My 21 year old son found a 1997 VW jetta Diesel 280,000km on it. Been sitting for ten months, no 5th gear, wont start. I thought oh nice maybe we can get our money back by parting it out.
Drag it home stopping by the carwash. Put a battery in it and 4 way flashers are going and the starter is kaput. Went to he friendly internet. and discovered that the security system is triggered if the battery is removed. Locks out the starter. Cool.
We get it turning over ,put some air pressure in the fuel tank to force fuel through the filter up to the pump. Crack the injector lines and crank it over no fuel. Take out the shut off solenoid it works fine, still no fuel. Hmm. Maybe the pump is buggered. Got nothing to loose. I selected a nice little ball peen hammer a large long punch gave the pump a few selective taps but the fuel shut off. Fuel starts to come out the injector lines. 10 minutes later its running.
Over the next night or two we checked this thing out. The body is ok for a $300 car. Not a mark in the windshield. (I figure if I can get 2 years on a windshield doing good) Front brakes are next to new, steering etc is good. Rear brakes had one weeping wheel cylinder so we did the brakes $200. Front tires $200, a signal light bulb. It passes safety and he's driving it 75 km one way to work. Think 5th gear must have a broken shift fork. He is still getting 7.5 litters/100km or 35 mile/gallon.
Now looking around trying to find a parts car for a transmission. They seem to be going for $500 or more with wrecked engines or been in an accident.
He was lucky this time.