My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?
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Thread: My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?

  1. #1
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    My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?

    2007 Touring. My daughter was parking in our garage today. She hit the gas instead of the brake and hit the corner of the garage wall with the drivers side front corner at about a 30 degree angle. Got the front bumper off.
    Damage:

    Driver's side headlight pushed back and damaged
    Fender tip was bent to standing almost straight up, I bent it back down.
    Driver's side Foglight broken
    (Believe it or not, I had just received new headlights and foglights yesterday, was looking forward to putting them in today. Surprise! Is my daughter's name Murphy? No, but I may have it legally changed)
    Driver's side headlight bracket bent-will have to replace
    Driver's side parking sensor broken-will have to replace
    Front bumper broken-MAYBE can patch/bondo/duct tape. Maybe not.
    I can deal with all this. The problem is that the front corner has been pushed back. See pictures. You can see in the 1st one where the silver paint is showing on the metal where it slid out from under the other panel.
    I am not concerned with everything looking cosmetically perfect, the van is 11 years old with 217K on it, and it is not a beauty contest winner on the outside to start with at this point.
    I am wondering if there is a way I can push that back into place. Not just the little tip of the fender that's crinkled, the entire corner. I received one suggestion from a local shop that I could try to wedge a deflated basketball between the tire and the metal, then reinflate it. That actually makes a strange kind of sense.
    But wanted to ask here first before trying anything that may cause more problems.
    Thanks in advance for any wisdom.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1055.jpg   My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1053.jpg   My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1052.jpg   My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1051.jpg  
    Last edited by JSMCO; 04-05-2019 at 08:41 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    Oh, man. Sorry to hear. Teaching kids to drive is tough on everyone.

    That's actually lot of structural damage. It really needs to be put on a pulling rack and have that pulled back into position, and then replaced. The problem is that the strength of the structure has been compromised and, in a more serious accident, could affect how that area crumples again, and your safety.

    You could try a big tree and a come-a-long and see if you can pull those structures back into place.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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    Thank goodness she was not hurt and that you had not installed your new headlights.
    2010 Honda Odyssey EX-L
    110,000 miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
    Oh, man. Sorry to hear. Teaching kids to drive is tough on everyone.

    That's actually lot of structural damage. It really needs to be put on a pulling rack and have that pulled back into position, and then replaced. The problem is that the strength of the structure has been compromised and, in a more serious accident, could affect how that area crumples again, and your safety.

    You could try a big tree and a come-a-long and see if you can pull those structures back into place.
    Thanks John.

    Well, I think perhaps I'll see if I can get a local body shop to straighten that corner out. Hopefully the cost won't be too bad and I can then take care of the rest myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thscott View Post
    Thank goodness she was not hurt and that you had not installed your new headlights.
    Yes thank goodness on both. Mostly that no-one got hurt. Also happy the van didn't end up through the wall into the laundry room.

  8. #6
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    In the fourth pic is where I see the most damage. That is a tight wrinkle on that piece of structure. It's going to be difficult to pull that back into position.

    It's worth a try with the body shops. Many of them won't do it because of the safety factor and the specialty metals used. They don't want the liability if they pull it out and then it folds up in another crash and kills someone.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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    Just got quote-$375 to fix the structure.

    Does anyone know the part number for the front drivers's side parking sensor retainer clip for a 2007 touring?

  10. #8
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    That's worth it, I'd say.

    Jump on to Bernardiparts.com and get your part numbers. Then you can search eBay for the best deals, or see if you can find some parts at your local salvage yard.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Clark View Post
    That's worth it, I'd say.

    Jump on to Bernardiparts.com and get your part numbers. Then you can search eBay for the best deals, or see if you can find some parts at your local salvage yard.
    Thank You. Found it. Bernardi is $5 plus $12 shipping. Amazon-$10 shipped. Both are highway robbery for a little piece of plastic.

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    So the van is back together. I can't say it's perfect, but it's pretty good, and thanks for all the help John.

    Local body shop straightened out the corner and did a rough straighten of the bent fender tip for $375.

    I repaired the breaks in the bumper cover myself with JB Weld Plastic Bond and some drywallers mesh tape. I was was surprised at how strong a bond this method created.
    As a by-the-bye, one of the pegs on my engine cover had broken a while back. I had tried to fix with regular JB Weld, Gorilla Glue, epoxy, nothing would hold but the JB Plastic Weld actually fixed that issue as well.

    I already had aftermarket headlights and foglights, I grabbed a parking sensor and retainer clip on Amazon, and an aftermarket driver's side bumper/headlight bracket on EBAY.

    I did my best to fill in the bumper cover cracks with some bondo. When I shot the first coat of primer, I learned I was not a very good body repair man. But after base coat and clear, wet sand and polish, the bumper paint actually came out pretty nice aside from the few rough bondo spots.

    The fender tip is where I learned a good lesson. I thought I could sand out 6" or so around the tip, primer, base, clear and the clear would blend with the existing. It did not. In shadow, it's beautiful and glossy. In sunlight it looks awful, you can see the rough edge of the new clear. Perhaps I should have wet-sanded it more, but more likely, I should have just redone the entire panel. I'm sure it will bug me enough over the next few weeks that I'll cave in and redo the panel.

    The headlights and bumper cover were a challenge. The passenger side new headlight went in fine using the OEM bracket. It was off a tiny bit, maybe 1/16 to 1/8 inch push needed to line up the outside hole to get the bolt in, but the front and top bolts lined up. The drivers side was a different story. Because the passenger headlight fit OK, I'm assuming the driver's side one was also OK, but either the aftermarket bracket was out of whack or the corner was not pulled back to perfect spec. The headlight was a bit cockeyed. I had to drill out bigger holes in the bracket and mess around with it quite a bit. The top bolt went in but the front two bolt holes were way off, not even usable and I really had to shove (actually, my wife used her rear-end to shove while I put the bolt in) to get the side hole lined up. As a result, the top corner of the headlight sticks up a little, the bumper cover is not quite flush under the headlight and off a little on the side where it mates with the fender. But it did all go back together and with the help of one extra screw, it holds, and the headlights are actually aimed pretty well.

    While I had the front off, I removed the cheap-looking chrome pieces on the front grille, scuffed and rough-sanded them. That chrome coating is really tough. Scuff pad barely did anything, I ended up using 60 grit with a D/A polisher-the chrome still did not come off, it just scuffed, then painted them a gunmetal-ish color using self-etching primer and ceramic engine paint.

    If and when I redo the fender paint, I may buy an OEM driver's side bracket and take another shot at the headlight to see if it will fit more properly.

    But the 218K mile van is back on the road, my wife is happy not to have to drive my truck, and the front looks pretty good from a distance with the "improved" grille and the "blacked out" headlights and smoked foglights.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1068.jpg   My daughter dinged the front end-any suggestions?-img_1070.jpg  
    Last edited by JSMCO; Yesterday at 10:49 PM.

  13. #11
    Registered User John Clark's Avatar
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    Good work! When something is so far off when fitting it really bugs me when you don't know why. However, as long as it looks OK and takes an alignment, it should be fine. I'd want to know if something else is still bent but mostly to satisfy my OCD.
    2008 Odyssey Touring-Silver
    2011 VW Jetta SE-Black-Totaled
    2012 VW Passat-Black
    2002 GMC Sierra SLT LB Z71-Red
    1998 Nissan 200SX SE-Blue

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