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Old 04-18-2012, 03:43 AM   #1
koljou
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1997 SW2
Wrench Repair Advice - '97 SW2

Hi, I'd just like to say I've used these forums a TON in looking up issues with my car, but have never really contributed.

I thought this would be a great place to get some repair advice for my car, as I am at a bit of a loss.

A few weeks ago my '97 SW2 was involved in an accident, really ambiguous as to who is at fault, plus I have bad insurance so I won't be getting money from them to fix it. The hood got crunched really bad (it won't open), and the lights are all askew (pointing up rather than out).

I have not taken it in for an estimate yet, but I'm guessing the cost to fix it will be at least a few G's.

She has about 123,000 miles on her, so she's gettin up there in age. I live in California, but will be going to Minnesota for school in the fall so I will be doing a lot of driving across the country for awhile there.

Is it worth repairing, given the extent of the damage and the mileage it already has, or should I just junk it and try to find a new (used) car?

Thanks so much, I appreciate any insights you folks might have!
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
blue92
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

If you are capable of fixing it yourself, and you can get the parts cheap from a JY. Otherwise , if you have to bring it in to get fixed, then just sell it to someone as is, and buy another.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

I would say that it would depend on the damage. If the frame has been damaged then you will have issues with driveability in the future.

Wagons have been and are starting to get more difficult to find... so as mentioned if you have the capability to fix the car yourself with some JY parts- a sedan hood (96-99 model year) and (96-99 model year) headlamp housings from a sedan would swap right in. The availability of finding a wagon in a yard will be near mostly next to nothing.

In going to the JY over the past couple of years I have seen *maybe* a total of 10 wagons in the yards that I go to... and that has been going to the JY over the past 5+ years.

Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

+1 to mentioning (sub?) frame damage -- once this happens, the car's pretty much done. it won't align or even drive the way it used to.

So really, it depends on the damage done.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
koljou
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

Thanks for the replies, I'll see how much the parts cost and if I can find a friend who knows his way around repairing cars. I don't need it to be pretty, just functional.

It appears to just be cosmetic damage, the frame seems fine and it still runs smoothly. It was a pretty low speed crash, but my hood wedged under the other car and just crunched. On a scale of 1-10 how difficult would it be for a non gear-head to swap out a hood and headlights?

As far as the issue of age and miles goes, do you guys think my car could make it across the country a few times? It seems like the strain of days of driving might kill it, and if not there would probably be some high maintenance bills.

A bit of a strange predicament.

Thanks! I'd really rather keep my working car than throw it away.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

Quote:
Originally Posted by koljou View Post
Thanks for the replies, I'll see how much the parts cost and if I can find a friend who knows his way around repairing cars. I don't need it to be pretty, just functional.

It appears to just be cosmetic damage, the frame seems fine and it still runs smoothly. It was a pretty low speed crash, but my hood wedged under the other car and just crunched. On a scale of 1-10 how difficult would it be for a non gear-head to swap out a hood and headlights?

As far as the issue of age and miles goes, do you guys think my car could make it across the country a few times? It seems like the strain of days of driving might kill it, and if not there would probably be some high maintenance bills.

A bit of a strange predicament.



Thanks! I'd really rather keep my working car than throw it away.
Replacing a hood is not difficult. It's 2 (13MM) bolts on both sides at the hinges that hold it in place- total of 4 bolts all together.

The headlamp housings are not difficult to replace either.

Scale of 1-10, replacement on these is a mild 3 to 4. Not difficult.

If you have tools you can do this yourself.
...
Bryan

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99 SL

94SL2 260K Miles
1/15

97SW2 266K Miles
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Gone 3/12

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Old 04-19-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post

In going to the JY over the past couple of years I have seen *maybe* a total of 10 wagons in the yards that I go to... and that has been going to the JY over the past 5+ years.

Good luck.
My local redneck yard...... 2 95 SW2, 1 93-94 SW2, 1 93-94 SW1, 4 96-98 SW2, 1 96-98 SW1...... all been crushed within last yr minus the 2-3 wagons that are there now......
...
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Repair Advice - '97 SW2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2NDSOUT View Post
Replacing a hood is not difficult. It's 2 (13MM) bolts on both sides at the hinges that hold it in place- total of 4 bolts all together.
+1, easy to do yourself. Ran across a perfect hood for my SC2, matching color, and only took a few minutes to replace. Not that heavy at all.

Quote:
The headlamp housings are not difficult to replace either.
+1, IIRC, just a couple bolts there, as well... 10mm?


Quote:
Originally Posted by koljou
As far as the issue of age and miles goes, do you guys think my car could make it across the country a few times? It seems like the strain of days of driving might kill it, and if not there would probably be some high maintenance bills.
Driving 10 hours isn't that much more 'straining" than driving 1 hour. Keep an eye on your oil, though.

It's more expensive to buy another car than maintain a running one, usually. i bought my 98 with 102k miles on it, was sufficiently neglected that it needed a timing chain. I'd hop into it now and drive to CA (I'd want to have a couple of gallons of oil, though )
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