Front end damage - radiator support bent badly...Tech advice please

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by TheUser, Aug 10, 2005.


  1. TheUser

    TheUser Active Member

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    For the full story, you can see my thread in talk: Someone drove my car over night and wrecked it

    Basically, my nephew drove my car w/o permission and wrecked it. I have various external pics in the thread in talk.

    I pulled the radiator, fan, shroud, unbolted some of the bottom bumper cover bolts and moved the a/c condensor to the side. I need to get the car where I can drive it to get estimates of how much it would cost to fix it. Right now as it sits, if the radiator is in, the hood won't shut, the shroud pushes into the crank pulley and the fan hits the radiator. I need to pull that piece of metal that the radiator sits on back a little more into place.

    I was thinking either one of two things.

    1) Use a chain and either my Jeep or my bro's Dodge Ram to pull the bracket forward a little bit.

    2) Use some type of winch or pulley system that ties to a tree or whatever and you click the thing and slowly ratchet it in.

    It's a position where hammering and prying are not really possible as far as I've tried.

    I'm thinking I'll try to locate some used parts that will fit (probably a whole new front clip) and try to do it myself and save the extra money and keep the car.

    I was also thinking about fixing it to make it driveable and look decent and sell it...of course telling the person what happened. The underbody is rusted pretty badly, so throwing a lot of money into this car isn't the best move. I called some auto body shops and tried to get them to come and give me an estimate at my house, but they don't do that. They said from the sound of it, it's probably totaled. The cop told me probably not. The thing is that the inner fender (fenderwell) on the drivers side is kinda crunched, so I'm not real sure what I'm gonna do about that.

    Pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks :)
     
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  2. ss93cobra

    ss93cobra Founding Member

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    To properly fix it, a radiator support and a inner fender patch panel are in order. You can try to straighten both pieces, using a port a power or a come along and getting it as close as possible. If you simply want a quick fix to sell the car, I'd try the means mentioned above. Remember though, your work is your signature and to everyone else that sees the car after you've sold it, it's a symbol or extension of you......
     
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  3. ram360

    ram360 Founding Member

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    If the damage is just to the radiador support just pull it out w/ a come along. Should be fine.
     
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  4. ss93cobra

    ss93cobra Founding Member

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    Did you not see the inner fender?
     
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  5. Blandnuts

    Blandnuts I don't swallow; I only swoosh Founding Member

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    Better find a good body man if you plan on having that drive straight. I think it's totaled....
     
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  6. NOSNotch

    NOSNotch Founding Member

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    I dont think just a rad support is gonna fix that perfect and like ss93 said if you get it close just to sell the car than can make you look bad and make it very hard to sell any of your future projects. If you want to stay with a stang id say go looking for a decent rust free 4cylinder and do the swap. Good luck with it
     
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  7. jpctln

    jpctln New Member

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    It can be fixed...

    I did this to my LX not too long ago. I crashed the left side of the front bumper, trashed both fenders, fender aprons, and bent the radiator support. Luckily I got an appreciative body man to work with me. That crinkled metal part behind your battery is the fender apron, and starts from about the shock tower and goes up to the radiator. It can be air-hammered off and a brand new piece can be welded on. Depending on the angle of your crash, the main rails might need to be straightened a little. The radiator support is replaceable as well.

    Anyway, it might cost a little money. I'm about to pay about $700 for them to do all that work for me at the dealership. They're also pre-fitting the mockup fenders and hood to make sure everything lines up straight. That's a lot better than the quoted $5200 to repair it alltogether though. It just depends on how attached you are to your car...to fix it or replace it.
     
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  8. TheUser

    TheUser Active Member

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    Ok, glad to know it can be fixed...now...if it was quoted as $5200 and you got the work done for $700...was that because you knew the guy or what?

    I really don't want to do a 4cyc swap because I think that would be a PITA - although I guess this who mess is a PITA. I'll keep that a consideration though.

    I realize this work will be a reflection of me, but I can't get it perfect w/o buying new parts or used parts and having them welded in. Not only is that inner fender jacked, so is the outter fender. I was thinking about trying to bend it back out, but I'm sure if I try bending it I wouldn't get it all the way straight, thinks won't line up right and the paint would probably crack; there is no way the paint will be matched because it's a 15 yr old faded paint. I had the rear bumper replaced and you can definately tell it's not original if you look at the car very much.

    And yeah there's always the possibility that there are still thinks wrong that I haven't found yet.

    Thanks for the advice. Any other comments/advice welcome. :nice:
     
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  9. GREYFOX4INCH

    GREYFOX4INCH Member

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    radiator support dosnt look to bad, but the fender might be tough.the way its crinckled inside,i would say thats gonna be trouble.
    have it looked at by a pro.
     
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  10. Michael Yount

    Michael Yount Advanced Member

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    I think I'd attach that come-along to my nephew's head....
     
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  11. jpctln

    jpctln New Member

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    Well with my situation, the body shop assessed the damage after the wreck and quoted $5200 to fix it completely and have it back in my hands. When you figure the cost of brand new factory fenders, bumper, paint, straightening, labor, etc...it'll easily amount to these kind of digits. We were going to go that route, but the insurance company refused to pay the exceeded 70% car-value repair cost. So what I did (and I'm glad I did this), was buy the "totaled" car back from insurance as well as receive a nice chunk of money in return to play around with. I bought another 5.0 (GT vert), and tore the LX apart in my garage. I found a local deal on fenders and bumper for less than 100 bucks and spoke with this man at the dealership to estimate the cost of straightening (no I did not know the guy, nor did I get any special kind of deal). So basically, to make a long story short, I decided to take things into my own hands, scope out some kick-ass deals on replacement parts, and leave all the straighening work to the professionals. I don't think anyone here has mentioned insurance yet...it helps.
     
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  12. GREYFOX4INCH

    GREYFOX4INCH Member

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    yeh but if you think about it, in order to fix the vehicle, alot of parts or even the whole car will need to be repainted anyway.i cant realy tell by the photo but it looks like it is pushed in pretty good inside the fender. it can be strait again,but your not just gonna yank on it, and its fixed.its gonna require some body work by the looks of it.
    and possible welding you know? (i could be wrong,) but your still gonna be painting the new fender/(bumper maybe) right?

    suggestion: do what jpctln said.
    let them total your car.
    buy it back
    use the money for a
    unrusted hatch, fender, bumper,and whatever else you need
    should be no more then $500 from a junkyard
    or just buy a junk car as listed above and steal all the good stuff
    maybe even the same color car do some searching,and have a body shop do the straitening. just bring it there with no fenders or bumper
    then get a cheap paint job,or save for one if you cant afford it after the repair.
    anyone agree????
    ooooorrrrrr just build a huge jump and post a video of you nose diving it from 15 feet in the air :p ....i like that idea best. sorry
     
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  13. RsStanG1987

    RsStanG1987 I shaved all my pubes playing this game.

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    I dont think insurance will covcer it if you say it was stolen and returned unless you have full coverage. They might wanna know if who stole it got caught and why the car was returned to you so fast. Buy a donor car, gut it , and swap all your stuff into it. It may take a while but im sure it would be a good learning experience. Also you could put that punk nephew or your to some manual labor to pay off what he did.
     
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  14. Michael Yount

    Michael Yount Advanced Member

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    If you have full coverage - the loss should be covered, whether it was stolen/recovered, or just joy-ridden by a dolt nephew without permission. And I think a visit by the local authorities to have a 'chat' with your nephew would do both him and his parents some good.
     
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  15. TheUser

    TheUser Active Member

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    Michael: I guess you missed the thread in talk; an officer woke him up yesterday morning and had a little 'chat,' which got the confession and the agreement that he would pay me back. I'm going to get it in writing and notorized once I figure out the details. If he neglects at any time, I will press full charges and possibly take him to civil court as well.

    Insurance WILL NOT cover this because I only have liability. Home owners insurance won't pay for it - this is between the nephew and I. His dad (my bro) says he should be in jail, but him being in jail won't get my car fixed. He had a good story, but it could be a lie - who knows and I don't even really care now that the damage is done. Even if your mom is dying, I don't think it's right to steal someone's car and especially not man up about it and admit it after it happened.

    Anyway, I've thought about trying to find a "donor car," but I really don't want to put much money into this one because it's rusted all under it, 150k on the motor and tranny - probably not the best investment to be throwing a few thousand dollars into when I have a rust free GT that could use a motor and it should be good to go.

    The nephew will not be helping me do any of this because I don't want him to. I don't trust him and very rarely do I ask anyone for help on anything to do w/ my vehicles - except for asking questions of course.

    I'm not sure what to do - so much floating around in my mind right now.
     
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  16. jpctln

    jpctln New Member

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    Well if the car is a junker, and insurance will not cover the damage...I personally wouldn't dump any money into it. Maybe you should part it out or find a clean roller and swap. Good luck and git-r-dun.
     
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  17. Thenemesis

    Thenemesis Banned

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    :stupid: if its rusted.. you would of have to fix the rust anyway even if it wasnt wrecked.. your only way to make the car solid is strip it down completely which is retarded in that you have a nice GT with a 306 and all that.. could buy a roller GT and switch it.. while the motors out detail it put new spark plugs do some hotrod stuff here and there and make a nice GT for just cruising.. tis up to you
     
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  18. aete2

    aete2 Founding Member

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    Totaled........please i have fixed far worse, having said that you should have it repaired right, get it done by a body shop or someone who knows what there doing (its your car take pride in it) there are ways to cut costs just get a body shop to fix the main stuff you do the rest- ie you take all the stuff off and put it back on and so forth.

    Good luck with it. :cheers:
     
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  19. Blandnuts

    Blandnuts I don't swallow; I only swoosh Founding Member

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    What is totaled? A car that is not worth rebuilding.... This car is not worth more then double of what it will cost to rebuild it. I'd make the nephew pay about 2k to "fix" it and then I'd part the car out.

    Basically, what do you think someone would of paid for the car before it was wrecked?.... Make him pay that, then make a little extra by parting it out.




    Fred
     
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  20. jpctln

    jpctln New Member

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    :stupid: That's exactly what I did...should actually get my car back from the shop today. There's about 200 pieces of it in my garage...I'll have fun with that.
     
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