How to Dismantle a Car

Written by jen davis
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How to Dismantle a Car
You can disassemble one classic car to use it as parts to restore another. (vintage car image by Canakris from

Dismantling a car takes time and effort, but can be worth the hassle if planning on using the parts from one vehicle to restore another or to sell at a profit. Junkyards make the majority of their income by purchasing cars for pennies on the dollar, dismantling cars for parts and allowing individuals to purchase the parts at discounted prices. Money paid for individual parts garners more than what would be paid for the car as a whole. In order to dismantle a car, obtain a variety of tools and plenty of space to work. The tools needed depend upon future plans for the dismantled car.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Engine hoist
  • Large work space
  • Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Wrenches
  • Sockets
  • Ratchet
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Saw
  • Pry bars
  • Bolt cutters
  • Razor knife
  • Cutting torch

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  1. 1

    Disconnect everything. In order to safely disassemble a vehicle, remove the bonnet then disconnect the battery, engine wires, hoses and belts. Cut most connectors and wires with the razor knife, unless using the wires for something else. Drain the engine and transmission of transmission fluids, oil and water to avoid making a mess. Most fluid-filled parts drain by removing a hose or plug from the engine and the system from which they originate.

  2. 2

    Attach engine to engine hoist. Unbolt motor mounts. Use engine hoist to remove the engine from the car.

  3. 3

    Remove all other mechanical parts to save or sell, such as the transmission, radiator, alternator and exhaust components. Take your time unbolting and extracting various parts and pieces of the car. Remove most parts with a socket wrench, but use screwdrivers, hammers and pry bars to remove pieces that are stuck or difficult to extract.

  4. 4

    Remove tires and rims by jacking the car up and placing it on jack stands. Use a lug wrench to remove lug nuts from tires. Pull tires and rims from the car. Remove the brake assembly, disconnect all hoses and unbolt the brakes, retrieve the rotors.

  5. 5

    Disassemble the body. Unbolt the car's front fenders and use a screwdriver or wrench to remove doors from their hinges. Use a cutting torch to remove body panels and the roof.

  6. 6

    Unbolt and remove the car's interior. Pull up carpeting to expose floorboards. At this point, you should be down to a frame. If you want to completely dismantle the frame, use the cutting torch to cut what remains of the car into manageable sized pieces.

Tips and warnings

  • Tools should only be used by experienced adults and professionals. Misuse of tools can be dangerous or even deadly.

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