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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife had the privilege of being treated to a hit and run driver today. Guy ran the stop sign and hit her in the passenger front corner. With two pictures the insurance is pretty much saying it’s totaled. Normally I would say hey you get to upgrade. However with the price of used cars right now it’s the worse time to buy. So I am thinking if the numbers are right of buying it back and fixing it myself. It’s in awesome shape, low miles and rust free!! In addition it’s my wife’s baby, she loves this thing. From what I can tell there was no frame damage. Mostly bumper, support, fan, radiator, grille, fender, etc. Those that have done this before what is your thoughts?
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Really sorry to hear about your accident, I hope that everyone was okay.

From experience I had a little run in with a stop sign in my QX56 that resulted in some slight frame damage as well as the bumper needing to be replaced.

If you think you can fix it, taking the money for the insurance wouldn't be a bad move
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am looking at parts breakdowns down. Trying to just get a visual as to what is needed. My local pull a part place has two armadas currently so that might work out. Does anybody know what years exchange front end wise? I mean I know the bumpers and stuff changed at 08 but the are the underneath parts the same across all years?(Radiator, radiator support, bumper support, etc?)
 

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What I did for my dad's station wagon ( very old school) was let them total it out, pay him off and he had first dibs on the salvage rights, bought it back was able to have his 78 Pontiac Catalina wagon repaired and painted...and had money left... Worked for me.. just an idea.. best wishes on your rebuild!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is the idea I am going for. Just trying to get info as to what to look for and such. Also depends on how much the insurance is gonna want for me to buy it back.
 

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That is the idea I am going for. Just trying to get info as to what to look for and such. Also depends on how much the insurance is gonna want for me to buy it back.
Should be extremely low.. the used parts market has huge margins and is big business... They buy low and sell high.. I believe that number has already been established for them to make the total call... And its your right to first right.. do talk to your agent... He should be looking out for your best interest... Do keep us up to speed on your progress!! Keeping you in our best wishes (prayer) for success!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Should be extremely low.. the used parts market has huge margins and is big business... They buy low and sell high.. I believe that number has already been established for them to make the total call... And its your right to first right.. do talk to your agent... He should be looking out for your best interest... Do keep us up to speed on your progress!! Keeping you in our best wishes (prayer) for success!
I hope your right and it’s a nice and low buy back offer.
 

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Just going off your pictures I think you have a great chance to fix this. Doesn't even look like your radiator is damaged. If the suspension and frame are still good I'd say go for it.
 

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FWIW, I've seen this from two angles, both stories from years ago.

One was a nice '66 Catalina that was easy to save for the guy. He had a frame shop look it over, then bought the car back and followed the shop's advice as to what to do: pulled off the relevant sheetmetal, etc., then sent it for frame pulls and got it straightened back out. Once things were right framewise, he then took it to a good body shop for the rest of the work. He came out roughly even - even though the car now had a salvage title. But he would get his money back if he ever resold it because it was worth it from the intrinsic value of the car. He drove it for years, then sold it easily.

Second was my cheapskate brother-in-law. who of course tries to go cheap on everything. He thought he was really onto something of a gold mine and bought back my mother-in-law's totaled Chrysler K-car. 18,000 miles, $1200. Got the sheet metal straightened out (to the untrained eye), then... "Whul, why's it driving so funny?" Took it to a "budget alignment shop" where they got it to drive mostly straight, but told him there were frame problems, which he ignored. After all, it drives straight, right? The frame has nothing to do with safety, right? Tried to relicense it, and because of the title history of being in a wreck, they ran it through a full inspection. And, the State Patrol wouldn't give him a license. Instead he got a fix-it ticket; if he ever got stopped driving it, it would be serious money. NOW he was forced to go have it fixed the RIGHT way. $1900 of frame work later, it was right enough to license. He then tried for months to sell it. Finally he found somebody dumb enough (desperate enough) to buy it. Total outlay: somewhere over $4000 (he wouldn't say how much). Total return: $2500 (according to his kid). Time spent: eight months, not counting the four months it took him to sell it. Buyer after buyer, once they got a look at the salvage title, got up and walked out on him.

In any case, it'll be interesting to hear what your agent has to say.
 

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I find that the biggest issue would be the title part. Some states go thru strict rebuilt inspection and some places would not insure a salvage or rebuilt title. And for the person that said the radiator is doesn't look damage, didn't he see all that fluid on the bumper? Good luck.
 

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My wife had the privilege of being treated to a hit and run driver today. Guy ran the stop sign and hit her in the passenger front corner. With two pictures the insurance is pretty much saying it’s totaled. Normally I would say hey you get to upgrade. However with the price of used cars right now it’s the worse time to buy. So I am thinking if the numbers are right of buying it back and fixing it myself. It’s in awesome shape, low miles and rust free!! In addition it’s my wife’s baby, she loves this thing. From what I can tell there was no frame damage. Mostly bumper, support, fan, radiator, grille, fender, etc. Those that have done this before what is your thoughts? View attachment 51062
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Make sure you check your state laws by calling the tag office. A couple of years ago I wanted to do the same thing to a 17 year old truck I bought new. Front bumper, hood, grill, fender needed replacing and repainted and the insurance company totaled it out. I asked if I could buy it back from them. They said yes but it would have a salvage title. The state tag office told me they no longer would allow you to register a car over a certain age that had been totaled out and a salvage title issued. Some states have changed their laws to get older beater cars off the road.
 

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FWIW Firefighter1406, I feel your pain. Two years ago we were coming home from a camping trip with our 28' trailer in tow. We were stopped at a stoplight on a four lane highway. The trucker coming up behind us admitted he fell asleep and turned our trailer into kindling. It bent the receiver on the car, put a small dent in the rear door, some small scratches on the right side of the car and broke the right mirror glass. The front bumper was damaged from where it pushed us into the car in front of us. Thankfully after hitting the trailer he veered off to the right missing the car entirely and the wife and I weren't hurt, praise God! That was all the damage to the Armada and our insurance company wanted to total it. They wouldn't even send and adjuster out to look at it. My body shop couldn't believe they wanted to total it and tried to talk to them for us but they wouldn't budge. We felt like you. I had put a lot of mods on the car for towing and buyinig a replacement vehicle would be much more expensive than what they were going to total it for. A friend of ours who used to work in insurance suggested we go direct to the truckers insurance, which we did. They fell over backwards to get our Armada repaired and even offered additional funds for "pain and suffering". All that to say, if the guy that hit you could be identified and has insurance that might be an avenue for you to pursue. Otherwise, buying it back from your insurance company would be the way to go if you want to keep it and can live with a salvaged title.
 

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My wife had the privilege of being treated to a hit and run driver today. Guy ran the stop sign and hit her in the passenger front corner. With two pictures the insurance is pretty much saying it’s totaled. Normally I would say hey you get to upgrade. However with the price of used cars right now it’s the worse time to buy. So I am thinking if the numbers are right of buying it back and fixing it myself. It’s in awesome shape, low miles and rust free!! In addition it’s my wife’s baby, she loves this thing. From what I can tell there was no frame damage. Mostly bumper, support, fan, radiator, grille, fender, etc. Those that have done this before what is your thoughts? View attachment 51062
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View attachment 51067
My wife had the privilege of being treated to a hit and run driver today. Guy ran the stop sign and hit her in the passenger front corner. With two pictures the insurance is pretty much saying it’s totaled. Normally I would say hey you get to upgrade. However with the price of used cars right now it’s the worse time to buy. So I am thinking if the numbers are right of buying it back and fixing it myself. It’s in awesome shape, low miles and rust free!! In addition it’s my wife’s baby, she loves this thing. From what I can tell there was no frame damage. Mostly bumper, support, fan, radiator, grille, fender, etc. Those that have done this before what is your thoughts? View attachment 51062
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contact a local body shop or two to see what they think, you could be looking at a lot of work that exceeds your interest in the winter. Woody
 

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I find that the biggest issue would be the title part. Some states go thru strict rebuilt inspection and some places would not insure a salvage or rebuilt title. And for the person that said the radiator is doesn't look damage, didn't he see all that fluid on the bumper? Good luck.
Glad I live in Texas... No issue with my project... All went well... Just noted as a salvage title... Best of luck..
 

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My wife had the privilege of being treated to a hit and run driver today. Guy ran the stop sign and hit her in the passenger front corner. With two pictures the insurance is pretty much saying it’s totaled. Normally I would say hey you get to upgrade. However with the price of used cars right now it’s the worse time to buy. So I am thinking if the numbers are right of buying it back and fixing it myself. It’s in awesome shape, low miles and rust free!! In addition it’s my wife’s baby, she loves this thing. From what I can tell there was no frame damage. Mostly bumper, support, fan, radiator, grille, fender, etc. Those that have done this before what is your thoughts? View attachment 51062
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Hi Firefighter,
The insurance companies are all about making money and reducing their expenditures. No insurance company should ever ever be trusted ever. If the frame is not damaged and their is no major damage to the engine or transmission then moving ahead with repair is safe as long as you have someone you trust to repair properly. Just keep in mind after a total insuring the vehicle will require some paperwork and you wont be able to collect on another total if you are at fault.
The cost of new vehicles are out of control but be aware that this is temporary as inflation is rising and new car sales have dipped significantly but because inventory is low we have not seen incentives yet. The main thing is that your wife was not injured so the Armada did its job. Good luck in repairing
 

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There is a somewhat recent thread here with a driver repairing similar damage to the front of his Armada. If the frame is solid, I say repair it.
 

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I can speak from experience, just finishing up a friend of mine's 2000 Ford Superduty, it had severe cab, fenders and front end damage, the 7.3 diesel is well worth saving. It seems a whole lot easier when you are looking at it when you get into it, so don't underestimate it but by all means go for it. Here in California, like everything in California the laws are so screwed up that it can be dicey trying to put something back on the road that has been totaled. The Armada is a great car and well worth fixing, be sure that good poly paint is used, be careful of clear coating if you are in the sun states, get it all tore down, take inventory and search out the parts, beware of some of the aftermarket repair panels, some are good, others not so good. I have a motto that I go buy when it comes to new things and that is " you are either working on it or you are working for it, either way you are still working, it just depends on what you like to do" Tad
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well we finally got the estimate back from the insurance. $17,300 in damages. They said it was too close to tell right away if they were going to total it or not. They are going to have their adjuster come out and take a look. Probably will know more next week. I mean I am no expert but by the pictures over 17K in damages seems crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry forgot to mention that. In the estimate they are replacing the frame. Which again I feel they are doing that just because they don’t want to work on it. They have been rude to my wife and our adjuster over the phone so no matter what happens this shop will not be fixing it. I got a pretty good look at the frame and it sure didn’t look bent to me.(not an expert) I think it was $11,000 without the frame. We shall see.

100% official, it’s totaled. My wife and I are bummed. So the search is on. The offer from the insurance is a lot lower then expected. It definitely isn’t keeping up with the crazy prices right now however they are paying me $8.79 less then what I bought it for 2 1/2 yrs ago. So I guess I didn’t do too bad. Buy back is $1,600 so I am buying it back and looking for another 2011-2015 black platinum. Will be back in business and have a almost complete parts car.
 
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