week or so later I paid them £90 for the rear quarter panel off the Monaco, they cut it off with a petrol grinder without removing any of the leather interior and put the rest of the entirely complete car in the crusher. I don't get it.

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Silverlake in Hampshire is pretty good.  Sometimes slightly older cars, tidy and clean yard and prices are reasonable.  Staff generally polite and helpful.  This Mk3 Astra was in there recently, and I've seen older cars occasionally.  Harry Buckland near Cheltenham is still going strong and is the best place ever.

DSC01522.JPG

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I once had a nutter behind the counter at North East Motor Salvage when they had moved to Peterlee, threaten to hit me with a short length of scaffold pole. 
 

All because I had enquired as to whether there were any 4dr P11 Primera's that I might get a parcel shelf cover from and when I returned and said you only have 5dr hatches, no saloons, cheers though...

He launched into a clueless tirade about how they were the same and I didn't know what I was talking about. After informing him one has a welded in, fixed shelf with a material cover and the other, a fully removable fabric cover, he offered to resort to violence.

I had my tools with me, inc. a breaker bar in the box, so I told him it wouldn't be so one-sided.

Crazy! 😂

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My local (Allardyce's in Auchinleck) is away so my other choices are Ayr or the one in Irvine I've been to before but never found what I was looking for. I was able to go in with my Granda for a rake about. Didn't know we had to take our own tools though. Lol.

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1 hour ago, Out Run said:

I once had a nutter behind the counter at North East Motor Salvage when they had moved to Peterlee, threaten to hit me with a short length of scaffold pole. 
 

All because I had enquired as to whether there were any 4dr P11 Primera's that I might get a parcel shelf cover from and when I returned and said you only have 5dr hatches, no saloons, cheers though...

He launched into a clueless tirade about how they were the same and I didn't know what I was talking about. After informing him one has a welded in, fixed shelf with a material cover and the other, a fully removable fabric cover, he offered to resort to violence.

I had my tools with me, inc. a breaker bar in the box, so I told him it wouldn't be so one-sided.

Crazy! 😂

I had something similar when I was trying to get a headlamp for a 5 door Stilo. Got told they were the same as the 3 door, I told him they definitely weren’t as I bought a 3 door one already thinking they were and it didn’t fit. But as in your case he was having none of it and I was just an idiot. 

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1 hour ago, Out Run said:

I once had a nutter behind the counter at North East Motor Salvage when they had moved to Peterlee, threaten to hit me with a short length of scaffold pole. 
 

All because I had enquired as to whether there were any 4dr P11 Primera's that I might get a parcel shelf cover from and when I returned and said you only have 5dr hatches, no saloons, cheers though...

He launched into a clueless tirade about how they were the same and I didn't know what I was talking about. After informing him one has a welded in, fixed shelf with a material cover and the other, a fully removable fabric cover, he offered to resort to violence.

I had my tools with me, inc. a breaker bar in the box, so I told him it wouldn't be so one-sided.

Crazy! 😂

oh that place

yes i know that place, utterly terrible, been there once and the staff acted rather funny

gave someone a lift there due to the fact his 307 had snapped a spring and he got a whole strut assembly for £100 that looked as though it had been sat in the ocean for 30 years

could get a new shock and spring for half that i bet

he was in there for an hour too

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One for east of Scotland shiters here,

I recently visited SCB salvage in Newbridge outside Edinburgh. I have been a visitor off an on since it was called sports car breakers! It was never the cheapest or friendliest but its size and choice were always enough to waste a bit of time. Anyway, now its changed into some sort of Argos type affair!

'Im after a few bits off the old impreza on your website' I stated to the oaf at the counter.

'What do you need?' He asked. I didnt 'need' anything, I wanted a few trim parts, anything that looked shinier than on my car, a handfull of free relays and fuses, perhaps some toolbox trophies and something to pass the time.

'Its all digital now mate, no civilians in the yard. If its on the website you are better to order thru it so it gets delivered' he added!

Are my local scrapyards dead? Only other ones I know of are upullit who seem to think up new rules as I walk up the car park or the peugeot breakers up the road which is full of peugeots!

 

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18 minutes ago, delux said:

One for east of Scotland shiters here,

I recently visited SCB salvage in Newbridge outside Edinburgh. I have been a visitor off an on since it was called sports car breakers! It was never the cheapest or friendliest but its size and choice were always enough to waste a bit of time. Anyway, now its changed into some sort of Argos type affair!

'Im after a few bits off the old impreza on your website' I stated to the oaf at the counter.

'What do you need?' He asked. I didnt 'need' anything, I wanted a few trim parts, anything that looked shinier than on my car, a handfull of free relays and fuses, perhaps some toolbox trophies and something to pass the time.

'Its all digital now mate, no civilians in the yard. If its on the website you are better to order thru it so it gets delivered' he added!

Are my local scrapyards dead? Only other ones I know of are upullit who seem to think up new rules as I walk up the car park or the peugeot breakers up the road which is full of peugeots!

 

Ah that’s a bastard, I used to make regular and lengthy trips to SCB while a student in Edinburgh two decades ago. Somewhere I have some photos of dead stuff all arranged by make/model, seemed like quite a well run place. 
 

Did get booted out one time for dropping nuts/bolts and a couple of fog lamp bulbs into my toolbox, I had only done so for ease of carrying and in the fairly confident knowledge that they wouldn’t bother to charge for insignificant bits like that but the chap wasn’t having any of it and told me I wasn’t welcome in future. 
 

I did return, years later when running an Astra H that needed an interior door handle which didn’t have the chrome coating peeling off and slicing my skin every time I wanted out the car. Didn’t know until I started unscrewing stuff that the handle was not intended to be removable from the door card, managed to do so anyway and left the premises without being charged for the entire trim panel as I then feared might be the case. Fitted it into my car with no issues, why the hell Vauxhall felt it needed to be glued into the whole flipping door card I cannot fathom. 

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 Haven't been to one in a few years (mostly because the newest car I own now is 30 years old) but about 3 or 4 years ago I went to get a drivers door for my 04 astra H which had both a bad window regulator and a big ding. Guy wasnt too bad to deal with although he said "you should have called first" after only speaking to me 15 mins previous... Regardless he did give me a hand getting the door off from the 2 car pile (thankfully with the assistance of a petrol grinder) £40 all in so I couldnt complain really.

Have a handful of pictures from the time, nothing too exciting shite wise, but at least what he did have seemed to have been kept around for a good while.

IMG_20190211_1654360.thumb.jpg.5ea3052809f3ea2683afe499629ff78f.jpg 

IMG_20190211_1654441.thumb.jpg.338f8a0e82e36b130e258bbe2497a96a.jpg

The very astra I got the door from, which was in better body condition, newer, better spec and a slightly nicer colour than mine 😄

IMG_20190211_1654524.thumb.jpg.0582f75ce056f56ba9a628cf2e5a4f58.jpg

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I think the old style pile-it-high yard is dead or dying, for most of the reasons already stated - nightmares environmentally and H&S. Which I'm glad about, because with hindsight wrestling some old BL bit off the third car up isn't worth the potential injury of it toppling over.

I used to frequent the yard in Wilminstone just outside Tavistock, the usual muddy yard with a terrifying dog and terrifying owner. It's long gone now but it was fun going to get bits.

I do think that with a little administration the whole thing could be hugely profitable. It needs cars being recorded as they come in for mileage, condition etc then all the 'desirable' bits pulling off before it goes in the crusher. All the bits are tagged to that car/reg/VIN so customers can see what it was (helping them to find compatible parts). 

Stores would hold those high volume bits in recorded shelves for quick retrieval. Packing area has all the necessary wrapping and packaging equipment to send stuff out on demand. And back office records what sells and what doesn't to help with future 'scalping' of cars that come in.

Everything I get is from the bay nowadays. Downsides are unpredictable delivery times and sometimes rubbishy parts, but I've never had an issue returning stuff. I don't really care if it comes from a driveway part cowboy or massive yard - I just need the bit.

I've found some surprisingly obscure stuff too, although sometimes you have to be prepared to pay more and wait longer thanks to all the racists that voted Leave. 

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Breakers used to assume you were on the rob if you went in for something like a fuse or whatever. To be fair I get why they are a bit cunty with people, they’ve a lot of dickheads turning up wanting a ‘look round’ or wanting something for free, so they’re immediately on the defensive.

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4 hours ago, Out Run said:

I once had a nutter behind the counter at North East Motor Salvage when they had moved to Peterlee, threaten to hit me with a short length of scaffold pole. 
 

All because I had enquired as to whether there were any 4dr P11 Primera's that I might get a parcel shelf cover from and when I returned and said you only have 5dr hatches, no saloons, cheers though...

 

Shame that. There was a yard about a mile away in Shotton with about 30 primeras in it . Bloke would have given you a parcel shelf FOC. Ask me how I know or my username might be a clue. They have all gone now . Eddy Wright Raceway saw most of them

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There are a few near me which allow the general public to come in and take parts themselves, along with some bits they remove and shelve for sale later.

SRC in Fontwell is very expensive; they wanted £45 for a part worn budget tyre when I owned the Saab, wouldn't fit it either (and wanted the rim it was on returned!) when I could have got a mid range fitted and balanced for £10-15 more.

G & R Harris in Nutbourne are pretty fair on their prices, they put all cars from the same marque together, so you'll see all Fords in one bit, all Toyotas in another etc.

Silverlake in Botley is a 35-40 minute drive from home, and they're cheap and fully document what has been removed from each vehicle they get in.

A lot also depends on how you approach them. I always turn up in my car repairing clothes or overalls, ask if they have any of car X in, if they do ask if I need a hi viz and bash hat & get them from the car along with any tools I may need in the smallest bag/case so you can't pilfer. After a while they get to know and trust me so just let me in if I know what I need!

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Love scrap yards, and there are dozens within a 20 km radius of my house.

Sadly, they remove the bits for you for you to collect later, or have one on the shelf already removed. But parts are not cheap.

There is one yard nearby that allow you to strip the bits yourself (thanks Wingz123 for letting me know the details).

Most stuff is there because of mechanical failure,  as rust is a rare thing.

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One local to me that I used regularly were always ok with me, but you always got some people in that were a bit green. You know the ones, wearing smart clothes, expecting things for free like a relay or whatever, asking silly questions or just general stupidity like buying secondhand clutches etc. 

A lot won’t let people in the yard simply because people are idiots, some of the things I’ve seen people doing beggars belief, things like gearboxes being taken out when the cars propped up on bricks or a solitary scissor jack. Witnessed one guy taking the prop shaft off a Transit, hammering away underneath while it was held up with the shittiest looking weepy old trolley jack. H&S would be swarming round like flies in the inevitability someone picked a seven one day. 

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47 minutes ago, primeradoner said:

Shame that. There was a yard about a mile away in Shotton with about 30 primeras in it . Bloke would have given you a parcel shelf FOC. Ask me how I know or my username might be a clue. They have all gone now . Eddy Wright Raceway saw most of them

Never knew of the Shotton yard, mate. This was a good 15 years ago, mind.

Lol @ username. I still have 'smoothp11' as password on an old, old Photobucket account. 😂

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A few tales from over the years.

Perhaps around 2008/9 I needed an alternator bracket for an Elise.  Going to the dealer would be a 30 mile around trip, twice and thirty odd quid.  So I went to a scrapyard in Liverpool on a Sunday hopeful of finding some K series goodness.

Positive - they had 8 or 9 Rovers in.  Negative - they were closed (it was a Sunday).

I went down during the week.  Every single one was diesel!  But the real disaster started when I stood in the biggest pile of dog shit imaginable.  It literally enveloped my right trainer.

I ‘walked’ back to the Scirocco only using my heel on my right foot.  I sat in the drivers seat like a girl would, bum on seat, legs in the road.  I then got my Stanley knife from my tool box and cut through the shite encrusted laces on my right trainer and flicked it off into the road.

You’d be entitled and correct for calling me a bastard now for littering but I just drove off and left it there in the middle of the road.  If it makes any odds, (not really) it was a dead end of the industrial estate.

Im still haunted by the smell…

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Five or six years ago, a non car savvy friend called me looking for help in finding a rear lamp for his Peugeot 206.

I rang the dealer and they wanted £85.  So I went to the scrappy above.  They had one removed and ready to roll.  £30. 

I was a bit taken aback by the price but I’d not been a scrap yard regular since the late 90’s so I’m probably completely out of touch.  It wasn’t my money anyway so a purchase was made!

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When I was perhaps 10 I went with my Dad to the scrappy as he was getting bits for his car.

I used to love looking at the crashed stuff more than anything with some sort of morbid curiosity.  There was a read ended Volkswagen T25 panel van.  Someone had already had the windscreen out.

I tried the drivers door because I wanted to get inside.  The handle was very stiff though.  A good squeeze saw it open and half a second later, I realised I’d fucked up quite badly.  The bloody thing must have been half full of water!! I was absolutely soaked to the skin!!

My Dad gave me a good bollocking for that one…

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3 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

A few tales from over the years.

Perhaps around 2008/9 I needed an alternator bracket for an Elise.  Going to the dealer would be a 30 mile around trip, twice and thirty odd quid.  So I went to a scrapyard in Liverpool on a Sunday hopeful of finding some K series goodness.

Positive - they had 8 or 9 Rovers in.  Negative - they were closed (it was a Sunday).

I went down during the week.  Every single one was diesel!  But the real disaster started when I stood in the biggest pile of dog shit imaginable.  It literally enveloped my right trainer.

I ‘walked’ back to the Scirocco only using my heel on my right foot.  I sat in the drivers seat like a girl would, bum on seat, legs in the road.  I then got my Stanley knife from my tool box and cut through the shite encrusted laces on my right trainer and flicked it off into the road.

You’d be entitled and correct for calling me a bastard now for littering but I just drove off and left it there in the middle of the road.  If it makes any odds, (not really) it was a dead end of the industrial estate.

Im still haunted by the smell…

That reminds me of when my fiancée stood in something grim when we were on holiday in Tunisia a few years ago. The frustrating thing was the flip flops she'd been wearing were really good ones - they had cost good money shortly before the holiday and were too good to sack off. However, despite cleaning and soaking them to the best of our ability in our hotel room, the smell was still grim. They ended up living out on the balcony for the rest of the holiday and she left them there when we left as they would have been stinking too much to put in luggage or to wear on the plane. 

We always hoped one of the (very poor) women cleaners picked them up, took them home, bleached the stench out of them and then wore them proudly afterwards. 

 

Back on topic, there's a pretty good old school scrappy near Shepton Mallet. When I last went three or four years ago they had a range of older tin in amongst the modern blandness, including a pair of Princesses.

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