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Thread: Toyota Avalon salvage rebuild or part out?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,067

    Default

    I found quite a few fuse boxes in NJ for $75 to $135 on www.car-part.com You can enter your car in the search box, select the part and search by distance to find the parts near you and the price for the parts. I make a list of the parts I need and look for a yard that has most of what I need with good prices. I usually drive a hundred miles or so and get a truck load. One time I went 500 miles to get everything I needed. The shipping I saved paid for the trip and I made a vacation trip out of it.

    Don't overlook after market parts like bumper cover, radiator, condenser, lights and mirrors. They are often cheaper than used and quite good. You can fine a place like Certifit in larger cities. They have good parts. I've got a lot of Avalon parts from them.

    If you like doing this as a hobby then your car is a good candidate, but if you don't have tools and this is going to be a one time deal then find somebody to guide and help you or look into the disposal ideas you stated. I found out it takes a long time to sell parts. I bought a dilapidated boat with trailer because I wanted the trailer, had to take the boat too. I parted it out and cut up the hull for dump disposal. I ended up getting the trailer for free and my disposal fees were covered but it took a good long time to sell the parts on Craig's List not to mention many hours of labor.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    14,767

    Default NO!

    Quote Originally Posted by flem View Post
    After looking over the remaining wiring and the shredded remains of the fusebox (and given Henry’s warnings), I won’t bother attempting a startup. Probably not worth risk.
    Carbrain has offered me $800 to tow away my mistake. I’m hoping to do better trying to sell the parts. All four doors, the right fender, rocker panels, and rear of vehicle are in excellent condition as is the interior. There’s of course the engine, transmission, and undamaged components to offer up in addition to the frame for scrap.
    Wonder if any have thoughts on dissembly (which I get a strange satisfaction) and trouble of selling off parts as opposed to getting it back to copart for auction or Craigslist? Frankly the trouble of towing vehicle ($250) and Copart fees don’t appeal to me. Also I’m not comfortable hiding the structural issues to an another victim. Would prefer selling it whole as a parts car on Craigslist or selling parts peace meal until I recoup my $2k.
    Anyone’s previous experience with this would be welcomed.
    Tell Carbrain, whoever that is to go look for their other brain.

    Don't make a pile of parts cause you'll be left with a carcass that no one wants.

    You need to (take your time) do your homework. Someone you drive by has a shop that is into the Toyota line. They would want your car. That damage you have is not that much given a shop that works on those things and has parts cars in their back yard.

    Least I would take if I had to eat the loss would be $1500. You could probably net that from COPART on a run through them even with fees.

    TOWING: Do you have AAA? Let them tow it. If you go the Copart route, they will come hook it.

    Unless and until you have a buyer for all your parts, do not try selling parts on your own. Put the car back together as you got it, take photos and try the Craiglist or ebay route.

    I'll tell you, being on the live COPART auctions in my area I see at least a third of all vehicles sold to third world countries I never heard the names of before.

    Some guy was bidding a couple years ago on 99 and 98 Camry like they were gold and they were from CA. The cars were smacked in the front from light to moderate damage and selling for near $3,000. Then they had to pay to get the units back to CA or some other venue.

    Many non American cars sell for the intent of NOT staying in this country. They are pieced apart and stacked in large shipping containers and on their way overseas. You know, airbags, mileage American safety features mean NOTHING and are not part of regulations in other countries.

    Roll the dice on don't think you have to do something TODAY. I would search locally (50 mile radius) then go the COPART route. Get what you get and call it a great experience. Beats $800 or making snowballs.

    I would also ask around shops that work on this brand for someone to wire it enough to start. Hang around a Toyota dealership service department. Talk with a couple mechanics. Find out who you can pay to play with your car. Everyone works outside of work. Someone like that would not only get your car running but may want to buy it or know someone. NETWORK your grief.

    Henry

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default Quick Update on rebuild project and advice sought

    Thought I would give a quick update of where I stand on this project. Despite my better instincts I couldnít resist the challenge to see how far I can take this rebuild without incurring additional major cost. So I found a salvage yard and for about $200 got body parts and most damaged engine compartment parts needed (accept radiator/ consenser and fan assembly). I also got a hold of a Toyota avalon body repair manual for the Avalon that included body measures. In short I managed to fix the destroyed fuse box and get car to power on though didnít attempt to start engine yet. I drilled out the damaged rad support and left apron and dry fitted the replacement support and fender. Using a tape measure ( no tram gauge available) the panel gaps and body measures appear very close to factory measures ( within 1/8Ē). Now Iím trying to get the apron removed from the salvage part and have hit a snag. Iíve got the the spot welds drilled out and the apron panel loosened but there remains a brace attached to the apron that is welded firmly to the frame rail and needs to be grinded out according to the body repair manual. I grinded and wailed away using a seem buster as far as I dare but Iím afraid to irreparably damage the piece if Iím too agressive. See bottom left of attached photo where the brace is welded to frame rail. Any advice on most efficient way to cut out a welded part would be welcomed.
    Regards
    Flem
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    41,952

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    It appears that you're doing the right thing but without having the work in front of me it's difficult to determine how to proceed.

    If I were doing the job I might cut the panel in sections rather than at the seams then weld them together using backing strips. This would leave the supports in place instead of breaking them at the seams.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    It appears that you're doing the right thing but without having the work in front of me it's difficult to determine how to proceed.

    If I were doing the job I might cut the panel in sections rather than at the seams then weld them together using backing strips. This would leave the supports in place instead of breaking them at the seams.
    The toyota manual indicates I shouldnít use heat. Iím considering heating the weld and cutting it with seam buster. Thoughts?
    Iíve never welded before but feel confident I can handle simple plug welds. However I not so sure I can deal with more complex welds.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default Update on Rebuilt 2008 Avalon

    Thought I might provide quick update on my rebuild project.
    I'm taking car for salvage inspection next week in NJ.
    Summary of repairs:
    - replace left apron
    - partial replacement of radiator support
    - replaced and painted left fender
    - replaced hood
    - replaced and painted front bumper and grill
    - replaced left headlight assembly
    - repaired/replaced engine compartment fuse box
    - replaced brake fluid reservoir
    - replaced radiator and condenser
    - replaced O2 sensor
    - changed all fluids and recharged AC
    - replaced rear stabilized bar
    Approximate cost of car and parts (to my best recollection):
    - ~$2000 winning copart bid, fees, and towing
    - ~$150 salvage yard apron and radiator support
    - ~$250 used hood
    - ~$120 bumper cover
    - ~$120 salvage yard fender, fuse box, brake reservoir, radiator/condenser
    - ~$40 O2 sensor
    - ~$10 salvage stabilize bar
    - ~$150 primer and paint
    Had a great deal of fun and learned a little about body work, painting, electrical, AC, mechanical, welding (some), etc, etc.
    Car runs great and should last another 100-150k miles.
    attached are some pics for those interested.
    Thanks to all who helped.
    Front Left BEFORE.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    41,952

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    Looks like you did an excellent job but I want to know is how you only spent $150 of primer and paint.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    14,767

    Default WOW!

    Quote Originally Posted by flem View Post
    Thought I might provide quick update on my rebuild project.
    I'm taking car for salvage inspection next week in NJ.
    Summary of repairs:
    - replace left apron
    - partial replacement of radiator support
    - replaced and painted left fender
    - replaced hood
    - replaced and painted front bumper and grill
    - replaced left headlight assembly
    - repaired/replaced engine compartment fuse box
    - replaced brake fluid reservoir
    - replaced radiator and condenser
    - replaced O2 sensor
    - changed all fluids and recharged AC
    - replaced rear stabilized bar
    Approximate cost of car and parts (to my best recollection):
    - ~$2000 winning copart bid, fees, and towing
    - ~$150 salvage yard apron and radiator support
    - ~$250 used hood
    - ~$120 bumper cover
    - ~$120 salvage yard fender, fuse box, brake reservoir, radiator/condenser
    - ~$40 O2 sensor
    - ~$10 salvage stabilize bar
    - ~$150 primer and paint
    Had a great deal of fun and learned a little about body work, painting, electrical, AC, mechanical, welding (some), etc, etc.
    Car runs great and should last another 100-150k miles.
    attached are some pics for those interested.
    Thanks to all who helped.
    Front Left BEFORE.jpg
    Looks great and this makes you yet another "Graduate" from this learning site.

    Will you do another one? This one was a hard hit but your list of parts is not all that bad so you done good!

    Congrats!

    Henry

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,459

    Default

    Easy, Len...

    the color is way off..look at the fender door difference...
    it is a 3 coat and you can use cheaper solvent paints, match not so great, but does the job.....

    really not important here..

    this dude did a pretty good job....quite surprised, great...

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    lower Michigan
    Posts
    25,698

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by baubau View Post
    Easy, Len...

    the color is way off..look at the fender door difference...
    it is a 3 coat and you can use cheaper solvent paints, match not so great, but does the job.....

    really not important here..

    this dude did a pretty good job....quite surprised, great...
    Baubau, that paint being off may be an optical illusion. He had to paint the hood and the fender and the color looks off between the hood and fender (same paint I'm assuming) the same goes for the front bumper cover. Without being right there in person I wouldn't make any judgments on paint matches. That fender does look like it has a yellow tint though, doesn't it ?

    From what I can see he did a great job on the body work.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks all for the feedback. And yes the colors of the fender and bumper don't match. I used the car paint code (070) Blizzard Pearl which is the two part paint I applied with a HVLP spray system (Earlex 5500). The Blizzard Pearl has an ivory tinge while the original paint is whiter. Wonder if 10 years of sun bleaching was a factor. Either way it doesn't bother me and I don't intend to sell the car in the immediate future. BTW I checked back on the paint cost purchased on ebay for painting bumper and fender including: ~$40 quart of 2 part Blizzard Pearl, ~$50 for quart white seal primer, and ~$70 for gal of urethane clear coat. I may have also used a spray can or two of pre-treatment of some kind to prepare the bare plastic bumper for primer (can't recall the name but it didn't cost much).
    Anyway I'm quite satisfied with the outcome despite the mismatched paint and found the challenge of putting the mess back together very gratifying. Of course I would never have attempted such a project without the help of forums such as this and of DIY youtube videos which showed me the way. I have to add however I don't believe it would have been worth it if this was a one-time rebuild purely motivated for saving money. Given the hours of research and work on the car and the cost of tools and drill bits, etc I would have been better served buying a good used car and doing some minor upkeep and repairs or body work..
    Nonetheless I can't wait to rebuild my next vehicle though that might need to wait a bit as I will be returning to work after a brief retirement. Maybe again in 3-4 year.
    thanks all again.

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