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  #1  
Old 08-19-2014, 09:42 PM
drminusmd drminusmd is offline
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Default Help! Advice after Tacoma wrecked

Hi All,
I'm stuck in a whirlwind of uncertainty after my beloved Tacoma was involved in an accident - not with regard to anything concerning the insurance company or anything on that end, but instead concerning how to (or even if I should) go about trying to get my truck fixed.

A little background: I'm not a car guy. I can change my oil and check fluids, but outside of that I'm mostly lost. My father, however, has faithfully maintained my family's fleet of Toyotas over the years back in Oregon and handpicked this truck for me to buy (otherwise he'd have bought it for himself). So his initial thought after he heard about the accident and the damage was, "Well, just keep the truck and fix it bit by bit until it's back to normal."

And that doesn't bother me one bit - I'm totally willing to learn and get my hands dirty doing repairs on my days off, because even though I know it would probably be a long, arduous, frustrating process to learn everything I would need to know and find all the parts I would need, the truck is awesome. Everything is stock and the maintenance is up to date and it was all perfect for getting anywhere and everywhere in any weather condition for work around the Denver area, as well as any camping trip or off-road excursion...until the accident.

From what I've been told by the body shop the truck is at now, the right front corner of the frame is pretty messed up. The core support is bent, the right side frame mount is almost torn off, the right front apron needs to be replaced because it's caved in, among other things. The guy at the body shop was nice enough to walk someone who knows as little as I do about frames and bodywork etc through the damage today when I stopped by to get some pictures, but it all kinda went over my head. The number from their estimate definitely didn't though, and my insurance company has labeled the truck a total loss. And the estimate didn't fully examine all the frame damage because they got to the threshold of what the insurance company would pay for. But that included blending the paint back to the original color and pages of abbreviations and parts and stuff that just doesn't seem to be necessary to get the truck, however bad it might look, back on the road.

I planned on driving this truck until it died (or knowing Tacomas, I died). But the body shop doesn't seem to be willing to work with me to get the truck back to a driveable condition so that I am able to keep it and work on it on my own. Like I said, the guy was really nice and patient and all, but in the back of my mind I'm sitting here thinking, "Well, it's a really nice truck, it just needs some work to get back on the road and then probably a lot more work to get it back to where it was, so you probably already have a buyer lined up as soon as I surrender it who could do all that stuff and would make a killing off my loss!"

So here's where I need advice. Are there any shops around town who specialize in Tacoma frame work and who would be willing to work with me to get the truck back to a driveable condition? Or, from the sound of the damage (which I won't deny is more than I thought it was at the time of the wreck), would I be getting into more trouble than it'd be worth? I'd really like to get a second opinion on the estimate without all the paint and parts and labor that don't seem immediately necessary so that I can get the truck back and replace all the bolt-on stuff in my own time.

I love my truck, and I want to do everything I can to keep it. I just don't know where to go from here. Advice and recommendations would be much appreciated.

Matt
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:36 PM
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baja1d baja1d is offline
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Default Help! Advice after Tacoma wrecked

Matt,

I'm very sorry to hear about the Tacoma. That's a really tough spot to be in. I hate to say it but you've got to think logically about this- time, money, resale value, the future carfax report showing that it's "salvaged". It'd be one thing if this truck was irreplaceable but at this point Tacomas are a dime a dozen. In the end, you will have gained invaluable knowledge (which is priceless) & a whole bunch "lessons learned" (like I wouldn't do that again). Personally, I'd take the insurance money and get your Dad looking for another one or buy a beater & save for one that exceeds your expectations.

On second thought, read through this thread, especially #3. You could always make it into a truggy!
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Last edited by baja1d; 08-19-2014 at 11:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2014, 08:12 AM
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Squishy! Squishy! is offline
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I dont think I would try to repair the frame. Too much uncertanty there. Check out what this guy did:

http://ttora.com/forum/showthread.php?t=148627
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Old 08-20-2014, 01:20 PM
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I handled auto claims for many years.

Chances are that your truck will never be the same again if the front of the frame rail is damaged that severe. Everything can be repaired with enough money however many body shops are not willing to complete this type of work. Typically there's no money to be made and this type of work ties up their frame machine, which at times is a bottle neck where a lot of work is funneled into.

Yes, you could do the things that you mention (buying parts later after making it driveable) but you are sinking money into a lost cause. Are you prepared to spend good money into a vehicle only to have a potential alignment issue causing the vehicle to go through tires every 5,000 miles? Are you willing to spend money to fix a vehicle that will only be worth a fraction of what it once was? Are you prepared to drive a salvage title vehicle that will never be able to have full coverage insurance?

Just my .02.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:25 PM
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I don't get it. I assume your insurance is totalling/settling? But you don't want to move on?
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:36 PM
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:04 PM
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To me, the question is whether the insurance company is providing enough money to buy yourself another Tacoma that is just as good as your old one. If the answer is yes, then get a new truck and get your life back to normal. If the answer is no, then maybe you need to argue with the insurance company to get more money for your truck.

If you try to repair it yourself, you're going to be dealing with fixing it for the next 6 months or more. What are you going to drive while it's being fixed?
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:45 PM
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Also I'll buy it from you if you decide to let go.
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-Justin Morgan,

"Squishy"-1988 Red Hilux Standard frame, X-tra cab, locked F&R, 5.29's, 35" tires and a SAS. In Moab STOLEN

"Apollo"-1988, 1999 3.4L, Supercharged, 2.1" URD pulley, URD 7th injector, 2 1/2" Magnaflow exhaust, TO DO: lift, locker.

"Did you know the IFS was designed by Hitler himself to make the life of 4WD owners tough? Yeah, it's true, he saw a vision of the Devil and he told him to do it." -DaveInDenver
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