2 posts in this topic
My Saturn was in an accident almost 2 years ago with a SUV. The SUV hit the front right of my car, busted my flip up headlight and slightly crumpled the radiator support bar as seen in these pics. The left flip up headlight was destroyed a few days later at Sam Dell, the car dealership my insurance made me take my car to for a damage estimate.
The Sam Dell idiots ripped the good headlight off instead of taking it off to look at the bumper closer, which had no real damage. But because they are idiots they damaged my car more than the accident did by doing their front end dismantling to finish their estimate. F*cking money grubbing assholes f*ck up my car so much I had to get it towed out of there so they couldn't hold it hostage in an attempt to force me to use them to repair my car.
Instead, I have been going to the scrap yard "Pick 'N Pull" and have been getting new pieces, namely: headlights, fender, hood, and wheel well.
I now have all the pieces I need and now I just have to put everything back together.
Well, I drilled out a spot on the fender bar so I could attach a chain mount to it for a connection point for my tow strap hook.
Heres the hook attached to the chain mount:
Attached to a pine tree for an ancor support.
Pulling resulted in slight movement of the crumpled bar, before the metal started giving away on the chain mount.
So, I used a rubber mallet and started whacking it and hitting parts back into place.
The hood does close a little more level now. I'm going to use a small pry bar and rubber mallet to try and straighten it out more. As long as I can get it straightened enough for my headlight to mount back in correctly, it'll be good enough.
After my last attempt at straightening out that radiator support bar, I purchased a $10 nail puller that looks like a mini crow bar. It worked out great for fixing the rest of the crumpled metal because both ends were the perfect size to fit in the pre-existing drilled holes in the metal. So, using that and a rubber mallet I was able to whack most of the metal back into place. I also fixed up another spot to use my tow cable on and with chelle's help we were able to pop out a very crumpled part. So, now that the bar has been straightened out enough to put the headlight back on, I did just that.
After 6 hours of work yesterday, I got the old wheel well off, drilled off the busted fender support bar, put on the right headlight, right turnsignal, new support bar and fender. I also replaced the headlight bulb and both turn signal bulbs. I would have taken pictures as the work progressed, but I didn't want to dirty up the camera and I didn't want to stop working while I was making so much progress.
Heres the finished pics of the support bar and all the work I finished yesterday. In the end, the bar was still off by so many centimeters, and thats all that was needed to not have the headlight and fender aligned 100%. Oh well, I just want the car back on the road and running again.
The very next day after posting about the right side being almost done, I put the other headlight and turn signal on the left side. Since then I've put in quite a few more days and alot of hours into the car and now its pretty much done. All I had left was to bleed the brake lines. I bled the driver's side, then when I went to bleed the passenger side, the bleeder nut snapped off. x_x So I replaced the caliper and when I went to bleed the line, the hood latch release busted.
Anyway, even without bleeding the line the braking felt alot better so I figured it would be best if I replaced the other side too. So I replaced the left side and messed with the hood a bit more. No luck.
Today tho, I got lucky. After fashioning a coat hanger into a crude pulling rod and inserting it at the driver's side headlight to blindly attach it to the hood release... It didn't work and I got extremely fucking pissed. After 30 minutes I said fuck it and attacked the problem from under the car. The air deflector under the hood was already broken off to begin with from a snow issue about 2 years ago, so I had access to the top portion of that piece of plastic without having to first remove that large deflector piece. Anyway, three bolts later I found out I could bend that piece of plastic towards the radiator and access the hood latch release spring thru a small access hole with a screwdriver. A couple seconds later and one quick, light push with a screwdriver, my hood pops up.
Turns out the cable did not break and the hood latch was still working. I lubricated the hell out of it so it would stop being a bitch to operate and the cable somehow got dislodged from two retaining clips on the inside of the engine compartment and another two clips from under the dash. After zip tieing those couple spots and pushing the hood release cable back into position I was able to tighten it all up and it works again.
The real bullshit was that the cable still worked. I was just afraid of breaking it when I pulled on the cable with a pair of pliers in the drivers seat. I could have saved myself quite a bit of time if I'd have just yanked the damn thing. Of course one of the little metal wires is broken on the cable so it'll probably fail on me again someday and completely snap now... but at least now I know how to pop that f*cking hood without a cable.
As of now, I have 5 bolts left to put back on the car, bleed the brake lines and go for a test drive. The car is already insured and re-registered but I still have to get it inspected.
Once I finish up the little things I'll take some new pics.
The bleeding nut on the passenger side front caliper broke and so I replaced the caliper. Instead of just doing that side I felt it would be best if I replaced both calipers in the front and thats just what I did. $80 later for the calipers and a bit of work a week and half ago and the job was done. Bleeding the brake lines was time consuming, but after I got it done I took it over to midas and had them replace the fluid and re-bleed it all.