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Thread: 2004 Rav4 Minor Rear Collision Repair

  1. #1

    Default 2004 Rav4 Minor Rear Collision Repair

    Hello all! I am a new member and was wondering if anyone would be willing to give me advice. I'm a 16 year old guy, so naturally I managed to wreck my beautiful Rav4 2004 with only 73K miles within like 3 months. I managed this because parking decks are my worst enemy and I didn't see that pole behind me until it was too late... and now my car's messed up in the back. It's pretty much all superficial, the glass is ok and the door still opens closes locks fine, etc. But the tire cover (hard cover of course, being the L) is slightly cracked and badly scratched, with one of its clips broken off, and the back door itself was dented in 2 spots when the tire pushed in on it, causing the paint to peel off one spot.

    Needless to say, I'll be more careful backing now.

    Anyway, I'm pretty pissed off at myself, but I figured it was good that I managed to only hit a pole, not somebody's car, and that it was in the rear. Then I took it to a Collision Place to have an estimate, and it was a mere 3,000 DOLLARS. They want to replace the entire rear door skin, the wheel cover, and repaint, replace emblems, etc. I think that's kinda insane. I feel like I could almost bang the dents out myself by taking off the rear trim panel, and the paint wouldn't even need to cover the whole rear door, instead of paying 970 for a new one. The tire cover was quoted at 660 dollars, for a literal piece of plastic, and I'm simply not down. It's not deformed, it could be filled with putty, sanded, and painted to be a B grade quality again. So I want to know what I can do to save some money. I checked online for the cover, and can't find anywhere it isn't sold out, not even scrapyards or eBay.

    I'm interested in trying to do some of the repair work myself because it REALLY seems like its not that complicated, but my dad's a car lover too and he's way more meticulous about it, he doesn't want me to try and fix it. I suppose I could make things worse trying to hammer out the dents, but if I'd need a new skin I don't see the harm in trying. Anyway, I'll put pictures, let me know what you guys think the best option is.

    P.S. I don't really have 3,000 dollars and insurance can't know - its expensive enough.

    IMG_6142.jpgIMG_6143.jpgIMG_6141.jpgIMG_6140.jpgIMG_6139.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,005

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    I donít know where you live so I did a nationwide search on www.car-part.com and found a silver tire cover in South Carolina for $125 and several silver rear door assemblies for less than $200. You can do a search yourself to see what is available near your home. These parts can be removed with a wrench and replaced without doing any paint and body work. Look at and understand the parts grade collum too and try to go to the yard and pick up the part so there is no misunderstanding about the quality. There are over 200 listed on that site at various locations and prices. You may find something that works for you.

    I like to find a yard near a place I want to go to anyway and make a mini vacation out of picking up the parts. Done that several times.

    Bob K

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    I donít know where you live so I did a nationwide search on www.car-part.com and found a silver tire cover in South Carolina for $125 and several silver rear door assemblies for less than $200. You can do a search yourself to see what is available near your home. These parts can be removed with a wrench and replaced without doing any paint and body work. Look at and understand the parts grade collum too and try to go to the yard and pick up the part so there is no misunderstanding about the quality. There are over 200 listed on that site at various locations and prices. You may find something that works for you.

    I like to find a yard near a place I want to go to anyway and make a mini vacation out of picking up the parts. Done that several times.

    Bob K
    Thank you so much! Never knew about that website, it looks like it has a lot to offer. I'll look through that and see what I can come up with. Will update. Much appreciated! I think it'd be fun to drive around looking, too. I like driving on trips, especially because I don't have to go backwards for those

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006
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    I feel like Iíve lost my powers of observation. Your license plate shows what part of the country youíre in and I could have been a little more helpful by narrowing the search to your neighborhood but you sound like you have a good grasp of that site.

    Bob K

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    I feel like Iíve lost my powers of observation. Your license plate shows what part of the country youíre in and I could have been a little more helpful by narrowing the search to your neighborhood but you sound like you have a good grasp of that site.

    Bob K
    Thanks! I just realized my license plate is in the picture, probably not smart to have online Anyway, I actually went and searched for Spare Tire Cover and it found no results, but there were some mixed in with the Back Door, (Above Bumper) Results... Regardless, this seems like a great place to keep searching around on. I really do think I could even salvage mine, but I don't know how to re create the original paint job without buying special equipment and stuff.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006
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    You can fix the one you have but it isnít as cheap as you may think. Body filler wonít work. The cracks will come back in a short time. You will have to open up all the cracks with a grinder and fill those gaps with a 2 part Fuser or other brand product that coasts $40 or more per tube. Then you put Polyflex filler on so you can get the shape correct. That is another $40 per container. Then surfacer goes on so you can sand the repair to perfection. Surfacer is a 2 part product that you may be able to get a quart of for another $40 or so. Next is the paint. I use a good brand that runs me about $90 a pint but you could get by with a 1/4 pint at $22 and of course you will need to get a quart of reducer for $22. The paint is camera matched to my car so I get the right variant of the color. Last you need a quart of clear coat with hardener that you can probably find for $30. So you can get the stuff you need for about $194. On the plus side you only need small quantities of those things so you will have the makings of a kit to fix future dings with little or no added expense. I didnít mention tools, those come at another layer of expense. Itís a never ending process if you get into this hobby. Iíve been doing this for 20 years and Iím still buying tools.

    And yes the tire covers are listed in the Door, rear above the bumper section, and they are mixed into the part description so you will need to read the line for that info. You can click on the heading of the columns to sort them in different ways.

    Bob K

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    lower Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob K View Post
    You can fix the one you have but it isn’t as cheap as you may think. Body filler won’t work. The cracks will come back in a short time. You will have to open up all the cracks with a grinder and fill those gaps with a 2 part Fuser or other brand product that coasts $40 or more per tube. Then you put Polyflex filler on so you can get the shape correct. That is another $40 per container. Then surfacer goes on so you can sand the repair to perfection. Surfacer is a 2 part product that you may be able to get a quart of for another $40 or so. Next is the paint. I use a good brand that runs me about $90 a pint but you could get by with a 1/4 pint at $22 and of course you will need to get a quart of reducer for $22. The paint is camera matched to my car so I get the right variant of the color. Last you need a quart of clear coat with hardener that you can probably find for $30. So you can get the stuff you need for about $194. On the plus side you only need small quantities of those things so you will have the makings of a kit to fix future dings with little or no added expense. I didn’t mention tools, those come at another layer of expense. It’s a never ending process if you get into this hobby. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’m still buying tools.

    And yes the tire covers are listed in the Door, rear above the bumper section, and they are mixed into the part description so you will need to read the line for that info. You can click on the heading of the columns to sort them in different ways.

    Bob K
    Good posts, Bob. I've been doing auto body/paint professionally for 48 years and I still spend at last a thousand dollars a year on tools.

    Tyler, I agree with your dad, don't try and tackle that door repair yourself. It's not going to be cheap regardless of which way you go (except for leaving it as is). If I did the job I could easily have $400 in just materials to repair and paint the spare tire cover and tail gate. I admire your enthusiasm but in many cases "reality is the enemy of enthusiasm". In your case I suggest you hold off from doing anything and wait until you can find good used parts.
    Run a wanted ad on your area of Craigslist, Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace looking for the parts you need.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    i will not even offer advice here for people for free unless i know them....

    been thinking about that , some other priffesionals charge $$$$ for advice and guidance....

    i cannot nor will assist cheap frugal people..

    they can go to a body shop near rhem and let some folks earn their money...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    12,151

    Default Agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    Good posts, Bob. I've been doing auto body/paint professionally for 48 years and I still spend at last a thousand dollars a year on tools.

    Tyler, I agree with your dad, don't try and tackle that door repair yourself. It's not going to be cheap regardless of which way you go (except for leaving it as is). If I did the job I could easily have $400 in just materials to repair and paint the spare tire cover and tail gate. I admire your enthusiasm but in many cases "reality is the enemy of enthusiasm". In your case I suggest you hold off from doing anything and wait until you can find good used parts.
    Run a wanted ad on your area of Craigslist, Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace looking for the parts you need.
    Tyler, I agree with Phil since there is so much involved in any lasting repair in this field. Just too many variables to conquer and the tools to do the job are expensive as is the paint and exact color match.

    Lucky for you, your damage does NOT effect the ability to drive the vehicle and nothing got exposed to the outside elements. I think maybe you should decide to just leave it and keep an eye out for parts in your color. Also, for your spare tire, many vehicles have black leather spare tire covers with logos on them or just a plain color. You can go that route as well. Keep us posted on what you do.

    Henry

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