The dreaded pickup wreck!
Shortly after I purchased my 1992 Nissan Pickup, I was driving down a county road and hit a Walla Walla County Dump Truck head on. The damage to the pickup was pretty devastating. The police came and ended up saying it was a 50/50 fault accident. We were both going to fast on too narrow of a road. So when it came time for insurance claims (My pickup sustained all the damage, the dump trucks bumper held up pretty well) When taking the pickup to body shops, I was told the pickup was totalled. It would cost more than $5,000 to repair the damages and the pickup was only worth $3,000. I talked to some buddies and decided to look into fixing it up.
After some phone calls, it totalled to $500 worth of parts. A lot cheaper then a new pickup. So I started work.
Getting the hood open proved to be more difficult then I originally thought. Its amazing what a wreck can do to the most simple parts of a vehicle. The good news was the radiator and AC evaporator didn't seem to be damaged. Mechanically it was looking pretty good, just alot of body work.
Using some advice from a friend (girlfriends father) I tried pulling the body back out. Here we are using a tug along to pull the skirt and wheel well back out and into shape. This proved to be very successfull with some help from my brother Michael.
The parts showed up! In just under a week, $500 worth of parts finally showed up. One miner mistake, I wanted a black grill and a chrome bumper. Instead I got a chrome grille and black bumper. I spoke with the salesmen who quickly got it fixed. After I put the chrome grille on the pickup, I decided I could live with a chrome grille, but still wanted a chrome bumper. Work continues straightening various parts.
Getting closer, in this picture I put all of the parts I had on, to see what still needed to be attached and to take a picture of the progress. It looks like its close, but still alot of straighten.
Finally, the bumper showed up and its all assembled. A couple small minor things to fix and straighten. But its looking good.
Time to paint! Not being a professional painter, this was a learning experience. Using my fathers spray gun and air compressor, I went ahead and picked up the paint and took a shot a painting it myself. It didn't look real difficult. As I learned, painting a car is almost an art and difficult to perfect. Nevertheless I put down two layers of solid color red paint and another two coats of clear coat. For a painter with almost no car painting experience, I thought it turned out OK.
Its finally finished and back on the road, ready to drive again. It took a total of 17 days of work and just over $500 worth of parts, and I have my pickup back. The wreck didn't seem to affect its driving, to this day it drives just like it did before. The air conditioner still works with no leaks, radiator has no leaks, and everthing is working just as it had before the wreck.