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Old 12-28-2002, 02:45 PM   #1
ym42
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Roll Eyes Body repairs

Unfortunately my Saturn has been involved in a small accident. I was in the middle of a "chain" collision where four cars all hit each other.

My car was the only one damaged, as other cars were all big SUVs and Vans. I hit the front car with the right corner of my car; hence I have damaged light, shattered fender and slightly bent engine cover.
At the back I have the massive bumper slightly bent in so that my trunk would not close.

Right now it looks like my and other people's insurance would cover some of the damage, but not everything. I am looking for the cheapest way to replace things practically. I want to do everything I can by myself or with friends and only things that I could not do done by the professional shop.

I was thinking about getting parts like fender, light, might be engine cover, and front plastic piece, as well as rear bumper reinforcement from the junkyard. The question is how would I find one around here (NYC, NJ or PA) and what is the "standard procedure" of getting parts from the yard? Has anyone done that before? I would also like the same color, if possible, but is that too much to ask? How are the prices comparing to buying new parts? I saw Saturn SL fenders being sold for 65$ mail in orders... Does this mean I could get it for 50$ from the junkyard?

While it looks not so difficult to replace the engine cover and little more difficult to replace the fender, what would have to be done with the metal piece that is running on top from the corner (head light) to the doors, you know, those things you see as you open the hood. It is slightly bent (few centimeters), but I will need to straighten that out before I can put a new fender in place.

Talking about the back of the car it looks like I will need a bumper reinforcement metal beam to be put in, bumper cover is actually OK, no damage))


Does anyone know what kind of money that job is going to cost and what to do with small bent metal part I mentioned earlier??
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:57 PM   #2
Russ Bellinis
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Before you spend any money on anything, have a body shop check to make sure your frame isn't bent! The fact that the trunk won't close might be an indication that the frame is bent in the back. A competent body shop can straighten a frame just like new now days, but you can't do a job like that at home.
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Old 12-28-2002, 11:43 PM   #3
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At least get a few estimates from high quality body shops - many will explain exactly what was damaged and needs to be done to fix it. That may give you an idea of complicated the repair may be.

You may be able to have the shop specify new parts for the estimates, but actually use salvage parts. If the used parts are in good shape this can save you some money, but if they are rough, it can cost less to use new as the prep isn't so costly.
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Old 12-30-2002, 09:22 AM   #4
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Joe Cutrone at www.6thplanetusedparts.com has quite a good inventory.

Unfortunately, as Joe explains it, fading may make for a paint mismatch even if the replacement part has the same paint color as your vehicle. If you can find the parts locally, you might be able to judge the match before buying. Otherwise, prepare to have the new ones painted.

As others have said, do find out if there's frame damage before beginning anything. Most body shops will do free estimates.
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Old 12-30-2002, 12:08 PM   #5
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regarding junkyards:

There are two schools on this one: pull your own or they have the parts pulled for you.

With pull your own yards, great deals can be had...they have 100-1000's of cars just dumped in their yard (good yards have computerized printouts and a grid system to make locating the car simple). You simply bring your tools and walk around, pulling whatever you want....bring it to the front desk and haggle a bit. Things like engine blocks, windshields, etc have pretty definite values, but things like corner dash trim, bolts, and small parts are a guessing game for them......


The yards that pull the parts for you I have found cheaper alternatives online for even new parts. The one jerkoff that had a grommet for the end of the shifter cables wanted $80.

I saw when I didn't have money at the time (college) a police "DARE" car (anti-drug campaign) on the lot with almost new Recaros in it in light gray leather, the guy wanted $50 each.
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:44 PM   #6
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Today went to the autobody shop and the guy told me that my front ( broken fender and slightly bent metal part ) could cost 2500$ to repair and the back could cost 700$ as there is damage to more than just a bumper reinforcement. I do not believe that the front could possibly cost that much and will go to some other places tomorrow... Not a good time now, New Year :]
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:57 AM   #7
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IT doesn't take very muxh to do $2500 worth of damage to a vehicle these days. You hafta figure the labor ratex how many hours to push/puill/straighten, prep new parts, remove and install, paint, polish, etc. It adds up fast. You should see the $1700 dent in the front door of my '95 Civic. A guy backed into it, not a hard hit, didn;t even knock the glass out fo alignment. I got a $1700 check and paid the paintless dent guy to pull it out.
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Old 12-31-2002, 03:38 AM   #8
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I got in an accident today *Sniff Sniff* THIS IDIOT pulled out right in front of my and destroyed my Rt front bumper, quarter panel, AND bent my hood =0(. So now I have to find out if it's his fault so I can know if I have to fix it my self or not. Anyone know how difficult it is to replace these parts. Or where to look for them outta a good slavage yard in the Chicago area. Is 7th planet any good?

Thanx
Aleks
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Old 12-31-2002, 08:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
IT doesn't take very muxh to do $2500 worth of damage to a vehicle these days.
One pothole I 'fell' into at the ATM a couple weeks ago caused no 'real' visible damage other than a light curbing on my wheel (on the very very edge, so should be an easy fix).

Total estimates were one for $975 fixing the parts, $1100 for replacement. The airdam/bumper cracked / split underneath where you can't see it, and in a non-critical place.

To put that in perspective, the same two companies would do a full repaint for $2000-$2500.
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:16 AM   #10
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Joe at 6th planet has a long history as a Saturn only yard. He also runs a repair/performance shop and is a master tech who testifies in accident cases as an expert witness.

Visit his website at www.6thplanetusedparts.com for a virtual tour of his plant along with pictures of his family and crew. Joe might kill me for saying it, but his wife's a real head-turner and his baby daughter seems to have inherited her good looks -- OK Joe, put down the Uzi.

Happy New Year

By the way, if the ATM area containing the pothole is on bank property, the car owner may want to have a lawyer make a demand on them.
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:39 AM   #11
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When I fell into the pothole there were 4 other customers at the time, I am not sure if that helped my case, since I did mention it to the Bank Manager the next day. He was aware of the hole and told me his ins. co. would be in touch.

Two weeks later I get the call, if over $500 they needed two estimates faxed. The problem I have is with customization, one shop can't handle it all. Regardless I sent in what I had and got a check for $1100 within 3 days.

I used it to pay off a credit card since I want to do a full repaint this year, I don't want to spend money now and have to redo it in 6 months.

Nice to know though the money could cover most of an engine/turbo build up, a full clutch/flywheel R&R, or most of a paint job.

Chris
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