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I Forge Iron

What metal should I save when scrapping a vehicle?

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Oh, there's lots of stuff.

If it's a manual transmission, the shifter is probably medium carbon steel. Steering column, drag links, and related components are also likely better than mild. As mentioned, get the axle shafts, brake drums, sway bars, etc. Those are for sure good steel. But in general, I'd grab anything that looks like bar (as opposed to sheet metal or tube).

Seat belts.... you could do something cool with those buckles.

Basically, how much space do you have?

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Well, I also thought about making the box into a trailer, then throwing what I can save into the box!

I hope Dad wasn't planning on getting too much cash from the scrapper.

Any engine components that could be hammered into something? Valves maybe?

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Within a month of scrapping the truck, you'll think of a use for some part that you got rid of. :) If you think beyond just what you can bang on (not that there's anything wrong with thinking about what you can bang on), there's so much that's potentially useful that it might be hard to decide what to go ahead and scrap. Scrap vehicle parts are tremendous resources for mad scientist types.

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Don't Annoy your parents or your neighbors! Keep stuff you can "hide" and is generally useful (springs, rods, etc). The big stuff you *think* may *someday* be useful can be stored at the scrap yard and retrieved as needed...

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Listen to Thomas, his experience is keen.

Be careful with the engine valves, I don't know about small Chevy engines but many are sodium filled to dissipate heat and sodium is hypergolic on contact with water. Meaning it burns on contact with water, even ambient humidity or skin moisture on fless that's "dry" to the touch. It's dangerous stuff, take great care.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Automotive engine valves are FORGED from Stainless alloys, ... but often have hard surface weld applied to the seat area, and a chrome-moly wafer welded to the tip, as a wear surface.

Sodium filled valve stems are sometimes used in Marine engines, ... and high performance engines, that are subjected to sustained, high temperature, high rpm operation.

They are waaaay too expensive for use in stock, production engines.


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I haven't heard of any sodium cooled valves since the 60's trucks. Specifically the 1960's GMC V-6 series engines. Dad's 66 GMC w /305 V-6 has sodium cooled valves. I would still grab the valves, valve springs, piston pins, and head bolts off the engine. That is if it is a shot engine, if it is a runner, sell it . Same with the tranny. Rocker arms can also be welded up with valves into critters that sell. Pulleys have lots of uses.

Everyone else has pretty much covered what I pulled off the cars I scrapped out. If I remember right, the S-10 has a boxed frame, and is fairly straight = big square tubing for stands, press frame, etc.
If the body is in decent shape you can part it out for more than scrap. Air bags, bumpers, fenders, and steering columns go good. Post it on Craigslist for this weekend, and get er done. I filleted a Ford Grand Marquis down to nothing in a few hours.

To recap;
From the front end; torsion bars, springs, steering linkage, support rods/straps, brake rotors / drums
VW's have a torsion spring pack in the front beam.

Engine bay; valves, valve springs, rocker arms, piston pins, big bolts, pulleys

Trans; input shafts, output shafts, linkage, auto clutch pack housing (rings really nice as a bell), gears, flywheel, torque converter (to cut in half for a sculpture-pretty cool inside)

Interior: steering shaft, shifter, headliner bows, some door hinges, brake, and clutch pedals / linkages

rear end; springs, axles, brake rotors / drums, pinion gear & ring gear for sculpture, drag links if solid, driveshaft for tube,

Some cars have springs for the hood, and trunk lid that can be used. Then look over the car for anything else that looks usable; sheetmetal, exhaust tubing, motors, wiring, and of course check value of parts before trashing them to the BS pile. Some of those older car parts are like gold now, and you can buy more scrap with what they will bring from a collector. I am a car guy, and I hate seeing some cars destroyed when someone could have used the parts to get their car on the road again.

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Sodium valves are still used in everything high performance, sometimes stock even. You can look up if this engine used them, and if the part is available you should find a weight for the filled and solid valves. A gram scale can tell the difference, the filled valves are lighter than the solid valves. There is no obvious visual difference. Simply not messing with the valves is a safe idea though.

Sheet metal can become candle pans, leaves, flower pedals, and other things flat. Depending on the year the body may be galvanized prior to painting, so look that up and plan accordingly. The crank and cam are high carbon steel.

Removing the glass intact sometimes can be sold separately. If the interior is in fair condition that can be sold off separately too.

Separated components are worth a whole lot more to the scrapper. If the heads are aluminum and you have them stripped to the raw casting, and you are not doing casting yourself, they are good money. The pistons and connecting rods may be steel or aluminum. The block is probably cast iron. There is also a mile of copper wire in there.

Depending on how much work you are into doing you can get better money turning in less than a whole vehicle.


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At this rate, his dad won't get any money from scrapping the truck!

Ding, Ding, Ding !!!
Maillemaker won ! By the time me and my buddies stripped that thing down, there was hardly anything to haul away ! The glass was broken out, thus the interior was shot so not much value there, but I think we got the goodie out of it. Dad is just happy getting it off the place, I'll have to hammer out something for him...
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