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Old 04-16-2006, 09:11 PM   #1
peppermrj
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Question Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Well looks like I will be attempting to repair the 96SC2. See http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75126 for the sordid details.

The car was T-boned on the drivers side. I have posted some ruff pics to my gallery. I will start in earnest tomorow to remove the debrie and post some more detailed photos.

The damage I am most concerned about and also unsure how to proceed with is to the door hinge area and the door latch area. I am not sure if those areas can be straightened or If I will have to have new sections welded in. Hopefully I willl have better photos soon.

I will need the whole left side, front fender, entire door (glass, regulator, motor, lock solenoid, etc), and the rear quarter panel. Any recommendations on junk yards aound Pittsburgh Pa. I am just north by about 15 miles.

Is the small section in front of the wheel of the rear quarter a seperate item. If so I may be able to reuse the polymer for the rest of the quarter panel.

Thanxs in advance. You guys and gals never let me down.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg saturn crash.jpg (28.5 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg crash2.jpg (33.9 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg crash3.jpg (37.5 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg crash4.jpg (30.9 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg crash5.jpg (34.0 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg crash6.jpg (32.1 KB, 29 views)

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Old 04-17-2006, 11:39 AM   #2
sps SOHC
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

I have done minor body work before and would leave that one for a body shop.
Unless you don't have collision.

Good luck though. It might not be as bad as it looks. I hope you've done body work before.

...
-96 SC2 gets 35 mpg mix city/hw.

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Old 04-17-2006, 12:19 PM   #3
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Post Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

No collision on a 10 year old with 130,000 + miles.
Mechanically I have done all the maintenence so I know it is sound. Waterpump, rad, and alternator all within the last year. Runs like a top even now. Thank goodness for the reinforced doors, or there would have been serious injuries.

I have done body work over the years. I have hung fenders, doors, even a quarter panel once. The polymer makes this a piece of cake. The metal repairs will alll be out of site, hidden under the plastic. No body filler. Yeah!

I plan on pulling out the section where the door latches and then hanging the door. If I can't get it right, I will cut out the pillar and have a new one welded in place. I do have a buddy that is a professional welder. I would like to save that work if someone could eyeball the photos and say yeah or nay. No sense wasting my energy on something that won't be staightened.

Hope to get the photos up tomorow.

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Old 04-17-2006, 01:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

yikes man. best of luck.

When I was sideswiped by a freightliner it twisted the B-piller a few mm. They were able to straighten it out... I would say it goes case by case though.

- Tatusmi

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Old 04-18-2006, 03:22 PM   #5
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Post Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

The bottom of that pillar is pushed in quite a ways. You can see where it broke the spot welds to the main channel. I am going to have a pro shop evaluate it. Hopefully they can straighten it or replace it and I can do the rest. The front pillar seems to have escaped untouched.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

if you can... pull back some of the interior and see if it is pushed in on the inside of the car... if it isn't... you might be able to just cut out the metal on the outside of the car and just replace it...

pull out the driver seat and the driver's side back seat and pull the carpet back and all the interior right around that particular area and see what you have...

if you have insurance, which hopefully you do... take it a body shop and get an estimate and turn it in... when they cut you a check, put it in your pocket and repair it yourself, keep LOTS of money in your pocket, and search the hell out of junkyards and find all the parts yourself... alot of legwork yourself will keep some of that money for whatever else you may want to do...

either that or try to get the insurance company to total it out then back it back from them for next to nothing and then repair it, you should have money left over to buy yourself another car and repair the wrecked one while you still have other transportation...

Lots of ways to fix it.... lol

Lee

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Old 04-18-2006, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Thanxs for the ideas. I have already found all the polymer and a door. Any where form $200 to $500 depending on if I want the matching color. Not sure what paint costs would be tho. I will remove the interior and have a look see and let you know.

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Old 04-18-2006, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Don't even think about it! You could buy another Saturn just like it for far less than the cost to put yours right, and be driving it the next day! If it's not in as good of a mechanical condition, swap out parts from your car.

96 SC2's (most with automatic) are going for around $2200 here. Typically they need some TLC, maybe a paint job, but are totally rust-free.

I used to try to salvage cars like this, I can tell you it is not economical, takes forever, and they are never the same as an unwrecked car.

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Old 04-18-2006, 11:44 PM   #9
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Post Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Unfortunately up here in Pa. with gas prices high these great little cars are going for a premium. They are also not rust free. I have been looking for a SL for my daughter for a while now and have had no success. A 96 with high miles that needs both rear rockers replaced and has over a half a dozen things that need repaired goes for $2500. Anything from a dealer that needs no repairs has a $5000 asking price.

I know the maintenence history of this car and would not want an unknown. The car runs and drives just fine. I am considering having the frame checked for straightness or at the very least having it alligned before I go to far.

I would love to take a road trip down your way to check out rust free cars someday. Thanxs for your thoughts.

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Old 04-19-2006, 06:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

You should get the major damage to the unibody pulled back into shape at a body repair facility with a "frame machine" and then go ahead and do the panel replacement yourself. That should save some major cash.

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Old 04-19-2006, 12:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peppermrj
Anything from a dealer that needs no repairs has a $5000 asking price.
Heck, you can have mine for less than that!
Seriously, I'll be letting mine go in the next few weeks (Definitely not by choice).

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Old 04-19-2006, 10:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peppermrj
Well looks like I will be attempting to repair the 96SC2. See http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75126 for the sordid details.

The car was T-boned on the drivers side. I have posted some ruff pics to my gallery. I will start in earnest tomorow to remove the debrie and post some more detailed photos.

The damage I am most concerned about and also unsure how to proceed with is to the door hinge area and the door latch area. I am not sure if those areas can be straightened or If I will have to have new sections welded in. Hopefully I willl have better photos soon.

I will need the whole left side, front fender, entire door (glass, regulator, motor, lock solenoid, etc), and the rear quarter panel. Any recommendations on junk yards aound Pittsburgh Pa. I am just north by about 15 miles.

Is the small section in front of the wheel of the rear quarter a seperate item. If so I may be able to reuse the polymer for the rest of the quarter panel.

Thanxs in advance. You guys and gals never let me down.











That's a hand full. I've been doing Bodywork for 22 yrs and I would assess the situation by pulling the interior on that whole side about half way across and check for any kind of kink that doesn't look factory. If there is any kinks in the floor,then you most likely have unibody damage and that will have to be pulled on a frame machine.That alone will cost you about $500, then you get the car back and you have probably another $500-$700 in used parts.Now when you get all the parts,you have to prepare them for installation. If you have never done major bodywork,then this is NOT the one you want to learn on.This car would be refused by most bodyshops because a side impact like this always results in a lot of issues down the line,like water leaks,wind noise & and rattles.If you try and make everything fit without repairing it correctly,then you are asking for trouble.Mainly the saftey of the driver could be compromised due to improperly latching door. This car is totaled and shouldn't be repaired.

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Old 04-20-2006, 03:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

Doesn't look all that bad to me. Let a real body shop straighten it out, though. Hang your own panels to save money, sure, but you'll never be certain it's truly straight unless you let a pro put it on the frame machine.

I've heard time and time again that a wrecked car is never as good as it was before. It's not true. I've had two unibody cars repaired after frame damage, and one car drove as good as new while the second actually drove better! A few shoddy repair shops that do crappy work are to blame. Modern body shops with competent specialists can make that unibody as good as new.

Find a good shop and have them get it perfectly straight. Yes, it will cost $300 - $600, but add in your estimate of $600 for matching panels and you've got a good working car again for what? $1200 and a few days of work? You can't buy one that cheap.

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Old 04-20-2006, 03:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

A photo with the damaged door OPEN would help...

Is the windshield cracked/broken? If not, the A piller "may" be fine. It appears, on cursery examination, that it may not be all that bad, however I would have to have a VERY strong attachment to a car in that shape to justify attempting to repair it. (Myself or otherwise)

...
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:52 PM   #15
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Post Re: Collision repair advice Any Saturn bodymen out there?

I finally got some time, weather, and my camera all together at the same time. Pulled the rear seat, rear interior panel, quarter panel and door. The pics pretty much tell the tale.

The windshield is not broken. The doors top hinge is perfect. The lower hinge took a pounding. No kinks in the floor. Checked it out from the top and bottom.

Got a few more opinions locally and have decided to attempt repairs. Even was offered the use of a porta power unit. Picked up a door, inner rocker, rocker cover, and a few other neccessary pieces yesterday. Need to swap out lock cylinder for the door yet. The rear quarter is good. the panel I originally asked about in front of the rear wheel is part of the rocker cover. I lucked out there. Might get away without needing a front fender either. The small piece at the bottom by the wheel is trashed and I have another one. It was left over for the episode with my wife and the deer.

Well if the weather holds I hope to be finished by the weekend. Will post more photos. Appreciate the thoughts and help so far. Hope to get more as I go.

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