2003 Prius Gen 1, 40k on hybrid battery, sell as salvage?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Jeff in Phoenix, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Jeff in Phoenix

    Jeff in Phoenix Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2019
    3
    1
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Darwin, our beloved green gen 1 prius, 2003, is at the end of his road. He rear ended a car and has hood, engine compartment and bumper damage, leaking a bit of radiator fluid, but was drivable and no warning lights. Just put in a new inverter pump. Hybrid battery replaced with OEM 35K miles ago, but otherwise he's got 205k miles. I've even got a replacement multipurpose touch screen display unit and brand new center dash panel that I was going to put in.

    I can't see it being less than a 2.5K repair, so am looking for options. I don't have the space to store and part it out. Is there a place that would buy the battery? Specialty scrap yards? A good way to find someone that wants a parts car?

    Any advise appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    981
    451
    0
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    There at least 2 Gen 1 Pri's, maybe 3, on Phoenix C/L pretty cheap, too. Strip what you want off the wreck and send the rest to the boneyard.
     
  3. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    I have a flood car that would love your engine, tranny, battery, etc, but I couldn't pay much since I'd have to get it to Houston. Here's an option for you:

    https://www.copart.com/lot/43330989

    It's in Phoenix. Take the front end off it and fix yours. I'd buy the battery from this one, then you could haul what's left right back to Copart and sell it again.

    If you don't know auctions, this one is a Pure Sale, which means low bid wins (no Min, no Reserve). It's also a No License Required car (most salvage titles are), so you don't have to be a broker to bid. I wouldn't be surprised if you got it for the first bid increment of $70 - no one is going to buy an old rear end wreck to fix; it's too much work, and the dismantlers aren't going to bid much - I got mine for a couple of hundred dollars.

    The auction date isn't listed (Future), which means it could be as long as 4-6 weeks (not sure how long it's been posted already) before it actually comes up. Just add it to your Watch List and wait. Don't bid now, that'll just alert others that you want it and possibly drive others to bid. Wait until actual auction day and snatch it up. Go watch other auctions, they have them every day, so you get a feel for the process. You don't even have to deposit any money - they let you bid up to $1000 with no deposit. Just register and be ready to go on auction day.

    I've not seen yours, so can't tell you how much it might cost a body shop to swap the parts for you. Probably you have some structural damage (bent core support, right/left aprons) that will be beyond your capability; but still, if you're willing to disassemble/reassemble the bolt on parts, getting a shop to straighten out those structural parts or, worst case, cut yours off and weld this car's in their place, shouldn't cost much. Caveat: they may insist on bolting on the exterior pieces to ensure they got the structural parts lined up right. I doubt it costs more than $1000.

    Find a cheap body shop, not one of the insurance shops, although most of those wouldn't want your business anyway. Phoenix should have plenty of Mexican body shops.

    If the color is the same as yours - bingo! If not, just hit a paint distributor to get spray cans of your paint code, and do it in your driveway. Won't look perfect, or even close, but it won't be so bad that people point and laugh. Most won't notice. It is some work sanding though. And, it is a 16-year old car; you're just trying to get enough extra miles to recoup your investment.
     
    SFO likes this.
  4. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    Well, there's a few minutes of my life I'll never get back.
     
  5. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    For the record, got my Car 4 back from the body shop today. They straightened the core support and driver's side apron, then installed the replacement bumper cover, fender, hood, and headlight. I took those parts off Car 3, my white flooder, so I didn't have to pay for painting. Total cost: $300. I did the labor to take the parts off the wrecked car and the parts car, maybe an hour each. It doesn't look perfect - the replacement parts have some scratches, and he had to zip tie the fusebox in place, but I can touch up the paint with a spray can and no one will notice. It's an 18-year old car. But only has 93k miles and runs like a champ.
     
  6. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    981
    451
    0
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Your own personal junkyard! I'm envious! I watch Craigslist, but can't bring anything home. Needy Gen 1's and Gen 2's are so tempting. But I'm getting older and have too many projects, and no gumption.
     
    GrGramps and Jeff in Phoenix like this.
  7. Jeff in Phoenix

    Jeff in Phoenix Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2019
    3
    1
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks for the feedback. I've been away for a few days... pardon the delay.

    Impressed with how cheap you're able to do all this. Now I'm looking at the car in the driveway today thinking.... MAYBE? Its just the hood and the core support and the radiator would need patching. The bumper cover may be good as is, but would be good to paint it again.... Hmmm.
     
  8. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    LOL, this wasn't the plan. And I have 3 junkyards, with 12 cars and 5 trailers. All paid for, but none of them are worth much. I do think Gen 1s will be collector items one day. Still think they're cute cars, as cute as similar cars today.

    I think people throw them away after getting a dealer quote for a new battery. Others are innocent victims of the insurance business model: Gen 1s are over 10 years old, which means banks won't loan on them, and all car values plummet at that point. Then, it takes very little of a wreck to amount to enough damage to total them out. Plus, many of these were big city fleet vehicles (regular oil changes), and others belonged to car phreaks, who are pissed that their pet car got totaled but don't think of buying it back when it does. Anyway, you end up with good cars, that get great mileage, lots with low miles and nicely maintained, and some pretty predictable problems, if there are any.

    Roll the dice - if you get one that you don't have to buy an HV battery - Bingo! You get a prize from the top shelf! Worst case, you have to do a few repairs and buy a new battery, in which case, you got a damn fine car that will easily pay off its investment in low cost mileage for several years.
     
  9. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    No problem. Seriously, if you can wait that long, see what that one at your local auction goes for. That's the key - finding a parts car - and you got what looks like the perfect one right there. What's great is that the back end is wrecked; that one will go cheap, so cheap that not pulling the trigger is silly. You get that for $200 (you have some auction/paperwork fees too), even if you haul it and yours to a cheap body show and let them do all the work, you're still ahead of the game. No way the total cost is more than $2k - and you'd have a car that's good for another 50K miles, or more, and you can be sure of it.

    Rent a truck at Home Depot and a trailer at Uhaul if you don't have a way to tow it. If if does run and drive, and the yard isn't too far from you, you can try to drive it with someone following you, but the auction make require you to trailer it off their premises, and you'd be illegal on the way home, although if you don't profile, the police probably won't bother you.
     
  10. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    981
    451
    0
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The thing for me is that Gen 2's have gotten pretty cheap. Some are very high mileage decommissioned cabs, but others with mechanical problems and the owners are selling for $1000 to $1500. I have very limited space, tho. And between 4 motorcycles, a Boxster project, a golf cart, and the Highlander, I'm kinda pressed. No fun having to move something to get to something else.

    I've had two Gen'1's, and I will allow that they were both my favorites in my 67 year lifetime. Power and economy were about right, handling was pretty 'meh!' but then I have a Boxster which is like a nicely powered go cart. But the Prius is a very nice traveling car--especially here in the west on two lane highways with big hills. Power is pretty amazing when you kick in the electric motors in addition to the IC.

    Every car I've had lately has needed a paint job. Maico guys almost know me and last one on the Highlander they gave me a really good deal. If you stay with the same color and the the integrated clearcoat, metallics really pop. And my local shop seems to be able to do really good painting (tho they are a little forgetful about removing hidden tape & reinstalling antennas.) Btw, the paint job was quoted at $1300, but I talked them down to $1000.
     
    #10 Brian in Tucson, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Jeff in Phoenix likes this.
  11. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    981
    451
    0
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    .
    There's a Gen 1 Prius on CL in Phoenix for $500. If he checks out the junk yards, he can probably mine a junker for parts for a lot less. CL 'autoparts' may show some parts cars. It would be nice if he didn't have to have a Prius corpse in his driveway. Jeff in Phoenix: Toyota Prius 2002 - cars & trucks - by owner - vehicle automotive sale Parts car: 2002 TOYOTA PRIUS - auto parts - by owner - vehicle automotive sale
     
    #11 Brian in Tucson, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  12. ronlewis

    ronlewis Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2016
    397
    99
    0
    Location:
    texas
    Vehicle:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    One
    Actually a decent chance he can buy the Copart car, scavenge the parts, and sell the corpse to a dismantler for most of his money back. the CP car probably has a working battery - it was driving when it got in the wreck. If so, he might sell it for $500 online. I've done those types of transactions several times; the only hitch is having a truck and trailer to haul the carci (I made that word up) around. Can't make it work paying a wrecker. It helps to keep wheels on them so you can winch them up ramps.
     
  13. Jeff in Phoenix

    Jeff in Phoenix Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2019
    3
    1
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    And of course having a place to store it for a while. With 3 kids all driving age and a long term guest, the garage and driveway are overflowing! Parts on CL is a good idea. Too hot here to do much work now, but when I get a chance I'll figure out how to undo the smashed hood and see just how bad the engine compartment is...
     
    Brian in Tucson likes this.
  14. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    981
    451
    0
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    Vehicle:
    2003 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yeah it's cool here! Only 107. Looks like a cooling trend late next week, only in the 90's! That wrecking yard is in Tucson, btw. Which may not help you much, tho it might be an excursion for you and one of your kids. When I was a kid, I liked going places with my dad, not that it would happen very often.

    I'd give them a call and check their prices. And maybe they'll pull the parts for you. Not that bad a drive if you come on Saturday. Hit the road really early, it's not a bad drive, and it's not so hot early in the morning.
     
Loading...