The last couple of months … car accidents & rebuildings…

On the 17th of Feb 2016 I was rear-ended and pushed into another vehicle whilst on my way to work.  The accident on it’s own was scary and jolting to say the least!

This posting is not about the accident but rather about a transition that occurred as a result.  My 1996 Toyota Tacoma truck was declared ‘totaled’ by the party at fault.  The cost to repair it was estimated at around $3900 on the cheap side and closer to 5k on the realistic end.  The insurance company at fault considered my vehicle a total loss and payed me $6000 as a comparable equivalent to my loss. They then allowed me to buy my own vehicle back for $350.  Although a total loss for the insurance overall you couldn’t buy an equivalent replacement for the truck for 6k!

I priced out the basics from junk yards in the area.  $250 for a tailgate, $200 each for front and rear bumper, fenders around $75/ea hood $150 – close to $1000 for the other basics not including the most important part, the radiator support.

The radiator support goes across the front end and is what the radiator is bolted to.  This piece is welded on and there are no after market or readily available junk yard parts.

I started surfing Craigslist.  I found a truck with the exact year and model that was not running for $1700.  I offered him $1000 for his truck as is.  He did not accept but in the long run allowed me to buy all that I needed for the $1000!  The truck was located about 90 minutes away and a full 4-6 hours of work in disassembly.   I came home with all that I needed to reassemble my truck -except for time.

here is a photo album of the experience

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Then the matching of lines, welds and mechanical workings…

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It was a  lot of work but a great sense of satisfaction in it’s completion!  Grateful to have such a big backyard to work in and a harbour-master who is an expert welder!!

Check out my Google+ Photo album for more photos of the process.

And here are a couple of panoramas of my great work space!