If you are thinking of getting some used parts from one of your local muscle car junk yards, there are some things you can do to improve your searching abilities. Junk yards aren't exactly organized for easy sorting, so it's all a matter of knowing what you're looking for and then knowing where to go. Below are some tips to help you navigate your way through the next junk yard trip.
Know What Cars to Look at
It's really easy to figure out what cars to look into at the junk yard if you know what your car actually is. Understand what make an model you have, and also determine how long your model was made. The same model of a vehicle will be reproduced over a certain span of time, so you can use parts from vehicles that aren't necessarily from the same year. One generation of Mustang, for instance, was made from 1999 to 2004. Parts can be used from any cars in that year span.
There are some makes of cars that will have interchangeable parts too, especially if you are dealing with imports. Find out what cars have interchangeable parts with your car so you can narrow your search more easily.
Know What Part(s) You Need
A lot of junk yards have miscellaneous parts lying around, so it helps if you know exactly what to look for. A piece of the body will likely still be attached to the car, but something like an engine or the seats could easily be removed. Check out pictures of the pieces so you know exactly what to find.
Ask the Junk Yard Owner
If you find a junk yard associate around, ask if they know where you might find the particular piece you need. Some junk yards are more organized than others, so you may come across someone who can point you right where you need to go. That is the luck of the draw.
Look for the Car
If you can't find someone to ask about the part, start by looking for the car or cars that may have your part. If you happen to come across a full body with the part in it, you may luck out and find multiple parts you need. It's just easier to look through a pile of large cars than it is to look through a pile of random parts.
Call Ahead of Time
You may be able to call the junk yard ahead of time to see if they have the part you are looking for. This would be especially plausible if you have a very specialized car that may not be readily found in a junk yard. The owners should know right away if they could help you out or not. If you can't find what you are looking for in the junk yard, check out forums online to see if people are selling.