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Old 02-12-2014, 12:28 AM   #1
businessgypsy
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Question Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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.
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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.

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Old 02-12-2014, 01:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

$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?

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Old 02-12-2014, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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!
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

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
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

Check out a few independent shops? Forget the stealer!
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Old 02-12-2014, 01:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Accident! Dare I fix it myself?

'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.
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