Josue's Collision Repair Thread.

JosueLT

Original poster
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Nov 20, 2011
315
Hello all! Some know, but for everyone else, I'm a body man. I got a 9-7x handed to me today, so I figured I'd share the repair process for you guys. Most see the before and afters, but hardly anyone sees what the repair process is like and what goes into repairing these cars. Plus, it'll be nice to see something being rebuilt instead of all the depressing wrecks in this section. :rotfl:


It's getting a used quarter panel, used tail light, repair the edge of the lift gate, and in quite possibly one of the worst things I've had to deal with in my 14 year career, I have to FIX the rear bumper. Apparently since Saab went belly up, there are no new bumpers available. Same with used or aftermarket. I don't believe them though, when they tell me "Oh, we looked everywhere and called everyone." so I'm going to try and raise hell about it. I mean really....there's not ONE single bumper ANYWHERE in the country?? WORLD??? They think we're magicians who can wave a magic wand and VOILA, good as new. And of COURSE it's GOT to be perfect....but who cares when they're not the ones doing the work.


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Be sure to check back for updates! And I'll likely throw in some pics of other stuff I've worked or am working on if you guys want to see. :cool:
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
looks like that bumper will be the hardest part to fix if you dont get a new one :rotfl:

look forward to the progess pix...
 

djthumper

Administrator
Nov 20, 2011
14,955
North Las Vegas
That bumper is probably going to take a lot more time then they want you to spend on it if they find a replacement. I don't miss the business...
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
It's absolutely horrible. Bumpers aren't like metal...you can't just beat it around, and bondo it up to look good. Well, it's kind of the same process...heat it up, bend/mold it back into shape, and bondo it up, but being plastic, they're always flexing and moving, so it's hard to get it JUST right.
 

MAY03LT

Member
Nov 18, 2011
3,422
Delmarva
JosueLT said:
They think we're magicians who can wave a magic wand and VOILA, good as new.

I thought that was exclusively for mechanics!:laugh:

I love threads like this, I'm tuned in.:cool:
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Great idea. Will be cool to see one go through the whole process. Thanks!
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
Ouch, that looks like my 9-7 except the damaged one has the 6 cylinder rims. I hate to hear that the parts can't be located considering they literally just announced the bankruptcy. I suppose the other down side is the insurance company will be quicker to total them out.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
It just depends on what's needed I guess.

I must've mis-read the estimate...it's getting all new parts. Deal is, some dealerships bought Saab parts in bulk or whatnot, so they're the ones who we're able to get parts from. New quarter panel, tail light pocket, tail light, and maybe some other misc. parts, cause someone's got it in stock. The bumper is the only part that's nowhere to be found.
 

bagdvoy

Member
Nov 19, 2011
92
Tell your parts department to check ebay more often :biggrin:

[EBAY]250852426779[/EBAY]
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Ebay isn't a part of their usual parts suppliers. lol I'll have to mention this one though. I doubt they'll go for it, since as far as I know, we've never bought parts on Ebay, but it WOULD be the better repair.


I had some time today to see how the bumper was going to come out. It's not that bad, it'll look alright when it's done, but again...the repair will be really inferior.


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Other side for comparison.

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Also got the interior torn out of it this morning. The parts won't be here until next week though, so this will be the last pic update for the week.

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Ghoster

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Nov 18, 2011
1,444
So the plan is to repair that bumper, then replace it when one becomes available? Seriously? Does the insurance have to pay for it twice ?
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
I don't think that's the plan as of yet, just that it happened on another Saab we did a while ago.

Not sure how that worked though, with who paying for what? Doesn't make much sense to pay the technician to fix the hood, the painters to paint the hood, only to do it all over again whenever the new part comes in. I'll have to ask someone tomorrow. lol
 

Ghoster

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Nov 18, 2011
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JosueLT said:
I don't think that's the plan as of yet, just that it happened on another Saab we did a while ago.

Not sure how that worked though, with who paying for what? Doesn't make much sense to pay the technician to fix the hood, the painters to paint the hood, only to do it all over again whenever the new part comes in. I'll have to ask someone tomorrow. lol

It does seem insane. If I was the owner, and you know we are all nuts here, I would appreciate you telling me you can't get the part. Maybe give me the option to find the part myself. I could get the ebay part bought and shipped to you, you could deduct the price of it from the estimate, everybody is happy? Maybe?:biggrin:
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Yea, I DO remember being told that they gave the person an appearance allowance on the hood, money back or off the bill. Not sure if they then had to turn around and put that towards the new hood when it came in?
 

Ghoster

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JosueLT said:
Yea, I DO remember being told that they gave the person an appearance allowance on the hood, money back or off the bill. Not sure if they then had to turn around and put that towards the new hood when it came in?

I guess I never really thought about the parts not being available. I haven't owned anything that I can recall that being a problem. I do remember having to go to a MG graveyard in Florida when I was a kid to dig out parts for my car, but that was a 69 MG that was 25 years old at that point.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Parts came in on Friday, but I wasn't able to get to it until today. Put in a full day on it though, got the bulk of the harder work done.

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Made some rough pulls before cutting the old metal off. This usually needs done to ensure the metal that the new parts are being welded to is where it needs to be.

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Old busted...

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The panel behind the tail light pocket was damaged a little too...

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Staggering the extension piece and the quarter panel. Those little tabs are "sleeves", gives a surface to weld to, instead of just butting the pieces together. Sometimes I do this method, sometimes I just butt them up...depends on my mood and how much time I want to spend on it. Butting takes longer because you have to get the cuts just right.

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Sectioned the extension piece instead of putting the whole thing in, would've taken longer and it didn't need the whole piece installed.

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Close up of the sleeve.

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:smile:

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Test fitting...

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Copper color is weld thru primer. We have a machine that duplicates factory spot welds, but it doesn't get in all areas, so I had to pop holes and MIG weld the rest.

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All welded up, welds ground and sanded. Ready for some filler work in the morning!

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I'll get all the bondo work done tomorrow before lunch, as well as tear down the gate for paint. I told the estimator about that reman bumper on eBay, so we'll see what he says. HOPEfully they end up buying it, cause I don't want to bondo another bumper this week. They gave me a Lexus LS460 on Thursday last week. Used car from a Lexus dealer we do work for, so of course they don't want to spend any money on it. The rear bumper was completely wasted. The whole rear section (between the 2 curves where it rolls to the sides of the bumper) was solid bondo, as well as the top of the bumper. It had no business being repaired, but they wouldn't pay for a new one. It looks like total shit though....not proud to say that I worked on it, but I can only do so much with these flimsy ass plastic bumpers!
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Oh, and in case some were wondering....here are a few different methods to removing welded on panels. These are from a Mazda 3 quarter panel I put on a few weeks ago. Took pics for a Mazda forum I'm on. lol

Most of you probably know of, or have seen a spot weld drill bit. Works pretty good, but they're expensive and dull out quickly. Plus...sometimes there can be 50, 60, 70+ welds on a single panel! That's A LOT of pressing with a drill!!!

But, they leave the metal behind the panel untouched, so the new panel can be welded to it. There are even a few different styles. Here's the one I have right now.


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Or, my preferred method is using a cut off wheel to grind the welds down. Louder, and makes more of a mess, but MUCH less effort involved.

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Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
simply amazing little brother... im more in awe of this then what you did to my dakota.. for some reason, this is sinking in more lol...

and to think, i questioned my hood being off at the mod meet :crackup::weird:

so if you can do all that in a day.. whats up with dads firebird :rotfl:
see you in a few weeks.. dont forget the rack and pinion install :thumbsup:
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
I get paid at work, not at home.....that's what's up! :tongue:

And we'll have to rain check the rack install. The shop is hosting a few I-CAR (like ASE for body men) classes that day. :frown:
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
JosueLT said:
And we'll have to rain check the rack install. The shop is hosting a few I-CAR (like ASE for body men) classes that day. :frown:

ok.. ill have to let them know then... they could always order it and have it waiting.. but i know i wont be off until my birthday (a weekend off that is).. and i rather not spend it worrying or helping with a rack install lol... keep me posted then
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Yea, if it's not a OMGNEEDNEWONENOW situation, we should be alright to wait a little while longer.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Got the finish work done today...all ready for primer!

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Should get primed tomorrow, then I have to seam seal the...seams lol, before they paint it. I'm hoping it will be back from the paint shop in time so I can put it back together this week, so I can take all the time off the job. These past 2 shortened holiday weeks have KILLED my paychecks.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Got her all finished up today! I missed my chance to get some paint progress pics though. I work in a different building, so by the time I remembered, it was already painted. Plus everyone always looks at me like I'm stupid when I take cell phone pics to share. lol

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reference again. lol

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Ghoster

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Nov 18, 2011
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Looks really good in the pictures, except of course for the missing glass. Are you happy with the repaired bumper? Is it something you can see?
 

djthumper

Administrator
Nov 20, 2011
14,955
North Las Vegas
That bumper came out really nice looking! I hope they like it. I just hope they aren't on of those people that back by feel.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
The glass guy will be out today to put the glass back in. I'm still waiting on a rear wiper too. It was seized onto the motor pretty good, and broke when I tried to take it off.

The bumper doesn't look half bad, but it's still a hack job. lol There's a tiny crack in one part of it still, I couldn't get anything to hold cause it's in an area that's constantly being flexed. And the gap is a little wide to the bottom of the tail light. Ah well though, it's about as good as it's gonna get! Unless the owner is super picky, it will pass just fine.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Black usually is the only color that can be panel painted with ease. I don't think there are too many shades of black, unless you get into some black metallics, then they need blended.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Very nice work
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
Looks nice. At least there is one benefit to black paint.
 

07ChevyTruck

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Dec 5, 2011
774
That's one great job your doing. :thumbsup:
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Thanks everyone! :thumbsup:
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
now that ive seen all that work for that bumper, when you gonna finish smoothing mine :raspberry:


good work lil bro.. :thumbsup:
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Trust me, you don't want a bumper this smooth. haha
 

07ChevyTruck

Member
Dec 5, 2011
774
JosueLT said:
Trust me, you don't want a bumper this smooth. haha

Better than no bumper at all.
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
Welp....at it again this week. lol '04 LT hit in the front left 3/4.

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Ghoster

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Nov 18, 2011
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I gotta thank you for this thread. I enjoy watching the different steps of the repair. I get to learn something new every time you do a repair. Any chance you could do a walk through with pics on how to repair a ding?
 

JosueLT

Original poster
Member
Nov 20, 2011
315
No problem! After being in the business for 15 years, it's second nature to me, and one of the few things I can knowingly talk about. :rotfl:

And I have some pics in my photobucket from past repairs that show dent repair. I'll post some up tomorrow. :cool:
 

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