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Old 09-12-2013, 09:45 PM   #21
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You've got a complex problem. And frankly internet advice is to worst kind. But for what its worth. Don't let them talk you into anything that compromises the capability and safety of the vehicle. If its unsafe to tow on a straightened frame then that's off the table. And you need to bluntly tell the adjuster that if they starting talking about it.

If the value of the vehicle justifies a frame swap then that's probably your best option that doesn't involve lawyers. However (and I can believe I'm saying this) in this circumstance a lawyer may not be a bad idea. But as another poster said, don't sign anything they give you, cash any checks they write you, or make any statements over the phone that agree to their terms until your 100% certain that your best path.
In the off chance they total it out, some states have laws that state the insurance company has to find you a vehicle the same model year or newer, similar specs, and same or less miles. And you have the peragative to decline it you don't like what they show you.


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Old 09-12-2013, 11:35 PM   #22
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A $50 letter can drastically change things.
"However (and I can believe I'm saying this) in this circumstance a lawyer may not be a bad idea. But as another poster said, don't sign anything they give you, cash any checks they write you, or make any statements over the phone that agree to their terms until your 100% certain that your best path."
Thank you.

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Old 09-13-2013, 05:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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.
Awesome post, this is how all of us learn.. THANKS.

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