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Old 01-07-2010, 07:46 PM   #1
BillW
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Unhappy Got rear ended. Repair or replace Any suggestions?

Is it worth repairing a supra that’s been rear ended or should I just take the insurance money and start over?

It is a little difficult to see from the pictures below, but the force of the impact buckled the quarter panel above the rear wheel, towards the door, and that makes me think the damage may be too much to fix.

I bought the 89, 7mge, auto, 160k miles for $700, 6 months ago. I put in $1400 in parts, replacing the head gasket, timing belt, radiator, drive shaft, differential, rotors, etc. After that, the car was driving very nice, thanks in large part to the information on this site, and answers to my questions from CRE, Bill UK, Dark Supra 2.5 and others.

A month ago I gave the car to my Nephew, who lives in Sumter, South Carolina (i live in NJ). He loved the car and all was well. A week ago, the car was rear ended by a pickup truck, while sitting at a traffic light.

The driver of the pickup received a ticket. My Nephew was not at fault, according to the police record. My Nephew had a stiff neck and drove the car home after the crash.

The body shop estimated it would cost $3,200 to repair the damage, using junk yard parts. The insurance adjuster looked at the car today and said its totaled, and would give an amount next week. My guess is they will give $2500.

Considering the money and time put into the car, is it worth fixing? I imagine the rear end and quarter panel will need to be cut out of a donor car and welded in to make the repair. I guess we’d end up with a salvage title, and cosmetically the car would not be perfect, but it seems like drivability would not be affected, since the impact probably did not affect the suspension or the engine. Are there any other options to consider other than scraping the car and starting over? Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks.

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Last edited by BillW; 01-12-2010 at 06:47 PM. Reason: added pictures
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #2
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At a glance I don't see what's going to need welding. I can't comment until I see a LOT more pics. Pull the lamp fixtures and see how badly damaged the metal behind them is. It really looks like the hatch took 90% of the damage. If so, used +89 taillights = $125, used read hatch from a salvage yard = $80 (if it includes the glass, $40 without), used rear hatch latch and lock = $40, used rear bumper skin reworked to look brand new = $400 (find a used white one and you're set for $100 or less)... This depends on any other metal damage though.

I'm not an autobody specialist... I've just had to learn how to get by without paying one.

Post more pics, I'm sure someone here might be or know someone in the business.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:46 AM   #3
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:33 AM   #4
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If the buckle in the sheetmetal up by the passenger door happened as a result, I'd buy a new chassis and swap whatever's good into it. How's the rest of the car? (Including old dings and scratches)
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Default Condition of Car

Thanks CRE, for the thoughts. Yes, the buckled metal above the wheel was due to the crash. I guess your suggesting finding a new chassis because the damage is severe?

Thanks to you and others guidance, for doing the repairs (head gasket, etc.) the car was working (it still drives) very nice before the crash. The motor is strong, the coolant and oil stay put, AT shifts well, brakes well, On the down side, 160k miles, AC, cruise control do not work, a few dings, rust spots and the suspension a little floaty.

Do you think it would be worth it, if I could find a car with a BHG,etc. to move the motor/AT and other good parts? How long would it take to swap a motor and trans, assuming I had the tools required? Thanks.

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Old 01-10-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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You’re be ok with that Bill, the only extra tools you will need is a hoist & trolley jack. (The trolley jack for the AT) Ok a little bit of extra work crawling under the car to remove the prop, exhaust, Speedo cable and un-bolting the AT. Time wise: A full day to prepare for removal, next morning up bright and early, pull the engine and AT together allow 1 –2 hours. I bought an engine hoist form Ebay like this one Ebay fully extended it will lift a ton, believe me you will need it fully extended to reach into the centre of the engine. A few pics below that will give you some idea. By the way, what condition is the floor pan of your boot, did it buckle up? Almost forgot you will be removing two engines/AT, the second one your probably have out in a day, you can sleep in the next morning.




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Old 01-10-2010, 04:48 AM   #7
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I'm glad to see your keen on the idea of swapping. I was going to suggest it but did not know how you felt about doing all that work again =)
If it was me and I had another Daily driver at my disposal (not to mention warm weather or a warm garage) I would purchase a shell and just "swap" it over. keep your white one for replacements or just piece it out. I know Im looking for a fan shroud.. *hint* =) keep us posted on what you decide.
Oh. and probably be cheaper. (if your purchase a new one and remove the engine from your old. do yous till get insurance? or do they remove the car from your property before insurance pay out, I don't know never was in that circumstance.)
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:44 PM   #8
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Default Insurance settlement

Thanks for the input, everyone.

The other drivers insurance is going to give me $3500 for the car, and I can buy the wrecked car back from the insurance company for $380.

My question is: should I buy the car back and get the rear end repaired for $3200, since it ran nice before the crash (except for the A/C, some rust spots, etc.) Or should I buy the car back, find a car with a BHG, etc. and swap the motor,trans etc. from the wrecked car into a car with a BHG?

I'm thinking that it will be difficult to check out a car with a BHG, since it can't be driven and I can't check the suspension, brakes etc. so maybe I should repair what I have. On the other hand, if I repair what I have, I will come out with a salvage title, the car may never drive as well as it did before the crash, and I may not get through inspection.

Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by BillW; 01-12-2010 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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hmm.. I mean you have a motor for it.. what is your gut telling you? which path is cheaper? do you have the time to work on a new one? I would FIRST look around and see if any 7mgte's are even available. you might be able to find one thats cherry just needing some TLC. in which case you have a whole shell of tlc waiting to be used. But maybe you might find the only supra you can get your hands on is a lemon.. not leamons. =) and if thats the case what other option do you have? If i had another reliable Daily Driver and enough cash to buy a reliable supra shell. I would do the swap (i have the time and the process would be informative to say the least.)
is time an option? how about mechanical know-how. is cash for problems that arise during the swap a problem? all these play into your decision.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:11 AM   #10
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Green's asking all the right questions. My first and number one question is: do you have another vehicle to drive in the interim? Number two is: Do you have room for two non running cars while you swap parts? Number three is: Just how capable are you of performing the labor required or how willing are you to learn?

Simply swapping parts is fairly straight forward and IMO downright easy.

Personally, I would look for a PERFECT MKIII chassis with matching interior.... don't care if the engine or transmission have fallen apart to the point of not even being in the car anymore. Then I'd take my time... I would pull the engine from my old car and completely rebuild it. Swap in everything i liked from my old car (suspension, brake pads, the damned ashtray!, whatever). I would put together the cleanest car possible and then sell off every remaining part that anyone will buy (even if just for the cost of shipping).. Who knows, you may even make enough to pay for some of the rebuild.

I'm not adverse to fixing what's broken and I have NO problem at all with salvage titles. My car cost me $300... should give you an idea of the state it was in... it's still not gorgeous, but I got stopped by a guy yesterday who wanted to buy it on the spot! I'm still not entirely sure I should have turned him down. But I have spent a TON of money on this car. I probably would have less money invested had I bought two cars and just pieced together one good one and had the other crushed. However, it is not a path I recommend to most. There are things which will creep up constantly that you didn't notice and now have too much money invested to just jump ship. You may be right, it may never drive the same... Then again, it might... the areas where I SEE structural damage aren't areas of concern with regard to alignment or the integrity of the frame.

In the end it is your decision. The points I've provided for consideration are precisely the things I would pay the most attention to. I honestly can't tell you which you should do as I do not know your capabilities or what facilities you have at your disposal.
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