Friday, May 27, 2016

The Pick-N-Pull Airshow: Adventures and Alternators!


Here at NMS, we pretty much enjoy anything involving automobiles. We also appreciate saving money. So, when we heard the good news that the local Pick-n-Pull auto yard was having a 50% off sale for Memorial Day weekend, we put out the word to our friends, and received a request for a 1998 Mitsubishi Galant alternator. A quick check of the on-line list of cars available showed that they had one such car, so we headed on out this morning with a bag-o-tools (and some gloves) to see what we could find.

Saab, Honda, Toyota, Gazing for Galants
OK, I didn't head RIGHT out, first I had to Google what one of these things would cost at the auto-parts store, and it looked to be about a $125 part. With the half off sale and a bit of work from under the hood of a wrecked one, it would only cost about $19. Sounds like a deal, let's do this!

98 Galant FOUND!
One good thing about Pick-n-Pull, they put all the Fords together, all the Chevys together, and all the imports together. That meant I only had to wander several aisles of BMWs, Volvos, Saabs, Toyotas, Hondas, etc, until I found the Galant. The first two Galants I found were the wrong year, so if nothing else I got some great practice on my smart phone looking up Galant VIN numbers to make sure I had the right year. Finally I found it, the elusive 98 Galant!

Alternator after Surgery

It looked to be in good shape compared to most of the cars that had been picked over, and the hood wasn't even open. After prying the hood up with a screwdriver, the engine bay looked a bit dirty and oily, but all the parts were there! First step, find the alternator! Lucky for me I'd looked this up on line and knew that it only would take removing a few bolts, removing the battery connection, and maybe one other electrical wire. Easy!

The P&P Air Show part comes in right here, because this lot is close to the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach. Not a big deal, but that means that every 15 minutes or so you might enjoy a fly-over from some screaming Navy jets! A few of them were directly overhead, usually when I was busy under the car without a camera in my hands!  Here's a few shots anyway. (Yes, they are loud!)

There's a hand in the white car, some guy getting some parts!

After finding the alternator, it just took some wrenching from the top, and some wrenching from underneath to free the alternator. Laying on your back on a pile of gravel on a warm morning isn't the worst thing in the world, so other than not having a ratcheting wrench that would have gotten this one particular bolt off much faster, it wasn't so bad. I'll remember to take more wrenches next time.

After finding the alternator and heading for my car, I noticed that Pick-n-Pull also sells full cars, so I checked out a couple. If you're looking for a cheap car, that's probably OK with a little work, they've probably got something for you! For the average price of a new car sold in the US (about $32,000), you could go through a lot of these and save a lot of money over the years!

Volvo wagon for $1199, why not?

BMW 7 series under $1500, sure!

Find of the day: 72 BUICK for $1400!

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