Front end damage and repairs

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by texastami, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

    Sep 13, 2002
    beautiful Pacific Northwest
    As I stated in another thread, DH rear-ended someone on the freeway - 1998 Ford Contour - HUGE THANKS TO ALL for the fuel line switch... we found it and it started up right away!!!! (much to the adjusters displeasure!!)

    Damage is as such - both headlight casings are cracked and broken (we can replace with after market parts) however, Duct tape will work!! :)

    Grill is broken (after market or a nice piece of wire will do)

    Hood latch won't latch tight but we can readjust it or wire it down....

    Bar across the front end near the radiator was dented in the middle (from the ball of their truck and pushed it into the radiator.... we know that the radiator is toast because it won't hold fluids and the bar is up against it....we can get one for $75.... and install ourselves....

    The adjuster hosed us big time - we were offered $2300 and then they took off almost $1000 in "deductions" because of some things they said were MAJOR wear and prior damage (UGH! Don't even get me started) We have $3000 worth of major engine work in this motor and its worth a heck of alot more to me than him!!!

    So that leaves us with about $700 after our deductible.... ARGH! We decided to salvage the car for $230 and fix stuff ourself as money allows (It is very very tight now because of DH not working yet)

    My question is - how hard will it be to straighten out that bar in the front? Its not a deep dent.. just a mild dent - but enough to hit the radiator... the air conditioning condenser is also smooshed... not broken just schmooshed.... (Don't need it either)

    The other thing is that DH drove it a short distance today to check alignment and for any other issues and it seems to drive just fine... no listing to one side or pulling like the alignment is out of whack.... even if so, we can get that done relatively cheap....He didn't dare get it up to 55 mph due to the radiator issues - so while we don't know EXACTLY what else is up... it can't be as bad as the alternative!!

    Anybody have ideas for straightening the bar???? (I am thinking, pull the radiator out and then straighten it... but HOW??)
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Saw off the bent bar on each side leaving a stub. Go to a salvage yard and cut a bar from a wreck but cut it as long as possible. Mount the replacement bar over the stubs. Weld. Make certain the spacing on each side of the hood is correct prior to final attachment of the bar.

  3. Herb

    Herb Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2006
    Have you tried bending the bar out of the radiator? A come-along can work wonders here if it is not too bent. Is there ant way to post a pic of the damage? That would give everyone a better idea of how to proceed.
  4. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

    Nov 24, 2005
    I had a simular(SPC) thing happen in our old Mazda, I hit a deer and crumpeld the hood, broke a headlight/blinker assy. bent the same bar, broke the power stearing pump and lightly bent the front pass. fender and busted up the plastic grill. Plus only I only had Liability insurance, had dropped the comp. just a few months before this happend!
    My 82 year old dad and I took it out to our shop and started beating it with hammers and pried with crowbars and got the cross bar straight enough so the new hood works fine, I went to the junk yard and found a Mazda the same color and replaced all the parts for $125~belive it or not!!!!! the old car looks the same and runs fine. My only problem it when I turn hard left the blinker turns itself on now.
    P.S. about 2 months later my wife backed into my work truck and crushed the trunk lid and broke the tail lights! Same junk yard and $40 later, good as new again!
    Good luck you can fix it!