Need some cheap parts for your XJ? Next time you're looking around at the local boneyard, be sure to take along a bucket, or container with carry handles to toss loose odds & ends into.

Grab relays, radiator clamps, hoses, etc along with those other small parts and toss them into your 'treasure chest' so that they don't get lost while you wander like Alice through Wonder Land looking for a white '85 Rabbit.

When it comes time to pay, try to avoid the owner or anyone who isn't covered in grease. Get to know the counter guys and if you're lucky, the guy who takes your money won't be who owns the place. Don't do anything dishonest - just avoid the cheapskate who's weighed your wallet ahead of time. You can often just tell the counter guy 'I'll give ya $5 for this bucket of junk...' and they'll go for it as most boneyards are more interested in the big ticket items like motors, tranny's etc. That means they'll cut a LOT of slack on old Jeep parts, or parts from other cars/trucks that you can use that aren't the big money making items. DO THIS RIGHT BEFORE LUNCH TIME AND CARRY CASH! Five ones in one pocket and $5 bill in the other can seal the deal... don't reach for your wallet! Just count your money like it's all you have in that pocket... and it was, right? Don't piss away his time with a bunch of change. If it's lunch time - the counter guy doesn't want to pay for his Super Methane Taco Special delivery with pennies... but that $5 bill would come in handy...

Don't forget to scout out other type cars for goodies you can adapt! Ford Crown Victoria POLICE cars have great one piece tranny/power steering coolers under the front radiator support that will fit perfectly beneath an XJ radiator in the same location I installed my F250 steering cooler. Cheap 3" lift? F150 & Dakota springs! Bullet proof replacement for that Dana 35? Dana 60's out the wazoo! Consoles! Late model headliners with sound bar built in! BMW seats! Lions and tigers, oh my!
What you'll need:

Here's a few deals I scored:

Score! $20
Don't be afraid to offer even less than I did at your local Pick & Pull!
$20 later I had a set of halogen foglights from some sorta Nissan SUV thing complete with the harness connectors, F250 power steering cooler and a VERY new Ford Explorer transmission cooler!
Another guy who was there at the same time I was made the mistake of going into the back office to pay and ended up paying $50 just for a set of nearly identical foglights!!! (He was kinda ticked off when we were out in the parking lot talking... *doh!*) Whenever possible... deal with counter guys who have grease on their hands! Remember to get finished hunting just before lunch and pay cash...
While scouting around a local boneyard I found two Comanche trucks (rear shackles can be used for 3/4" XJ lift), two nearly new Dodge Dakotas with rear leaf packs (about 4" XJ lift) and too many F150's to count with front coils.

Bottom line, for around $100 I could lift an XJ 3-4" and probably score some interior goodies from the dozen or so XJ's, the ZJ's, CJ's TJ's...


1 Bendix master cylinder w/ reservoir + 1 ZJ auto shift knob!

Got to boneyard right before closing to find a master cylinder to swap for my current oversized E250 FoMoCo master cylinder. Futzed around for an hour & finally found a Bendix unit off of a 94 Ranger or 96 Exploder (can't recall which...) plus scooped up a ZJ auto shift knob on the way out. Walked into the office (right at 5PM) & the guy said ' Ahhh. Just take 'em. We don't inventory those anyhow.'
- CUSTOMER SERVICE! - This is why we also bought an engine from him also!

Too bad the *#$%*& master cylinder ports have been redesigned to the Euro line flare type & wouldn't work without adapters. Hey! At least it was free!

A battery tray, underhood light, horns, MAP sensor, ballast resistor, EGR solenoid and (not shown) a cherry sound-bar for $45!

Need some free tires?

Snag free tires! Yup - when I was off work for a while - I spent one day just traveling around town looking for free tires. I ended up with a loaded utility trailer filled with good, used tires. Note that I took ANY tire that could be traded, used or sold and THEN went to the local used tire stores to swap those for other tires that I could use.

Ya never know what you'll find behind yer local shopping center... Today's special was 'Tires'.

How much? Free. Zip. Zero cost. Nada.
(And yes, I have some tires for sale... .)

People dump usable tires just to avoid paying the $3 reclamation fee at the tire store. Often, stupid lazy jerks will just throw tires alongside a country road but sometimes a savant can do ya a favor by dumping them in a neat pile behind a shopping mall!

Just grab some mosquito repellant, be ready to get covered with greasy/muddy/stinkin' swamp water tire goo (wear your brother's clothes) and start pickin' through the piles!

Most strip mall businesses are VERY glad to see those abandoned tires removed! Just be clear that you'll take SOME of them, NOT ALL of them but that you will stack the remaining tires neatly so they don't look as bad and be ready for disposal. Then DO THAT.

I turned a giant mound into a row of neatly stacked carcasses and they were thrilled to have the area cleaned up. I'll be able to score free tires from now until eternity if I want them! (If you are a decent negotiator - you could parley your way into a store discount, free meal, etc in addition to scoring as many free tires as ya can find! GET PAID TO TAKE FREE TIRES!)

Note: Some tires will have great tread but be dry-rotted... Stack those up and forget them. It is a waste of time to mount a tire that's gonna blow out on ya. Snag those tire weights from the rims laying around too since you'll be scoring a tire changer from Harbour Freight and maybe a bubble balancer when those go on sale! Don't be afraid to clean the tires up & sell the extras. If you hustle, you can actually make some money but avoid dry-rotted tires! No one will take those in trade and they're not worth your time to mount unless you're REALLY desperate for a backup spare...

If you have pics of your own repairs or can suggest other methods - please contribute your ideas (and pictures) to this article!

Revised on: October 31, 2006

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