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View Full Version : Accident! Dare I fix it myself?


businessgypsy
02-12-2014, 12:28 AM
Searched, but having no luck finding anyone here who fixed their own front end damage on an NCV3

Hertz rental Ford E350 passenger van tried a right turn on to an intersecting road from the center lane at 40mph. I was in the right lane, front tire even with the rental's rear. Sprinter did a great job with emergency brake and steer, impact happened with both vans moving same direction. Funny little tort law called the Graves Amendment absolves rental company from responsibility, even if they rented the vehicle to Foreign Nationals with no insurance and didn't insist they buy additional coverage.

So, I'm looking at $1K deductible on my State Farm UM coverage. Prelim estimate from in-house Benz body shop tops $12.5 K Appears that most of the damage is a remove-and-bolt-back-on affair, but I know there's gotta be more to it. Parts off of eBay and (MB where necessary) look like they come to about $3K. Thinking I can remove old, install new, and have the result painted. Way too simple, what am I getting into here?

Voice of experience, speak unto me! I even thought a bit about going to a 2014 nose, since opportunity has, um...knocked.

BBlessing
02-12-2014, 01:06 AM
do the math. $1000 deductible and someone with experience and the right tools does the work with warranty. $3000 parts and you with no experience and no special tools does the work with no warranty. just some food for thought.

sad to hear of your plight.

bb

businessgypsy
02-12-2014, 01:14 AM
Thanks for the reply, BBlessing. Plight or opportunity? My math looks a little more like this: $11.5K check from the insurance company, -$3k in parts, -($3K?) for painting and unknowns = $5.5K for van improvements and fancy dashboard hula girls. Appreciate your input, hoping a hands-on bodywork veteran will tell me back off, go for it, or okay, but...
Appreciate your input, Dean

72chevy4x4
02-12-2014, 01:27 AM
depends on your ability-no way around it. Can you paint? From experience, aligning the panels can be a pain.

is there damage to the A-pillar? Inner wheel well (what the fender mounts to)?

If you were to do it yourself, consider having a paint shop paint the backsides of the panels (you buy it in black) then paint the entire assembly in place in order to color match. Maybe they could color match by shooting the pieces in the shop, but metallic's are harder to match and the shop may need to color buff (whatever the process is called??) to blend the panels-nothing worse then seeing a beautiful car with two shades of paint.

kendall69
02-12-2014, 03:33 AM
If they give you cash to fix it, and you will keep the van till it falls apart then fix it yourself.
If you want to resell it - then it needs to be done professionally.

Option 3 get the xxxK take it a to a dealer and trade it in as is and buy a new one.

I has a similar thing happen. I took the large cash payout and never did fix the vehicle. I drove it for another 5 years and still sold it for OK money, not retail, but not bad either for the year and condition. I was many, many thousands ahead.

My Sprinter was hit with some wind damage, insurance gave me 4K for the damage 3 years ago, it's STILL DAMAGED, and the 4K paid the van off. I don't mind driving around with a huge dent in it. 4k for a dent - I'll take that all day long. I will never sell it so I don't worry about resell.

icarus
02-12-2014, 03:57 AM
$12 k seems kinda high. I hit a deer in my 08, both headlights, hood radiator, intercooler, oil filter housing, both fenders, bumper and cover plus a bunch of little stuff was $12k. An extra $1000 and I had them change the color on the whole truck. Maybe take the cash and get a different body shop to do the work?

Icarus

businessgypsy
02-12-2014, 11:25 AM
These replies have got me thinking - exactly why I asked the question. Will research assembling the parts and negotiating with a different shop for the install and painting. Won't hurt to ask. Thanks for the insights!:thumbup:

72chevy4x4
02-12-2014, 01:23 PM
isn't that kind of amazing that what looks to be some superficial damage to the corner of your van results in a claim nearly 25% of the original cost of the vehicle?

Similar thing happened when my BMW motorcycle was damaged-ALL superficial damage to panels, but the resulting cost was 1/3 of the original cost...parts are expensive! Good luck

pgr
02-12-2014, 01:29 PM
Check out a few independent shops? Forget the stealer!

businessgypsy
02-12-2014, 01:36 PM
'72, it does give you pause - and that freaky Graves Amendment law sent chills down my spine - living in a state where tourism is the #1 industry. Parts shopping on eBay appears to offer some considerable savings, hoping I can stitch together an alliance with a capable painter/installer to somewhat cover my ancillary expenses in this incident. Was quoted on a 2014 yesterday - $54K with all of my desired goodies, before negotiating. Thinking after repair, I'll have a sales price around $30K on my rig. $24K for an update? Just because I can doesn't mean I should. Maybe I'll keep her and add suspension seats. Not a daily driver, so I have less urgency to make a move.

MillionMileSprinter
02-12-2014, 01:41 PM
After dealing with an insurance adjuster myself instead of letting the body shop negotiate for me, I got WAY less money than I was expecting for some major roof damage. In the end, I pocketed the money, sold my sprinter, bought a new to me sprinter and came away happy. (sold the little one in my avitar and kept the big one)
If you are going to keep the van forever and don't mind the fact that it WONT look perfect, pocket the ins money and do the repairs yourself. And I guarantee that if the body shop quoted you 12K for the repairs, the truth is closer to 9K and you might get 7K from the adjuster if you go to bat for yourself. If you ever want to re-sell the van, have the body shop do the work and be happy that the ins will cover it. Let the body shop and the adjuster duke it out.
I hate adjusters.:thumbdown:

gary 32
02-12-2014, 02:53 PM
'72, it does give you pause - and that freaky Graves Amendment law sent chills down my spine - living in a state where tourism is the #1 industry. Parts shopping on eBay appears to offer some considerable savings, hoping I can stitch together an alliance with a capable painter/installer to somewhat cover my ancillary expenses in this incident. Was quoted on a 2014 yesterday - $54K with all of my desired goodies, before negotiating. Thinking after repair, I'll have a sales price around $30K on my rig. $24K for an update? Just because I can doesn't mean I should. Maybe I'll keep her and add suspension seats. Not a daily driver, so I have less urgency to make a move.

Sorry BG, sometimes Florida could be a 3rd world country.
Remember who you are, if you are not a collision repair specialist you may not be happy with your results, even if a professional does it somehow not going to be the same, but less.
I have had my front end apart a few times. There is so much plastic and thin gauge metal 3k might be low.
Did you prefer your 08 or 10, I would consider the used market, vehicles with under 20k miles might be better values and they are out there.
I like you're creative thinking just make sure you end up with more than you had before, after all this BS you deserve it.

lindenengineering
02-12-2014, 04:36 PM
With reservations that's about a $5500 dollar hit!
Need to see it closer to look at the front chassis dumb iron sections for crippling etc etc.

I did one in red about a years ago on a 2008 unit.
I used a selecion of parts from MB and Dodge source picking the cheapest genuine parts.

Paint was $750 of that total (remember red is a premium color!)

Now dealing with adjusters, not all are created equal remember!!
If you insure with the bottom feeders then you will have to deal (and the repair shop)with bottom feeder adjusters trying to shave off the cheapest parts they want fitted including aftermarket! They will even tell you to go/call to this used parts from junk yard here; salvage yard there! The modus operandii is to do the job for the cheapest possible price.
These companies even dictate how much they will pay for labor currently at about $47 to $53/hour. Paint/prep about $47/hour.

As you can imagine there of a consequence a great deal of padding out and chicanery at arriving at a repair cost. Then there's the supplement if you have "overlooked" something or you can't find the used junk yard part they told you to get. For me the "great galler" is slapping them with sundries--5 sticks of welding rod--.32ft of mig wire, 12 sheets of 100 wet & dry, 23 sheets of 150 wet/dry plus masking papers tape etc etc.

Is it any wonder these days that these company's have their 'prefered" body shops, which they try to steer you to. This is in some states ILLEGAL as in Colorado (so check in yor state with the State attorney's office. ) Texas is one of the worst for consumer abuse by the way.

Collision repairs under insurance reimbursement I tend to avoid, the basic reason is for every hour we spend fixing it, there is an hour of office and on site dickering with an adjuster.

The best insurance company I have dealt with was USAA--essentially get on and fix it!
The worst Esurance from my experience
Total chacanery
Dennis

jdcaples
02-12-2014, 06:54 PM
Can you post the list of parts that you need to replace or purchase for a full fix?

-Jon

tphilly
02-13-2014, 09:39 AM
Doesn't look that much different from mine. Mine had 3800 of damage to it. The guy that hit me is paying for it through his insurance.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1004699_10153787124470207_186579383_n.jpg

nctrailseeker
02-13-2014, 12:59 PM
Google Copart.com......find a compatible year, have a dealer buy it for you, use the parts you need and sale the rest to make some of your money back. Has worked for me several times with different cars.
These are much more simple to work on than you would think.

72chevy4x4
02-13-2014, 01:57 PM
Doesn't look that much different from mine. Mine had 3800 of damage to it. The guy that hit me is paying for it through his insurance.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/t1/1004699_10153787124470207_186579383_n.jpg

is that wheel pushed back? A straight on hit is a lot more destructive-possible bent frame rail (which they make a new weld on frame rail end) and A-arm/engine cradle damage which would dramatically increase repair costs.

Cvollmar
02-13-2014, 07:49 PM
I have had 3-4 repaired with the same type damage. Should be no more than 5-6k unless there is some kind of major damage. Find out who repairs the local Fedex Sprinters and have them look at it.

OrioN
02-13-2014, 07:53 PM
I stopped performing my own root canals years ago....

tphilly
02-23-2014, 02:53 PM
is that wheel pushed back? A straight on hit is a lot more destructive-possible bent frame rail (which they make a new weld on frame rail end) and A-arm/engine cradle damage which would dramatically increase repair costs.

Yes the wheel has been pushed back. The repairers have had it for 5 weeks now. I don't think it has bent the frame rail. Current costs are at 4850 or just over $8000!

lindenengineering
02-23-2014, 04:41 PM
Yes, didn't surprise me!

I have one we have just had to pull straight.
It came to us a a 'rebuilt auction" unit with lots of electromechanical issues; on the face of it looked cosmetically OK but didn't withstand much scrutiny! (Chicago bodging at its best)
Bent rails (or dumb irons as they used to be called in "zee auld" days )

For what its worth MB make some very collision absorbent structures. Their designs are top notch on passenger protection, its why you spend that extra for this product.

On the one in my shop we should have unpicked the frame and welded in new repair sections, but the owner wanted us just to use the Portapower! A Chinese unit lurking in my leather bound brass buggerybox! !

BUT it I might add was supported on good old English hydro jacks from a Centurion tank tool kit! Now about 60 years old made in England by Tangye.

Yes the very same make of jacks that successfully launched the Great Eastern. I don't expect that Chinese Portapower to last 60 months! BUT it will launch a Sprinter.
Dennis