Fixing the dart

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3,872
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southern mo
Well after doing a ton of thought and dealing with my insurance company which I am less than impressed with! I have decided to fix the dart. Took about 2 hours to tear it down. We were going to buy a new car and then the insurance decided to low ball us and long story short I just don’t have the patience to deal with incompetent idiots. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and tear it down and see what it needs. I will be buying it back from the insurance company and fixing it.
The nuts and bolts is easy, none of the suspension was damaged so it’s mostly straight forward. I do have a question on the front apron I bent it back obviously I could massage it more but does it really matter how it looks or is crunched up as long as the fender lines up and bolts on? Or should I cut the bad section out and weld a new end on it? What your thoughts?
Other than that everything is in pretty good shape. I do have to get a core support I could probably bend this one into shape but all the plastic they put on it is in rough shape so I’ll just get a new one. I found a white dart for parts on eBay. I ham hoping the guy will sell me everything! What a dream that would be! Either way when it’s all said than done I won’t owe anymore than a 1,000 on the car and I’ll have somewhere between 1000-3000 in repairs roughly depending on how lucky I can get with used parts from a junk car ect. Your thought? I am probably crazy but this did seem like the best option overall.
 

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ram_man

Thread starter
Messages
3,872
Location
southern mo
That poor car is done, you can't do much with the left upper rail kinked and destroyed like that.
I mean either work it back out or cut and weld in a new piece. The rest of the car isn’t bad literally nothing structural is hurt at all. It’s mostly cosmetic. Air bags didn’t go off either.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,137
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New Jersey
I applaud you for trying. The fact that she was able to drive it home and n airbags went off tells me that it’s mostly metal work. Looks like you got it all apart pretty quick!
 

ram_man

Thread starter
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3,872
Location
southern mo
I applaud you for trying. The fact that she was able to drive it home and n airbags went off tells me that it’s mostly metal work. Looks like you got it all apart pretty quick!
It’s really pretty easy to take apart. Very straightforward. The only thing I’m at all concerned with is the apron, I think that’s the right term. How it’s bent up. I doubt I’ll get it back to exactly how it should be. I would think as long as the fender can bolt up to it and line up that it’s probably ok but I am not a body guy so I could be wrong. I’ve read you can cut them and section them but I didn’t want to do that unless I have to. I’d rather bend it back and call it a day. I bent to about where it needs to be since it was folded in I just don’t know how to really make it look a whole lot better than it does. Lol
 
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7,096
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Roanoke Virginia
Great. I knew they wouldn’t total it but usually they do when the air bags deploy. I know several body shop owners and workers they say they won’t even touch anything with airbags deployed. I just helped my friend rebuild his 2017 Camry that he hit someone in that pulled out in front of him but the airbags didn’t deploy that was my second time doing body work it’s not too bad but nothing I would want to do as a career.
 

ram_man

Thread starter
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3,872
Location
southern mo
Great. I knew they wouldn’t total it but usually they do when the air bags deploy. I know several body shop owners and workers they say they won’t even touch anything with airbags deployed. I just helped my friend rebuild his 2017 Camry that he hit someone in that pulled out in front of him but the airbags didn’t deploy that was my second time doing body work it’s not too bad but nothing I would want to do as a career.
Well the insurance did total it I’m just buying it back and fixing it myself. 😂😂
 
Messages
7,096
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Well the insurance did total it I’m just buying it back and fixing it myself. 😂😂
That’s what I would of done too lol. Fortunately for me I’ve only ever been in one accident and that’s when I was a baby so I don’t remember it but all it damaged was the radiator nothing serious so my dad put a new one in and drove it for 5 more years.
 
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6,448
Location
Scruffy City
The upper rail is structural. That one is toast...

Pretty rare finance company to let someone owner retain a total loss that doesn't get paid off on the process.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,137
Location
New Jersey
It’s really pretty easy to take apart. Very straightforward. The only thing I’m at all concerned with is the apron, I think that’s the right term. How it’s bent up. I doubt I’ll get it back to exactly how it should be. I would think as long as the fender can bolt up to it and line up that it’s probably ok but I am not a body guy so I could be wrong. I’ve read you can cut them and section them but I didn’t want to do that unless I have to. I’d rather bend it back and call it a day. I bent to about where it needs to be since it was folded in I just don’t know how to really make it look a whole lot better than it does. Lol

I guess I don’t really know what you’re speaking of. Do you mean the black rectangular thing on the floor? Is it a part that bolts in to give structure. I’d have thought it was a subframe.

If so, there is one in Joplin for $68....


Id be more concerned about that upper rail, if it’s able to be cut and welded, if there’s high strength structural steel in there, etc.
 
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5,515
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down in the park
Only the first part of the upper rail seems damaged. There's some spotwelds there so easy to replace. I'm gonna lift the bonnet on my Giulietta, it shares the same structure to confirm there's no visible damage
 
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4,917
Location
Southeast
I am impressed with your endeavor. I don’t think the apron is that big of a deal. From a safety concern, that upper left has a real purpose, but if you can straighten, cut, or weld then it will still have usefulness. It likely won’t meet original specs, but with the rest of the front end pretty solid, it would still likely be overall on par or better than anything 15 years ago, and many of us have 15 year cars on the road. drive it while you make a pretend monthly car payment into a separate savings account, and in a couple years you can buy something with cash or a solid down payment. That’s what I would do, and have done.
 
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