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Unfortunately, my beloved ‘95 VR4 took some serious damage the other night. Was driving up the local mountain road when I turned a corner at around 60 and a deer was dead ahead of me. I swerved around it but started understeer on the way back into the corner. going in a clockwise spin, i slammed into the guard rail on the side of the road. The only thing is that i assume i slowed down quite a bit when I got sideways before I hit the rail. Now the biggest thing I’m worried about is possible frame/unibody damage. Is anyone able to really look at the pics attached and tell me if damage to the frame is likely? Would it be worth repairing on a 123k mile car?
 

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First off, sorry about the accident, unfortunately, they happen.

After just a quick look I'd say you're looking at:
1) Front bumper (may be repairable)
2) Driver's front fender (new or used)
3) Driver's door (dent repaired, and sideskirt replaced)
4) 2 Wheels and tires. (make that 4 tires on a VR4)
5) Side marker (history)
6) Rear quarter (repair)
7) Rear bumper (repair)
8) Prep and paint

Not a body shop guy, but based on past experience, I'd say $5000 - $7500, and that is probably LOW.

Looks to me like you might have a 95 or 96 base or SL (oops, just saw your sig, it's a VR4?). Based on mileage, they may want to total it.

If you have skills or friends that do, you can probably do it for a lot less.

Good luck.

Bob.
 

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Looks like you hit the guard rail pretty square... that's probably good for the unibody. The wheels are pretty beat up... that's probably bad for the drivetrain/suspension.

Should have just plowed into that mofo. :/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
First off, sorry about the accident, unfortunately, they happen.

After just a quick look I'd say you're looking at:
1) Front bumper (may be repairable)
2) Driver's front fender (new or used)
3) Driver's door (dent repaired, and sideskirt replaced)
4) 2 Wheels and tires. (make that 4 tires on a VR4)
5) Side marker (history)
6) Rear quarter (repair)
7) Rear bumper (repair)
8) Prep and paint

Not a body shop guy, but based on past experience, I'd say $5000 - $7500, and that is probably LOW.

Looks to me like you might have a 95 or 96 base or SL (oops, just saw your sig, it's a VR4?). Based on mileage, they may want to total it.

If you have skills or friends that do, you can probably do it for a lot less.

Good luck.

Bob.
My friends and I definitely have the skills to pull all of those panels (except maybe the rear quarter, i know you need a plasma cutter for that.)
There is a junkyard in town with a ‘96 SL that has all the body panels i need with pricing as follows:

Front bumper: No price given
Front fender: $65
Door: $100
Rear Quarter: $250
Side skirt: No price given
Rear bumper: No price given, but mine looks salvageable anyways.

My father has a buddy in town that does cheap-labor painting and bodywork since he is not from the country and he is pretty dang good at it. He did the bodywork on my ‘85 Fiero GT when my brakes failed. I think the route I may go with this is to buy the panels myself from the junkyard car and have him repaint them and then my friends and I install them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like you hit the guard rail pretty square... that's probably good for the unibody. The wheels are pretty beat up... that's probably bad for the drivetrain/suspension.

Should have just plowed into that mofo. :/
Unfortunately, if I would’ve just “plowed into that mofo”, I would’ve had the very scary and death-insuring chance to go over a cliff that drops down around 150 feet. In addition, bouncing around in the trees on the way down would’ve probably been a little bit of a traumatic event for me.
 

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Do you have a set of crap (winter wheels/tires) to throw on it see how it "rides"?
Or do you KNOW you have suspension damage already?

Might add a bunch of work and parts, and that's if the frame isn't tweeked....

Good Luck, it sounds like you have a good plan....

Bob.
 

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Of course, it is situational... but I was taught that it is usually it is more dangerous to swerve. Also, it may have implications when it comes to insurance coverage... comprehensive vs. collision.

In your case - sounds like you made the right call if you don't think that you could have maintained control of the vehicle after the deer impact. Good luck with the repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you have a set of crap (winter wheels/tires) to throw on it see how it "rides"?
Or do you KNOW you have suspension damage already?

Might add a bunch of work and parts, and that's if the frame isn't tweeked....

Good Luck, it sounds like you have a good plan....

Bob.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an extra set of wheels and tires. i have one spare tire that i can probably put on the front to make the car move a little better when I go to put the car in the garage among my other money pit...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Of course, it is situational... but I was taught that it is usually it is more dangerous to swerve. Also, it may have implications when it comes to insurance coverage... comprehensive vs. collision.

In your case - sounds like you made the right call if you don't think that you could have maintained control of the vehicle after the deer impact. Good luck with the repairs.
I do not plan on going through insurance with this, as I would prefer they not find out about it. Rates are already astronomical for an 18 year old male, and this would make it worse. In addition, I think I only have liability.

Personally, I didn’t really feel like seeing a 200-300 lb hunk of meat up close and through my windshield (lol), so naturally, i swerved. Here in Tucson, Arizona, we don’t have to deal with deer often. Even on the mountain road it is sort of rare. Just caught me off guard.
 

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Be careful how you move that car.
With uneven tire surfaces, you can ruin your VCU...

Bob.
 

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If you need a set of wheels, send me a PM.
I'm in the phoenix area.
 

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The body stuff will suck to fix but it's doable. The rear will especially suck. When you cut your new rear quarter off the donor, try and find measurements you can easily (and accurately) mimic on your car. Welding it in and making it look good will be tough unfortunately. The rest is easy.

My concern is subframe damage. You need to get under the car and make sure nothing shifted. Idk how much impact your wheels actually took.
 

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Sorry to read about your accident, that sounds like a pretty harrowing experience!

I don't have any body work experience, but wouldn't it be easier and possibly even cheaper overall to just pull the dents on the rear quarter and mold on a wide body kit over top of it? It would be as good of a time as any to upgrade to a full wide body fender kit since you will be needing to do paint matching on the new panels already...

Best of luck with getting that thing back on the road!

Eric
 

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My brother has his own restoration shop and is a licensed bodyman. I've helped him lots over the last 30+ years and that damage does not look that bad. Put some usable tires on it, look underneath, take measurements of unibody and compare with known good car. A decent bodyman can fairly easily fix the rear quarter and the rest are remove and replace. I wouldn't worry about saying good bye to that beauty. Besides if you are only 18 then this has the opportunity to be a great learning experience and you'll be proud when you get it back on the road looking great. I'd love to help but I'm several thousand miles north of you. :( Don't give up
 

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Having just a minor accident like having some scratches on your car, scrapes or dings, and a cracked headlight or a small dent in your hood is all right, but this one you've got here is very serious. It really is worth repairing, it would be a waste for this car if you weren't going to repair it.
 
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