Junkyard good parts?

Our pick and pull yard does not say if motors or trans are good. They do have 30 day exchange so you can return it. Haha. What are odds that both are bad? Isn’t it usually one of the pair causing car to be junked? Vs both? Besides obvious accident damage.
I’m looking for a trans for my fwd suv. Yesterday I saw an Acadia with motor sitting on ground and trans was gone. They had also left the awd transfer assy sitting on ground too. Yard is having 40% off special this week.
I’m really just looking at junkyard cars to gauge the level of difficulty. Yes, I know it’s a big job.

Buying anything from a junkyard is a roll of the dice. Especially with major engine parts, or the engine itself.

Personally, I’d want to get a rebuilt one from Jasper or something along those lines. But if I had to get one from a junkyard… I’d look for a car with little or no damage to the front end of the car/truck. Again, it’s a crapshoot.

Our twin yards have 2400 cars. And 2 are 2010 equinoxes or newer. They have a dozen acadias and traverses and outlooks. I’m not looking for 50k of service from a used trans. I want it to move. And then it’s gone.

Especially from a Pick ur Part type place. they are always much older cars. If there was NO damage on the vehicle, you can bet the engine or trans or both are useless. A front-hit offers the opportunity for cracked case or block so steer clear. At least a rear-hit has possibilities for a FWD powertrain… Running while hit… And even then the odds may be 50/50.

Overall my estimation is that your odds for a decent trans or engine is 1 in 6, at best.

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I looked last week and I “think” both motors were gone in the equinoxes. My memory is getting worse. Even the rack and pinion was missing from the Acadia. They have elec boost units. Someone picked it clean. Except the motor.
Pull motor/trans. Split them. And take rack too?
Motor is $100 this week

At a “you pull it” yard, you can often discover the cause why the car was junked. If there is no obvious collision damage, it is probably something mechanical, but it could also be title/registration issues. Older cars may have nothing wrong with them, especially if they were sold to the junkyard by a towing company, or title loan company.

Certain models are known to have an unreliable/fragile transmission, such as Nissans with a CVT. I wouldn’t buy a used transmission from one of those.

Other models are usually decent when properly maintained, but frequently end up junked due to a broken timing belt, oil sludging, etc. because owners of low-cost cars are often too cheap to properly maintain them. For example, almost all Kia Rios and Chevrolet Aveos which I see in a junkyard that have no collision damage have a ruined engine from the timing belt going. I would take a chance on a transmission from this type of car. I wouldn’t buy an engine from this type of car, unless all I really needed was the crankshaft, and I pulled the oil pan to check for gross bearing wear.

I have also seen many older cars which were junked due to damage from an accident, which have a metal plate on the engine or transmission indicating it was rebuilt by a professional shop. For example, several years ago, I was looking for Shadow/Sundance parts, and I saw a crashed 1993 Dodge Shadow with a transmission that had been rebuilt less than a year earlier according to the metal plate affixed to it. Unfortunately, the frame damage prevented its removal, I would have paid the $250 to have a spare rebuilt transmission.

Usually, one or the other is bad. It’s kind of hard to ruin the motor and trans at the same time. But…one can be bad (the trans for instance) and the motor still functioning, but…neglected. Will they let you bring a battery and try to start the car (if you find a complete one)? If the motor starts and idles without a lot of racket, I’d assume the trans is shot.

I did get a scrap Tacoma that the engine sounded a little rough, but the 5 speed was fine. Motor was actually fine too, it needed idler pulley bearings, the previous owner thought it was timing chain racket. But that’s the exception to the rule. It is a crapshoot.

There’s a good chance alternators, starters, throttle bodies, and little odds and ends like that are OK. Most people don’t scrap one for easily replaced items like that and they’re still functioning when the motor, trans, or something major takes a dump.

My son had a reputable shop put a junkyard engine in his Wrangler several years ago, it burned through 4 quarts of oil in a hundred miles. The shop replaced it with another boneyard engine on their dime. The second engine was OK, but the poor shop got stuck with 2X labor.

The majority of the traverses/acadias/raniers/outlooks are complete. Actually I bet <10% of vehicles in yard have pulled motors. Maybe folks in mpls are lazy? I do recall 1 of the equinoxes had a missing motor 4cyl but the trans was on ground, But the 2.4 is in demand. But it was fwd and I need an AWD trans.

Car part has 4 AWD trans listings for equinox and 2 fwd. total of 6. A few are $150-200 at yards. The rest are $800+. I have not deciphered the codes. I just know my 1dtw is $800+. I think the 3.0 version trans are cheap. Don’t know why. The 2.4 setups are pricey.
It’s all about demand? The 6t45 are weak and fail? And the 6t70 are beefy and fail less?

There is no way I would ever use or install for someone else an engine or transmission from a Pull A Part yard.

The one here always has around 2000 cars. Over the years I can count on one hand the number I’ve seen wrecked or burned to the ground.

That means the owners of those cars…
Knew the engine was bad.
Knew the transmission was bad.
Knew both were bad.
Or the odd fluke in which someone got tired to shoveling money at a performance problem with no positive results and the motor/trans is good.

Too much labor and risk there for my tastes. Lying in oil soaked dirt and gravel is not my cup of tea either.

If you are expecting to buy a used engine from a junkyard without doing anything to it, you are correct. That is likely to lead to disappointment. We frequently see posts here from people who purchased a used engine, or had someone install a used engine into their vehicle, and then discovered that it is noisy, burns a lot of oil, has timing chain issues, etc.

On the other hand, if you buy a used engine from a junkyard, with the intention of replacing all seals and gaskets at a minimum, you are much more likely to have a good result. If you take apart the engine at the junkyard–meaning remove the cylinder head(s) and check for cylinder bore wear/piston damage, and remove the oil pan and check for gross bearing wear–you can weed out the engines which are worn out, or were destroyed due to neglect/abuse.

Obviously, you will then need to pay for a new gasket set, new head bolts, and having the head(s) resurfaced by a professional machine shop. A smart person would have the head(s) reconditioned, not just resurfaced, and also replace the timing belt/chain kit, water pump, etc. before installing the used engine.

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if they are going to go through all of that, it would make more sense to just rebuild the engine they already have.

What everyone is missing here is that @Cavell needs a transmission to put in a car he’s trying to resell. All he wants is that the new buyer can drive it away. He’s obviously working with a tight budget. With that set of rules there’s not too much that can be done except to rule out front end crashes and hits to either front wheel. I guess sniffing the fluid on the dip stick to see if it smells burnt would help.

why not reduce the price you were going to sell it for, and sell it AS IS. it would save you a lot of aggravation. you would be surprised at how many people are looking for used cars now. running or not.

for example… my son got a 2003 Rav4 from his aunt. plans on using it to carry his tools back and forth to work. it needs a battery, front brakes and rotors and a o2 sensor. he is not in a rush to get it running so its been in the driveway. we were getting so many people stopping wanting to buy it that I put a sign saying not for sale on it. I sill find a note on it at least once a week saying… want to buy it running or not, please call me.

I bought it knowing the trans was bad. It was cheap
I might keep it short term. 6 mo-1yr

Our cars in my area generally go to the junkyard because of rust. My first car was bought from someone who just had no called the junkyard yet. I got it for junk price,$20, the only thing wrong with it were a dead battery and a $1.50 stoplight switch. Cars have been lasting longer here because of better corrosion resistance built in butthey still rustout in 10-12 years. I put 2 junkyard engines in cars and both were fine but a better strategy is to find a car still driveable that the the owner is hoping to get a little over junk price. My son in law has bought at least 4 of those for their engines all of which had great engines. Three of them were for cars he bought really cheap with blown engines, one was for a pickup that blew the engine shortly after he bought it.