Repair or replace 02 truck due to damage ???

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During a wind storm the other day a tree fell and clipped the front of my beloved truck. Grille and headlights are destroyed, hood is caved in in one spot(very front passenger corner) and the fender is munched. I've got comprehensive insurance on it with a high deductible and it's sitting at their lot right now, probably won't hear anything til Monday. I'm guessing it's probably totaled since it's nearly 13 years old. I got the hood open with a screw driver and some muscle and everything was intact as far as I could tell, only thing that was iffy was the core support but it could be ok I was able to back it up and move it to a different spot so it runs and drives fine My conundrum is this: assuming it's totaled, it's worth probably $3000 max, less the $1000 deductible that leaves me with $2000 to find another car. I'm poor and working while going to college so I'd really prefer not to finance anything but at the same time $2000 probably won't buy something that's been decently maintained or something with under 180,000 on the odometer. I've owned my truck for 50,000 mi and I've treated it very well. Buying a car for less than 2 grand makes me a little nervous about different fix it items that may come up. I could just buy back my truck if it's totaled and fix it for probably less than $200(I'm not opposed to mismatched colors on hood and fender) and hold on to it since I know its quirks and what work has been done, or I could take a chance on another vehicle; my preference would be likely a civic, accord, or corolla from 1998 to 2002 or so Any advice? Opinions?
 
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get what you can from your insurance company and buy junkyard parts and put it back together yourself and you may have extra money. Whatever they offer fight for more.
 

slowdime

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The only problem is that I live in an apartment and I'd have to work in a parking lot, not a big deal though. I also don't really have a ton of time between school homework and my job. I do have a bit of a sentimental attachment to my truck. (Think hank hill lol) but if I could get a good deal on a good car I wouldn't be opposed to moving on. I'm renting a car for the weekend so I can get to work so I'd have basically 3 days next week to find parts and get it done outside in the cold oregon rain.
 

slowdime

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And that's a plus too, if I get $2000 and fix it for $200 I just got $1800 to get some tires, muffler, and shocks.
 

Nick1994

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Yup, become Macgyver and stick it together like a Frankenstein truck since you've got a solid drivetrain. One thing is, where were you when the tree fell on it? If you were at your apartment complex then they are 100% at fault and it won't be on your insurance's dime with higher insurance rates for you. Buyback will be $200-300.
 

slowdime

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It was at my apartments parking lot. Not sure who's tree it is since there's a house next door. Do insurers really raise rates for an act of god? Not like I ran into a tree, it hit me!
 

01rangerxl

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Buy the truck back, repair as much as necessary, and switch it over to liability and save what you don't spend on comprehensive coverage. Source parts from eBay and Certifit or other aftermarket collision suppliers. If you have a Pull-A-Part, I bet you can find some Blazers in there and get some good quality OE panels and other pieces. Wiring pigtails can probably be sourced from a wide range of vehicles if those got damaged...my truck has parking lamp wiring from a Lincoln Continental in it. I went through a similar situation a few years ago, but with liability only and much more damage, but intact air bags and mechanicals. The truck is still serving me well today, and is driven daily. I have put 70K miles on it since wrecking it. The only post-wreck hiccup was the radiator, which eventually cracked on a tank near the mounting point that took the brunt of the impact. $125 and a couple hours took care of that. Eventually I would like to fix it right and get it back to how it was. It will need a new cab quarter, bedside, hood, frame horn pulled (frame is good, bumper mount is bent back), and complete repaint. Major surgery, but definitely doable. Trading it/selling it/crushing it is out of the question...it's just too good of a vehicle regardless of how it looks.
 

01rangerxl

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Originally Posted By: slowdime
It was at my apartments parking lot. Not sure who's tree it is since there's a house next door. Do insurers really raise rates for an act of god? Not like I ran into a tree, it hit me!
Pretty much any claim on your insurance will raise your rates, regardless of fault. Even if they don't pay a claim, if they know about it, your rates will probably go up.
 

slowdime

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I've got 4 pick and pulls within a 30 minute drive and quite a few other yards around. As I said, it didn't look like anything mechanical was damaged, the extra cash would be nice and I could probably get it all done in a day. I'll still weigh my options but I've put a lot of work into that things since I've owned it and I'd hate to have to buy a questionable car.
 
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Originally Posted By: 01rangerxl
Originally Posted By: slowdime
It was at my apartments parking lot. Not sure who's tree it is since there's a house next door. Do insurers really raise rates for an act of god? Not like I ran into a tree, it hit me!
Pretty much any claim on your insurance will raise your rates, regardless of fault. Even if they don't pay a claim, if they know about it, your rates will probably go up.
That may be true for homeowners, however for auto insurance, acts of nature typically don't increase your rates. Also if it was a privately owned parking lot, you would sue the owner of the tree. If it was a city tree, sometimes they pay, sometimes not.
 

slowdime

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I'm a little hesitant to go after my landlord about it since I'm on a month to month lease in an apartment far below market value. $700/mo for 2 bedrooms within 3 miles of downtown is hard to come by around here. I'll see what progressive says but at this point I'm leaning towards fixing it and replacing the muffler, shocks, and tires with the payout after the deductible and buy back... My girlfriends dad owns a parts store and offered to sell me some bilsteins at cost! As for the tree.. It's still sitting in the parking lot nearly a week after it fell, a big old Doug fir fell a few yards from my bedroom but thankfully fell AWAY from the building. Maybe I'll just tell them they need to hire a tree service
 
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An 02 S10 goes for a lot more money around here. What was the condition before the tree hit it? Should be worth more than 3k.
 
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Its always cheaper to fix what you have than to buy a new vehicle.. With a 'cheap' ish daily runner the damage don't matter, you'll only drive the thing into the ground anyways and if it's some rare/loved/cherished old family heirloom like a deusenberg or an Austin sprite then you can't replace it, your oly choice is to repair. IMO replacement is only necessary when the frame has rusted to dust and the engine seized (and even then I'd think long n hard about patching her up)
 

slowdime

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Cosmetically there were the usual bumps and bruises you'd expect for something that's got nearly 150,000 mi on it but nothing glaring. Mechanically it's in great shape. Religious fluid and filter changes (I am on bitog after all), new trans about 40k ago, new u joints, new ball joints, calipers and rotors within the last year. Engine bay is washed regularly, doesn't burn oil or leak. Also has a bed liner and after market sound system. Last summer my brother and I wire wheeled, osphoed, and painted the frame. Bottom line it's been very well maintained and I was hoping to breeze past 200k on the odometer. The 2.2 ohv motor is underpowered but durable, some guys on an s10 forum I read have gotten close to or passed 300k with those motors with nothing but cheap dino and hard driving.
 
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Pure comedy genius! Wouldn't that be like putting lipstick on a pig? If you put Bilstein on that truck just drop out of college now, it's not working. Buy the cheapest shocks on the planet or leave the old shocks on. Be real.
Originally Posted By: slowdime
My girlfriends dad owns a parts store and offered to sell me some bilsteins at cost!
 
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Ya know, this "totalled" thing is just not right. It's another way for the insurance company to "not make you whole". Here is how I would look at it. You've paid whopping insurance premiums all along, to eliminate the risk of having a damaged vehicle. If insurance takes the vehicle and pays you $2000 (and you cough up $1000) are you able to be made whole? If not, insist on fixing your truck. Don't forget that a replacement vehicle will have other expenses such as taxes, title costs, registration costs, "search" costs, rental car costs and so on. Insurance is there to make you whole.
 
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I had a similar situation while in school. I got about $1500 from the insurance company and fixed my Monte Carlo for $400 from a local boneyard. Then got an Earl Scheib $49 paint job and drove the car for another 3 years and sold it for $1000.
 
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