The risks of buying used car stuff

Markos

Parts Mule
Staff member
Site Donor $$
Messages
8,323
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Seattle, WA
This thread isn't about people, member reviews, etc. It's about the risks one takes when buying used stuff, e9 or otherwise. I was reading the differential post @sfdon about how shops have bake in risk/time/etc. into their pricing model. Over the last couple of years, I've grown to appreciate fabrication costs, and understand the risks of buying used stuff. I always buy used stuff, but I often sell the second half of the parts lot I buy to help pay for the first half. So when those parts don't pan out, the whole endeavor was for naught. I usually just keep the parts for myself and sell the nicer stuff. Some examples over the last 3 years:

Parts:
  • Purchased a set of Stahl Headers for $200 that needed $300 worth of post-collector work. More expensive to fix than I thought, puts my cheap headers right back at market rate after ceramic coating. Sold my good ones, keepign the bad.

  • Purchased a set of Weds Bavarias from Ohio for $400 shipped. Due to the rust belt, the faces were stuck to the barrels. I sold them on CL at a loss. I could have sold to a forum member but I don't want them to endure the pain and disappointment of not getting them unstuck. It wasn't for lack of phone calls to dippers (dip), chrome shops (dip), machine shops (press), powder coaters (heat)

  • Purchased a set of driver-quality Marchal 660's for cheap. Found out that chroming them would be like $600. Sigh...

  • Purchased countless steering wheels that need restoration. No qualms there but the turnaround time is slow. Still a hobby but I'm not buying anymore wheels from the island of misfit toys. There are a few that I will likely never restore 'properly'.

  • Purchased a odometer reset knob for a friend, set screw face is stripped, so I sold him mine instead. Deal with that later.

  • Purchased a brass coolant tank to sell. I didn't like the quality of it so I sold mine instead. I bought a few more so I'm still good there, but I still have the "ok" one.

  • Purchased a set of BBS Mahle style OZ wheels. Turns out they were 5x108 not 5x120. With a BMW in the driveway, I didn't even think to check.

  • Purchased dashboard wood early on that was in worse shape than I realized. Gave it away to a forum member. I would have delt with it had I not acquired a parts car with a nice dash
 

dang

Administrator
Staff member
Site Donor
Messages
2,154
Reaction score
811
Location
Rocklin, CA
All I got from that is you have too much time on your hands. Not used car stuff but I've been snooping around the "Free Stuff" on nextdoor.com and searching craigslist for used building material.

So far:
  • Perfect 46" Sansung flat screen TV with remote and works awesome. Free on nextdoor.com. (for the man cave!)
  • 40 large retaining wall blocks for the driveway at the property. Free on nextdoor.
  • 10' workbench, custom made with 12 drawers, 2 cabinets and 3" thick top. Free on nextdoor.
  • 30' of brand new painted steel siding with trim for my shop. $100 on craigslist.
But, so far I've only bought or picked up things I can actually use, so I've been good. :D
 
Last edited:

teahead

aka "Rob"
Site Donor
Messages
3,575
Reaction score
639
Location
Seattle, WA, USA
my problem is, I buy parts, don't end up using, and 99% of the time, sell them cheaper than what I paid for them.

I think the hardest parts to sell in my experience are Jaguar parts. NO ONE wants to buy those at even the cheapest prices! E.g. I have a pair of MINT Series 1 XJ fenders for $60/pair. Nada, nothing, not a peep for >year.
 

Markos

Parts Mule
Staff member
Site Donor $$
Messages
8,323
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Seattle, WA
All I got from that is you have too much time on your hands. Not used car stuff but I've been snooping around the "Free Stuff" on nextdoor.com and searching craigslist for used building material.
Do you always say this because you know it bothers me? Most people in my daily life ask me if/when I sleep. Then there is @dang, who still hasn't received my finishing touches on the registry data, a user map, help with an image gallery, etc. As I sit here with two different laptops up working on two different projects simultaneously, posting away on the forum. :D
 

Markos

Parts Mule
Staff member
Site Donor $$
Messages
8,323
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Seattle, WA
my problem is, I buy parts, don't end up using, and 99% of the time, sell them cheaper than what I paid for them.

I think the hardest parts to sell in my experience are Jaguar parts. NO ONE wants to buy those at even the cheapest prices! E.g. I have a pair of MINT Series 1 XJ fenders for $60/pair. Nada, nothing, not a peep for >year.
Ha! I attribute that to buying your parts list *before restoring. While it is true I have most of what I *think I need, I have tons of stuff that I certainly *don't need, and even more that I haven't realized that I need. :D
 

Dan Mooney

Well-Known Member
Site Donor $$
Messages
431
Reaction score
468
Location
Austin, Texas
Ouch. What does @Dan Mooney have to say about this? ;)
Well, since you ask, my response is, get me a reasonable shipping quote and it'll take them both, Mr TH.

I actually own a pretty cool 1973 S1 XJ6 that was purchased new by Frank Sinatra for his new lady friend at the time, Barbara Marx. Apparently the deal was that Blue Eyes persuaded Mrs Marx to leave one of the Marx brothers (I forget which) and come live with Mr S. When the Marx's divorce was finalized in 1973, Mr Marx agreed to give Barbara $1,500 a month in perpetuity plus the 69 2+2 E Type he had previously bought for her. Frank apparently said words to the effect of, "Tell him to shove the old 69 Jag and I'll buy you the latest and greatest from Coventry, the S1 XJ6!" They ended up keeping the car until 1985, so they obviously liked it. I like to think of Dean and Sammy in the back seat being driven home after a night on the town. In any event, I own the car now;)

Seriously though, the value of any used car part is dictated, at least in part, by the value of the car it comes from. In the case of the XJ Jag, they just aren't worth that much....unless Dean and Sammy were drunk in the back seat :D

Cheers!
Dan
 

JayWltrs

Active Member
Site Donor
Messages
457
Reaction score
192
Location
Oklahoma City
I’m stealing “misfit toys” and writing that on the tub of my mistakes/regrets/“wtf did I buy that fors.” I also have a tool drawer that needs that label. Don posted something similar some time ago, and I knew it intellectually, but I didn’t appreciate it and the reminder is important, even if just as an acknowledgement of the value of people’s work (not to mention I don’t want him calling me out).
 

nathanegger

Member
Messages
76
Reaction score
2
Location
Omaha
Good to know there are others out there who suffer with the same E9’symptoms I do... selling parts to buy more parts, buying what I don’t need etc.. I was hoping to see a drug company commercial to fix me. I usually just end up lighting a fat cigar with a good scotch , sit back and admire the beauty who gave me this disease and say we didn’t get this far to get this far.

Oh and I found out CSI inc will refurbish belt line trim reasonable


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

sfdon

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
4,508
Reaction score
722
Location
sfbay area
my problem is, I buy parts, don't end up using, and 99% of the time, sell them cheaper than what I paid for them.

I think the hardest parts to sell in my experience are Jaguar parts. NO ONE wants to buy those at even the cheapest prices! E.g. I have a pair of MINT Series 1 XJ fenders for $60/pair. Nada, nothing, not a peep for >year.

Curious thing happens at the junk yard when us picker guys walk by the Jaguar section.
Nobody talks, nobody looks, nobody stops to check for just installed new parts to be harvested. Nope - just keep moving. Nobody takes parts off Jags.
I stopped once years ago. Looked under the hood of a XJ.
Miles of tubing
Layers of parts
Complex
The forbidden zone
 

Ohmess

I wanna DRIVE!
Site Donor
Messages
2,567
Reaction score
482
Location
Vienna, VA
Friend of mine had a couple of Jags he really liked, but got rid of them because he could not get repair parts. Seems they have gotten a reputation for being unable to keep on the road.
 

JayWltrs

Active Member
Site Donor
Messages
457
Reaction score
192
Location
Oklahoma City
Trying to help a friend close her dad’s estate. There’s a very pretty 91 XJS convertible w 31k miles—hasn’t located records and doesn’t know how long it sat. She said she was going to go see if it starts. I let out some guttural horror sound. Truly beautiful car, but that big V12 is an intimidating sight.
 

oneills

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,394
Reaction score
277
Location
Bucks County, PA
Trying to help a friend close her dad’s estate. There’s a very pretty 91 XJS convertible w 31k miles—hasn’t located records and doesn’t know how long it sat. She said she was going to go see if it starts. I let out some guttural horror sound. Truly beautiful car, but that big V12 is an intimidating sight.
Of course the really desirable parts are the electricals. Friend and his wife driving to Princeton one night. XKE purring like a big cat. And of course, of course, all, meaning all, the lights go dark. What a surprise.
 

Belgiumbarry

Well-Known Member
Messages
983
Reaction score
463
Location
Belgium
Jaguars are fine.... :D… i once had a Range Rover.... the worst car ever in my life ( and i must have had around 50 cars ) …. everything that can go wrong , went that way .... horrible :eek: they replaced under garantie 2 engines ( V8 ) and 3 gearboxes…. !! I kept it for 1 year , that means 8 months at the dealer and 4 months driving the thing…. a nightmare.
I can write a book of what i have seen at that dealer.... it wasn't for sure only my car !!!
 

bluecoupe30!

Active Member
Site Donor
Messages
991
Reaction score
231
Location
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
Good to know there are others out there who suffer with the same E9’symptoms I do... selling parts to buy more parts, buying what I don’t need etc.. I was hoping to see a drug company commercial to fix me. I usually just end up lighting a fat cigar with a good scotch , sit back and admire the beauty who gave me this disease and say we didn’t get this far to get this far.

Oh and I found out CSI inc will refurbish belt line trim reasonable


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I skip the cigar part, go straight to the single malt, sit and stare at my Coupe, then marvel at how lucky I am to have one of the truly most elegant BMWs sitting there in my garage, and I get to drive it whenever I want. Priceless :)
 

Belgiumbarry

Well-Known Member
Messages
983
Reaction score
463
Location
Belgium
haha, thanks Don, it cures a bit my pain , beeing not alone

First broke down was the starter motor...
Most dangerous was the day i had, at the lights ,no brakes ! really nothing !! :eek:
Had a engine blown … pushrod trough the block :)
gearboxes…. there was a gasket between the main gearbox and 4x4 box that didn't hold…. so the oil from the main leaks into the 4x4 box until no oil in the main and a full 4x4 ….after 3 attempts i had to show up at the dealer every 1000 km to inspect oil level.... !
One winter day it had frozen over night… started the car ...to leak all my power steering oil at the wheel… called the dealer... they knew the problem ! i had parked the car with the wheels turned … should be straight :D:D:D
Every day we drove the car , after it started ( first big question), we were guessing what would go wrong... lights ? horn ?...

omg.. i can go on... bought a Toyota Landcruiser and no worrys any after ….

I never forget the day our Rover dealer wanted to show of the Toyota dealer.... he took him for a test drive with the then new Range Sport with air suspension.... they got a few miles…. and broke down on the road with the suspension on the ground….hahhaha
 
Last edited:

bfeng

Well-Known Member
Site Donor
Messages
1,815
Reaction score
367
Location
Massachusetts, metrowest
Curious thing happens at the junk yard when us picker guys walk by the Jaguar section.
Nobody talks, nobody looks, nobody stops to check for just installed new parts to be harvested. Nope - just keep moving. Nobody takes parts off Jags.
I stopped once years ago. Looked under the hood of a XJ.
Miles of tubing
Layers of parts
Complex
The forbidden zone
That’s why smart guys stick to the older Jags. The ones with no more than 8 fuses and zero emissions control. Jaguar engineering in the 1970-90 period struck me as an exercise in “band aid” design where they layered on fix after fix rather than looking at design holistically and doing an optimized design from the start.

On the German front, our old German SUV just passed 170kmiles and I noticed the stop lights occasionally don’t function. They integrated the brake light switch into the booster. No more $25 Bosch switch, but a $500 complete booster assembly and about 4 hours of labor. The Germans may do good system design but their love of high tech can at times be pretty annoying.
 
Top