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Thread: ?s about 2005 Dodge Neon Repair.

  1. #1
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    Default ?s about 2005 Dodge Neon Repair.

    I've been thinking of buying and fixing some cars for extra money. I found this car on craigs list. How bad is the damage, and what are your guys opinions?
    I've helped some of friends for collision repair, so I know some and I'm not afraid of learning more.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
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    I have done cars damaged like that and worse, but I wouldn’t do a car that old. I did a quick search and found a 2005 Neon near me for $4000 from a dealership. I would like to get that much for my work alone, so there isn’t any room for profit if you need to buy the car and the parts to fix it. Then if it has a salvage title you won’t even be able to sell it for $4000. If you can get the car for free and the parts for free it would be a learning experience. (Like if you already owned it before the accident and had a donor wreck sitting in your back yard)

    Look for a 2010 or 2011 wreck. There is room in the value of the car to make some money, not to mention that everything is clean and easy to work on because of the lack of rust.

    Then there is the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state. They may need to get involved and you need to jump through there hoops.

    Bob K

  3. #3
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    NEVER buy a car with a salvage title to repair unless you plan on keeping and driving the car yourself for ever. That applies especially to non professional bodymen. Its a losing situation all the way around.

    Even if the car has a clear title (not salvage title) never buy a wrecked car without having a PROFESSIONAL bodyman check it out for you before any money changes hands. The biggest problems novice bodymen make when buying a wrecked car is they WAAAAY underestimate the extent of the damage and what it will take to repair the car in money and labor.

    That Neon hit in the ass in the picture is a total and there is a very good reason why the insurance company totalled the car. Its because THE COST OF REPAIRS EXCEED THE VALUE OF THE VEHICLE. If it was an easy fix or a cheap fix the insurance company would have paid to have the car repaired instead of totalling out the car. Also consider that if the car owner had no insurance when he/she wrecked the car they too would have paid to have the car repaired if it was a cheap easy fix. Most novices get in way over their head and end up losing money buying a wrecked vehicle to repair.

    I have bought cars over the years that were wrecked and in need of repairs but several important factors are involved there - (1) I'm a well experienced professional bodyman so I knew exactly what I was looking at in terms of cost and labor to repair the vehicle before purchasing the car. (2) I had/have complete access to all the tools and expensive equipment it took to repair those cars.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    NEVER buy a car with a salvage title to repair unless you plan on keeping and driving the car yourself for ever. That applies especially to non professional bodymen. Its a losing situation all the way around.

    Even if the car has a clear title (not salvage title) never buy a wrecked car without having a PROFESSIONAL bodyman check it out for you before any money changes hands.
    way to go phil,start out the new year off your meds an fallen out of your rocker,ive sold this year alone over 70 cars all salvage most over 200k miles most i doubled my$$$ others i trippled on them......

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SALVAGE!! ITS BETTER TO BUY SALVAGE BECAUSE AT LEAST YOU KNOW ITS NOT THERE CAUSE ITS A BAD CAR ITS THERE CAUSE IT GOT HIT,IN MOST CASES THE OWNERS DIDNT WANT TO GET RID OF THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE..

    as for having A PROFFESSIONAL to check it out again you are in lala land as all auctions except local law enforcment or city auctions are online and 9times out of ten you cant see the cars..

    stop posting bad advice about things you have no idea about people might start mistaking you for tech69.......

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    I've been thinking of buying and fixing some cars for extra money. I found this car on craigs list. How bad is the damage, and what are your guys opinions?
    I've helped some of friends for collision repair, so I know some and I'm not afraid of learning more.

    Thanks.
    if its low miles an 600bucks its worth it a rear clip 400 an labor round here is 350 so with detail that car will cost 1450 and easily sell for 2500 neons as much as i hate them are very popular sellers..

  6. #6
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    In my area, cars that have been assigned a salvage title cannot legally be driven on the highways until they've passed a post-repair inspection by the state dept and assigned a 'rebuilt' title.

    An individual cannot apply to have a vehicle inspected, it has to be a dealer/rebuilder

    Nothing wrong with driving a car that has been assigned a salvage title previously...it's all in the quality of repair. Being assigned a salvage title has nothing to do with the severity of damage to the vehicle...it's the cost of repair vs the value of the vehicle...Many moons ago, I bought/repaired/sold a little Dodge Daytona coupe...As far as body parts replaced, I replaced the right fender...that's it! Repaired a 2" tear in the front bumper and straightened the hood corner. I also replaced the air bag (most likely what totalled the car).

    Bob gave wise advice...if you're going to put that much work into a car...look for newer...it takes the same amount of labor to repair that wreck on a 2005 model as it does on a 2011.

    Myself, I scour the salvage sale lists looking for older cars with low mileage. Last car I built (actually havent' quite finished yet) was a 2004 Mustang convertible with less than 25000 miles. I also have a 1995 Camry I purchased for 800 bucks. I replaced the front end sheetmetal, radiator support and radiator/condensor (radiator actually held water but was badly twisted). That car has a whopping 22k miles on it. It still has 3 original tires on it with a 3/95 date code.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by style View Post
    way to go phil,start out the new year off your meds an fallen out of your rocker,ive sold this year alone over 70 cars all salvage most over 200k miles most i doubled my$$$ others i trippled on them......

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SALVAGE!! ITS BETTER TO BUY SALVAGE BECAUSE AT LEAST YOU KNOW ITS NOT THERE CAUSE ITS A BAD CAR ITS THERE CAUSE IT GOT HIT,IN MOST CASES THE OWNERS DIDNT WANT TO GET RID OF THE CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE..

    as for having A PROFFESSIONAL to check it out again you are in lala land as all auctions except local law enforcment or city auctions are online and 9times out of ten you cant see the cars..

    stop posting bad advice about things you have no idea about people might start mistaking you for tech69.......
    First of all its not the new year. Glance at a calendar, it not for another week. And if anyone is off their med it is unequivocally you. To get to the root of your rant lets look to credibility. You are wanting us to believe that you could repair that totalled out '05 Neon for FOURTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS !!! labor included ??? Whoever you're buying your crack from you need to find a different drug dealer. It making you talk like an idiot. AND you want us to believe that you could repair that total for $350 in labor ??? The paint work alone AFTER all the body work was done would be close to $900 (and you're going to do the whole job for $350!!!). I AVERAGE $50 an hour when I'm working So you're telling me I could do all the bodywork and paint work on that car in 7 HOURS ??? You might work for $2 and hour but I sure as hell don't.

    Style, from day one I new you were a few degrees off of plumb but you're even worse off than I thought you were. I have spent the last 40 years doing auto body work and automotive paint work for a living professionally building an excellent reputation. And then there are people like you who call yourself a "bodyman" but in reality you give real bodymen and the whole industry a bad name.

  8. #8
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    To Sam and Bob - Lets be honest here, MOST salvage title vehicles are hit really hard (usually in the front end) and past experience has taught me that buying a car like that can open up a large can of worms. Like cracked transmission cases, broken castings of the engine, complete subframes and engine cradles, burned wiring harnesses in the engine comparment and under the dash etc etc. You both suggest buying the newest car you can. You also have to realize that the newer the car the more money its worth. That certainly didn't escape the attention of the Insurance company when they totalled the car. What that means is if its a newer car they're not going to total it unless the cost of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle.
    If you have a $30,000.00 car that has been totalled by the insurance company then the repairs by their figures will exceed $22,000.00.

    In most cases when a car is hit hard enough to total it and be certified a salvage vehicle it has to get hit pretty hard with obviously very serious damage (we're not talking old beaters here where the cost of new bumper cover exceeds the value of the vehicle). In MOST cases there is always hidden damage of busted spot welds, tweaked pieces of metal that no longer have the structural strength that was there before the damage occured. There can be pinched wires that won't surface as problem for months or more. I came to the realization a long time ago that I DO NOT want my most prized posessions - MY FAMILY - riding around in vehicles that may or may not be safe long term. Its just not worth it to me.
    If you're comfortable with YOUR family riding around in potentially unsafe vehicles thats fine for you but not for me and my children/grand children. There are times to save a buck and cut corners, but the vehicles my family rides in is not one of those times.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil V View Post
    To Sam and Bob - Lets be honest here, MOST salvage title vehicles are hit really hard (usually in the front end) and past experience has taught me that buying a car like that can open up a large can of worms. Like cracked transmission cases, broken castings of the engine, complete subframes and engine cradles, burned wiring harnesses in the engine comparment and under the dash etc etc. You both suggest buying the newest car you can. You also have to realize that the newer the car the more money its worth. That certainly didn't escape the attention of the Insurance company when they totalled the car. What that means is if its a newer car they're not going to total it unless the cost of repairs exceed the value of the vehicle.
    If you have a $30,000.00 car that has been totalled by the insurance company then the repairs by their figures will exceed $22,000.00.

    In most cases when a car is hit hard enough to total it and be certified a salvage vehicle it has to get hit pretty hard with obviously very serious damage (we're not talking old beaters here where the cost of new bumper cover exceeds the value of the vehicle). In MOST cases there is always hidden damage of busted spot welds, tweaked pieces of metal that no longer have the structural strength that was there before the damage occured. There can be pinched wires that won't surface as problem for months or more. I came to the realization a long time ago that I DO NOT want my most prized posessions - MY FAMILY - riding around in vehicles that may or may not be safe long term. Its just not worth it to me.
    If you're comfortable with YOUR family riding around in potentially unsafe vehicles thats fine for you but not for me and my children/grand children. There are times to save a buck and cut corners, but the vehicles my family rides in is not one of those times.
    You're right Phil BUT at least half of most repairs are estimated using new parts and a shop labor rate. When a repair is done at home there is NO labor rate and parts can usually be obtained from a junk yard or donor vehicle and this would greatly reduce the cost of repairs. However with all that said I wouldn't repair that car even if the parts were free because the end result wouldn't be worth the effort.

  10. #10
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    Well, guys I don't know what to say. I bought an 03 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, back in mid 04. That had a salvage title,and very little damage, which I still drive today. I also bought an 01 Toyota Avalon with a good title, but had to replace the core support, rad, cond, headlights, bumper cover, grill, hood, fenders, windshield, pass air bag, seat belts, head light connections, and helping pull the front, that neon doesn't look that bad. Oh, and paint.
    If I could buy the neon for about $500 or $600, asking $900, buying used parts for under $500. A rear clip is $550, having it pulled for about $300-400, and doing the rest myself, I think I could turn a small profit of a $1000 or so.
    The things I have seen over the years of so called "body guys / paint guys"
    I'm not to afraid of the neon, it would be a great experience for me. In no way I'm I calling myself a "Body / Paint guy", just wanting to learn and do more. It's hard to do so when most places don't hire part time.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Len View Post
    You're right Phil BUT at least half of most repairs are estimated using new parts and a shop labor rate. When a repair is done at home there is NO labor rate and parts can usually be obtained from a junk yard or donor vehicle and this would greatly reduce the cost of repairs. However with all that said I wouldn't repair that car even if the parts were free because the end result wouldn't be worth the effort.
    Why wouldn't it be worth the effort?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    Why wouldn't it be worth the effort?

    Thanks.
    Well, maybe I should have said that it wouldn't be worth MY effort because I sell my time to do this type of work and I could probably purchase two or more of those cars for what I would charge for my labor to fix it. If you think that the end result will be worth the time and money YOU would put into it then I'd say that it would be worth fixing.

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    There are a LOT of "totals" that can easily be saved leaving off a few things that you can live with like a scratched headlamp or not blending a quarter, that sort of thing. This Neon, it is a TO-TAL It isn't worth fixing, move on to another one.

    Brian

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    This is a somewhat interesting dichotomy. The people that are properly trained and have the necessary experience to repair that total correctly are the same people who say that car is junk and not worth spending time on. The other half of that dichotomy is the people who think the car should be repaired (by them no less) are the very same people who are not properly trained and do not have the necessary critical experience to repair totalled out vehicles correctly, to where those vehicles are safe to be on the road. Many of those "repaired" totals are cobbled messes put together by people who shouldn't be allowed to buy wrecked cars. Some of those vehicles are unsafe and a hazard to everyone on the road -- including me and my loved ones. So you can understand why I feel the way I do about people repairing seriously damaged vehicles who don't have a clue to what they're doing. Why do you think so many new laws were passed about 20 years ago directed towards people repairing (cobbling) seriously damaged vehicles that were sold unsafe to an unsuspecting public. Many people were killed and many more were critically injured for life. Laws were needed to protect an unsuspecting public and more controls still need to be put in place.
    Last edited by Phil V; 12-27-2010 at 02:10 AM.

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    Like I said, some "totals" are a damn shame. We just sent a 1990ish Toyota salvage yard that was one of those cars. This thing had SUPER low miles, you could have thrown mash potatoes on the floor and eaten them it was so clean. It hardly had a scratch on the original paint! It was as close to mint as you could get. The damage was limited to the the rear body panel, bumper components and the right rear rail and floor. One simple pull and a bumper reinforcement and cover and you would have a near perfectly repaired car.

    This Neon,if it were a special car like a few year old Lexus LS430 or a Corvette, or something like that sure, fix it. But it isn't, that is a total twice over. I would bet you a crisp dollar bill that the repairs are at TWICE the value of the car. That is not a fixer, it is a TOTAL.
    The left rear frame rail and trunk floor are GONE, the rear body panel, GONE this is after the obvious like the quarter and luggage lid. The car is a TOTAL in every sense of the word, let it die a fast death and put it out of it's misery.

    Brian

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