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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love inspecting vehicles that have been wrecked. Fascinates me at how well modern vehicles protect passengers...a little engineering makes all the difference.

I was on the Copart auto auction website and searched for Honda Ridgeline. Copart is one of the auctions companies that specializes in insurance salvaged vehicles. I was surprised to find five 2017 models listed for auction (one vehicle was just built in December!), but even more surprised that one of the vehicles looks like it could be repaired. I know, I know...there could be hidden damage etc. etc. etc. but still it's an estimated $40k truck. Anyway, more importantly, check out the link to the website and look at the hard hits these vehicles sustained. Other than airbag deployment, the passenger compartments appear intact. Very impressive.

https://www.copart.com/lotSearchResults/?free=true&query=ridgeline&page=1
 

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That gray one looks like it went direct into the corner of a cement building...ouch. By looking at the crash test videos I'm pretty confident in the ability of the cab, and just by driving it you can feel how rigid the cabin is, but still not harsh over bumps do to the suspension.
 

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I think the more telling part is how expensive car repairs are getting. One of the trucks shows what appears to be light or lighter damage than the rest, yet most of the airbags deployed. (That dash must be one expensive piece) I'm afraid that our vehicles are becoming disposable at this point, not that I would not disagree. I have never cared to own vehicles once they have had heavy structural damage, they are never the same but what is even more concerning is that our trucks are very expensive and unless you paid it cash, most of us have loans out on these things. This is the first truck that I had purchased a gap insurance. Even though I got a smoking deal and put a nice downpayment I still think I will be in the losing end if I got into a wreck that totaled the truck. Very concerning in the bigger scheme of things.
 

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I could spare a nickel and part out the truck
They all seem to have front in damage. The seats and bed panels look pretty clean! I'm going to wear those two items out super fast. No seat covers because I got leather seats to use the leather seats, and I got a truck to use it as a truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wouldn't give a nickle for any of them. They can NEVER be made right again.
I agree, it will never be right... I wouldn't want mine fixed either. The ones with obvious major damage I can understand being totaled out by the insurance company. But I'm surprised that the repair bill for the one with lighter front end damage exceeded the repair value. Of course, we don't know the background on these vehicles, maybe the undercarriage is destroyed from driving over a median or maybe the truck went for a swim, who knows. More inmportantly I'm impressed at how well the cabin held together. Thank gawd for engineers :)

I recently inspected two vehicles that collided head-on (DUI), but offset to the left (drivers side): a 1989 Chevy 1500 2wd standard cab, and a 2001 Honda CRV. Driver of the CRV sustained a moderate knee injury. The front of the CRV was crushed, but the cab remained relatively in tack. The driver's door opened and closed normally but scraped on the fender.

The driver of the truck sustained major injuries, "A" pillar was pushed back, the roof was triangular, the cab was twisted and crushed and neither door would open. Vehicle safety has come a long way in just a few years.
 

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Rebuilding isn't always a bad idea. Way back as a youth in 1989, I bought a 1988 Ranger STX that had done a barrel roll in the woods. It only had 13k on the odo. Rebuilt and put another 100k miles on before selling it for nearly as much as I had originally invested. It was a phenomenal little truck that was very good off road and a reliable daily commuter. Never had any issues whatsoever in relation to the rebuild. Just a few self-induced issues that don't need elaboration. Now with that being said, vehicles today are way too cost prohibitive to do a major rebuild due to the air bags, high paint costs, etc. - but can certainly be salvaged in many cases. Insurance companies don't total a car because the damage is too excessive. They total them because the repair is too expensive. Same issue - just different perspective.
 

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I could spare a nickel and part out the truck
on second thought, I would spend the nickel, maybe 2 and get TWO trucks for the engine, trans and AWD system and put it in another vehicle, such as my S-10. A HUGE amount of work but that thing would be unbeatable off road and in the snow.
Fiberglass bed and nose would lighten it up, extensive mods to the suspension but I would love to see that happen.
Unfortunately, I don't have the money or skills to do it, just the plans in my head...:wink:
 

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Unfortunately, I don't have the money or skills to do it, just the plans in my head...:wink:
As someone who has put a Chevy 350 in place of the factory four banger in a 1961 LandRover, I know what it's like to put a square peg in a round hole.

Just the space and lift needed to make room for the components, it wouldn't be very clandestine. hmmm... bah! I'm too old for any new projects like this :crying:
 

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In 5 days from OP's original post, now up to seven 2017 models... Now I know why I can't find a white w/beige RTL-E in Atlanta... The only one they made has been wrecked and the factory is building replacements for all these other totaled units. ;-)
 

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I respectfully disagree, Salvage vehicles are often excellent cars when repaired properly, and it is not rocket science to repair them right.

I've purchased over 10 of them, their previous owners obviously cared for their cars and had no intention of selling them when they had their accident.
I go to the auction with an excellent body specialist, he tells me exactly whats needed, and often the repairs are minor. When the repairs are more extensive, thats not a problem either, a good body man simply replaces the steel with brand new steel, and measures everything precisely.

My problem is that i get bored of cars quickly, and have a fairly large family i provide cars to as well. By hitting these auctions i get cars that were loved by their previous owners, at enough of a discount that i can afford nicer cars (that i would never have been able to buy) and I dont lose significant money when i turn around and sell them in a couple years. Oh and when you turn around and sell them, you can cut the new buyer a great deal and sell them fast.

My wife is driving a 2016 Accord with every option, cost about 17k to get it right ... and ohh is it right. I'm driving a 2008 Lexus Hybrid thats beautiful and low miles, I plan to replace it with a 2017 Ridgeline AWD though, those trucks are sweet handing, quiet, composed machines :)
 

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Another factor to consider with a wrecked vehicle repair is the Diminished Value hit you take when your vehicle is not totaled. but can be repaired. Sure, the insurance company "makes you whole" with a repair. But even if they use OEM original parts, that CarFax report will follow that VIN for life. So no one wants to pay full value for a vehicle with a dirty CarFax. I am not even sure if the CarFax indicates the severity of the accident.

So I was just reading that it is possible to appeal for a Diminished Value settlement on top of the repair. So for example, if you are in a moderate fender bender and the repairs are, say $5,000, you will suffer an additional loss of value when you eventually try to sell/trade that repaired vehicle of maybe 20% when buyers see the CarFax; if they don't just walk away. There are diminished value recovery firms out there now who can appraise your loss of future value and help you get some of it from the insurance company.

This is a side-effect of the CarFax type reports, one that we did not have to deal with in the past. It is great that buyers have access to all this quality information, but it does have an effect on future value. In fact, risk of diminished value is one really valid reason to lease a vehicle. If you have an accident repair during your lease period, you have the insurance company make the vehicle right, and when the lease is up, you hand over the keys to the lease company and walk away. Now the diminished value is their problem. The car cannot be certified pre-owned and now it is appraised lower than their planned residual value.
 

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Buying a rebuilt or "salvage title" vehicle isn't something I would do, but my brother has had three of them. He bought them from the same "rebuilder". The first was a two door Ford Escort that he ended up rolling in a curve and that finished the car. The second was a four door Escort. A tin can to be sure, but he and his sons ran it to 132k miles until it finally quit. The third was a Kia Optima that ate front tires every few months because it couldn't be aligned. They ran that one to 140k miles+. I'm sure none of them had functioning air bags, but as a pure dollar proposition, my brother got his money's worth and more.
 

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As someone who has put a Chevy 350 in place of the factory four banger in a 1961 LandRover, I know what it's like to put a square peg in a round hole.

Just the space and lift needed to make room for the components, it wouldn't be very clandestine. hmmm... bah! I'm too old for any new projects like this :crying:
I had a 1964 Landrover 109 with the 4cyl and while it was a dog I can't even imagine trying to put a 350 Chevy engine and drivetrain into the 'rover. That would've been amazing to see. And while it might make it faster those trucks really weren't intended to have anything fast under the hood and the driving experience would still have been noisy just due to the nature of Land Rovers back then. But, I loved ours. It was a beast of a truck. And it was my only other truck I ever owned/drove. (actually was my parents until I "got" it in High school but wasn't really mine I just drove it when I could afford the gas...)

Steve
 

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This was 1982, so memory is a little fuzzy. I do have pics somewhere. Will have to dig through the scrapbooks. I made the adapter plate, which went on the back of the engine to use the original transmission housing. Top end with the 4 cyl was about 50 MPH. I got hold of a factory overdrive, so was able to top it out at about 65 with the 350. It would lift the front wheels.

The nice thing about the Landrover was the 2" axles. We also put a 289 in an old Willy's my friend had. He was forever stripping axles. I never hurt an axle, but I did break a couple of drive shaft u-joints.
 

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In the early 70's I worked in an auto salvage yard and we all did rebuilds on the side. The quality of the rebuilds had a lot to do with the integrity of the person doing them. Some of the cars were right and others were like the animals in Steven King's "Pet Sematary".

I always picked the light insurance hits and used good parts. I also drove them for several months for fun and to make sure they were good. Also I told the people buying them where they came from and priced them accordingly. Most of the guys did too...
 

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I love inspecting vehicles that have been wrecked. Fascinates me at how well modern vehicles protect passengers...a little engineering makes all the difference.

I was on the Copart auto auction website and searched for Honda Ridgeline. Copart is one of the auctions companies that specializes in insurance salvaged vehicles. I was surprised to find five 2017 models listed for auction (one vehicle was just built in December!), but even more surprised that one of the vehicles looks like it could be repaired. I know, I know...there could be hidden damage etc. etc. etc. but still it's an estimated $40k truck. Anyway, more importantly, check out the link to the website and look at the hard hits these vehicles sustained. Other than airbag deployment, the passenger compartments appear intact. Very impressive.

https://www.copart.com/lotSearchResults/?free=true&query=ridgeline&page=1
Sounds like we're driving a pretty safe truck. I really like the functionality of the advanced safety systems.
 

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While salvage vehicles are a greater risk, ultimately these are machines that can be rebuilt over and over. While I hunt for my Ridgeline I still have my 2002 Nissan Frontier that I got when it was 2 years old and a front end wreck. Rebuilt it myself and have driven it for a decade without a problem. Saved myself 12 grand. Now as a 15 year old truck, it having a salvage title will cost me maybe $500 on the sale.
 
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