Pennock's Fiero Forum
  Technical Discussion & Questions
  Front quarter collision - headlight bucket repair?

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


next newest topic | next oldest topic
Front quarter collision - headlight bucket repair? by cle_fiero
Started on: 02-07-2021 07:43 AM
Replies: 16 (200 views)
Last post by: tnkgnr on 02-20-2021 11:11 PM
cle_fiero
Member
Posts: 23
From: Cleveland, OH, USA
Registered: Apr 2019


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 07:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cle_fieroClick Here to Email cle_fieroSend a Private Message to cle_fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey everyone! I was in an unfortunate bump a few weeks ago, and finally had the chance to start working on repairs. Intersection confusion led to my 85gt's front driver quarter in the rear quarter of a ford fusion.

The body damage isnt horrific, and she tracks straight and runs fine other than a new periodic coolant leak from the rad area, but the steel that surrounds the headlight 'bucket' / area it retracts into is mangled as heck.

Frame measures as straight still, so I think the majority of the damage is on the facia mounting bars and the steel of the headlight bucket. Pics are attached. My question is: how do I go about starting to fix this? Since it's folded in and pushed back, it's not something I feel like I can 'pull' out. Would cutting the bucket out and rewelding replacement material be my best bet?

Any advice, as always, is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Mike in Sydney
Member
Posts: 294
From: Meadow Flat, NSW, Australia
Registered: Sep 2011


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 08:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike in SydneySend a Private Message to Mike in SydneyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Take it to a good, reputable body shop and have them remove the bumper fascia and the fender. Then have them pull the damaged area on a frame straightening machine. They should be able to pull most of it out or at least to a point that the headlight bucket can be installed. It probably won't inexpensive but it can be repaired.

[This message has been edited by Mike in Sydney (edited 02-07-2021).]

IP: Logged
olejoedad
Member
Posts: 14535
From: Clarendon Twp., MI
Registered: May 2004


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 192
Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 08:46 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Depending on your skill, I would cut out the damaged area and find a donor chassis for the needed material.
IP: Logged
cle_fiero
Member
Posts: 23
From: Cleveland, OH, USA
Registered: Apr 2019


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cle_fieroClick Here to Email cle_fieroSend a Private Message to cle_fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is there a name for that area other than 'headlight bucket's haha? Seems like overkill to buy a chassis for this, but want to be able to ask for the right thing at a junkyard or two around here.

I was thinking frame pulling machine, but the steel seems a bit thin to really yank on much, plus the folding (see pics above). I'm concerned that if that 'bucket' is just bolted on in a few places, Itll just end up getting ripped off the car. I haven't found a bodyshop in the cleveland area that will price work on fieros reasonably - I tend to get "it's old, it's expensive". Any advice on finding folks?
IP: Logged
Gall757
Member
Posts: 10752
From: Holland, MI
Registered: Jun 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 89
Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 11:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cle_fiero:

- I tend to get "it's old, it's expensive".


They are trying to tell you they don't know how to fix it.... keep looking!
IP: Logged
skywurz
Member
Posts: 423
From: CA Usa
Registered: Feb 2006


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 11:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Too bad you are so far away. I have that section of car.
My GT had similar damage i knocked most if that area back out with a 2x4 and 4x4 (depending on the area) and a hammer (3lb and up). Its really really thin sheet metal. You may have to evaluate if you need to add support as the stamping on the metal is what gave the thin metal its ridgidness.
IP: Logged
Mike in Sydney
Member
Posts: 294
From: Meadow Flat, NSW, Australia
Registered: Sep 2011


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike in SydneySend a Private Message to Mike in SydneyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I suspect one reason you are getting pushback from the body shops is that they are unfamiliar with the car and can't put a price on it. Most body shops do insurance work as their principal business. Getting the cars in and out again quickly is the way they make their money. Pull the fender, fascia and wiring out so the shop can get a good look at it. The more they can see the more likely they are to try it but it won't be cheap. I'm guessing they would charge 10-15 man-hours at whatever rate shop rate they charge and that's just to straighten the damaged area. It they take it on, they may add a little heat before pulling to make the metal more workable and since like Skywurz said, the stamping helps to give the sheet metal its strength, they may weld in some reinforcement. The metal is thin but I believe you can pull most of it out. I've seen it done on similar accidents.

Like Olejoedad said, depending on your skill, you could cut out the damaged area and find a donor chassis for the needed material and weld it in. It's not a job for the inexperienced. Lots of alignment and welding will be needed to get a good job. Again, a reputable body shop is the go, here. I think the time required is 8-10 man-hours plus whatever the salvaged clip costs.

I think the front fascia and the hood can be saved but it looks like you'll need a new fender but those are available from the wrecking yards. The side maker light and trim should be available from the wrecking yard, too, or you can get them from TFS.

BTW, how's the bulkhead where the headlight assembly attaches? Is that OK? If so, you may be able to use a small hydraulic jack yourself to push the damaged area back out to the area where it's supposed to be. Just make sure the jack is on a wide base so the load is spread over a large area.

The good news is the “soft” body panels on the Fiero can hide a lot of internal repairs so if the car isn’t going to be in the Concourse competition at Pebble Beach, you should be able to get an acceptable result so long as the attachments points on the frame are in reasonably close alignment.

Good luck.


IP: Logged
theogre
Member
Posts: 29675
From: USA
Registered: Mar 99


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 553
Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 08:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Getting "Push Back" from "Body shops" happens for even new cars...

Damage you above see may not be only damage. Worse w/ older cars w/ rusty frames. Car's frame outside may not rusty but have rot inside making them weak. So your "minor damage" often has bend whole left front of car.

Most shops Do Not have Frame "Machines" to even check the front left major frame members are OK in your case.
In many places even in large cities there is only 1 to a few Frame Shops than handle Frame problems. Have them just checking can cost > $500.

Now Let's ignore the Frame and say only damage seen are fix...

Most owners can't/won't have good insurance or Full Coverage unless required by a Loan. Even then have Minimum coverage and Insurance Policies w/ High Deductible and Low Caps.

The damage above cost a lot of $ to fix even for new cars and why many w/ "minor damage" are "Totaled" even if you have full coverage or can make a claim on anyone hitting you. Labor Cost alone in many places is now way over $100/Hr and say above damage eats ~ 15Hr minimum then add supplies and parts just to fix before painting.

Big part why Very Few many Body Shops will Not splice frame and other welded parts is can't make car safe if gets hit again then victims or estate sues them.
Nearly all welded parts are part of Front or Rear Crush Zones or "Rigid Zones." Rigid zone areas are the cabin parts like Fiero "Rocker Panels" behind plastic, all Columns, Roof, etc.
Is why many "fixing" rotten cars only have a time bomb waiting to fail and maybe replace peaces and worse go through "Firewall(s)" to hurt/kill the the people inside.

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave

[This message has been edited by theogre (edited 02-07-2021).]

IP: Logged
Mike in Sydney
Member
Posts: 294
From: Meadow Flat, NSW, Australia
Registered: Sep 2011


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike in SydneySend a Private Message to Mike in SydneyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ogre, I'm in total agreement with everything you said. That's why I said that it won't be inexpensive. Assuming the frame is O.K., body shops can use the frame aligner to "pull' panels into shape. One other good thing about putting it on a frame aligner, it that the frame can be checked to make sure it wasn't "tweaked" during the accident.

BTW, $100/hour USD labour sounds cheap. Down here, my insurance company paid $225/hr AUD. That's around $180/hr USD.
IP: Logged
cle_fiero
Member
Posts: 23
From: Cleveland, OH, USA
Registered: Apr 2019


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 10:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cle_fieroClick Here to Email cle_fieroSend a Private Message to cle_fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Skywurz, Ogre and Mike, thanks for the insight and input!

Ogre - do you happen to have a reference for what's considered a 'rigid zone' for collision protection and what's more of a 'body/facia support' ? I checked the cave, may have missed it. The collision was at about 15mph, just at an inconvenient spot thanks to the location and other cars height. I spent today rechecking frame distances, everything's within tolerance of where it was when I bought the car last year - so I'm not too concerned. She sat for a decade or two in a dry barn, so frame and undercarriage is better than expected for a NE Ohio car.

Skywurz - I'd been considering the 4x4/wood+sledge approach. Any pics of your jig, and how you got stuff back up to shape for panel fitment? It really is so thin - I had been leaning towards just cutting out a new box and front fender curve from scratch since it feels a bit like trying to uncrush a soda can haha.

Mike, bulkheads are totally fine - I like the hydraulic idea, mostly for the finessed approach it would give me. I'm more confident in trying some 'pushing and oulling' knowing the metals thin, but not too thin to take a bit of manipulation. Hearing that you've seen similar accidents resolved with a puller makes me feel better.

Either way, totally agree re:body shops not wanting to take either the liability or the job thanks to age and limited experience. If I had an existing relationship, I'd be dropping it off - but especially in Cleveland, I trust my own hands more than anyone whose work I haven't seen up close.

Bit of background: I am experienced with manual and CNC machining as well as welding at just above the hobby level (help folks make or fix parts, etc at cost) and have access to sheet forming tools, cnc plasma table, and other gear. Sadly, since im further from the automotive "world" than I'd like, I don't know anyone with access to a frame rack, and shop rates are going to be well over the value of the car - so this is likely going to be a diy or di(many experienced friends) job, but outside of this forum I don't know too many fiero people - y'all are a treasure trove of support and knowledge.

I'll take pics and let y'all know what route I end up leaning towards. Luckily, no massive rush so while she's apart and on stands I'm taking the chance to bring some other seasonal maintenance and deferred care items/upgrades. Might as well!

[This message has been edited by cle_fiero (edited 02-07-2021).]

IP: Logged
skywurz
Member
Posts: 423
From: CA Usa
Registered: Feb 2006


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-07-2021 11:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cle_fiero:

Skywurz - I'd been considering the 4x4/wood+sledge approach. Any pics of your jig, and how you got stuff back up to shape for panel fitment? It really is so thin - I had been leaning towards just cutting out a new box and front fender curve from scratch since it feels a bit like trying to uncrush a soda can haha.



It was me with a 2-3 ft section of 2x4 and 4x4 swapping up also using a 3lb and 5lb sledge beating the ever living Shrek out of it trying to march up the passenger side as far as mounting points. The big part for me (see my 88gt in my sig) my hinge support was compromised so i had to do a bunch of welding to fix that. U finally got to the point where i put everything on for a dry fit. I now know my drivers fender rail needs to come up by about 1/4" or i need to body shim it.

Remember now that you know (having measured) that your suspension and frame at suspension has not been tweaked. You just need to get the metal bent back so things fit back together and align property. Its (the metal) is never going to looks right/perfect. You may not even be able to use all of your mill and drill holes (i can't un fold one one of the ones for my front bumper) i plan to shim and drill a new hole with a self tapping sheet metal screw. Its not going to be factory its been in an accident its not possible. Best to mend move on add it as a disclaimer.

------------------
See my Fiero Proluge on my personal site: http://skywurz.com/node/114
See my GT Build http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/144556.html
See my Wife's 85SE Build http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/144704.html

IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
cle_fiero
Member
Posts: 23
From: Cleveland, OH, USA
Registered: Apr 2019


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-12-2021 11:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cle_fieroClick Here to Email cle_fieroSend a Private Message to cle_fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Update:

I started with the hydraulic ram / bash it with a sledge approach, and am pleasantly suprised by how much progress I was able to make in an hour or so.

I still need to fix the downward bend in the fender guard area under the front quarter. However, the headlights fit in the buckets again!

Next steps are more banging while enough "stuff" is on the car that I can see if the body panels are sitting well, then strip down the whole section and start welding to fix the seam cracks that opened up and to add some reinforcements to areas that "tin canned" a bit.

IP: Logged
cle_fiero
Member
Posts: 23
From: Cleveland, OH, USA
Registered: Apr 2019


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-12-2021 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for cle_fieroClick Here to Email cle_fieroSend a Private Message to cle_fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

cle_fiero

23 posts
Member since Apr 2019
Headlight bucket:




Whole front end:


IP: Logged
Mike in Sydney
Member
Posts: 294
From: Meadow Flat, NSW, Australia
Registered: Sep 2011


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-12-2021 04:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Mike in SydneySend a Private Message to Mike in SydneyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A few welds, a little paint, new fender and fascia and like as not, it will never be noticed. Glad it’s working out for you.
IP: Logged
skywurz
Member
Posts: 423
From: CA Usa
Registered: Feb 2006


Feedback score: (2)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-12-2021 05:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skywurzClick Here to visit skywurz's HomePageSend a Private Message to skywurzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice! Good work so far!

Hopefully the email i sent you found you
IP: Logged
Raydar
Member
Posts: 38739
From: Carrollton GA. Out in the... country.
Registered: Oct 1999


Feedback score:    (12)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 452
Rate this member

Report this Post02-13-2021 09:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow! Good show!

[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 02-13-2021).]

IP: Logged
tnkgnr
Member
Posts: 174
From: Charlottesville, VA
Registered: Apr 2004


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post02-20-2021 11:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tnkgnrSend a Private Message to tnkgnrEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hell yea...way to go!
IP: Logged

next newest topic | next oldest topic

All times are ET (US)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock