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Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 12:07 p.m.

So I've been looking at Ford Interceptors up for auction and there is one with what they say is "Declaring department reports that this vehicle was involved in an MVA with damage to frame and rear bumper".

My question is how bad is this damage?

Does it look like the frame needs to be straightened on a machine or just patched up? Did it mess up stuff underneath (other than the muffler)? Or can this just new bumper support, re-bumper, and call it drivable?

Just a note I'm not looking to sell/flip, I need a newer daily driver, but I'm not close enough to inspect myself, it would be a fly-and-drive.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/6/20 12:39 p.m.

I presume it has to pass a body integrity inspection in Ontario, so there are no shortcuts there.  If it has wrinkles that won't come out with a pull from a frame machine, those parts need to be replaced. Professionally.

If it doesn't have to be inspected, tug it out, replace the bent re-bar and plastic bits and head on down the road.

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 12:56 p.m.
Streetwiseguy said:

I presume it has to pass a body integrity inspection in Ontario...

If it doesn't have to be inspected...

Thanks for the insight. The vehicle is not listed as salvage or branded, so I think it just needs to pass a standard safety which wouldn't include any frame inspection just brake lights, horn, etc. so I'm thinking the tug/replace/drive approach might be enough.

Any idea how much a bodyshop would charge to the frame machine pull?

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas SuperDork
1/6/20 1:08 p.m.

If the alignment is still within spec and you don't need the bumper support to be perfect, use the shadetree mechanic solution of chains and come-alongs to stretch it back toward stock shape.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
1/6/20 1:14 p.m.

That's an Interceptor sedan, the one based on a Taurus?  If so it's a unit body car wthout a separate frame, correct?

morello159
morello159 Reader
1/6/20 1:26 p.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

That's correct

I wouldn't touch it, personally. Not only is it crooked, but that frame is going to rust now that the paint has chipped/flaked off of it as well. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/6/20 1:31 p.m.

He lives in Ottawa, it's going to rust no matter what :)

Saron81
Saron81 Reader
1/6/20 1:49 p.m.

I'll sure the rear body panel and trunk floor are smashed, but as long as the 1/4 panel (or roof) isn't buckled further up, you could probably cover most of it with a new bumper cover. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/6/20 2:06 p.m.

Is that the bumper reinforcement hanging out BELOW the bumper skin?

 

I'm all for make it good enough for the body panel gaps to be good enough, but that looks a bit more comprehensive.

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 2:06 p.m.

Here is a pic of the trunk floor, not sure what can be inferred about how bad it is underneath

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 3:10 p.m.
Knurled. said:

Is that the bumper reinforcement hanging out BELOW the bumper skin?

Good question, here is a pic of what it should look like versus what it does look like. I think the black lower bumper trim is pulled off/down so itsa bit hard to tell how much it has been moved.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/6/20 3:33 p.m.

I am of the belief that you can successfully hang another bumper cover on that car.  This will give you the appearance of "complete".  What may be "uncomplete" is that the reinforcement bar might be still bent and it looks that some of the rear tub portions might have some wrinkles. 

These wrinkles mean that some of the crush zone has already been crushed.  This then means you might have less rear collision safety in the event of another rear collision.   As mentioned, this will become important due to what Ontario requires and if the vehicle must be inspected.  Here, in Ohio, it would be "road worthy" without fixing the wrinkles.  

I would paint the wrinkles, in any color you want (since it wont be seen) so as to cover the bare metal and delay the rust.  I would then hit car-part.com to find a replacement Rear Bumper Assembly (cover and reinforcement bar).  I see those little round back-up sensors in the bumper so be sure to order one with those.  

Quick searching in Ontario I found these guys in Kitchener have this for $266cd

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/6/20 4:01 p.m.
Ottawa (Eric) said:
Streetwiseguy said:

I presume it has to pass a body integrity inspection in Ontario...

If it doesn't have to be inspected...

Thanks for the insight. The vehicle is not listed as salvage or branded, so I think it just needs to pass a standard safety which wouldn't include any frame inspection just brake lights, horn, etc. so I'm thinking the tug/replace/drive approach might be enough.

Any idea how much a bodyshop would charge to the frame machine pull?

A properly done mechanical inspection may well include structural damage.  It does here.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
1/6/20 4:43 p.m.

I don't want to distract the hive from Eric's inquiry for long, but let's be quite clear:  a properly done mechanical inspection and the scope of work involved in an Ontario safety certificate are two very different things... and that's not even getting into the question of the skills the technician brings (or is permitted to bring) to the task.

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 5:10 p.m.
Stealthtercel said:

...a properly done mechanical inspection and the scope of work involved in an Ontario safety certificate are two very different things...

Quite correct, the Ontario safety (needed only at transfer of ownership) is focused on tires, brakes, lights, etc. Just like a typical house inspection they don't pull apart drywall to see what is really underneath, but if some issue is in plain sight they would flag it. Again I would fully disclose if I was selling, but I'm comfortable driving a car with this type of compromise.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/6/20 5:23 p.m.

I own, drive, and have sold cars with this kind of compromise.  

Best of luck.  And, lets not kid ourselves, if your buying this sight unseen, there is an element of gamble and luck to the whole thing.  

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
1/6/20 5:34 p.m.

I would be looking at the alignment of the doors as well as the trunk and base my purchase on what you find.  If the rear door to the rear quarter gap is off I would walk away.  If it is good then look at the trunk lid and see how far that is off.  Based on what you find would determine if it is worth looking at the rest of it. 

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 5:44 p.m.
dean1484 said:

I would be looking at the alignment of the doors as well as the trunk and base my purchase on what you find.  If the rear door to the rear quarter gap is off I would walk away.  If it is good then look at the trunk lid and see how far that is off.  Based on what you find would determine if it is worth looking at the rest of it. 

Good point, here are pics of the rear door for what they are worth. It's not local and its internet silent auction style so it would be a wild ass guess type bid and if I win its a fly-and-drive "Adventure!". As John said its a gamble for sure, and I could get out-bid by some bodyshop that knows they can resell it at 100% margin so this all might be for nothing, but I have really appreciated the advice.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/6/20 6:25 p.m.

Is that discolorization on the passenger door?   Or, maybe just a reflection from whatever that yellow is in the right corner of the picture.  

 

Please share as many pics as you can.  If you are concerned that someone might bid against you, so you don't want to share them here then send them direct.      jwelsh02...yahoo...  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/6/20 6:31 p.m.

In a blind, sealed bid auction, the body shop might not have the upper hand.  The shop will have to bid a wholesale price (leaving room to make money) but you might bid a retail price (since you're not concerned with leaving room for profit.  

What is retail for something like this?  I would then recommend bidding under that retail by $500 for bumper ($266 rounded up) and $500 for "unknown".  This might then mean $1k under what you would feel would be a reasonable retail for this completed vehicle.  A little self-assembly and viola, your have a completed car...maybe...its a gamble.  

If that gamble makes you nervous, then take the offer down by another $500 or $1k.  

The guy who really has the upper hand is the guy who can see the car in person before bidding.  Is there any way this is possible?

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 7:21 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Is that discolorization on the passenger door?   Or, maybe just a reflection from whatever that yellow is in the right corner of the picture. 

Pretty sure its a reflection of the forklift parked next to it. I'm sure there is some decal/glue residue that needs to be cleaned, and holes that need to be plugged.

Ottawa (Eric)
Ottawa (Eric) Reader
1/6/20 7:31 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In a blind, sealed bid auction, the body shop might not have the upper hand.  The shop will have to bid a wholesale price (leaving room to make money) but you might bid a retail price (since you're not concerned with leaving room for profit.  

What is retail for something like this?  I would then recommend bidding under that retail by $500 for bumper ($266 rounded up) and $500 for "unknown".  This might then mean $1k under what you would feel would be a reasonable retail for this completed vehicle.  A little self-assembly and viola, your have a completed car...maybe...its a gamble.  

If that gamble makes you nervous, then take the offer down by another $500 or $1k.  

The guy who really has the upper hand is the guy who can see the car in person before bidding.  Is there any way this is possible?

Been playing the long game on these auctions, not in a hurry as the Grand Marquis is holding up well but its 12 years old now and something newer would be a nice change. Been comparing dealer asking price to the actual auction value and it seems there is a healthy margin. For example non-accident damaged 2WD Tahoes that auction for $5K are at dealers for $9K-$12K with often no or little refurb.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/6/20 8:02 p.m.

I agree on refection from yellow fork lift. 

Wow, those are some healthy margins.  Are these ecoboost Taurus or the NA 3.7L?  I can see where the ecoboost version would be a "SHO in sheep's clothing" but is a 3.7L that desirable?  Or, just desirable as cheap transportation?  

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/6/20 8:23 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

The 3.7 makes the "Interceptor Utility" (Explorer) scoot amazingly well.  It'd be fun in a Taurus, too.

 

Not that the Taurus is much smaller than an Explorer.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
1/6/20 8:35 p.m.

was it run into ?

or did they back it into a pole ?

Might made a difference  how much damage there is .......

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