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Thread: 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Rebuild, "Bad Decision"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    292

    Default 2008 Nissan Altima Coupe Rebuild, "Bad Decision"

    Well, where to start, to give a little back ground about me. I just turned 42, I've been working 2 jobs for awhile now, just to try to pay the monthly bills. All of my vehicles are getting over 200,000 miles on them, with no options of taking on more payments. This past February my wife started breast cancer treatment.
    So, all these factors have lead me to make this decision of buying another wrecked car, which of coarse the wife is not happy about, I do understand but, being told you need to do something, so I did. I bought this one through Copart, with help from a friend. So far, Copart changed their rules, that I didn't know. You can only look at things on Thursday morning, you have 3 days to pick up the car, and it starts Friday, day of the Auction. Now my friend says I payed to much, I don't think I did based on what I've bought it the past, I didn't like how much the Copart fee's were!!
    Now the car isn't bad, and it's not great, it only has 123,000 plus on it, it's not as clean as I hoped inside, smells like a man whore, and probably the worst part it has some rust coming through on the quarters. I don't see any frame rail damage, yet, looks like the crash bar took most of the hit, needs rad, ac condersor, front and rear bumper covers, hopefully repair the hood and fenders. And paint, what was I thinking!!! It does run, I backed it off the trailer, and pulled it in to the drive way, after I put a battery in it. I found a oil change sticker in the front windshield, just had the oil changed, looks like has newer rotors, but are rusted from sitting. But this project is/was only a 2-3 year deal, I plan on going back to school this fall, but I say that every year, but now it's time.
    This car my go to my daughter, or my mother even said she would buy it, to keep miles off of her "last car she is buying", she is going to retire soon, maybe. Or will be sold, and with project I hope to keep flipping cars, these Altima's still go for what I call decent money. I always say that, seems like I a day late and a dollar short.
    Everytime I do project like this, I get severe anxiety, not sure why, maybe it's the money/time part, or all above, but no risk No ReWard!!! Reward meaning, a decent car for less, Learned more, about something atleast, ect. Do understand why alot of guys dump their projects.

    Should of keeping moving forward with my LSx swap for my next daily driver, and paid on some debt, to late now, Time to move Forward!!!

    Chad.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    18,339

    Default Focus!

    First things first. FOCUS - (no not a Ford)…

    The most important thing is getting your wife through this ordeal which, in recent years, does have much greater outcome so my family's thoughts & prayers to you guys!

    Listen, you have your head in a large vise right now. All of your variables, 'wife', you bought another wreck, never enough money, trying to help others, questioning what you just did, (buyer's remorse) hearing others question what you just did is tightening that vise.

    You need to FOCUS and NOT ALLOW that vice to tighten but rather look at the positive. I recall you came here a few years ago to build an Equinox for your daughter. You got tangled up in that one. What the hell it was your first one so of course apprehension settled in. BUT that Chevy got back on the road and you did it. Why? (Well, because of this site!) No, seriously because you bit the bullet, stepped up to the plate and FOCUSSED.

    Listen, you could have spent the car money on booze or gambling but you spent the money because you are seeing a glimpse of making a couple more dollars (for your family) by doing so. Based on that, pat yourself on the back and DO NOT beat yourself up over what you did because like the Equinox, you will get this one done. Get ahold of the insurance estimate of what they found wrong (usually comes with the salvage car buy). See what they say is wrong and eliminate and nonsense they have in their estimate like a parking lot dent in the door (existing damage) that you can but don't have to address.

    We'll talk more on the car going forward and also when more members chime in but feel good about what you did and make a positive plan to move ahead.

    Smile and keep us posted!

    Henry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    292

    Default

    I picked up a crash bar from the local U Pull It, the 4 door Altima came in Friday. Cleaned up the outside of it alittle, got most of the crap off of it, looks alot better, still needs a good wash.
    Need to figure out what to do about the coolers and core support. I plan on going to Cincinnati at the end of this week for some parts, if they are still there, I dough it. So, I might have to fix the front cover, but that's later.

    Chad.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    2,126

    Default

    I just looked at my CertiFit catalog and it looks like they have most of what you need. My experience has been that new condensers and radiators from them cost about the same as used parts. Iíve been very happy with the fit and quality of parts Iíve picked up from them too. I canít check the price as it isnít listed in my catalog but you can call them and they will tell you the price on the phone. Fenders are usually so cheap that you wonít even want to fix one.

    Bob K

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    308

    Default

    As Henry and Bob K said. Do you know a shop owner or if you can get a discount on aftermarket parts ? These Parts are cheap Cover like $64.00 cost. So just stick with it and we are here to help.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2007
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    292

    Default

    What?? Is that from CertiFit?? I have an account at LKQ, I don't know what's going on with them they seem really high in price lately.

    Chad.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    What?? Is that from CertiFit?? I have an account at LKQ, I don't know what's going on with them they seem really high in price lately.

    Chad.
    Empire Auto Parts Keystone will match there price for the most part. They all have different pricing for shops. Have a shop I do some frame pulling on and car needed a fender and hood so when part came in other shop owner called in also by mistake and his cost was 15 % lower then mine!!!!! Never used CertiFit.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2007
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    292

    Default

    Well, I have some updates coming, it's not finished yet, or close to being done. Need to start back on this one, and get it at least driving.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    18,339

    Default Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    Well, I have some updates coming, it's not finished yet, or close to being done. Need to start back on this one, and get it at least driving.

    Thanks.
    Welcome back, been thinking about you. Projects ONLY get done when you stay on them. Problem with that is, unless it's your business, it does take lots of time, often. Oh and not to mention family, a house, job and you know the rest. Anyway, saw your name and had to say hello with hopes all is well for you & yours. Take care.

    Henry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Yes, this has been an very odd/busy year, as for many others in life. Let's do a quick somewhat update, I lost my part time job due to covid, which paid my mortgage, so had to find something else, being doing some side work for a couple of shops, and no it is not paint work, lol. Been busy with that all year, taking some time off now to improve my process to move forward.
    I did buy some used parts, that are $hit for the most part, the bumper cover needs a couple of cracks fixed, the driver's side fender is rusty at the bottom, has dents, the passenger's side, has dents, and had a big kink in it, which I have gotten most of it out, but I found another set of fenders that are the same color-ish, but the drive's side has a deep scratch on top by the hood, and the passenger's side has a small kink. Yes I know, wasting more time and money, but I'm kind of an hurry to get this somewhat done, my daily driver, needs a timing chain and guides, it's not really worth fixing due to it's age and rusty condition. My plan is now is to get most of the body work done, and do the paint work next spring.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    292

    Default Back again!!

    This car might get done, someday. Where to start, the passenger's side looks great, good gap lines, no complaints. As for the driver's side, different story, looks like the top apron was pushed up about a 1/2", what is the best plan of action here? Take a 4x4 piece of wood, and a BFH to knock it back down, or other?

    Thanks you.IMG_0129.jpg[ATTACH=CONFIG]31256[IMG_0130.jpg/ATTACH]
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  12. #12
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    It's hard to say what will work without knowing what is actually bent. Is it the fender or the metal that's holding the fender in place?

    Sometimes it can be pulled back in place using a strap and a come-a-long or a clamp and a pull post.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default Hmmmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    This car might get done, someday. Where to start, the passenger's side looks great, good gap lines, no complaints. As for the driver's side, different story, looks like the top apron was pushed up about a 1/2", what is the best plan of action here? Take a 4x4 piece of wood, and a BFH to knock it back down, or other?

    Thanks you.
    So, Chad, I get to welcome you back again and hope all is well for you and yours!

    I copied a picture of your car with the hood up (that I hope will post below) and want to point something out. First of all, I hope you know it's tough for anyone to really say "exactly" what's off or out of whack on this car and whatever any of us say is our opinion from what we've seen in real life and applied to your pictures. Now for your under hood picture:


    From what I'm seeing it appears your front end looks to be 'swayed' (out of square) to the driver side. In addition, your motor does not look like it's sitting perfectly FLAT and where I'm going is potential 'cradle' damage. Really wish you could have the car on a frame machine for possible pull and/or proper measurements. Not sure if you are in with a shop that can do this for you. (I think you need to have a close look at the cradle, motor mounting points, shock towers, control arms or anything else LOW throwing the upper off.)

    I mean, we can all "make" replacement parts fit and look PERFECT on that car with a push of a fender here or there or elongating holes and shims and what not.

    Anyway, good buddy, that's my take from what I see and where I've been on similar wrecks but just like everyone else who chimes in for you, we wish we could be THERE to see! Keep us posted.

    Henry

    PS: Have to ask, used any BLEECH WHITE since back when?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Well, where to start, I thought the the frame rail was good. The used metal bumper bolted right up, and the used bolt-in core support bolted right in, but the fender does not line up, go figure. I don't see any visible damage, like kinks, bends ect, but will take a closer look. And I'm going to try to make a home made measuring tram, to see how far out of square things are. I was hoping that upper rail, apron, (whatever the proper name is) was pushed up, but I'm starting to think it's more than that.

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2005
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    Default Wrong... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SStampede View Post
    Well, where to start, I thought the the frame rail was good. The used metal bumper bolted right up, and the used bolt-in core support bolted right in, but the fender does not line up, go figure. I don't see any visible damage, like kinks, bends ect, but will take a closer look. And I'm going to try to make a home made measuring tram, to see how far out of square things are. I was hoping that upper rail, apron, (whatever the proper name is) was pushed up, but I'm starting to think it's more than that.

    Thanks.
    I may be 'wrong' but I'm noticing a couple things in the photos below:


    Notice the main impact was the driver side low at the bumper support. Couple that with the next photo:


    Notice the left driver side, LOWER FRAME rail. See the vertical slit that appears to be bent or twisted outward. Again, I'm going by a photo but you need to check that left lower frame rail for square and level with the other side.

    Hey, if nothing else, it's another avenue to take. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Henry

    PS: Have to ask, used any BLEECH WHITE since back when?

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