Around here, they pay by the ton, not the type of car. They deduct if the tires are still on.
A buddy of mine will pick up a few every now and then. He will take off the parts that are easy to sell on Ebay, starters, altonater (sp), headlight assemblies, etc. He will also cut out the catylatic converter and sell that on the side. Sometimes that is worth more than the car.
While I have never done it, looking at the number of junked cars laying around this area, I could not see making a living out of it.
Remember the good times, for they are fewer in number and easier to recall.
I have a buddy that scraps cars. When metal prices were high a couple of years ago he made a huge amount of money but now that prices are down he's kind of doing it on the side while doing other things.
He cuts the catalytic converter off, saves them up and takes a load in. They still pay well, I think. He drains the gas tank so he gets free gas and the scrap yards want the tank punctured because people were filling the gas tanks with sand to make it weigh more. Occasionally he will pick up a car that is worth selling and can make money selling it as is. He drives a pickup truck with a tow dolly behind and it seems to work well for him.
Locally the scrap yard requires tires and gas tanks to be removed. Cars and small trucks are going for $160/ton. Aluminum wheels without valve stems and weights are 55 cents/lb. Large trucks are $100/ton. Batteries are $5.00 each.
Imagine an early 90s chevy or ford cargo van. Properly scrapped out you should net about 600 bucks. A cavalier or neon should net you about 350 - 400. You should be able to process a car to scrap in a half day once you know what you are doing. If you can find good (read relatively new) parts such a starter, alternator, wiper motor they can be sold on ebay to boost totals. A full tank of gas means you do a little better too.
For those interested, I wrote a few articles addressing metals salvage a few years ago, and Angie made a sticky in the survival forum where they can all be found, right along with the composting threads.
Car bodies are a grade of scrap unto themselves.
They do require some preparation before expecting top dollar.
Remove all tires, the battery, any remaining freon, and the fuel tank.
Those four items are strict taboo with most yards.
For your own benefit, remove the radiator and catalytic converter as they are well worth the time and effort to salvage and sell separately.
I drain, filter and reuse fuel, engine coolant, engine oil and any other oil lubricants that I can. There are many uses for used oils.
You will want to be sure to have a title or junking certificate, available from the state, when trying to sell an auto to most yards.
We haul by the semi load and are usually waived through, but I would never count on this, especially in this ever tightening bureaucratic dream of a society that we live in.
Most better yards forbid the stuffing of auto bodies with unrelated scrap items. Too many potential problems as the auto goes through the shredder....
i.e. hidden fuel tanks, propane tanks or heavy steel that should not be shredded.
Those batteries aren't always dead, by the way... Those alternators, when turned with a small engine, will charge those batteries and make a dandy little home power system.
That's how mine started out.
Tires are sometimes nearly new, as well.
Don't forget to clean out the interior for goodies, change and occasional treasures.
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater.
What do you do with the tires, especially if they are junk?
I throw them in the bottom of my fork truck bin (paid for by my company) two every week.
Do all the fluids have to be removed? Oil? Antifreeze? Transmission fluid?
No, gas only. Save the other's if you want. I wouldn't bother. Are you really going to change your oil with someone else's used oil? Burn it in a used oil furnace if you have one.
Do any of you play in the core market? Blocks or transmissions?
Waste of time in my opinion, unless you have a really highly valued block. Do you really want to spend six hours pulling a motor to sell the bock for 50 bucks more then it was worth as scrap?
I once met a scrapper that was taking the time to pull the aluminum heads from engines. Is it worth the effort?
Same reply as above. If your time is worth nothing, knock yourself out. That said, the AC evaporator is made of aluminum too.
Okay...here is a dumb question: When your scrap is being weighed, do they give you the amount closest to the hundred weight, or is it down to the pound?
Down to the pound where I go. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Do any of you scrappers sell body parts or tail light lenses on ebay or craigslist before sending the unit to scrap?
Not me. If I see a brand new alternator or starter I'll grab it, but otherwise, it isn't worth the effort. Does your wife really want the entire garage and backyard filled up with tail light lenses that are really valuable except that you can't find the guy that needs therm?
Lot also depends on the scrap yard. Some are much more profitable for you than others. Some would knock down the aluminum head because of the steel valves and such. Others would give you more. Similar how you are weighed.
Here we leave the tires on them . At one time i had a hundred tons of scrap metal piled up . Had a knuckle boom loader and piled it high as i could old central heat and air units was some money to be made too .
Bad thing i found to many treasures i wanted to keep .
The trick is to find cars that are heavy and have their parts still on them. It doesn't have to be in good condition at all, all it needs are the materials to recycle out. If a car is damaged it is better because you are able to buy it for less while it still holds the same value. Here is a website that offers cash and lists the prices it offers, so its a good barometer of what cars are worth and worth pursuing.
Here i'm waiting for prices to improve last i hauled buddy and i combined the sale got $250. a ton straight across anything we hauled We leave tires tanks and all We do remove the converters and battery $10.00 if the radiator is brass we get it too .
Got three autos and several tons of iron sitting and waiting . I use a 37' neck over trailer to haul with . Yes and DOT numbers on the truck too . Soft metals i haul a 120 miles from here as they pay 1/3 more .
My dad knew a city policeman who scrapped on the side. He had an old industrial building where he brought the cars. They crudely removed the drive train and squashed the remainder w/ a track loader & stacked them in an old car trailer [ramps removed] to haul to the scrap yard.
Every two weeks a man would come and strip engines into individual metals.
He could strip a modern Detroit V8 in a few min. using an impact gun and an air ratchet.
He popped the rings of the pistons N other stuff to make piles of scrap by the type of metal.
Dad &I would stop by every few days to strip light bulbs & head lamps, hose clamps, etc.
Please, before you just scrap an old car, truck, tractor, or other piece of machinery take the time to see if there is anyone restoring or fixing up a like model. I have two old Dodge pickups that are impossible to get parts for (and no aftermarket support to speak of) and some little things you wouldnt think as being worth much I (and others) would pay top dollar for. I just paid $90.00 for a 6 inch diameter center cap for one wheel after looking for one for the better part of a year and I would give a C-Note for an inside door panel in decent shape if I could find one.
The cash for clunkers boondoggle and now high scrap prices have seen the demise of a lot of vehicles and yet at the same time more people are keeping and trying to fix up their old rides instead of dropping 40K on a new pickup etc.
Some of the most obscure things you may not think of as having value (chrome trim, inside components like seats, steering wheels, rear view mirrors, engine parts, front hoods, wheels, hub caps, etc) can bring you a good return and keep another old rig on the road.
Part out on CL or E-Bay everything you can before you just scrap something...you will make way more in the end.