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My dented car - courtesy of my wife
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BrianG
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My dented car - courtesy of my wife - 02.21.2011, 12:57 PM

I have a single car driveway that opens slightly into a 2 car garage. I arrived home one afternoon and saw my wife was parked in such a way that I could not go around her to get into the garage so I parked my car a couple car lengths back as close to the house as I could to give her room to go around if she needed to. I went into the house and told her where my car was. She left shortly after and saw my car parked there. But between seeing the car and getting in her car, she forgot I was there and proceeded to back into it crunching the front fender area. I honestly don't know how she could NOT see an orange car in daylight, but whatever.

Anyway, now the lower plastic part of the fender popped out and looks like crap. So, I took it to a couple body shops to get an estimate just to get it fixed somewhat (nothing pretty - just functional) and they wanted between $800-$1000. I contacted my insurance and since both cars are covered by me, it would be treated as a collision that was my fault, so I'd have to fork out the deductible not to mention the rate hike.

So, I decided I would do some repairs on my own. The dent is more like a "crinkle" so a simple pop-out job won't suffice. I ended up drilling a few 3mm holes in strategic areas, putting a bolt with washer in the holes and popping out what I could. I still have some denting and of course the holes to fill.

I figure we have at least a couple body repair guys here (linc?) do I figured I'd ask the best way to go about the rest of the repair. I figure I'll need to sand the area to bare metal, apply bondo, more sanding, and then spray some primer and paint. Nothing fancy, just so it looks halfway decent from a distance and prevent rusting. Here is a pic of how it currently sits, which, despite how crappy it is, is still about 90% better looking than it was:



The car is a 2005 Mazda 3 with close to 100k miles on it. I'd like to drive it maybe another year before I get something else. I'm not concerned about resale value, I just want to get it functional and semi-ok to look at.

Last edited by BrianG; 02.21.2011 at 01:00 PM.
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whitrzac
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02.21.2011, 01:06 PM

did you check a few local junkyards for a new fender?
   
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BrianG
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02.21.2011, 01:09 PM

I called two of them and no luck. For some reason, this model/year car is not overly popular around here. And even then, I'd likely have to paint it to match. Besides, I looked at pulling my fender off to work on it and it was wayyy harder than I expected or want to do. This type of thing falls under the "big project" category, which I am not very good at. If I keep the project small and simple, the chances of success are higher.
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reno911
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02.21.2011, 01:12 PM

The bumper is easy just remove it and take it in to get repainted. Hell I would take the whole thing in. Something like this is only a 2-300 dollar repair, 800-1000 is insane. Spend the money now so you can sell for more later.

Or remove the bumper as it would be easier to paint alone, and than see if you can hammer out most of the dents, or pick up a whole new side fender and get them both sanded and sprayed at a body shop. Doing some of the work yourself may save you some money.

Last edited by reno911; 02.21.2011 at 01:13 PM.
   
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brainanator
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02.21.2011, 01:28 PM

Can't you just buy a new lexan body for it and give it a quick paint job? you'd have to figure out where to mount the body posts though, and probably find some pretty big body clips.

Sad story about the wife hitting it though, woman driver is an oxymoron in my book.


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BrianG
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02.21.2011, 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by reno911 View Post
The bumper is easy just remove it and take it in to get repainted. Hell I would take the whole thing in. Something like this is only a 2-300 dollar repair, 800-1000 is insane. Spend the money now so you can sell for more later.

Or remove the bumper as it would be easier to paint alone, and than see if you can hammer out most of the dents, or pick up a whole new side fender and get them both sanded and sprayed at a body shop. Doing some of the work yourself may save you some money.
It's all easy when you know what you're doing. I also figured it was only a $300 repair, but the places I talked to think otherwise. I don't need it to look like new, just passable, and they will only repair it to be like new. By the time I sell it, miles will be too high anyway, and there are other "issues" with it besides the dent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainanator View Post
Can't you just buy a new lexan body for it and give it a quick paint job? you'd have to figure out where to mount the body posts though, and probably find some pretty big body clips.

Sad story about the wife hitting it though, woman driver is an oxymoron in my book.
That's an idea. I just have to find a 1/1 scale body. I doubt my LHS has them. And for the price of R/C bodies, I bet a 1:1 lexan body would probably be the price of a whole new car.

Actually, my wife is a decent driver, she just had one of those moments. She was actually more upset about it than I was.
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reno911
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02.21.2011, 01:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
It's all easy when you know what you're doing. I also figured it was only a $300 repair, but the places I talked to think otherwise. I don't need it to look like new, just passable, and they will only repair it to be like new. By the time I sell it, miles will be too high anyway, and there are other "issues" with it besides the dent.



That's an idea. I just have to find a 1/1 scale body. I doubt my LHS has them. And for the price of R/C bodies, I bet a 1:1 lexan body would probably be the price of a whole new car.

Actually, my wife is a decent driver, she just had one of those moments. She was actually more upset about it than I was.
I'm thinking if you can get the fender off and in decent repair yourself, which with the pilot holes seems like your on the right path, you can have an auto body shop repaint them for fairly cheap. Once you have the fender off you can hammer it out a bit too. I know you said it seems like a PITA to get off but I am thinking that is your best bet to save some money.
   
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reno911
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02.21.2011, 01:55 PM

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Prove...-/390286560664

Not sure if an 07 will work with the 05...

Edit:

http://motors.shop.ebay.com/__?_from...mazda+3+fender

Last edited by reno911; 02.21.2011 at 01:56 PM.
   
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BrianG
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02.21.2011, 02:05 PM

This one looks like my best bet as it is already painted to match. I would probably still have someplace install it though to avoid me wrecking some other part. Then, all that's left is to do some minor sanding and touch up on the plastic lower bumper skirt thing.

Edit: It appears the color code is 27Y "Lava Orange Mica".

Last edited by BrianG; 02.21.2011 at 02:08 PM.
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reno911
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02.21.2011, 02:13 PM

I have taken apart a couple of cars and the fender section is not too overwhelmingly hard to do. Once you have the bumper, headlight, and plastic liners off it is pretty simple from there. Then again that depends on having good access, I.E. a good jack or lifts...

See if you can find a decent Mazda 3 forum. There may be a walk through on the web somewhere showing you how to get that thing off.

edit: place some masking tape on the edges of the new part so whilst installing not to scratch the new part.

Last edited by reno911; 02.21.2011 at 02:14 PM.
   
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lincpimp
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02.21.2011, 02:26 PM

I had a look in the certifit catalog and your fender new is 40 bucks, or less. It would have to be painted.

Looking at the damage I would charge you about 400 bucks for the whole repair, with a new fender. I am sure you can find a local body shop that can cut you a deal. Make sure you say you are paying cash and do not mind an aftermarket fender.

Now if you can find the part with the correct paint on it, used, that will save alot.

And changing the fender is pretty easy (said by a guy who has done it for 18yrs...). Getting the plastic clips out is the worst part, there will only be 10 or so 10mm head bolts.
   
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BrianG
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02.21.2011, 02:37 PM

lol, as you said "easy" for a guy doing it for 18 years. For me, not so much. Anyway, ~$400 is a more reasonable amount and is in line with what I estimated. Looks like I have to go shopping around for body shops that don't try to rape their customers.
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reno911
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02.21.2011, 02:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG View Post
lol, as you said "easy" for a guy doing it for 18 years. For me, not so much. Anyway, ~$400 is a more reasonable amount and is in line with what I estimated. Looks like I have to go shopping around for body shops that don't try to rape their customers.
Ehh sir it appears that you will need to have your headlight fluid replaced.
   
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BrianG
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02.21.2011, 02:47 PM

Nope, already filled it!
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josh9mille
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02.21.2011, 04:00 PM

Check back with your junkyard, if it is a big yard then they are on a national network with other junkyards and could probably find your fender in the color you need.


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