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Old 05-16-2019, 05:48 AM
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lightly rear ended, other guy's ins says the will only bondo beneath tire mount

Vehicle is 2017 2-door Rubi with only 12,700 miles and not a scratch on it. Looks like the day I drove it off the lot.

My 24 year old son was driving, we were first car at a light, got lightly rear ended at light turned green. Distracted driver who hit us repeatedly said he could see no damage to my jeep, but I could see my bumper damage and that seems on rear hatch were now uneven (about 1/4 in in the bottom and about 1/4 out at the top). since he was saying my JK was not damaged and I could see damage, I had to file with his insurance which rated it as 100% their insured's fault.

There were three contact points, a) rear stock 17 M/T tire, b) bumper slight deformation and color change on crush can plus a divot on the bumper skin from his licence plate screw, c) hitch face scratched and hitch cover cut off.

Used jeep certified shop that is BBB member and BBB A+ rated. I dont have 100% confidence in Yelp but shop has good number of good reviews from yelp from reviewers with many reviews), shop owner is a jeep owner and I myself know enough about body work from younger days high school auto shop to feel confident he is on my side. I have high confidence in the shop.

There are a couple of things I am unhappy about with the appraiser's estimate, for example appraiser wrote it up with third party bumper. But the bumper is $385 mopar factory and $330 non-factory, and i would rather pay the difference instead of wasting >$50 of my time that.

BUT turns out rear door/hatch skin is also deformed right at lower point of attachment. Appraiser wrote it up as bondo repair on rear door. the deformed area on the door is right under the lower attachment point for the tire mount. I just cannot see putting filler there given the weight of an M/T tire, the thousands of cycles opening and closing the door, and even driving over time with that weight pushing on the bondo. It is like putting bondo at a door hinge mount: it is going to crack from mechanical action over time. Shop is saying it is crazy to insist on bondo there.

I called the insured's appraiser. Was polite but firm. I told him I was obviously not trying to milk this since I hadn't even asked for a rental but there was no way bondo was ok under a massively heavy wheel and tire. He insisted "no one likes bondo, but this is standard." I said, ok standard maybe on a trunk lid, but it we know it will crack at some point under that tire.

any ideas? I'd leave the door un-repaired with the crease or pay the $600 difference before I would accept putting bondo there. That $600 difference is also not enough to make getting an attorney involved worthwhile.

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Old 05-16-2019, 06:01 AM   #2
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I would call your insurance company an request that they send out a appraiser as well. That way you have your insurance company that will fight for you. Explain all your concerns with your company. They may do the repairs out of your insurance then go after the other for payment for you. If you both have the same company then your probably out of luck. But if they pay out for you it will not go against your insurance and they can fight it out. Hope it all works out for you. Good luck...they are in the market to do it as cheap as possible, at any expense.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:08 AM   #3
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I second going through your insurance. Have them fix it right and let them subrogate it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:08 AM   #4
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You can take it to the shop of your choice and have it appraised. Make it clear to them you want it brought back to the same condition it was in before the other guy hit you. They are typically required to do that. The same condition it was in before would mean no bondo.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:08 AM   #5
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Most insurance direct repair facility’s warranty the work so if that is an option just roll with it. I 2nd getting your insurance to estimate it also. They can subrogste against the other carrier.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:09 AM   #6
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Maybe mention to the appraiser that you can not sign anything until you have been seen by a doctor as well, to make sure there are no medical issues.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #7
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You can take it to the shop of your choice and have it appraised. Make it clear to them you want it brought back to the same condition it was in before the other guy hit you. They are typically required to do that. The same condition it was in before would mean no bondo.
Nope. Standard industry practice is if the panel is repairable then you can repair it... (body filler) bondo = slang,for the cheap crap at Walmart.. shops don’t use that.

If they could not repair (use of body filler) every vehicle would have to replace entire qtr panels, roofs, hoods for a dent. Cutting out and welding in new panels is sooo much more damaging to overall durability and has a great chance of value diminishment to the vehicle than a small repair. Repairs all use body filler and can be made just like pre-accident. Often times repairs (with body filler) is the best option. If you can repair a dent then you have a smaller surface to paint and you can blend the paint to match inside the panel. If you replaced an exterior panel then now you will likely have to blend paint into every other panel that touches it... the best paint job is the factory paint (durability) so avoiding adding extra paint, clear coat helps to keep up that durability.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:28 AM   #8
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Maybe mention to the appraiser that you can not sign anything until you have been seen by a doctor as well, to make sure there are no medical issues.
Nope- myth about insurance. They don’t care. It’s not the adjusters $ so it does not make them any more likely to change an estimate. Also mentioning possibly getting an attorney. They usually don’t care either way. Pointless bluff. They owe what they owe so if your injured then your injured and they owe something for that. Saying “I’m not even claiming injuries so get me more $ for the auto” is pointless and degrades your credibility w the adjuster. If you are hurt then you are hurt and should be checked out.

Facts like a shop tech telling them every time we try this repair it fails as the panel flexes too much or the part is a high strength steel and the manual says can’t be heated.. then a typical adjuster will document the reasoning and change the estimate.

Also sometimes they may do an estimate on “best case scenario” knowing some people don’t repair and take cash. They leave it up to the shop to review it and call in a supplement if they missed anything or feel that the repair would not be able to be warrantied.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:33 AM   #9
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I’ve always contacted my insurance company, and they’ve gone after the other party’s insurance. Going straight to the other guy’s insurance seems like an invitation for them to do it as cheaply as possible.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:42 AM   #10
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Just tell the other fellow's insurance adjuster that your son's back is tightening up as you speak and will have to call him back later to discuss the repair estimate. Works every time.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:46 AM   #11
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Nope. Standard industry practice is if the panel is repairable then you can repair it... (body filler) bondo = slang,for the cheap crap at Walmart.. shops don’t use that.

If they could not repair (use of body filler) every vehicle would have to replace entire qtr panels, roofs, hoods for a dent. Cutting out and welding in new panels is sooo much more damaging to overall durability and has a great chance of value diminishment to the vehicle than a small repair. Repairs all use body filler and can be made just like pre-accident. Often times repairs (with body filler) is the best option. If you can repair a dent then you have a smaller surface to paint and you can blend the paint to match inside the panel. If you replaced an exterior panel then now you will likely have to blend paint into every other panel that touches it... the best paint job is the factory paint (durability) so avoiding adding extra paint, clear coat helps to keep up that durability.
I just had my pick up repaired after it was rear ended. They did not bondo the rear tail gate panel, they replaced it. That was a different accident on a different vehicle, but the point is they don't always use bondo. They could have bondo'd my tail gate, but that was not going to be acceptable and given I was rear ended they replaced the tail gate panel.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:56 AM
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Nope. Standard industry practice is if the panel is repairable then you can repair it... (body filler) bondo = slang,for the cheap crap at Walmart.. shops don’t use that.

If they could not repair (use of body filler) every vehicle would have to replace entire qtr panels, roofs, hoods for a dent. Cutting out and welding in new panels is sooo much more damaging to overall durability and has a great chance of value diminishment to the vehicle than a small repair. Repairs all use body filler and can be made just like pre-accident. Often times repairs (with body filler) is the best option. If you can repair a dent then you have a smaller surface to paint and you can blend the paint to match inside the panel. If you replaced an exterior panel then now you will likely have to blend paint into every other panel that touches it... the best paint job is the factory paint (durability) so avoiding adding extra paint, clear coat helps to keep up that durability.
Look I get why a scrape on a fender or quarter panel or even places on a door make sense for insurance companies to write up with bondo.

But this deformation that needs repair is literally under the tire mount on the rear door skin. There would be bondo under the tire mount. I have a rubicon with the factory rubicon tires and they weigh a ton.

I know enough about bondo myself, from having worked with it that there is a high likelihood of it failing there, more likely than a new door. It could fail from normal wear and tear in five years given the mechanical forces from driving and using hte door. Or It could fail in future from a slight bump that is my fault or shared, with a bump that would not be enough to deform a normal door, but cause a bondo job to fail.

So I will NOT be having the door bondo'ed. I will either get insurance to pay for new door , leave it as is, or pay the $600 difference to the shop out of my own pocket.

looking at estimate and discussing with shop, this is a net/net$600 difference. The door is $700 new and the bondo was written by appraiser at $100 labor. the dismount, remount and painting is a wash since both bond or new door replace have those costs the same.

And I will not be trying to use injury claim. My son and I are not injured and I don't feel like making idle threats. I did feel it fair to mention to adjuster that I did not take a car rental at their expense, even though I could have, as evidence of my good, will just as I told him he doesn't need to write up hitch cover since that will cost them 5x what I can replace it for.

on paint matching, this is one area that has improved orders of magnitude. I am not worried about that. The car has been covered, and it is a tan color which is actually one of the easiest to match. And this is not side door to quarter panel or fender, but rear door where even an imperfect match would not be perceptible. It is a non issue since EITHER would need to be panel painted fully anyway.


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Facts like a shop tech telling them every time we try this repair it fails as the panel flexes too much or the part is a high strength steel and the manual says can’t be heated.. then a typical adjuster will document the reasoning and change the estimate.
That is what is killing me. Shop has said this would be the highest most likely bondo failure point imaginable. But appraiser is still not changing his position.

I guess I will give my own insurance a call. His is Progressive, mine is Geico. Vehicle is owned outright.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:12 AM   #13
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id take the $600 and get a teraflex rear hinge and carrier.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:29 AM   #14
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id take the $600 and get a teraflex rear hinge and carrier.
^^^ This...without seeing photos of the actual damage, I would say that I would be tempted to either NOT fix it at all, or do as @jadmt mentioned...
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:59 AM   #15
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Whatever you end up doing, if you want an OEM rear bumper, I picked one up along with a pile of parts from a totaled JK and have it on craigslist for $20. It's in eastern Massachusetts. Heck.....even if I had to ship it to Timbucktu, it's cheaper than $300.

I agree to go through your own insurance company. They are on your side. The other company is not. The right way to fix the gate is to replace it with one out of a junk yard. From a labor perspective, it's cheaper too. Just have to paint and bolt on.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:03 AM
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id take the $600 and get a teraflex rear hinge and carrier.
Well they are not offering the ~$600 between door replacement and bondo they are saying they wont pay it.
but if i am able to get them to do it that is an interesting possibility.

As an additionally data point , I keep cars for 12-15 years, not 30-5 like some people, and we have a couple of cars including much better mpg cars, and I drive the jeep about 5,000 miles per year, so I wont be selling my jeep even if gas prices skyrocket. So I want 10 year longevity on a repair.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:16 AM   #17
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Nope. Standard industry practice is if the panel is repairable then you can repair it... (body filler) bondo = slang,for the cheap crap at Walmart.. shops don’t use that.

If they could not repair (use of body filler) every vehicle would have to replace entire qtr panels, roofs, hoods for a dent. Cutting out and welding in new panels is sooo much more damaging to overall durability and has a great chance of value diminishment to the vehicle than a small repair. Repairs all use body filler and can be made just like pre-accident. Often times repairs (with body filler) is the best option. If you can repair a dent then you have a smaller surface to paint and you can blend the paint to match inside the panel. If you replaced an exterior panel then now you will likely have to blend paint into every other panel that touches it... the best paint job is the factory paint (durability) so avoiding adding extra paint, clear coat helps to keep up that durability.
I just had my pick up repaired after it was rear ended. They did not bondo the rear tail gate panel, they replaced it. That was a different accident on a different vehicle, but the point is they don't always use bondo. They could have bondo'd my tail gate, but that was not going to be acceptable and given I was rear ended they replaced the tail gate panel.
We agree.. “Repairable” = doing body work, and paint to the panel. Yours was a “replacement” so yes no body filler.

They measure how much time (labor cost) it should take to repair compared with the cost to replace.. then decide what option they want to go with. They also take into account how well a repair will hold up when making he decision. Example:exterior door skins often flex in-out when pushed like an oil can. Those get replaced more than other panels due to the flexing issue.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:23 AM   #18
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But this deformation that needs repair is literally under the tire mount on the rear door skin. There would be bondo under the tire mount. I have a rubicon with the factory rubicon tires and they weigh a ton.

When the spare tire ever gets hit, the force of the impact will always snap one or more of the spot welds in side the rear door (tailgate).

There is no way for this to be repaired, and the tailgate ALWAYS needs to be replaced.

There are many threads here about this. Its just a fact of the Wrangler design. The tailgate is a replace item, not a repairable item.

I would simply tell the guilty party's insurance company you will get it repair correctly, sue them, and ask the court for punitive damages (3x the repair cost) for them acting in such bad faith.
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Old 05-16-2019, 08:55 AM
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When the spare tire ever gets hit, the force of the impact will always snap one or more of the spot welds in side the rear door (tailgate).

There is no way for this to be repaired, and the tailgate ALWAYS needs to be replaced.

There are many threads here about this. Its just a fact of the Wrangler design. The tailgate is a replace item, not a repairable item.

I would simply tell the guilty party's insurance company you will get it repair correctly, sue them, and ask the court for punitive damages (3x the repair cost) for them acting in such bad faith.
thanks for the detail about the spot weld. Is there a diagram of this anywhere so I can insist? I tried to search -- rear door bondo/ rear door fiberglass -- and could not find threads here.

I have been firm as possible, sent more pictures of the accident.

I think they know $<$700 is something it is difficult to sue over. Adjuster has now told me they will "take it up with their manager." In some businesses this means "fk off" (lol) they will just wait a day and tell you the same thing, but maybe he will actually take it to his manager.

otherwise I will try filing with my insurer and or taking it up with insurance commission. I am sure insurers and commissions hear people not wanting to get bondo all the time, but this is clearly something relatively unique with the wranger and that tire. The MT on there is probably right up to the line on the design specs, the heaviest wheel/tire put on the door at the factory.

I want to thank everyone here for their good counsel so far.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:03 AM   #20
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He insisted "no one likes bondo, but this is standard."
This is a lie. Body filler is used primarily to smooth contours after pulling or using a hammer and dolly to remove the dent.
I had the same thing happen to me 3 months after taking delivery of my 2016 Wiilys. Tailgate was replaced... no body filler used.



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Old 05-16-2019, 09:09 AM   #21
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thanks for the detail about the spot weld. Is there a diagram of this anywhere so I can insist? I tried to search -- rear door bondo/ rear door fiberglass -- and could not find threads here.

I have been firm as possible, sent more pictures of the accident.

I think they know $<$700 is something it is difficult to sue over. Adjuster has now told me they will "take it up with their manager." In some businesses this means "fk off" (lol) they will just wait a day and tell you the same thing, but maybe he will actually take it to his manager.

otherwise I will try filing with my insurer and or taking it up with insurance commission. I am sure insurers and commissions hear people not wanting to get bondo all the time, but this is clearly something relatively unique with the wranger and that tire. The MT on there is probably right up to the line on the design specs, the heaviest wheel/tire put on the door at the factory.

I want to thank everyone here for their good counsel so far.
I would take it to the shop of your choosing. Find a shop that knows Jeeps. Find a shop that you trust to do the repair to your standards. Have them give you an estimate and send that to the insurance company. Let them know that is who will be doing the repair and that is what it is going to cost them. They, as the insurance company for the person that hit you, don't have a say in who repairs your Jeep. And what they charge to do the repair is between them and the insurance company. But the insurance company does not get to set the cost of the repair, as much as they want to.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:37 AM   #22
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Not that it matters but, all reputable repair shops have a lifetime warranty on paint & bodywork.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:38 AM   #23
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Also sometimes they may do an estimate on “best case scenario” knowing some people don’t repair and take cash. They leave it up to the shop to review it and call in a supplement if they missed anything or feel that the repair would not be able to be warrantied.
This is correct, they low-ball you on the inital offer hoping you take the check and walk away.

Massachusetts is a "no-fault" state so we always work with our own insurance company and are covered by the terms of that policy. We never speak with, or honestly care about, the other parties insurance.

Make sure you add an OEM rider to your policy which specifies that you will not use junk yard parts in your repair. It is pretty cheap and results in a much better repair.Not gonna help you on this go-around.

Finally, find a bulldog of a body shop. My wife rear-ended a pickup truck in our minivan and we did not have OEM coverage. The inital estimate was $2500 and my bodyshop got $6500 out of them after hidden damage and refusing to use used parts.

Unfortunately with me and my wife's' propensity to get hit I know too much about this.


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Old 05-16-2019, 09:43 AM
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I would take it to the shop of your choosing. Find a shop that knows Jeeps. Find a shop that you trust to do the repair to your standards. Have them give you an estimate and send that to the insurance company. Let them know that is who will be doing the repair and that is what it is going to cost them. They, as the insurance company for the person that hit you, don't have a say in who repairs your Jeep. And what they charge to do the repair is between them and the insurance company. But the insurance company does not get to set the cost of the repair, as much as they want to.
this is precisely what I did. I had read all the financial and vehicle owner advice sites and all say to never to use the insurer's recommended shops because they have a 'relationship" with the insurer.

so the shop I picked form the get go was Better Business Bureau a+ rating, and are a BBB member as well and are certified by jeep.

so the Progressive, the insurance company of the guy who hit me has no say in where I get it repaired , but they do have a say on the method they use for the estimate and the cost.

My leverage in this comes from the shop saying what is needed, my and the shops abilty abilty to be logically and insistently arguing the point. But ultimately the insurance company can hardball since they are used to reducing costs and defending the reduced costs.

If they wont relent, I will have to go through my insurance, and if they say because it is a stress point and structural to the door because of the tire mount, then I get a new door since they will pay and surrogate.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:47 AM   #25
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Didnt read everything but agree with having your insurance co/rep deal with their insurance co/rep, it's their job. Its part of what you pay for insurance. Tell your rep what you expect in an acceptable repair and you choose the repair shop and let them fight it out.
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Old 05-16-2019, 09:49 AM
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Not that it matters but, all reputable repair shops have a lifetime warranty on paint & bodywork.
I dealt with that once in the past. cost me more in my time, ate up days, and they are allowed to use depreciated value of the vehicle in repair of the repair.

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Finally, find a bulldog of a body shop. My wife rear-ended a pickup truck in our minivan and we did not have OEM coverage. The inital estimate was $2500 and my bodyshop got $6500 out of them after hidden damage and refusing to use used parts.
so far body shop seems like it is pushing for me. As far as additional damage, i am not having them do anything in the way or repair yet since if repair i started I can't file with my insurance (Geico), which will be what I do if Progressive (the insurer of the guy who hit me) doesn't do the right thing.
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:10 AM   #27
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I live in NH and lived in VT at one time Both of these states have a law that says you have a choice as to where you can take a vehicle to be fixed and they must use OEM parts unless you say otherwise. That being said A women hit my jeep and put a small scratch on the left rear flare and a rub mark on my tire, I called my insurance company and they told me to fix what ever needed fixing and they would pay for it and go after the lady's insurance after. So I had my dealer put a new tire and flare on it
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:29 AM   #28
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You should be talking to no one but YOUR insurance company.
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CJ7, 304V8, auto, loaded, Detroit rear, and more.
90 Bronco,, 76 Bronco,, 70 Bronco
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by *chris* View Post
This is correct, they low-ball you on the inital offer hoping you take the check and walk away.

Massachusetts is a "no-fault" state so we always work with our own insurance company and are covered by the terms of that policy. We never speak with, or honestly care about, the other parties insurance.

Make sure you add an OEM rider to your policy which specifies that you will not use junk yard parts in your repair. It is pretty cheap and results in a much better repair.Not gonna help you on this go-around.

Finally, find a bulldog of a body shop. My wife rear-ended a pickup truck in our minivan and we did not have OEM coverage. The inital estimate was $2500 and my bodyshop got $6500 out of them after hidden damage and refusing to use used parts.

Unfortunately with me and my wife's' propensity to get hit I know too much about this.


Good luck
Chris
That's a good point on the OEM rider. The default policy gives you new OEM parts for the duration of the model year. So if you have a 2018 vehicle now, you get used or non oem parts if they're cheaper. It's written right into your policy, so you can read it in there (I've read mine). I would have no issue with a junk yard part that's in otherwise perfect condition....which is pretty common. We have a Ford Fusion that was hit in a door. They replaced it with a junkyard door rather than a new, OEM door skin because it assured that the door would be completely right. A skin that's replaced that's a milimeter off could potentially be seen.

I would expect that a tail gate of the exact same color could be found. Then it's an unbolt, bolt up operation.

But bondo.......just no.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by 11th View Post
thanks for the detail about the spot weld. Is there a diagram of this anywhere so I can insist? I tried to search -- rear door bondo/ rear door fiberglass -- and could not find threads here.


The only official diagrams I know of, are of the outside of the tailgate. Jeep doesn't publish assembly diagrams showing the internals of the tailgate part.


In searching here, try terms like "tailgate" with "spot welds", and possibly "popped welds" (and variations of all of these).
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