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front end damage on truck

 
Posts: 32
Location: Central Indiana, zone 6a, clay loam
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 Hello friends! I'm writing here today because my pickup truck, which I use to pick up leaf bags, pallets, and all sorts of other wonderful things, is out of commision. I rear ended someone at a very low speed, but the height of their bumper was perfect to bend in the bracket that runs from the top to the bottom of the grill. This damaged the hood, radiator, and fan. Maaco, where I towed the truck, estimates $4500 to repair this, $2500 if I leave out paint and other less crucial details, but I only paid $1400 for the truck. It is a 1998 Nissan pickup, very small but with sturdy suspension, and I am very partial to it, as it is very easy to work on when it comes to replacing parts like alternators, water pumps, etc., but I have never worked on an issue like this before. It also seems that any place I know to work on vehicles is beyond swamped right now
 I know Maaco feels it is necessary to replace the hood and brackets due to safety issues with a less than perfectly functioning hood, but I can't help but feel like It would be possible to attach some sort of ratcheting tension device to the offending bracket, pull it and the hood back to approximate shape, replace the radiator and fan, and then intelligently and discerningly find a less than perfectly convenient, but perfectly safe way to open and close the hood. Am I crazy? It just seems like a shame to scrap a vehicle that could be capable of living a longer useful life, but I don't want to sign myself up to for an accident, potentially harming others and myself. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? I need to know whether towing it to a friend's house is a good idea, as we already have enough junk lying around and can't mentally and emotionally afford to have another unfinished project sitting around.
 
steward & bricolagier
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For keeping the hood closed, I knew a guy who had 2 padlocks on his.

And yeah, I don't want my cars "restored to their former glory" I want them functional. All of my vehicles are old enough to vote. They don't remember their "former glory"  :D
 
pollinator
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Padlocks, beefy carabiner style clips, a pin system like a trailer hitch... lots of options.


And, sooner or later you may find a parts truck far cheaper than the quoted cost of repairs..
 
pollinator
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Are you in a region where Nissan's are relatively common?  Would a scrap yard have both the bracket and the hood such that you could replace both (and a fender or two if need be) and then they would be properly mated again?

I'm partial to the Nissan truck/Pathfinder/X-terra, the latter of which my wife has abused by all possible means and it's still running (a 2001)!  Leaves it outside in northern Minnesota winters and just waits on the cold mornings until the temp reaches 0 degrees F before trying to start it.  If she really needs it to start colder, she plugs in the heating bolt.  I would love to get into a newer Frontier, but now I'm being seduced by Ford's upcoming hybrid Maverick.
 
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I would look for a retired auto body person.  It has been my experience that many retired people can use a few extra $$$.   Be sure to clearly explain what you want.
 
D Nikolls
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John Weiland wrote:Are you in a region where Nissan's are relatively common?  Would a scrap yard have both the bracket and the hood such that you could replace both (and a fender or two if need be) and then they would be properly mated again?

I'm partial to the Nissan truck/Pathfinder/X-terra, the latter of which my wife has abused by all possible means and it's still running (a 2001)!  Leaves it outside in northern Minnesota winters and just waits on the cold mornings until the temp reaches 0 degrees F before trying to start it.  If she really needs it to start colder, she plugs in the heating bolt.  I would love to get into a newer Frontier, but now I'm being seduced by Ford's upcoming hybrid Maverick.



I thought that Maverick was looking pretty neat until it came out as either hybrid *or* AWD. Weird decision..
 
gardener
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A radiator support new for that truck is about 100.00,  I sell a radiator, new for about 110.00. Hood pins to hold the hood down about 15.00, fan blades about 40.00 shroud about 60.00.  As much as I hate to say it Amazon has all these things for what I sell them for at my store I wouldn't pay 4500.00 for the list of things that you have indicateed were damaged.
 
John Weiland
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D Nikolls wrote:

I thought that Maverick was looking pretty neat until it came out as either hybrid *or* AWD. Weird decision..




Doh!!.....Stunned by that small detail!!  No wonder this is not front and center of the advertising.... :-(

 
D Nikolls
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John Weiland wrote:

D Nikolls wrote:

I thought that Maverick was looking pretty neat until it came out as either hybrid *or* AWD. Weird decision..




Doh!!.....Stunned by that small detail!!  No wonder this is not front and center of the advertising.... :-(



I am hoping it is a temporary thing while they test demand; it looked like a great option for my parents until I found out about this issue.

It also looks like they have designed it to potentially hold more batteries, as in possibly a plug-in hybrid version in future... fingers crossed.
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