Fourtitude.com - Olive: My experience buying from Copart
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    1. Member
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      02 Passat, 1/3 of a 2.5rs rally car
      05-19-2017 04:50 PM #1
      I've been watching Copart auctions around MN the past few months, looking for an easy car to fix and sell. A 2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i with 210,000 miles popped up with mechanical issues. I've always liked the third gen Outback so I clicked. It looked like the front of the motor had been pulled apart, and with 210k it was right at the time the timing belt would have been due for replacement (105k service intervals). I assumed the belt had broken and would probably need rebuilt heads, but the rest of the car looked really clean so I took a gamble and bid.

      Here's a few pics from the original listing:









      Day of the auction came, and I won with a high bid of $375! It was 'on approval' so the seller could counter-bid, which they did at $750. I countered at $500 and they accepted. The car was mine!

      After some back and forth over the next two weeks, I had the vehicle delivered to my buddy's shop. Went through Copart to get it towed for $150 which was well worth the convenience of not having to drive out to the shop, get the truck, hook up the trailer, drive an hour and a half to pick the car up... I expected the worst, but I was blown away by how clean the car was once I finally saw it:





      Popped the hood and the wind was let out of my sails. The heads had been pulled, and both sides of the block looked like this:



      Fortunately there were a few boxes in the hatch with the heads (3/4 of the valves were bent so my initial assumption was correct), valve covers, timing covers, pulleys and other misc stuff... and one box with all the bolts in it. This isn't the first EJ25 I've rebuilt, but it's the first one that I didn't disassemble. Put a post up in on NASIOC looking for help identifying some bolts:



      Received useful suggestions that got me most of the way there, and I ultimately ended up with just a couple small leftover screws which may have been for the license plates.

      Anyways... pushed the car into the shop and got to work. The goop on the block was actually bearing grease, which I guess the previous owner smeared onto the motor to keep it from rusting? Either way, the pistons just needed a good wipe to get them back to nice and shiny and the short block turned over very smoothly so I decided to rebuild the heads instead of swapping in a different motor -- used Ej253 motors with 180,000 miles are selling for $1500!

      Wrestled the short block out of the car...



      Got the heads rebuilt...



      ... and set about rebuilding it.

      One head installed...



      I skipped a few pictures, but when torquing the timing belt tensioner bolt the hole stripped. Half the threads were already missing from the previous installation and I didn't even get close to the torque value. Argh! Subaru threw me a bone by having that bolt hole be in a replaceable bracket, but of course it was Saturday night at 5pm.

      Got up early Sunday morning and went to the local u-pull yard. Found TWO good brackets that I scored for $4 each. Back to the shop, bolted down the new bracket, and continued with reassembling. Few steps later...



      Here we go!



      Some bolts and a couple parts later, it fired right up and sounded GOOD. None of the usual Subaru piston slap, no ticking from the heads... it sounded like a new car. I was stoked!



      Took it for a drive and it shifted smooth, pulled hard, drove straight and smooth... it's the nicest 210,000 mile car I've ever driven.

      Left my VW at the shop and drove the Outback home. Cruise control works, A/C works, no CELs. Drove it for a week to make sure it was solid, and then I gave it to my wife to replace her aging 2001 Outback (the white one next to my old lifted 2003 Outback):



      Gave it a good wash, did the wheels and windows, and it's good to go.





      So -- the question I've most been asked since finishing this project: How much?
      $500 - purchase price
      $150 - delivery
      $350 - misc. Copart fees
      $750 - rebuilt heads @ Metro Engine Service (can't recommend these guys enough)
      $200 - timing belt and water pump kit
      $300 - head gaskets, etc. from Subaru dealership
      $200 - new battery, clamps, spark plugs
      $50 - misc. shop supplies (coolant, oil, etc)
      $2,500 total

      We're having the windows tinted next week, but otherwise it's done. With the excellent condition and drivability, the rebuilt heads, new head gaskets, and full timing belt, I believe this is at least a $5000 car. Yes, it has 210,000 miles but it drives like it has less than 80,000. Our current plan is to keep this car for a year or two, take good care of it, and hopefully sell it and still make a profit.

      Bonus: I have a copy of the original title, and it's a one owner car! They drove it from 30 miles to 210,000 miles.

      Oh, and to explain the title -- my wife has named this one Olive. Thanks for reading!
      Last edited by TequilaMockingbird; 05-19-2017 at 04:53 PM.

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    3. Member TooFitToQuit's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 04:53 PM #2
      Steal. Thanks for documenting!

    4. 05-19-2017 04:54 PM #3
      That is VERY impressive!

    5. Global Moderator Paul@VWvortex's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 04:56 PM #4
      Now that's a great story and a nice looking little OB! Congrats on your purchase.

    6. Member OOOO-A3's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 05:00 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by TequilaMockingbird View Post


      $2,500 total

      it's a one owner car! They drove it from 30 miles to 210,000 miles.
      That cleaned up great! Now find the original owners and offer to sell it back to them

    7. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 05:19 PM #6
      Great work, and nice success story. Like most car guys I have eyed Copart auctions with thoughts of projects, rebuilders, and dreams... but seeing one of their cars actually work for someone is inspiring.

    8. Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      05-19-2017 05:57 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      Great work, and nice success story. Like most car guys I have eyed Copart auctions with thoughts of projects, rebuilders, and dreams... but seeing one of their cars actually work for someone is inspiring.
      x2
      I can't help reading this wanting to do a project car myself.
      Quote Originally Posted by jamie@vwvortex View Post
      This forum is more and more of an embarrassment every day...

    9. Member
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      05-19-2017 10:38 PM #8
      Thanks everyone!

      went.better.than.expected.jpg

      Quote Originally Posted by OOOO-A3 View Post
      That cleaned up great! Now find the original owners and offer to sell it back to them
      Now that the car is running and a reliable daily driver, I'm going to send them a letter with a quick story and my contact info if they want to see the car... or hopefully they have all the service records

      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      Great work, and nice success story. Like most car guys I have eyed Copart auctions with thoughts of projects, rebuilders, and dreams... but seeing one of their cars actually work for someone is inspiring.
      Thanks

      The other question I get asked is 'would you do it again?'

      I'm not sure how to answer that. I think I got extremely lucky with this car. There was a REALLY clean b5.5 sedan that had been lightly rear ended, with 130,000 miles on it. Needed a trunk lid and a bumper cover. It went for $1800, which I think was a good deal. After fees it would have been ~$2200, at which point the profit is pretty thin but would have been an easy $500. Or, it would have been a really nice driver for someone. There are good deals out there, you just have to know what you're looking at.

    10. Member DonL's Avatar
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      05-20-2017 06:32 AM #9
      Very cool deal, congrats! Personally, I'd rather deal with mechanical bits like engine work than body work. That's probably my favorite generation/color combination Outback, looks like it cleaned up nicely. Give us an occasional update, it would be interesting to see how things go over time.
      Quote Originally Posted by jamie@vwvortex
      I'm not grouping everyone together - I would have said everyone in this forum is a moron.

    11. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      05-20-2017 09:27 AM #10
      Very cool OP. Threads like these are why I am on TCL.

    12. Junior Member
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      05-20-2017 10:09 AM #11
      I can understand why the original owner kept that car so long. To my eye, it is the most pleasing of the Outback body styles. The later models got larger, and the styling was less attractive (IMO). Well done project!
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    13. Senior Member @McMike's Avatar
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      05-20-2017 10:18 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      Great work, and nice success story. Like most car guys I have eyed Copart auctions with thoughts of projects, rebuilders, and dreams... but seeing one of their cars actually work for someone is inspiring.
      I've been eyeballing this one. Might be worth a shot if the bidding doesn't get out of hand.

      https://www.copart.com/lot/44102046

    14. Member
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      05-20-2017 02:10 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by @McMike View Post
      I've been eyeballing this one. Might be worth a shot if the bidding doesn't get out of hand.

      https://www.copart.com/lot/44102046
      You've gotta be f***ing kidding me! LMAO Enhanced vehicle, for sure!
      Formally Known As | DTMTrini

    15. Senior Member patrikman's Avatar
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      05-20-2017 05:13 PM #14
      Well done sir, I love that color combo.
      initiative comes to thems that wait


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    16. Member
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      05-20-2017 05:43 PM #15
      Congrats!

      I've bought 3 from Copart so far. Their fees suck, almost worth getting a business license. I've noticed higher mileage, slightly older vehicles can be had fairly cheap if you find what you're looking for.

    17. 05-20-2017 06:37 PM #16
      Good job.

      I borrow my neighbors account on occasion for good deals.

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