97 TJ Sport Accident Restoration: - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Builds > 97 TJ Sport Accident Restoration:

Black Friday Sale - Deep Discounts from ExtremeTerrain.com6th Annual, Beat Your Wife to the Credit Card Sale!FS: Wrangler RGB Multicolor Fog Light LEDs: Awesome Effect

Reply
Unread 02-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152
97 TJ Sport Accident Restoration:

My TJ has been involved in a couple fender benders. She has taken every beating like a champ, and when I had to decide whether to sell her to the insurance company or keep her, I just couldn't let her go... I'm starting this project as a complete rookie, knowing nothing about cars other than the bare basics. Upon doing this project, I am really falling back in love with my Jeep, having a new found respect for it, and have been quite surprised at how "learnable" everything has been (especially with support from all you generous and experienced JF members). I'm doing this project a little redneck, as you will see, but for how old she is, and my budget I believe it's the smartest way. Also, redneck or not, I'm just happy to learn, be a part of the Jeep community, and there's kind of a sense of pride in doing something yourself (even if it might take longer to do) without going overboard on cost. My motto for this project: "it CAN be done!"

Before:








LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #2
Hillbilly88
Registered User
2014 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 775
I am curiouse to what your buy back price was with your insurance company. I totaled mine last week and my insurance is trying to make me pay 2500 to keep my jeep If you dont wanna say i understand. I just thaught i was gettin screwd on salvage price
Hillbilly88 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #3
LilViper95
Web Wheeler
 
LilViper95's Avatar
1993 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Glenburn, Maine
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillbilly88 View Post
I am curiouse to what your buy back price was with your insurance company. I totaled mine last week and my insurance is trying to make me pay 2500 to keep my jeep If you dont wanna say i understand. I just thaught i was gettin screwd on salvage price
I bought an 03 Rubicon that I rebuilt off a guy 2 years ago. The insurance buy back price on that was about 2500. I traded a GSX-R for it.
__________________
04 Ram 2500 5.9L 24v HO Cummins

My Attempt at a Wrangler YJ Unlimited

No Stretch TJ Build For The Wife
LilViper95 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152
I'm going to do my own bodywork and then rustoleum paint job. Since I don't have access to a welder or sheet metal tools, and am on a limited budget, I'm not going to fully repair the gash in the side. I'm going to pop the door out as much as I can and fill in the rest with Bondo. And for the gash under the door, I'm going to use my wire drill bit to cut out the rust, then hit it with Rust Reformer before paint. I found some excellent diamond plate from jeepdiamondplate.com that should cover the rocker damage well enough... no cutting or welding on my part, probably a little drilling and am going to fill the leak spots with urethane caulk.

Mechanical repairs:
The accident to the front caused the upper radiator hose to shift back and touch the serpentine belt, splitting it eventually. When I noticed this, I went ahead and flushed the radiator until all the old contamination was gone, and installed a new upper hose. It's got enough clearance from the belt now but I'm watching it carefully. I noticed a "clunking" noise when turning slowly over speedbumps, and picked up some info about TJ suspensions. I checked everything carefully, and determined the cause was the driver side sway bar link being popped. I'm going to change this out ($20 for the part plus $5 for the T55 torx bit) While being down there carefully checking the suspension components, I also noticed a tear in my differential breather hose. I mended it with electrical tape :-) Should be fine as it is just an air vent line. I'm keeping an eye on it though. Alignment is a little off now, but I'm lucky to have a lifetime alignment contract with a local shop (if you can find anyone that still offers this, take them up on it! It has paid for itself and then some already!) I think I'll take it in for realignment after everything else is completed...
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #5
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152
Buy List:

New fender $100... smart JF members told me in another post only go with CAPA certified. Thank God I listened!
http://www.discountbodyparts.com/cat...&dbpcid=gooppc

Front Driver's Fender Flare $31.16 ... no shipping because I'm picking it up
http://www.discountbodyparts.com/cat...r=OR%28brand:R eplacement,brand:Kool%20Vue,brand:Perfect%20Fit,br and:US%20Auto%20Parts%29

Clear corner turn signal kit $47 after shipping ... cheaper than buying driver's side replacements
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLEAR-CORNER...ts_Accessories &vxp=mtr&hash=item35b7c7023a

Hood Pin Kit: $8.99 at AutoZone
Daystar Scuff Plates: $7.99 each at 4WheelParts

2 Quarts Duplicolor Bedliner: $60

Rocker guards to cover side damage $66 after shipping
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1997-2006-Je...m=120805626224 &pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr

Several cans of Duplicolor Grabber Green engine enamel: $5.99 each

Rustoleum professional paint: $10/qt at Lowe's. Only needed 2 quarts but I made several mistakes along the way and switched colors a few times so used 3 quarts of topside and 1 quart of Rustoleum professional :-)

Tack cloths $6
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

High density foam rollers and handles $15 - 20 for both small and big sizes

Mineral spirits $10
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

Wet/Dry Sandpaper, $8.20 for qty 10
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Sheets-Sa...ash=item256a2e b1d2
60 grit (1)
400 grit (2)
600 grit (2)
800 grit (2)
1000 grit (2)
1200 grit (1)
Had to buy some more 600 to fix my mistakes and change the color 3 times

Also got a second set of paper from 1500 up to 3000 grit. You need to go this fine for black!


Rust reformer $5.64
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

Naval jelly: $5

Primer (O'Reilly Auto cheap brand) $4

Front windows $59
http://www.ebay.com/itm/UPPER-SKINS-...ts_Accessories &fits=Make%3AJeep&vxp=mtr&hash=item35a9d9ab54

New hood: forgot but I got it cheap at discountbodyparts.com

Duplicolor vinyl and trim paint 3 cans for carpet and some plastic: $7 each
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 10:20 AM   #6
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152
Did a little redneck body work today. I didn't have much faith to begin with, but it's amazing what you can do with a heavy hammer, big bench clamp, channel locks and 2 hours of time. Mostly just hammered peaks in flat where there was damage, then checked by lining up the side of the car with my dominant eye. I bent the damaged corner of the hood until it looked close enough to the other side with channel locks. I can't believe this worked, but I also hammered the hinge of the hood back with duct tape over my "force distributor" (steel bench clamp), and put duct tape over the prying end of my hammer and pried the opposite side of the hood out until the hood was straight again... it used to hang over the damaged side by about 2 inches, now the difference is barely noticeable and good enough for me because I don't want to break anything :-) I also tried to pop the dent in the passenger door out after removing the interior panel. As it was, the dent was just a little too deep for me to feel comfortable bondo-ing over it. So I used my force distributor and banged away at the inside until I changed the physical properties of the dent. I mainly went to work on the crease that causes the dent to keep popping in and popping out. I managed to take about an inch out of the dent's depth... hopefully what I have now is shallow enough to bondo. I have plenty of time anyway, so when I get to that step, I'll just do more thin layers of filler instead of less big ones, hopefully to avoid cracking. Either way, it won't take as much filler and its at a point where you can't pop the sheet metal back and forth, which was my main goal.

While I'm rallying up the rest of my supplies, I want to take a moment to mention Barry over at www.jeepdiamondplate.com. During the research stage of this project, I talked to many people and asked many questions. What I've found is that a lot of these guys just want to make a sale, then and there, and don't consider that people ask questions first, then do some research, then come back to make the purchase. Barry is definitely the best at understanding this (and he has the absolute best price on what I need by far). If you are thinking about plating your Jeep, you should seriously consider talking to him. He has been so helpful.
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #7
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152
Installed the fender today! It was actually quite easy from a technical standpoint. Just unbolt everything attached to it, starting with the window fluid, Remove four bolts from the front by the grill, three more behind the wheel, four attaching it to the next panel by the firewall (these are kind of in a cramped spot, my brother in law showed up at just the right time to help turn the ratchet while I guided it in for the middle bolt), and four on the back of the wheel well (attaching it to the HCU tray bracket). The front bolts were rusted on like crazy though. I used Loctite Freeze and Release to help make it easier. I found that removing the headlight exposed the back of the bolt, which is what I what I needed to get at with the freeze spray. A few minor war wounds from not wearing gloves like I should have when fighting those sticky bolts :-)



New fender after installation... not bad for $100




Passenger door after beating the dents out the improper way with a hammer and steel bench clamp. I'm not concerned about wrinkling the metal as this dent was so deep a body shop would have definitely just replaced the door skin... but I'm going for budget so I'm trying to get it as flush as possible with the rest of that side, then going to grind it down, treat with rust reformer, bondo, primer then hopefully have a flush paintable surface.




Got a couple of fill layers of bondo down over the door. We'll see how it sands down. The door handle is completely popped in and I'm not going to try and get it out, but I'll go for as flush as possible. Compared to before, this is a lot better IMO, and for all intents and purposes should be good enough... it's a Jeep after all, doesn't need to be showroom :-)
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-05-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


Passenger side rocker gash after redneck body work. I hammered the snot out of it, pried at the door at the bottom, hammered my bench clamp into the crevasse inside then pried out to try and get the rocker as close to flush with the rest of that side as possible. The bottom still looks hideous, but that won't matter because it will be completely covered by diamond plate. The top is what I was concerned with. If you look carefully you can see the top (where the bottom of the door comes to rest) is much more flush.




The easiest way to install diamond plate (and body kits on Hondas)... just kidding!
This is a mockup of how it will fit in.
... if they only knew what I was hiding under there




You can see my jury-rigged job isn't quite perfect when looking at the profile view. No worries, that's why diamond plate is awesome. It's like knockdown for walls, the texture hides imperfections! When I screw it all in place after paint, it will press up and fill those valleys nicely (I tested it with my thumb)
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-06-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


final fill layer after i went over it with a metal file





thin layer over the top before sanding to fill in small ruts and pinholes
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #10
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


Door is starting to look flat again when attached. I noticed a few little spots where you can see some bondo lines. I think I'll touch it up with my own finger tomorrow. The spreaders are a little big and it works for caulk so why not...
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #11
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


I was getting frustrated sanding the finishing touches on my bondo job, and had a thought... why not use the wetsanding technique I was going to do later on for the roll on paint? Oh yes this is DEFINITELY the way to go. 100 grit wetsanding gave me much better results!





Unintentional pink camo look... oh yeah!
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #12
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


BONDO MONSTER!!!

(I originally was going to bondo the hood. Got it decent then drove without reinstalling my hood catches. Whoops! Let's just say I feel pretty stupid about that and ended up needing a new hood )

Ended up replacing the hood later on...

My Dad stopped by and helped me with my sway bar link today too. Thanks Dad!! Thanks Freeze N Release and bench clamp too!
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-09-2012, 06:53 PM   #13
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


Another shot of the old hood
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-11-2012, 03:30 AM   #14
LV2DRFT
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 152


Applied Duplicolor Engine Enamel Graber Green to the rocker guards and bezels. I also sprayed inside the Jeep bars (grill) to see if it would look good...
LV2DRFT is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 02-11-2012, 10:41 AM   #15
MelloJeep
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fall River, Ma
Posts: 17
Green huh?
__________________
im hittin the sack
MelloJeep is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.