when i go to the local junk yard, what model years will i be able to harvest a driver’s seat from and still fit cleanly in my 2000 voyager? any ball park figures of what i should be prepared to pay?
Any good junkyard should have a wall of interchange manuals which should show what parts are the same for which cars. If you can actually drive your van there so you can measure for sure before you buy.
The sorts of prices you can expect at junkyards vary a lot. First off, the U-Pull-It types are usually cheaper, but not always. Your location makes it vary a lot too because junkyards are usually pretty real-estate intensive and so ones in urban areas have far higher real estate costs, which they pass on to you. Generally, the rule of thumb is you should expect to pay about half of a part’s new cost but even that varies a lot depending on what kind of part it is and, of course, it’s hard to tell if it’s a part you can’t even buy new as might be the case with the seat.
I recommend you call ahead to the recycler (junkyard). This way you will find out if they have the part. Furthermore, you can ask the price over the telephone and if the yard thinks you are shopping around, you may get a price break.
Years ago, I decided to replace the bench seat in my 1965 Rambler with individual seats. One yard quoted me a price of $50 exchange. I had the service station where I traded call another yard. The mechanic said that he could always get a price break. This yard gave a price of $25. The seats were from a 1964 Rambler and they bolted right in. The mechanic said that he would send Bud out to pick them up. He then loaned me a jacket that had the name “Bud” sewn on the front and Sunoco on the back and I went out and got the seats. If you deal with an independent garage, you might have them call for you and it might result in a price break. At any rate, it was a big thrill to be promoted from a lowly school teacher to “Bud the parts chaser” for the service station. Joe the Plumber has nothing on me.