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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Backstory:
Near the end of this past winter I was on my way to work the morning after a heavy snow and started fishtailing down a hill (my tires were bald, no money to replace at the time). I spun around backwards and slammed into a tall fire hydrant. One of the spouts smash straight through the tail light and practically a foot into the rear quarter panel ripping a giant hole into the back of my car.

I had my car under my mothers name for cheaper insurance but couldn't afford coverage for when I did damage to the car myself. I did a decent cover up job but my mother was paranoid about it and cancelled my insurance (her reasoning is a long illogical story).

I'm trying to get it back on the road, but that means replacing the lights, getting new tires, fixing the bodywork, etc without being able to drive it to the places that can fix it.

Question:
Does anyone here have any experience with fixing / replacing the rear quarter panels? I know they're all connected to a bunch of stuff to make one giant back half of the car basically unlike the front fenders which are their own pieces. I've seen people report paying around $1500 to repair deep gouges in that section nevermind having to weld a giant section on. I'm trying to get a general idea of how much money i'll need to have in cash to get this fixed as soon as I register the car and can drive it to a shop. (I'd have about a week from registration to pass state inspection.)

I know prices will vary by area so I'm just looking for peoples experiences, not an exact estimate of my situation.

The damage:




My Repair job. A piece of sheet metal and some magic duck tape. That's also the original driver side light just mounted to the side so it would fit.
 

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Poopin' on Scrubz
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Are you able to weld and do bodywork yourself? That's the only way that I would do it...

It will be a VERY expensive job to get done by one person. You'll need a donor car/torch/MIG welder/grinders/patience/and lots of time.

Then it needs prepped/puttied/sanded/primed/and painted.

If you don't have the means, go buy more tape. Haha!

As for price, if you brought it into a shop and they had to cut the panel off the donor car... I'd say about $2,500 out the door painted. That doesn't include the price of the donor car.
 

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That quarter is toast. That is not repairable at all... You need to section it. You can get a recycled quarter from a company called lkq. Their website is www.lkqcorp.com.
 

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You don't need a donor car. You just need to find a junkyard willing to part with the quarter panel. The whole panel was like $800 brand new last time I checked. Or get a used one for like $400.

Have a shop weld it on. Not as big of a job as you guys seem to think.
 

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it's about a 5k job. well at least that was what i was qouted going to a body shop.
 

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it's about a 5k job. well at least that was what i was qouted going to a body shop.
That's probably including time to pull on the floor and a rail. Based on the damage I'd assume there is structural damage. And they most likely are using all OE parts...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the opinions guys.

Sounds like I'm probably going to be better off buying the quarter panel off a junked car before getting the repair done. I would LOVE to do the work myself just to save the money, but I have no experience welding and no longer know anyone with welding equipment. I have little faith in the accuracy of this, but my mother said she called a junk yard several months ago and was quoted around $200 for a rear quarter panel off a junked car. (I'm thinking it must have been for an older model that had panels as individual pieces or maybe they thought it was for a front quarter panel)

I can probably manage $1500-$2500 if I absolutely have to but any more than that and I'd rather just deal with figuring out how to ride a motorcycle through a new england winter. I bought this car for $10.8k and have already put more than that into it in repairs previously. (lots of hit and [email protected]@rds...and one accident that was 50% my fault so insurance wouldn't help)

Do any of you think I could pass a state inspection once I replace the taillights & tire's with the repair job I've done? You'd have to take a ton of tape off too see there's any damage and if you knock on it you just hear the sheet metal I have underneath. I know rules are different state to state but I'm in western MA and inspection places can be asses around here sometimes.

If it really is going to be a $5k repair I'd be better off paying off all my old debts and trying to get a car loan for a jeep or something. (something that doesn't require premium gas and isn't so expensive to insure)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just save and get another celica. Thats going to huge hassle especially if you are going to have someone else do it for you. Used GT's go cheap now.
The problem is I have no vehicle at all right now and am living very far from work, my son, food shopping, etc. My roommate gives me rides to work/food shopping for the time being, but I really need my own vehicle. As-is it would be very difficult to get a car loan for any vehicle and as much as I love my celica, I certainly wouldn't buy another, I've wanted a 4 door jeep since they first came out and am trying to avoid buying another car until I can afford a used jeep.
 

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As long as there is no major structural damage, I am pretty sure it will pass inspection just fine. I have seen cars in way worse shape pass.

5k for that repair is rape! Honestly, if you acquire the replacement panel yourself and just have a shop section/weld (no paint) the new panel in place you'll manage to stay in the $1,000-$1,500 range. I wouldn't pay any more than that. In the meantime you'll just have to drive around with a primered quarter panel. Or you could paint it yourself for under 100. (I can give you details on paint through pm; I took 2 years worth of bodywork school so i have a pretty good idea of what i'm talking about.) When looking for a shop to do the work, try to find a locally owned, owner operated body shop. These type shops are generally lower priced since the big body shops are used to big money insurance claims. (I quoted a repair on my car at two different shops one time and got two different prices. The bigger shop wanted $1,200 versus the other shop at $800 for the same job, same labor, and exact same procedure. I asked both to explain me the repair process. Both places also gave lifetime warranty on repairs.) You should defenitely shop around.

You want a jeep, eh? Get a third gen (96-02) 4runner! 4wd, selectable locker, supercharger option! Jeep doesn't come close.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well all I'm going to order new tires off of tire rack today and maybe new tail lights if I have enough left over. Assuming the car passes without having to replace the quarter panel I should be able to get the tires mounted and get it registered in another two weeks when I get my next check. (Unfortunately I got underpaid this check otherwise I could have registered it as soon as the tires arrived.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh and 01Toy ill do some reading up on the 4runner. I've always liked the simplicity / ruggedness of wranglers. Not to mention I wouldn't care if I dented it, drilled into it, did whatever I wanted Vs a normal SUV I'd definitely care.
 

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In your situation you're better off buying a cheap used car to get you around until you can figure out what to do with the Celica.
 

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WHY IS EVERYONE ACTING LIKE THIS IS A LOT HOPE!?!?!?!?

Honestly, All you need to do is get a used quarter panel. A new one goes for like $800 and used go for pretty cheap if you find one locally. Just take the giant piece to a body shop and have them cut/weld it in. It's NOT that bad and won't cost you a fortune.

If you lived closer I could even do the repair for you...
 

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^ That's what i'm saying! I take it most people here have very little experience in mechanics or how stuff works. The damage is not that serious and definitely doable/affordable.

Yeah dude, check out the 4runners! There are many forums for them out there too.
 

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^ Everyone sees a trashed quarter panel and thinks the car is dead. You don't even need the whole panel! Just cut one from a scrapped car and weld it in. Simple.
 
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