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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, sadly, I did the TJ tango with a near-sighted cow elk a few weeks back. She was a hefty lass with all left feet and the dalliance ended poorly for us both. Grateful I didn't roll or collide with another vehicle, but she spun me hard 180 and I drifted side-ways into a guard rail. Front end is banged up real good. Haven't filed a claimed yet but expect they'll probably total her out. Breaks my heart. Loved this jeep.

Amazingly, I was able to drive her home (the jeep, not the elk) after another driver was gracious enough to help me move the fair lady from the site of our brief but memorable encounter, may she RIP. Besides, no need for another driver to attempt an encore performance. Her dancing days were over. My TJ had no fluid leaks and my tires didn't blow, though the alignment was way off. I took it easy and made it home without incident. I later discovered the lower front control arm bracket is bent.

Sooo, been noodling over what to do between sobs and sniffles. If I had a garage, I'd probably start tearing her down to do a rebuild. I HATE the idea of sending this vehicle to a salvage yard. Prior to this, she was in great shape. Regularly had folks ask if I was interested in selling. (My answer was a quick and emphatic, "Nope.") A 2003, with only 115K. I use it as a daily driver, so no off-roading either. (I know, I know...)

So, gents (& ladies)... thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks for reading &/or commiserating!

All the best,
TravelLite

...2003 Sport 4.0 Manual...

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What's not shown... the hood is dented/bent pretty well, grill is bent/shifted (though it looks straight from the front), and the passenger side of the tub is pushed in a bit, particularly over the rear wheel. Odd, but the passenger side door seems okay.
 

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Glad that you are O.K. As for your Wrangler, your Insurance co. Will either fix it, or total it.
 
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I HATE the idea of sending this vehicle to a salvage yard. Prior to this, she was in great shape. Regularly had folks ask if I was interested in selling. (My answer was a quick and emphatic, "Nope.") A 2003, with only 115K. I use it as a daily driver, so no off-roading either. (I know, I know...)
Jeeps don't spend much time in salvage yards. Someone will pick it up and rebuild it or part it out, so why not do it yourself? The insurance company is going to cut you a check for it anyway.

I had my LJ totaled in a front end wreck. The insurance company offered me $15K for it. I said the only way I would take $15K is if I got to keep the Jeep. They said, no problem, keep it. Now I'm half way through rebuilding an insane custom LJ. You will have to apply for a salvage title, which is no problem. Once it is rebuilt, you apply for a rebuilt title and have it inspected.

Post some pictures so we can get idea of the damage and how much it will take to get her a rebuilt title. I thought for sure that my frame was toast after my wreck. After tearing it down, the frame was still dead straight. I Safe-T-Capped the frame anyway, and I got a HP 30 from the junkyard to replace the trashed front axle. In my collision, the front axle and all of the front control arm mounts absorbed most of the impact. You mentioned that you were able to drive the Jeep home after the accident. That leads me to believe that it may not take too much work to make it legal again.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Jeeps don't spend much time in salvage yards. Someone will pick it up and rebuild it or part it out, so why not do it yourself? The insurance company is going to cut you a check for it anyway.

I had my LJ totaled in a front end wreck. The insurance company offered me $15K for it. I said the only way I would take $15K is if I got to keep the Jeep. They said, no problem, keep it. Now I'm half way through rebuilding an insane custom LJ. You will have to apply for a salvage title, which is no problem. Once it is rebuilt, you apply for a rebuilt title and have it inspected.

Post some pictures so we can get idea of the damage and how much it will take to get her a rebuilt title. I thought for sure that my frame was toast after my wreck. After tearing it down, the frame was still dead straight. I Safe-T-Capped the frame anyway, and I got a HP 30 from the junkyard to replace the trashed front axle. In my collision, the front axle and all of the front control arm mounts absorbed most of the impact. You mentioned that you were able to drive the Jeep home after the accident. That leads me to believe that it may not take too much work to make it legal again.
Thanks for the input Mattaeus & appreciate seeing your rebuild. Definitely giving me food for thought. Curious who your insurance company is.

I’ll post some pics tomorrow. Biggest snag is that I have to street park it. I really don’t have a place to store it while I work on it. Love seeing your rebuild though. Gets me thinking.
 

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Did you
So, sadly, I did the TJ tango with a near-sighted cow elk a few weeks back. She was a hefty lass with all left feet and the dalliance ended poorly for us both. Grateful I didn't roll or collide with another vehicle, but she spun me hard 180 and I drifted side-ways into a guard rail. Front end is banged up real good. Haven't filed a claimed yet but expect they'll probably total her out. Breaks my heart. Loved this jeep.

Amazingly, I was able to drive her home (the jeep, not the elk) after another driver was gracious enough to help me move the fair lady from the site of our brief but memorable encounter, may she RIP. Besides, no need for another driver to attempt an encore performance. Her dancing days were over. My TJ had no fluid leaks and my tires didn't blow, though the alignment was way off. I took it easy and made it home without incident. I later discovered the lower front control arm bracket is bent.

Sooo, been noodling over what to do between sobs and sniffles. If I had a garage, I'd probably start tearing her down to do a rebuild. I HATE the idea of sending this vehicle to a salvage yard. Prior to this, she was in great shape. Regularly had folks ask if I was interested in selling. (My answer was a quick and emphatic, "Nope.") A 2003, with only 115K. I use it as a daily driver, so no off-roading either. (I know, I know...)

So, gents (& ladies)... thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks for reading &/or commiserating!

All the best,
TravelLite

...2003 Sport 4.0 Manual...

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View attachment 4524495

What's not shown... the hood is dented/bent pretty well, grill is bent/shifted (though it looks straight from the front), and the passenger side of the tub is pushed in a bit, particularly over the rear wheel. Odd, but the passenger side door seems okay.
Did you at LEAST get to keep the Elk? Here in NM it's a small fee and you get to at least use the meat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ha! Great question!

I found out later that I could have done so. You have to get a permit after-the-fact, but no big deal. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to think about all that, but I would have gladly called some friends with my location & told them to bring their gear to field dress it. Hopefully it never happens again, but I’ll be better prepared if it does!
 

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Ha! Great question!

I found out later that I could have done so. You have to get a permit after-the-fact, but no big deal. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to think about all that, but I would have gladly called some friends with my location & told them to bring their gear to field dress it. Hopefully it never happens again, but I’ll be better prepared if it does!
I'm a firm believer that the best way to hunt here in New Mexico is an old F150. I just saw a 5 point buck walking accross the street as I turned into my housing tract.
 

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Just my 2 cents,
#1 Use Facebook, Craigslist or whatever to try and find peeps that upgraded and held onto OEM lower and upper control arms. Replace both the lower and upper control arms which should be fairly inexpensive.
#2 Find a shop that does 4 wheel alignments and take it in for them to try an align it (looking for frame bent or damaged)
#3 Take it to a body shop or three and get proposal/estimates on getting it fixed.

Once you have done the above you may find you can do some of the work yourself and pay someone else for body work. BUT if you could drive it home it may be worth fixing.
 

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Just my 2 cents,
#1 Use Facebook, Craigslist or whatever to try and find peeps that upgraded and held onto OEM lower and upper control arms. Replace both the lower and upper control arms which should be fairly inexpensive.
#2 Find a shop that does 4 wheel alignments and take it in for them to try an align it (looking for frame bent or damaged)
#3 Take it to a body shop or three and get proposal/estimates on getting it fixed.

Once you have done the above you may find you can do some of the work yourself and pay someone else for body work. BUT if you could drive it home it may be worth fixing.
Junk jards, all their invenroty is now computer based, they will know within 5 mins if they have the parts, and they will be a lot less expensive.
 

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Props to your HS / college profs, that’s a wonderfully eloquent post.

As for your baby: if I were you I’d fix it. I’m sure the front axle is fine, so you throw a few parts at it to line ‘er back up and get an alignment. The body damage is honestly pretty minimal IMO and Jeeps have famously easy body panels and fenders that bolt on / off; that’s one of the reasons Wranglers are comparatively less expensive to insure than most other vehicles. A little dent in the tub can disappear for the right price. And you know what.. they don’t make ‘em like that anymore… so don’t let ‘er go. IMHO…
 
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