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Discussion Starter #1
Well here's my second post in one day, after being silent for years, but always appreciating this site.

Two weeks ago my 16 year old daughter - a fine driver usually - wrecked our '97 Ody. Main thing: No one was hurt. She got distracted with something at her feet and drifted into a parked car at <15MPH.
It was totaled, but I got way less for the insurance settlement than it would cost to buy another one of these. I'm challenging that, but meanwhile, back at the carless ranch...
I took my chances and bought the car back from the insurance company. The damage was to the right (passenger side) front fender, side impact. Bumper cover, fender, plastic inner fender, intake tube, some kinda plastic box all need to be replaced. Tire and wheel undamaged.

I drove the car home after the wreck and the front end is now out of alignment, and there's a squeak that I see is probably the sway bar bushings are knocked out of whack -just replaced them too :(

I've removed the fender and inner plastic already. Looks to me like there's some distortion in the front bulkhead (I think that's the name of the part) - right outboard of where the air filter box sits, and where the outer fender mounts with a stay bracket.

Going to a body shop next week to see if they would check frame alignment. Meanwhile I guess I should jack it up and examine the front suspension for any obvious broken parts.

One month ago I was patting myself on the back for all the work I did, for just $800 in parts: Both new CV axles, upper control arms, tie rod ends, sway bar bushings, one lower ball joint, calipers cleaned and lubed, pads replaced, rotors still cherry. Replaced both rear shocks and mounts. Replaced valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, and adjusted valves while I was in there. I thought we were good for another few years.

Anybody got any experience with front end damage, whether these cars tend to buckle bad or if they can be straightened (or maybe don't even need to be, if the replacement fender fits)?
 

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Glad to hear your daughter was not hurt. My 16 year old son will be driving solo in our '95 Ody by this summer.

I have no experience repairing front end damage. Just make sure that, at the end of the day, it will handle properly and safety is not compromised.

Good luck!
 

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My wife hit a deer with our 95 a few years ago. (She still swears the deer hit her). Took out the hood, grille, headlight, fender, damaged driver's door, and pushed the radiator support back. Total damage was about $3200. The body shop straightened the radiator support and a few other pieces of sheet metal under there. You cannot even tell anything was straightened and the van tracks perfectly after a decent wheel alignment.

If you are now out of alignment then something got bent. If you had a recent alignment done before the accident, you could take it back to get a new reading to see what changed. This might help you determine what is damaged. If caster/camber is still on, but toe is out, look for a bent tie rod. If caster/camber is out, could be e bent spindle, strut, control arm, etc, or the suspension mounting points could have shifted because of the bulkhead damage. If the sway bar is squeaking, either it got bent or the control arm is bent. I bet once you get under there it will be fairly obvious what is wrong.

Keep in mind that, because your vehicle was totaled, the insurance company will probably want to inspect the vehicle before re-insuring it. They want to make sure the car was properly repaired and is safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Went to the alignment shop today. Lower control arm bent. Rest of it looks pretty good, but I won't know for sure until I get that control arm back off. The tech said I should replace the strut rod too for good measure. Lower control arms on ebay for $45-75, some new, some used. I need to go to the self-serve junkyard tomorrow or the next day anyway for the body parts, so I'll check while I"m there. I'm saving this car!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
RIP.
Fender, inner fender, corner light assembly, headlight assembly, resonator box, bumper cover, control arm = $$$. I took the insurance company's $700 and junked the Ody.
It was still leaking oil after the valve cover gasket and oil pan gasket replacement. I'm pretty sure it needed the rear main seal.
222k, serious body rot - bottoms of all 4 doors and rear quarters. Windshield had 5 different star cracks. Annoying broken driver door armrest. Driver's seat collapsed (we're not fat, it was just old).
I loved this car, but it would have cost me more to put it back in shape than it would have been worth. This is called the "common sense threshold".
But it still ran great! Doggone it.
Couldn't afford another one in better shape right now - opted for a Subi wagon with 132k on the clock. Fingers crossed.
I'm not leaving the forum, my daughter just bought her '98 with 130k...and had the oil cooler o-ring fail, which I knew how to fix, thanks to this forum (and my late ody)!
 

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I have a 98 EX I am parting out. If you need anything, let me know. There are still items left. Big stuff is too expensive to ship to California. It was hit in the rt front. I have a thread on here about it. Steve
 
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