It's the Weekend, It's 3 Degrees Out, and It's Half-Price Day At the Junkyard!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
it s the weekend it s 3 degrees out and it s half price day at the junkyard

Back when Pick-N-Pull and Pick Your Part both operated yards in Northern California, Half Price Day sales used to take place at least every couple of months. Everything was half off on those days, which meant you could get transmissions for something like 30 bucks, complete engines for $75, and so on. Then, back in 2009, El Pulpo packed up and left NorCal, which meant that the competition didn’t have as much motivation to put on such sales. Now that I’m in Colorado, it appears that U-Pull-&-Pay also does the occasional Half Price Day… and this time they chose the coldest weekend of this winter.

Actually, UPAP made this sale a coupon-only deal for those who liked the Aurora yard on Facebook. I need a steering column for my ’41 Plymouth project, so I printed out the coupon and headed up to Aurora.

Thanks to the trapper cap that the Busted Knuckle Garage guys gave me at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in ’07, I didn’t fall over and die instantly from the single-digit cold, in spite of my inability to get used to this real winter thing that places east of coastal California get.

This guy wanted to take advantage of the 50%-off deals, but apparently the only warm outfit he could put together on short notice was centered on this festive-but-not-so-toasty-looking souvenir poncho.

I can never remember what year range of Toyota Previa contains the supercharger with Mad Max-style electrically-operated clutch, so I decided against freezing all my fingers diving into the engine compartment of this ’96.

For the ’41 Plymouth’s steering column, I’m looking for something simple but modern enough to have a built-in turn-signal switch. Ideally, this column would be from a floor-shift car (so no holes where a column shifter once lived) and would be from the pre-steering-wheel-lock era (so no ugly ignition switch on the column). This DJ-5 mail Jeep looked promising.

The turn-signal mechanism was all busted up, so I passed on this column… for now. I might go back and get it tomorrow, though. Half price!

I was also looking for a BMW E30 with rear-mounted battery, so I could grab the cable for the Plymouth. No dice on that, but I did find this ’02 Subaru Legacy to donate some parts for my wife’s ’04 Outback. 21st-century Subarus are still very rare in self-serve yards, so I was happy to find this one.

Got the rear cupholder and the driver’s-door dome light switch. $4.06 total.

One of the best things about serious cold weather in the junkyard is that the range and striking power of New Car Scent Little Trees— by far the most popular air freshener in the junkyard— is cut down to near zero.

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2 of 18 comments
  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Jan 14, 2013

    I lvoe junk yard sale day. My local U-Pull yard occasionally runs an "All You Can Carry" day once every few months. Pay $60 to get in and carry out whatever you can. You can drag it to the gate, but you have to carry it off the ground the 10-20 feet out of the gate. Watching people get creative with this is extremely entertaining. The last time I went, I needed a lot of random smaller things like an alternator, p/s pump, exterior mirror, fuel rail and injectors, a blower motor and a bunch more stuff like that. I pulled a door weatherstrip out of a Plymouth Breeze and looped each part through the rubber, tied it over the shoulder which left my hands fee to carry 2 whole doors out the gate.

  • Mark in Maine Mark in Maine on Jan 14, 2013

    @krhodes: I reside just above Lewiston. Couple of yards up this way: Randy's, in Auburn, decent selection - and Campbells' up in Lisbon, lots of older stuff. Good luck in your search for a new go-pedal!

  • Dawn Maple They haven't even fixed the airbag issues and recalls completely, so why waste more time and money on another "safety feature" that removes choices from the driver? We would be safer getting in a car driven by Helen Keller. Oh wait with driver assist, all she has to do is find her car and turn it on.
  • Lorenzo I'm out. I'd never find it in the dark.
  • VoGhost Minivans don't sell well, and the market has been declining. And while the entire 'range anxiety' myth is mostly a big oil propaganda designed to scare the weak minded, minivans are often how families travel to grandma's house, so that will be a concern, unless VW can gain access to the Supercharger network. I could see 50K units at peak, declining to 25K/year after a couple of years, unless VW can price competitively with Tesla.
  • VoGhost Glad you're healthy, Tim
  • VoGhost 20 years ago, Sportage was the bottom of the barrel, a joke. Kia's come a long way.