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Old 09-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #11
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Over the years my family has had their fair share of accidents and my uncle runs a group of body shops in the southwest for Caliber Collision. He started working on bodies when he was 16 think he's 58? now. He has helped us through some muddy waters.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
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I just can't imagine replacing the whole frame, the work it would take, remounting the engine, trans, etc and not having issues in the future. Vehicles can be enough trouble when assembled on an assembly line by trained people in a controlled environment.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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You mentioned you went to a body shop and his repairs were limited in scope w/o complete renewal. I'd suggest you go to a frame alignment and repair shop. They came about with the uni-body construction. They can "crop and insert" damaged areas and then re align with laser sights. The unit will be back to original. Suggest you locate one, cost much less than you mentioned.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
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It most likely won't be a "new" frame they will get a certified recycled vehicle and swap parts say rolling chassis and back end from a donor van that has some other damage and then the rest is yours. If your vehicle is more than 12 months old most insurance policies have a clause that allows them to use parts from another vehicle your age (ish). Since essentially your parts were used also.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
You mentioned you went to a body shop and his repairs were limited in scope w/o complete renewal. I'd suggest you go to a frame alignment and repair shop. They came about with the uni-body construction. They can "crop and insert" damaged areas and then re align with laser sights. The unit will be back to original. Suggest you locate one, cost much less than you mentioned.
MY son took my 85 Camaro and slid into a curb and crumpled the driver's side front wheel, frame etc. Body shops (several) said it couldn't be repaired. Took it to a frame shop that specialized in Hot Rods and such and for 500 bucks the replaced the bent ??? (can't remember the name) welded and sistered the frame and straightened the frame... That was 10 years ago and she runs as straight as an arrow.

I'd look around at other shops especially hot rod etc. places, they don't know that some things are impossible LOL.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:26 PM   #16
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Lol, darn morals get in the way every time!
Don't laugh off the possible injuries. Stop talking to people about this and stop posting about this.
Get an attorney.
DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING YOUR ATTORNEY HAS NOT TOLD YOU TO SIGN!!


I have been in six wrecks in cars or trucks.
The long term injuries and pains may make you regret being the nice guy or the good guy.
Where do nice guys finish?
Here are 3 that happened in a 4 month time frame - almost to the day(s)
I had a 1973 Mercury Marquis Brougham that weighed 6009 pounds by the factory door sticker.
In that car I got rear ended at about 45 mph and the impact bent my seat.
2 months later I got side swiped and spun almost 180 degrees while I was driving UPHILL!
About a month later I got T Boned in my replacement car and it spun me around almost 360 degrees. The woman who hit me ran a red light at about 45 mph. She walked over to my car and asked me if I had insurance as if it was my fault!
Off the record she admitted fault, and yes there was a witness who was willing to testify.

I was not hurt at the time and I was not in pain at the time.
How do I feel 15 years later?
Aches, pains, loss of movement and muscle spasms in my back.
In Oregon, hitting someone from behind is defenseless. Reaching a monetary settlement is all that can happen if there are no deaths.

You can't get screwed by someone, at this point you can only screw yourself and screw up your future.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #17
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That's a valid point. It may take months for residual damage to rear it's ugly head and cause a lifetime of pain.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:30 PM   #18
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Hello all,

My TV, a 2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 was rear ended by a Dodge Ram going about 35 mph. First off, everyone is ok and the van did well protecting us. The hitch took the majority of the impact which in turn has bent and buckled the frame in the rear. The body shop said that normally they would just straighten the frame back out but it would never be as strong as before making towing unsafe. Or they could replace the entire frame which would involve basically rebuilding the entire vehicle. I really don't like either option and I REALLY don't like having to cancel all our camping trips! I feel like this is going to really hurt my resale value as well as long term reliability. So what would you all do? I am expecting the insurance adjuster to visit soon from the OP's insurance company. This is my first accident and I don't want to get screwed!
Thanks in advance for your help!
Glad everyone is ok. Where to begin.... Without question Go to a different body shop if they said they would " normally straighten it out.. But it wouldn't be as strong"!!!!!!!
It should pbe at the same for future crash protection! Kink vs bend in the frame are two very different situations. Bend a paperclip you could straighten it; kink it you can't; it's work hardened. A kinked frame should be sectioned ( partially replaced as per manufacturers guidelines) or replaced. Period.
Replacing a body on frame vehicles frame is really not that bad ( other than time consuming for all parties). Sectioning it PROPERLY is less time consuming but requires skill, a quality frame machine with properly trained technician. Both situations require a frame machine with trained personnel and should include a print out of frame measurements. If the other insurance company is liable for the loss,
then demand a similar rental vehicle so that you can continue with your plans.PM me if you like. Check your state laws for diminished value.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:14 PM   #19
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Ok. I work at a Gm and Toyota collision center at a large dealer in Oklahoma.
#1 if the frame damage is minor a repair is feasible and a good repair. Most hitch hits buckle the lower part of the frame up slightly and waste the hitch. This is a easy fix.
#2 frame swaps are extremely common these days as there are plenty of $60k+ vehicles out there and 65-70% of that (what it takes to total with many insurance companys) is going to replace alot.
#3 the likely hood of a close replacement "used" or lkq frame is very slim on your make and model. Not alot of them being purchased by salvage yards as roi is terrible on vans.
#4 diminished value varys state by state but dont expect to get anything because of it. Our state does nothing for diminished value, Texas does though.
#5 any time you try to sell or trade something they are going to beat you up on the price, a collision is a good excuse for it. No actual bearing if they are quality repairs.
- we fix lots of NEW vehicles. From transport damage, to lot damage, hail, tornados, reckless drivers on the road going thru the fence into the lot, lifts tumping cars on thier sides ect.
Probably 95% of vehicles out there have had body or paint work- or they need it.
#6. Frame swap reliability. I have personally done dozens of them, as this is my specialty, and im the most efficient one at doing them.
I have never had a comeback, and have actually seen several come back for repairs after being in other collisions. This is the #1 best repair, bar none, dont care what anybody else says. New frame. No damage. Structuraly sound, all around.
Time wise- I usually can do a crew cab, 4 wheel drive, Gm truck in 12-18 working hours. Of course diesels, 5th wheel hitches and other accessories add a little time. Toyotas which usually have more rusted bolt issues, fords and nissans take a little longer too. Yes it pays about 30-35 hours, book time, but thats where experience counts.
- plus as much as is possible is left assembled when doing a swap. Otherwise it would be even more work. I always leave the motor and tranny together and transfer case as well if equipped.
#7 what the insurance says goes. You can add a few things here and there but uf your only at about 33% there is no way they will total it. Most people would be worse off anyhow unless they have gap ins. As you only get fair market value, NOT how much you owe. Any lawyering up or hard headedness usually only cost you money. Trust me we have to argue with these suckers everyday, and it gets harder and cheaper for more complicated vehicles every day.

Op if you want you can pm me if you have any specific questions.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:20 PM   #20
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Here are some pics from my last frame swap a month or 2 ago. Toyota tundra hit in the rear.
First is of new frame and truck on lift, fixin to have cab pulled.
2nd is in process of old frame and new frame getting parts swapped over (new frame is the clean one.
3rd is of new frame with everything swapped, ready for the body.

Ps. This customer has had this truck repaired with us 3 or 4 times. Doubt it is the last.
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