So, just about an hour or so ago, I was driving home from work. I was on a 4-lane road at about 50-55 mph and all of the sudden a vehicle in front of me somewhere lost a huge "panel" of ice, and yup, it headed straight for me. I tried to avoid it, but it hit HARD -- cracking the windshield further. It sounded like someone hit the car with a sledge hammer. I couldn't even guess what vehicle it came from, so accusations were out the window. I looked up and the sunroof was fine and worked, and the passenger door's window rolled up and down. BUT...
I get home to find significant damage to the roof between the windshield and sunroof, the trim over the door, and it shoved the A-pillar bodywork down and bowed-out the windshield trim. Now I'm worried that a replacement windshield isn't possibe due to the twisting asymetry of the front-end. Pics:
I tried to capture the wavy nature of the impact result (above)
Passenger door trim cover dent (above)
Passenger windshield trim: bowed out due to the compression of the panel (above)
Comparison Pics: Driver's Side to Passenger...
Driver's Door Gap vs. Pass. Door gap (below)
Driver's Windshield trim assembly vs. Pass side (below)
OK, so any body fabricators out there that can offer advice? My guess is that I can't put a new windshield in a warped car -- or else it would just buckle under the stress (again). Then...how much would it take to repair this? What a buggah This poor car has had a rough Winter.
Any input is more than welcomed. I don't want to give up on this car yet -- she's got a lot of life left in 'er (and it's paid-off, so I'm satisfied with it). Thanks guys.
It depends on what is actually damaged on the car I would think. Anything is repairable if you are willing to put the time into it. If it is just bent body panels then getting a new glass is no biggie just pop out/fill the dents you can or replace the panels. If the unibody is twisted somehow then it is more of a pain to get right. You can take it to a frame alignment shop and have them do it for a lot of money or if you can get measurements from another car or wherever then you can always chain it between two telephone poles and pull it back out yourself. I have done that before and it is a lot easier than you would think it is. Just take off the body panels that are near what you are working on and slowly pull it back into shape. Vise grips can be used to hold the chain in the right position to pull on the unibody so you might need 3-4 pairs of them.
Took me 5 days of work to get this car back on the road after it was hit head on going 60mph. It hit hard enough the passenger side tire was shoved back into the door. 86 t-bird if you can't tell by the pic
Just take off the body panels that are near what you are working on and slowly pull it back into shape. Vise grips can be used to hold the chain in the right position to pull on the unibody so you might need 3-4 pairs of them.
Wow, that's encouraging! My biggest concern is that they cant get a windshield back in without putting too much stress on it -- it's a really weak design. But after seeing your T-bird coming back to life after that terrible accident is awesome (I hope everone was OK afterward).
I'll have to first see if the windshield is replaceable without any adjustment to the structure -- I don't really care about the body panels not matching up. It's function over looks at this point (and passing inspection) that I care about at this point. I refuse to let her die!
UfoTofU: thanks man. I never thought a sheet of ice could bust the crap out of solid metal. A fraction faster or slower and the sunroof would've been toast or even enter the cabin thru the front.
I'll take it to a glass shop soon and see what the deal is -- otherwise, I'll be spend the weekend pounding and bending.
I never thought a sheet of ice could bust the crap out of solid metal.
One word Titanic
What's wrong with the Titanic? I sure hope it's OK...
Honestly, the odd thing was the sheet of ice flew up in the air about 20-feet and was airborne for about 2-seconds before stiriking the roof. An image of "lightness" is imagnined in those seconds as it's flying around. After analyzing reaction time and braking distance, I could've hit the brakes hard and the piece would probably have hit further forward on the car: hood, fender, grille/radiator, or through the windshield. I moved over to the left as far I could without hitting the car next to me, which shows the damage on the far right side. I guess I'll be more aware of this in the future -- I'm just glad I wasn't on a bike or in a soft-top convertible.
That sucks. Similar thing nearly happened to me when a 4x8 piece of drywall took off from a truck in front of me several years ago. I remember looking up and watching it float, trying to figure out if I could avoid it without being at the front of a pileup. I was lucky to be able to brake and let the thing hit the pavement in front of me, but sometimes you're just stuck. I hope you can get a new windshield in!
Sorry to hear. Maybe you can use this as an excuse to modify the roofline. Maybe extend some coroplast from the start of the roof into a boattail. Just trying to think of something the might salvage the situation .
Sorry to hear about it RH77. Coyote X's method is pretty good. I had a 00 Camry which hit the rear end of a semi, using a 2000lb boat winch I was able to bend the front sub frame more or less back into its original shape. A few junkyard pieces later its pretty close to being as good as new.