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HELP: does 5KSQ + 80 km/h + big dog = write off?

>From: David Marshall <david@volkswagen.org>
>Subject: HELP: does 5KSQ + 80 km/h + big dog = write off?
>When I got home I looked at the damage a little closer.  The "tube" on the
>inside of the engine bay that holds the bumper is crumpled and pushed in
>about 1.5".  The headlight and signal light are totally smashed and the
>brumper cover is cracked to pieces with the whole bumper moved over to the
>passanger side about 2".  The fender is 0.25" closer to the passanger door,
>but there is no creases in the fender or the hood.  There is now a wobble
>in the steering wheel and the car pulls to the left a bit now.
>Considering the price of these cars.  Do you think the insurance company
>will write the car off?  I hope not, but I wonder how much and how well
>something like this can be fixed?

You can fix this yourself, prefectly, with mostly nuts and bolts work.

All these parts are easily and even inexpensively available in junkyards,
the best of which are the "U-pull-it" variety. Spend half a day there
scavenging, and you'll be utterly amazed what you can get.

Local one here in Daytona has 5 or 6 of these cars, and here are
representative prices:

	Bumper, complete (leave the tubes bolted to it - they'll think its part of
the bumper and won't charge extra) $30.
	Fender, $30
	Headlight assembly $15 (yep, the $$$$ "Aero" headlight!), parking light
assembly $6 (bought one last week as a spare)

The wobble and pull is probably a bent lower control arm - $15, see notes
on how to replace (sway bar must be unbolted). Get front end realigned.

You'll feel lots better once you've unbolted the damaged parts and start
putting it back together again.

If this were mine (and I sure hope this remains a totally theoretical
discussion for me!), I'd let the insurance company pay me one dollar less
than the amount needed to total the car, and fix it myself.

Then take the extra money and get a good paint job.

Best Regards,

Mike Arman