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Structural damage?

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  • #885933
    BillyBilly
    Participant

      Hey y’all, I got into an accident in my friend’s 83 Toyota Corolla… The insurance company wants to total it for 2000 even though comparable vehicles sell for 5-6k. Any way I’m wondering if the damage done to the vehicle is dangerous long term or if I reworked/filled the dents/gave it a spray paint job it would be fine? I’ll attach photos. There is a little buckling in the chassis(pictured) but it doesn’t appear to be cracked. I’ve done a little research and saw that in terms of drivability I should measure from the center of each wheel front and back, and if the same distance then the damage hasn’t effected wheel base.

      Will the frame crack over time? Is it safe to drive? Thanks for you’re help you dirty dogs.

    Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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    • #886153
      Matt DavisMatt Davis
      Participant

        Id suggest getting a quote from a couple of collision centers. They can better determine if the frame is more damaged than you see along with getting a rough estimate. Of course its just an estimate and often times more things are discovered once you start the job. If that little buckling in the frame is all there is, it wont crack. But its rigidity is compromised in terms of a next collision unless you get it fixed correctly. Wheelbase measurement is only one of many measurements that need to be done. Perhaps the suspension is vertically or horizontally altered on that side. Tire wear and drivability could be an issue if damaged frame. Will body panels line back up perfectly? A professional opinion would be your best option.

        #886626
        BillyBilly
        Participant

          Thanks for your reply, sorry for such a delayed response. I ended up taking it to a couple shops. They said the damage shouldn’t be dangerous if there isn’t a crack. I went ahead and found another Corolla from the same year in a junk yard a hand full of hours away and pulled the fender bumper and lights. I’ve replaced everything but the bumper because it doesn’t seat well. The frame where the bumper mounts on the collision side of the vehicle is about a half inch higher in the front than the other side. My next move is to take a sledge hammer to a rod of steel positioned at the high point of the frame. Then I’ll drill and tap new holes in the frame. I’ve heard of attaching a chain to a tree and backing up but there is no appropriate place to attach a chain. I’ll report back after I attempt the adjustment. Thanks again!

          #886627
          BillyBilly
          Participant

            Maybe before I take the sledge to it I’ll take it to the shop for a quote. The car does drive straight but I am worried about the alignment being off anyway. I just want to do what is safest for my friend but also cheapest.

            #886628
            Matt DavisMatt Davis
            Participant

              Yea if you back up with it attached to object like tree your liable of causing a whole lot more damage. There is very little control with that procedure. Thats why you see collision shops always use a frame machine that consists of a chain and the vehicle being secured in multiple (stressing multiple) points in order to ease the metal back into place while having the proper measuring equipment to monitor it. Luckily that car is of older vintage so its easier to shape it back into place. Good luck!

              #886630
              MattMatt
              Participant

                Yours don’t look too bad, looks fixable to me. Mine from 11 months ago was much more obvious. I knew it was totaled before I got out of the driver’s seat. The last pic is trying to show how twisted the frame was. It was bent as far back as where I sat. No injuries. Thanks to Eric for showing the seatbelt trick to lifting motors. The seatbelt held the 4.6 V8 with the transmission still attached. I’m still amazed it held.

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