Saturday, January 21, 2023

Budget Buick Build Before & After: Cherry Avenue Auto Parts Junkyard Part 4

Need a reason to visit a junkyard? Buy a busted Buick. Watch Junkyard Life put this grandpa-fresh LeSabre back on the road. We won the bid on a wrecked 2000 Buick LeSabre with $650 at a local Birmingham, Alabama wrecker auction. The Buick came home on a wrecker, but as a bonus, we had keys and the 3800-V6 engine runs. Well, sort of. The bent Buick has a torn up radiator, so we didn't let it run for long to avoid overheating the engine. This purchase would be prime flipping material – the Double Aught Budget Buick Build – if we could locate all the parts and put it back together. (Note: Save time, money, and headaches when you buy projects that run.)

We jotted down a list of damaged parts and a scoured websites, such as Facebook Marketplace and the local Pull-Your-Own yard. The key to a budget build is finding straight body panels that have matching paint to what you are working on. This saves big money. 

We found Cherry Avenue's listing on Facebook Marketplace. Their Buick parts car was the same color as our car! That's a major bonus. Bolting on same color parts saves a ton on paint expense. Even with the saving, we did spend $450 in parts for a $650 car!

Cutting away the bent parts and removing the damaged pieces left the front end of the Buick nearly naked. We found color-matched hood, fender, grill, and bumper cover at Cherry Avenue Auto Parts. We also snagged a replacement frame horn piece that was crunched in the front end collision. The new boxed frame horn structure (unibody does not have traditional frame) would need to be welded into place. A few other parts, headlight, air intake box, and radiator were located at the local you-pull-it yard.

I try to include my family in the many automotive projects that funnel across my driveway junkyard. This time my youngest daughter, Noelle, pitched in with some underhood wrenching to put the airbox and wiring back in place on the 3.8 liter Buick engine. My son, Joe, you may remember him from the Project $300ZX (, helped out at the you-pull-it yard grabbing a radiator and a headlight. 
Teach them how to do stuff and they will do stuff. It's simple. And you're helping yourself, down the road, at the same time.

The fun begins when you put the final pieces of a puzzle together. But there is always a few problems to solve. The Buick's factory aluminum hood did not want to line up with the fender edges. Metal against metal. Bam! No good. A degree in Alabama Auto Mechanics was needed. A chain hoist and a tree were used to pull the understructure into position. When all aligned, bolted, and welded in place, the fenders were mounted. The hood, headlight, grill, and bumper cover were easy additions. 
Almost as good as new! 

The Double Aught Budget Buick Build name is a nod to the 2000 model year, which introduced the redesigned LeSabre's front-wheel-drive, full-size, 3800-V6 to another decade of sensible transportation. You know your grandpa would give the Buick LeSabre a 4-star review every year. From 1992 thru 2000, the Buick LeSabre maintained a legion of buyers eager to hold the keys and place this full-size people mover at the top of the best-seller list.  

Leave us a comment. Do you think we did ok? After all said and done, about $1,200 was spent to get the Buick back in shape for the road. Have you worked on a similar project? We're always under a budget constraint at Junkyard Life. We cheap because we have to be out of necessity.

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