Need some post accident advice :(

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Mar 13, 2014
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Hey everyone,

A sad day today. The driver's side of the Land Cruiser took a beating from (eh, maybe did more delivering of a beating to..) a little sedan today. Long story short, its first collision in 33 years :(

I guess I'm thankful that it wasn't much worse...but I'm still annoyed at the situation and myself for not avoiding it. I guess in the long run it'll be a small bump in the road to this Cruiser's slow restoration...

I'm still very early on in the process of insurance claims and all that greatness. But the coverage is comprehensive, so they should be issuing a check for the damage. What I'd like your opinion on is:
  1. Any recommendations for body shops with a good reputation for these older bodies would be greatly appreciated (Denver area)
  2. Most of the damage was contained to the driver's side doors. Both of those doors are rusting out at the bottom (especially front corners). I would almost expect the easiest/lowest cost option would be to find donor doors (I'd just need the shells), paint, and slap them on. But I'd be curious to hear if anyone thinks my doors are worth saving given the rust and now damage? Has anyone fixed similar rust on their Cruiser?
I guess the situation is bitter/sweet...okay, a LOT of bitter. But looking back it's almost reassuring how solid it all felt. Granted, it wasn't much of a collision, but still. Makes you appreciate the 5300+lbs of steel and iron :)

Anyway, thanks in advance for your advice! Here are some pics. I'll get better ones in the daylight.

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Last edited:
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Mar 13, 2014
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Maybe a little hard to tell in that first shot, but they left some paint on the rusty, gaping hole in my rear quarter panel. Pretty sure that'll buff out though, so no need to waste our time on that ;)
 
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Take the check and cash it. Use it for more important things like transmission and engine issues. I'd just live with the scratches. Especially if there are more pressing issues to deal with.
 
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Take the check and cash it. Use it for more important things like transmission and engine issues. I'd just live with the scratches. Especially if there are more pressing issues to deal with.
I think that makes a lot of sense. Body work was always in the long term plan given the rust, but I do have oil leaks and exhaust issues to chase down.

I s'pose I could buff out most of it myself. The large dent in the left passenger door might be hard to look at for a while, but I could at least avoid the cost of any paint work...
 

LCnAZ

 
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So sorry for your headache.

I don't know about yours, but that would total my 1990 FJ62 if it was still on conventional insurance...as it's BB value is under $1K. Mine is retired now from daily driving and is insured as a collector, therefore well covered for any damage or loss. Of course, the "down side" to that is that annual mileage is limited and it cannot be used as a daily driver. They even require stating your daily driver make/model, etc.. It works now. I'm retired and our 62 of 28 years is being restored and retired.

Comprehensive? Your description doesn't sound like comprehensive. Sounds like collision...unless a hurricane blew one of the vehicles into the other. Just sayin' from having a few claims in my life.
 
Joined
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So sorry for your headache.

I don't know about yours, but that would total my 1990 FJ62 if it was still on conventional insurance...as it's BB value is under $1K. Mine is retired now from daily driving and is insured as a collector, therefore well covered for any damage or loss. Of course, the "down side" to that is that annual mileage is limited and it cannot be used as a daily driver. They even require stating your daily driver make/model, etc.. It works now. I'm retired and our 62 of 28 years is being restored and retired.

Comprehensive? Your description doesn't sound like comprehensive. Sounds like collision...unless a hurricane blew one of the vehicles into the other. Just sayin' from having a few claims in my life.
Thanks, LCnAZ. And good catch, definitely mean collision coverage (have comprehensive too).

That idea of totaling it in a fender bender like this is something that's always scared me while using this as my DD. I tried retiring the LC from that duty last year, but I was promptly rear-ended, totaling its replacement (ironically, that claim is still open 1.5yrs later). There are a few threads on this topic that I've read through and I'd like to think that I have enough evidence between local Craigslist ads and receipts for the thousands I've put into it over the past year to prevent them from going that direction (and I'm more than willing to fight them on that if it is the case).

I appreciate the input. Retiring mine from daily driving is definitely the goal. And I'll look into other coverage options too depending on how this all sorts out.
 

LCnAZ

 
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Thanks, LCnAZ. And good catch, definitely mean collision coverage (have comprehensive too).

That idea of totaling it in a fender bender like this is something that's always scared me while using this as my DD. I tried retiring the LC from that duty last year, but I was promptly rear-ended, totaling its replacement (ironically, that claim is still open 1.5yrs later). There are a few threads on this topic that I've read through and I'd like to think that I have enough evidence between local Craigslist ads and receipts for the thousands I've put into it over the past year to prevent them from going that direction (and I'm more than willing to fight them on that if it is the case).

I appreciate the input. Retiring mine from daily driving is definitely the goal. And I'll look into other coverage options too depending on how this all sorts out.
I'm not in insurance, but been a USAA member for 30 years (retired fighter pilot). As a comparison, in December 2015 our daughter was home from college for Christmas break. We took off one afternoon for the local mountain in our 2004 Sequoia (with 200K miles) for a hike. As fate would have it, an entire herd of mule deer bolted across us (ahead and behind) while we were doing 50mph. I had just enough reaction time to set full emergency ABS braking. Missed the buck, but got the trailing doe on the passenger end of the bumper/fender. Upon contacting USAA they were up front warning me that this could total THAT vehicle. As luck would have it, I had just had new rotor and brakes done a week earlier, and with the reaction time, the impact was not that great. It required a new bumper and some body work, but landed around $2K which was under the value of the vehicle by a bit. If air bags has deployed, that would have totaled it.

That is why our 62 sat virtually idle for the past two years or so. I didn't want to lose the vehicle or be socked with a big repair bill to keep it without a claim. The solution since we have daily drivers, was to spend the money on restoration of the family treasured LC, and shift the insurance to collector.

I know you're likely not there yet, but I'll pass along the experience for the future knowledge data base FWIW.
 

Willard

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Take the check and cash it. Use it for more important things like transmission and engine issues. I'd just live with the scratches. Especially if there are more pressing issues to deal with.
I would what @cps432 says here.

One thing to remember is if they paint the doors it will not match the rest of the body. Take the money and either invest in good set of replacement doors (if they are rusted and badly dented) or mechanical.

If you are dealing with the rust later, paint the whole truck then.
 
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I think that makes a lot of sense. Body work was always in the long term plan given the rust, but I do have oil leaks and exhaust issues to chase down.

I s'pose I could buff out most of it myself. The large dent in the left passenger door might be hard to look at for a while, but I could at least avoid the cost of any paint work...
The damage I have on my truck has grown on me and I would almost be sad to see the rusty dents go. I'd be too scared to drive it through a creek and up a rock if it was pristine. Hell, that's why I bought an old truck in the first place!
 
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That is why our 62 sat virtually idle for the past two years or so. I didn't want to lose the vehicle or be socked with a big repair bill to keep it without a claim.
I definitely see where you're coming from. And I really appreciate the insight; I'm pretty green with this stuff. I think finding that balance between daily driver and "virtually idle" is what I'd want to shoot for. I don't want to lose the vehicle in a wreck, but at the same time, I don't want to "lose" it to a garage either if that makes sense (not implying that you have). It'll always be my weekend adventure vehicle. I'll have to do more research into classic car coverage to see what those limits look like.

One thing to remember is if they paint the doors it will not match the rest of the body.
For sure. Very valid point. That would almost look worse than the banged up door I have now and certainly wouldn't match its oxidized styling ;)

The damage I have on my truck has grown on me and I would almost be sad to see the rusty dents go. I'd be too scared to drive it through a creek and up a rock if it was pristine. Hell, that's why I bought an old truck in the first place!
It sounds like I might have the same sentimental factor (perhaps handicap?) that @LCnAZ has with theirs. The truck's been in the family since my parents got married and has been passed down to me. I feel like there's a good bit of the family in it which is why it'd be hard to swallow leaving it beat up like that. But again, maybe that's just my own handicap to get over.
 

morganism

SunkCostFallacy
 
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Thats pretty easy to get to dents, i would just get them pounded out and sanded, primed and ready, Then do a body wrap in camo.

Do exhaust work, and save the paint till last.
 

Comet

Knower of little, master of less.
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The door cards come off inside, the window unbolts and comes out, then the hammer and a few body tools go into un mangling the doors. Presto chango the truck is back to 80%. Yes, the experience of an accident or damage to a beloved family member (the truck) is bad but things will look up. Buff out as much of the other cars paint as you can and fix those oil leaks.
 
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Maybe I missed it, but who's at fault? If they hit you and it's their insurance then you should be golden. Now, they'll try to total it or negotiate it down, but in the end they should make it right. (Not the rust)

Be prepared to go the attorney route if they play around.

When a guy ran a stop sign and I t-boned him his insurance company was very quick about wanting to total my 87 and Hand me a check, but I had all the receipts and work documented on my truck, so they repaired. But it was a fight. Good luck!
 
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Hey all,

Thanks for all the advice and responses. Here's where I'm at with it:

Insurance cut me a check. She's not totaled! Actually not even close. They quoted about $1500 of damage which was less than 20% of what "their system" says its worth (granted that's before looking at the detailed condition of the car, but still).

So I took the advice of "take the check and cash it" and spent that on a new catalytic converter, muffler and pipes. And holy s*#t! Probably some of the best money I've spent on the truck. I've been trying to hunt down a serious lack of power for a while now, replacing most everything I could think of related to fuel, spark, and air. Turns out the CAT was plugged pretty bad. It's running better now then I've ever known it to. It's crazy, she actually accelerates on the highway now :bounce: Not to mention how nice that muffler sounds!

That also seems to have helped with the classic stumbling issue around 1500rpm which I initially thought was the EGR. It was bypassed (maybe that's partly why the CAT was so plugged ;)). But un-cappied those two vaccum lines for the EGR and it doesn't hesitate at all.

Anyway, long story short, I can live with the damage until I'm ready to do body work and I've got a daily driver that I'm actually excited to drive again!

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