I'm part of a car community where our vBulletin forum contains a wealth of information.

What we've run into:

1. Admin/owner is nearly / absolutely unreachable, which causes a variety of issues. Mainly we cannot even request a traditional backup of the database underneath the forum software.

2. As with anything, the forums don't get much active engagement other than older forum regulars. However, Google searches easily find useful posts for things like DIY maintenance, modification installs, test data from driving with ECU tunes, track day experiences, etc.

3. It's easy to point people on other social networks at posts by their URL, but due to neglect the website constantly has problems making access increasingly complicated and inconsistent.

Ideally, it'd be nice to find a way to scrape everything as closely as possible into a manageable database.

Even more ideally, if we could convert said scraped data into a format that is easily publishable to a new platform, that would be handy. Even if the new platform is static and simply renders the old threads.

I can't imagine we are the only forum that is experiencing problems like this with most forums probably dying in the last decade.

Has anyone gone through this kind of archival process with vBulletin before?

Thanks.