The Power of Core Parts

Don’t Throw Your Money Away!

See that junk laying in the corner of the shop? It might not be junk. Good, used (otherwise known as “core”) parts are getting harder and harder to find, and some parts and pieces may be worth more than you think. Original clutch fans from 12-valve Cummins engines are going for $400 or more in junkyards, and even more in open markets. A core common-rail engine might be worth $3,000-$5,000, even if parts like wiring, lines, or the cylinder head may be damaged. Injector shops rarely send nozzles, but usually whole injectors, and often there’s not much wrong with the factory pieces.

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Cost can be driven up even further if the parts are hard to find in the area

We’re talking about engines right now, but don’t forget the rest of the truck. Transmission cores, good PCMs, axles, transfer cases, and even bodywork like fenders, beds and tailgates can be worth good money, and cost can be driven up even further if the parts are hard to find in the area. Aftermarket parts? Don’t forget about those. Customers might change intakes, turbos, or lift pumps, but the older ones can still be worth quite a bit if they’re in good shape. So how do you move this stuff? Well, there’s word-of-mouth, Internet forums, eBay, Craigslist, and even other diesel shops that are all potential customers. Often a single buyer might even buy multiple products if the deal is good enough. So look around the shop, there might be gold on shelves, in the rafters, or on the floor just waiting to be mined.

Clutch fans from 12-valve Cummins engines are going for $400 or more

But don’t sell them all…

Knowing that core parts are valuable is unfortunately only half of the battle. It’s always a good idea to free up clutter, but there are definitely some core parts you should keep around. But which ones get the heave, and which ones stay on the shelf? In two words, the answer is availability, and demand. If you have a hard-to-find part that’s on backorder, or is no longer made, it should probably be kept where it is. Items like injectors or Ford high-pressure pumps can be readily replaced, while a cracked transmission case might be harder to find. Broken items that have been warrantied should also be returned, so that your shop gets credit, and everything gets wrapped up in a nice little package.

…but there are definitely some core parts you should keep around.

We can’t tell you exactly how to go about structuring your core parts supply, as it depends on what you specialize in and whats available in your area, among other factors, but it’s definitely something that you should be aware of as a source of possible income. So many times we’ve heard “I’ll get to it later,” or “I’m too busy to deal with that right now,” when it comes to old, used, unused, or broken parts, but it’s something that should be front-burnered, at least every 6 months or so at minimum.