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Fix, Sell as is, or part out?

Guest Anonymous

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Guest Anonymous

Hypothetical question from a lurker.

I have a round light 2002 that was a complete daily driver with straight panels. Unfortunately the car met with a freak road hazard and now has a severely bent subframe and consequently, the portion of the unibody onto which the subfame is attached, is also bent. The car is not driveable because one front strut was bent into the rear fender well so that front wheel is locked. Although I am convinced the unibody can be straightened and the car made driveable again, I am informed the effort is not feasible economically. If I had larger quarters and no other projects, I would probably hold on to the old gal. (Several frame shops won’t touch the car because they are unfamiliar with such an “old” car and think they might have to fabricate parts, another claims it will only work on cars where there is software available to guide them! Is this really why B.Coddington is no longer around?)

As it sits now, the car may likely be moved to Southern California and has many common upgrades except for the 5speed. Again, I have not decided what I will do and am merely considering my options. If I decide not to hold on to the complete car, I might retain some upgrades for my next 02.

Would I be better off trying to sell the car as is? Or, should I part the car out? Parting the car out would have to be accomplished very quickly and not in the driveway where I may park the car. Having never encountered this situation before, I figured maybe some of you Southern Californians can offer some constructive insight.

Your constructive thoughts would be appreciated.

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Guest Anonymous

Having read many similar posts from this board, I guess I should have mentioned that the car has minimal rust and unmolested door panels. Cell phone pictures are not particularly good and should I decided not to keep her, I will probably post decent shots on the board's classified forum. I just haven't reached that stage yet.


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No one will buy a stripped wrecked shell that had all the "good parts" taken out of it.

You did not mention what upgrades the car had, engine condition, transmission, LSD, Recaros, wheels etc.

You will obviously get more out of it if you part it yourself. If you sell it complete, add the value of the "valuable parts" and divide by 3 to determine the value of the car.

Or Ebay it.



69 2002 (M20), 74 tii, 76 533i, 79 323i, 80 732i, 84 323i (S50) 91 318is, 96 318ti (S52), 97 Z3, 02 330i, 03 525iT, 02 R1150 RTP.
Auxiliary Lamp Brackets  Kamei Reproduction Front Air Dam

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shop that isn't populated by weenies who can only look at a computer screen. Take a competent shop a straight, replacement front subframe and strut for 'em to work with, along with all the body measurements from the shop manual and they should be able to pull the body back straight again. Once it's straight, you can do at least some of the cosmetic sheet metal work yourself.

Our local shop here in SW Ohio does that all the time--watched 'em repair an E30 with similar damage just a few weeks ago.

I'd say give it a good shot at repairing, particularly if it's nice and unrusted. And if you hit something in the road, your comprehensive insurance should pay for the repairs.

Good luck, and try to preserve another '02...


'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Guest Anonymous
I'd say give it a good shot at repairing, particularly if it's nice and unrusted. And if you hit something in the road, your comprehensive insurance should pay for the repairs. mike

I feel as strongly about keeping 02's on the road as you and maybe even more so. Because of the estimated high cost of labor/repairs, the assurance company claims car is a total. Considering I have turned down several unsolicited offers, I would prefer to have my car back rather than money (if we can ever agree on a value), but I have other projects, one of which I am now forced to drive in the weather. This puts dealing with my favorite 02 toward the bottom of the deck. As I said in the original post, current circumstances will not permit me to park the otherwise unmovable car indefinitely - even though it is not close to an eyesore.

I do believe the car could be made roadworthy, but metal straightening is not my forte and I fret about finding someone who really knows the subject. If someone can suggest a frame shop in Los Angeles County that understands the difference between a labor of love versus the love of business (reasonably priced) and has experience with our cars, I am all eyes/ears.

My post was seeking all alternatives and I figured that even if I have to sever the ties with what has been a terrific car, maybe someone in Southern Cal could appreciate the car enough to undertake the project.

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