Heeltoe's #HTSpecCivicX Journal

MrHeeltoe

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Hi there! It's Marcus from Heeltoeauto.com. You might know me from such sensational internet locations such as Hybrids.jp (probably not unless you are over 40), Honda-tech.com (probably not unless you are over 35), Acurazine.com (Probably not unless you are over 30 and owned an Acura or V6 Accord before), or Redpepperracing.com (Let's be honest, probably not more than a couple people here even know what that is).

The long and the short of it is, we at Heeltoe love the new Civics. This is the story of how we came to own one, and hopes to be the journal of what we do with it along the way. Admins on the ban button...this honestly isn't meant to be any sort of vendor post. We are playing with the car and while we do sell many of the items we are expecting to tinker with, we aren't looking to do anything more than share our experiences with the car.

I'll maintain a postlog here for better reference:
1. Intro! You are reading it now...or read on Heeltoe
2. Retrieval from the tow yard...or read on Heeltoe
3. Inspecting the damage...or read on Heeltoe
4. The HTSpecCivicX Gets its Final Repair Estimate...She's a Goner...or read on Heeltoe
5. Coming Soon!

So without futher ado, let's ger started!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Intro!

It's so good to want a new Honda again!

The run of the mill, mid-grade volume model is tunable, tossable, economical, and fun. The newest turbocharged Civics carry on the classic Honda heritage and as such are totally "wantable" cars, even if they look a bit weird. I've never really wanted any Honda Civic newer than a 1995 model, or maybe an EP3 on occasion, if I am being generous. But a new Civic with an L15B engine...we wanted one to play with. It's so old-school Honda. Do stuff like compare parts, kinda review the experience…really just enjoy the car for a bit. This is how we got one.

We contacted our friends at the Tonkin Auto Group in Portland and made a remote deal on an in-stock Orchid White on Black EX-T manual. No—one does not simply find a manual trans white on black Honda within 50 miles of home on the fly. We suspect it was destiny at work. We pounced on the chance to grab it.

The deal was done during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It seemed like a serendipitous chance to spend some quality time with my mother, whom was visiting at the time for the holidays from Northeastern Pennsylvania. My mom taught me to drive o-so-many years ago in her manual trans 1994 Camellia Red Pearl Civic EX Coupe. I really loved the rare occasion when I could borrow the car to drive to high school. I took my driving test in the car as well…a relatively unheard-of act, taking a driving test in a manual trans car. Thanks to Mom's tutelage I passed, handily.

My plan was, we'd go and get the FC1 (that's car-guy code for a new 4dr Civic with a 1.5L Turbo engine) and then have a mother-son dinner on the route home to celebrate; her in the new Civic and me in the #HTSpecTSX (which was brought along mostly for photos next to the new car). This was a good plan because it is effectively impossible to get a bad meal in Portland.

Upon arriving at the dealer, we saw stock #G7027147 and it sure did look sweet!

newcivic1.jpg


newcivic2.jpg


newcivic3.jpg


We knew the car, and the deal, was set. Test driving was really a formality at this point, but we figured since mom hadn't driven a stick in more than fifteen years that a cruise around the block seemed prudent.

Link to our test drive! Mama Heeltoe drives a stick for the first time in 15 years!

Wow! She had so much fun. She really became enamored with the Civic, and having signed all the paperwork we had all the confidence to get back toward home, caravan-style. Before rolling off, we had to get some shots with the HTSpecTSX

newcivic4.jpg


newcivic5.jpg


newcivic6.jpg


newcivic7.jpg


All is going great! The drive was going smooth. I think I might have a hard time getting the car away from Mom!

newcivic8.jpg


As can happen in busy freeway traffic, we got separated by a few cars through Portland as we transitioned from 84 West to 5 North where I was ahead a few cars but suddenly needed to brake due to slowing traffic. It wasn't a panic stop; I never really stopped at all before heading on the cruise again. But about a minute later I get the crystal-clear call from the Bluetooth interface on a brand new Civic—"I was hit!"

***WHA?????***

She proceeds to tell me about how she had to slow for traffic just as I had, and reportedly came to rest for just a couple seconds before BANG! She was clipped on the left-rear by another driver! Because of how the freeways and bridges loop around Portland, I was able to circle back and get to her some twenty or thirty minutes later—after slogging through the resultant backup—where she was still in the car, trying to be safe, trapped in a chamber of mortification.

Boy it was aggravating getting to her.

newcivictraffic.png


But when I finally got there…

newciviccrashed2.jpg


newciviccrashed1.jpg


It wasn't her fault and she came away 100% unscathed. It was just a car bang-up like what happens all the time. I'm thoroughly thankful she was secure and sound in Honda's well-engineered safety-cell. Much to my surprise all the doors and trunk still open and close (except the left rear where it appears that minor contact with the quarter panel is preventing the door from opening).

newciviccrashed3.jpg


The rear tire is flat, probably due to the muffler being pushed well into it. The impact also caused the rear wheel to force forward into the rear of the side-skirt/wheelhouse. The car can move under it's own power but is undrivable because of the suspension damage and dragging muffler. Not to mention the completely decimated tail lamp.

What next? The tow truck driver insisted that the car be towed back to their yard, otherwise it would have gone to RBP Collision in Hillsboro for interim storage until insurance could be worked out. More to come in the next iteration where I will share the story of retrieval the very next day…New Year's Eve.

I am sure my story here isn't really all that unbelievable, and it isn't the one I intended to tell. This was supposed to be a blog to whoop up Heeltoe's purchase of a brand new Civic EX-T and how excited we were to get in and get our fingers dirty with it. Instead it is a story of Honda's 5-star crash ratings put to work.

upload_2018-1-6_9-16-18.gif



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dingeesboy

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Hi there! It's Marcus from Heeltoeauto.com. You might know me from such sensational internet locations such as Hybrids.jp (probably not unless you are over 40), Honda-tech.com (probably not unless you are over 35), Acurazine.com (Probably not unless you are over 30 and owned an Acura or V6 Accord before), or Redpepperracing.com (Let's be honest, probably not more than a couple people here even know what that is).

The long and the short of it is, we at Heeltoe love the new Civics. This is the story of how we came to own one, and hopes to be the journal of what we do with it along the way. Admins on the ban button...this honestly isn't meant to be any sort of vendor post. We are playing with the car and while we do sell many of the items we are expecting to tinker with, we aren't looking to do anything more than share our experiences with the car.

I'll maintain a postlog here for better reference:
1. Intro! You are reading it now...or read on Heeltoe
2. Coming soon...

So without futher ado, let's ger started!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Intro!

It's so good to want a new Honda again!

The run of the mill, mid-grade volume model is tunable, tossable, economical, and fun. The newest turbocharged Civics carry on the classic Honda heritage and as such are totally "wantable" cars, even if they look a bit weird. I've never really wanted any Honda Civic newer than a 1995 model, or maybe an EP3 on occasion, if I am being generous. But a new Civic with an L15B engine...we wanted one to play with. It's so old-school Honda. Do stuff like compare parts, kinda review the experience…really just enjoy the car for a bit. This is how we got one.

We contacted our friends at the Tonkin Auto Group in Portland and made a remote deal on an in-stock Orchid White on Black EX-T manual. No—one does not simply find a manual trans white on black Honda within 50 miles of home on the fly. We suspect it was destiny at work. We pounced on the chance to grab it.

The deal was done during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It seemed like a serendipitous chance to spend some quality time with my mother, whom was visiting at the time for the holidays from Northeastern Pennsylvania. My mom taught me to drive o-so-many years ago in her manual trans 1994 Camellia Red Pearl Civic EX Coupe. I really loved the rare occasion when I could borrow the car to drive to high school. I took my driving test in the car as well…a relatively unheard-of act, taking a driving test in a manual trans car. Thanks to Mom's tutelage I passed, handily.

My plan was, we'd go and get the FC1 (that's car-guy code for a new 4dr Civic with a 1.5L Turbo engine) and then have a mother-son dinner on the route home to celebrate; her in the new Civic and me in the #HTSpecTSX (which was brought along mostly for photos next to the new car). This was a good plan because it is effectively impossible to get a bad meal in Portland.

Upon arriving at the dealer, we saw stock #G7027147 and it sure did look sweet!

newcivic1.jpg


newcivic2.jpg


newcivic3.jpg


We knew the car, and the deal, was set. Test driving was really a formality at this point, but we figured since mom hadn't driven a stick in more than fifteen years that a cruise around the block seemed prudent.

Link to our test drive! Mama Heeltoe drives a stick for the first time in 15 years!

Wow! She had so much fun. She really became enamored with the Civic, and having signed all the paperwork we had all the confidence to get back toward home, caravan-style. Before rolling off, we had to get some shots with the HTSpecTSX

newcivic4.jpg


newcivic5.jpg


newcivic6.jpg


newcivic7.jpg


All is going great! The drive was going smooth. I think I might have a hard time getting the car away from Mom!

newcivic8.jpg


As can happen in busy freeway traffic, we got separated by a few cars through Portland as we transitioned from 84 West to 5 North where I was ahead a few cars but suddenly needed to brake due to slowing traffic. It wasn't a panic stop; I never really stopped at all before heading on the cruise again. But about a minute later I get the crystal-clear call from the Bluetooth interface on a brand new Civic—"I was hit!"

***WHA?????***

She proceeds to tell me about how she had to slow for traffic just as I had, and reportedly came to rest for just a couple seconds before BANG! She was clipped on the left-rear by another driver! Because of how the freeways and bridges loop around Portland, I was able to circle back and get to her some twenty or thirty minutes later—after slogging through the resultant backup—where she was still in the car, trying to be safe, trapped in a chamber of mortification.

Boy it was aggravating getting to her.

newcivictraffic.png


But when I finally got there…

newciviccrashed2.jpg


newciviccrashed1.jpg


It wasn't her fault and she came away 100% unscathed. It was just a car bang-up like what happens all the time. I'm thoroughly thankful she was secure and sound in Honda's well-engineered safety-cell. Much to my surprise all the doors and trunk still open and close (except the left rear where it appears that minor contact with the quarter panel is preventing the door from opening).

newciviccrashed3.jpg


The rear tire is flat, probably due to the muffler being pushed well into it. The impact also caused the rear wheel to force forward into the rear of the side-skirt/wheelhouse. The car can move under it's own power but is undrivable because of the suspension damage and dragging muffler. Not to mention the completely decimated tail lamp.

What next? The tow truck driver insisted that the car be towed back to their yard, otherwise it would have gone to RBP Collision in Hillsboro for interim storage until insurance could be worked out. More to come in the next iteration where I will share the story of retrieval the very next day…New Year's Eve.

I am sure my story here isn't really all that unbelievable, and it isn't the one I intended to tell. This was supposed to be a blog to whoop up Heeltoe's purchase of a brand new Civic EX-T and how excited we were to get in and get our fingers dirty with it. Instead it is a story of Honda's 5-star crash ratings put to work.

upload_2018-1-6_9-16-18.gif
Watching this thread !!!
 

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Such a bummer to see man. Hope it all gets fixed up quick.
 

ChampwhiteFK8

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Wow, post changed rather quickly. Bummer, and on the drive home. At this point are you hoping they total the car in order to get a new one?
 
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MrHeeltoe

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Wow, post changed rather quickly. Bummer, and on the drive home. At this point are you hoping they total the car in order to get a new one?
Well, I was thinking about it and figured there really isn't any really bad outcome here, even if they repair it. I have a great shop to do the work locally. And we can get compensated for the depreciated value post-repair. Getting a do over would be great except for the fact that I haven't really gotten to do anything with this one yet!
 

ChampwhiteFK8

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Well, I was thinking about it and figured there really isn't any really bad outcome here, even if they repair it. I have a great shop to do the work locally. And we can get compensated for the depreciated value post-repair. Getting a do over would be great except for the fact that I haven't really gotten to do anything with this one yet!
That would be good too but I don't think it would sit with me right driving a car around after being repaired for that kind of damage. Hope everything works out for you regardless!
 
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MrHeeltoe

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That would be good too but I don't think it would sit with me right driving a car around after being repaired for that kind of damage. Hope everything works out for you regardless!
Thankfully it's "Heeltoe's" car not mine :D :D
 
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I had a night to rest after the fateful excursion to buy a brand new Civic on December 30th, 2017. Miraculously my Mom escaped a significant accident the previous night with little more than a bruised ego. This is not a happy place she was in…being involved in an accident in her "son's" car so new the tire goo was still tacky. Dad wanted to come with Elise and I to the tow yard pick up the car with the Heeltoe trailer but wisely elected to stay at home to support Mom (classic guy, he is). Today is New Year's Eve.

Prior to making the trek to Portland, though, I rang the tow company to make sure that ducks were in a row for release of the car. I was met with unsurprisingly surprising quotes of fees due to the tune of $257. Mostly these fees were due for the hook. What the heck? Why would I pay for a tow when I couldn't specify the drop destination? After the tow truck driver disallowed us to tow the HTSpecCivicX to our preferred body shop, hindsight told us this was not something we should have absorbed without dispute. I wouldn't mind tow fees but for Pete's sake let me get it towed where I want!

None-too-happy, we decided to temper our anger with some bacon and eggs at Elmer's; a Northwest diner chain serving Denny's-type fare but with a bonus of being local-fresh and edible. Good omen: Breakfast might have been the best we've ever had at an Elmer's. That is an honest compliment because Elmer's is frequently rather good.

civicretreival_elmers.jpg


We headed off to the tow yard where the Civic was safe and secure in indoor storage just as fresh-smelling as the previous afternoon and crunched-looking as the previous evening. Of course, Elise was ready for business. The enclosed tow yard was located under the East side of one of Portland's many bridges, not more than a few minutes from the site of the accident.

civicretreival_towyard.jpg


We met a tow truck driver there who was friendly and welcoming, even though he wasn't the representative we were supposed to meet there. We told him our story and he explained to us that our tow truck driver has the mental capacity of a rock.

Just a bit later, the manager arrived and the driver we met introduced us to her. We had a conversation again about last night's driver, which was slightly uncomfortable in length as she reiterated his mental numbness just a bit more persistently than I cared to hear. Ultimately, the car was extracted. After some discussion about how improperly our tow truck rescue was handled the management was thoroughly kind enough to knock some fees off our tab and apologetic for the ignorant driver. I love doing business in Portland.

civicretreival_towyard2.jpg


civicretreival_towyard3.jpg


civicretreival_towyard4.jpg


Loading the Civic was geekishly exciting for me because last Fall I installed a Superwinch trailer winch in the Heeltoe trailer at 99 West Trailers, and this was my first chance to use it! With the HTSpecCivicX squared up behind the trailer I reeled out the cable, attached it to a tow hook, and took up the slack. Using the remote control, I slowly tugged my wounded Honda up the ramp and into its secure transport.

civicretreival_towyard5.jpg


The winch worked awesome!

The car took up a lot of room, though. I have a lot of show stuff I keep in there—Heeltoe merch, EZ-Up, et cetera—which meant that the car sat a little farther back than I prefer. Watch this video to understand why that's a slippery slope. But it all worked out really great, I must say. At times it pays to have your own logistics solutions.

civicretreival_towyard6.jpg


Once home, we proceeded to unload. The carnage made backing up a chore as the tire pushed the muffler into the ground. My neighbor, Zach, came in with the muffler-lift assist as the Superwinch did a super job easing the FC out of the trailer…


…whereupon I got to drive the car for the very first time! With exhaust-tip dragging—lightly this time as I was rolling forward—all the way, I slotted it into the garage spot where it was to await its fate.


And into it's new home. If you are curious about the CRX in there, go to Instagram and follow #OGiantKillerCRX.

civicretreival_home.jpg


What a fun way to spend New Year's Eve. We went to a NYE party later at Zach's place. New Year's Day we did get the car on the lift to take a closer look at the damage. We'll show you what we saw in the next in post.

civicretreival_momandme.jpg


Closing thought…as all this was posted on social meeds as it was unfolding, the commentary revealed a clear consistency. "Glad all were ok, just a car, can replace cars not people." Yes, you are all 100% right. I believe that it should go without saying that I value my Mom's life more than any car. I'd rather it not happened at all, and would have rather it been myself getting smashed into and not my Mother. Also, I am much happier the Civic was run into, and not my beloved HTSpecTSX. But, primarily, if something HAD happened to my Mom…I would not have been posting about it on Instagram. And my sincere hope is that posting about it all wasn't perceived as tasteless. We were all ok and so I felt it ok to share.
 
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MrHeeltoe

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If there is something positive to come with a checkered youth flush with wrecked CRXs, it's that I've been through the crash-tow-inspect-total process a few times. That's typically open and shut with a $3000 car. I've even bought back totaled cars for their parts value. Naturally, the question of the outcome in this case is on everyone's mind. With a relatively high value car, the case is harder to close.

With the #HTSpecCivicX safe and sound in the Heeltoe garage, I was able to take a nice look over it. The other driver had Farmers Insurance and they are paying for the fix, but we also had our State Farm guy come out for a comparative quote. The insurance adjusters from both agencies came out to inspect the damage and we were able to see some stuff with them that the untrained eye might miss. Speaking with both was a fantastic experience. Folks, it pays to have good insurance. We know this is the meat and potatoes you've been waiting for so without further ado let's dive in!

A replacement C-pillar and quarter panel normally splices above the door, where I am pointing. Cutting here results in separation of the roof seam which really can ratchet up labor. Amazingly, the door frame appears intact forward of the quarter window, with damage being localized at the C-pillar. This area is notorious for getting wrinkled, preventing doors from sealing and opening correctly. Here, the impact is in a manageable place.

newcivic_cpillar.jpg


The trailing edge of the quarter panel is touching the door itself, which I personally believe is the only reason this door isn't opening. Still, the latch area could well be misaligned but since it moved all together it could be functioning fine. It's just hard to know until it gets torn into.You can see that the door was pushed up a bit in the impact though, as the B-pillar sash gap is pretty tight and the rear edge of the door doesn't align well with anything. Word is out on if the door itself is ok.

newcivic_quarterdoor.jpg


Moving rearward it is very obvious that the outer quarter panel and inner body panels need complete replacement. The taillamp is completely destroyed with little or nothing remaining aside from the base and a small area of reflector.

newcivic_taillamp.jpg




I posted on Instagram on the side of the freeway that the trunk, amazingly, still opens and closes without much irregular effort. But even though the trunk still opens and closes the whole panel is shifted to the right and lifted off the seal. Further examination reveals that this area isn't without disruption. The striker is bent…this whole area needs to be replaced for sure. We figure the hinges very probably bent.

Looking at the underside of the rear bumper, it should come as no surprise that the bumper beam needs to be replaced. The rear frame rail is wrinkled as well, meaning there is the very minimum needed to call out "frame damage" on the title.

1516338718-newcivic_framedamage.jpg


#bummer. It will be interesting to hear about how this area will be repaired. It's a large beam overall and with this wrinkle in it, surely is no longer structurally sound. The adjuster says that basically the whole corner of the car needs to come apart to access and repair it. Big labor bucks!

The other car, a Mazda Tribute, hit the #HTSpecCivicX low, pushing hard on the muffler and forcing it into the wheel. This punctured the tire and makes backing up rather noisy as the tire shoves the smashed exhaust outlet into the ground.

newcivic_mufflertire.jpg


The exhaust took a pretty big shunt and needs to be replaced all the way to the front of the car (it's all one piece).

newcivic_exhaustdamage.jpg


The wheel clearly took a walk from it's normal position, as it was pushed forward and rubbing on the rear face of the side skirt. I'd have expected a bunch of carnage here, but it looks like the majority of the issue is related to a some control arms that aren't more than a couple hundred bucks overall. The trailing arm is collapsed in a pretty obvious way.

newcivic_controlarm.jpg


None of the other arms seem out of place…but we'll need to have a body shop complete that assessment. Clearly the trailing arm was designed to fold up which in turn helps prevent other areas of the car from sustaining damage in a collision, such as the body mounting points. It helps make repairs cheaper.

But, this raises another question about the integrity of the control arms overall. How rigid are they, really? We already know the lower control arms, under stress of racing with higher spring rates, can break. Would stronger arms provide a performance benefit?

The subframes (yeah there are two of them back there) seem well intact, due in part credit to the sway bar link that broke, preventing suspension damage from transferring to the chassis. The sway bar seems to be fine, as it is made of spring-steel. None of the other lower mounting points seem impacted. Where the wheel position makes it look like a suspension nightmare, collapsible pieces seem to have limited the carnage by a quite a lot!

From inside the car you'd never know anything happened at all. The only evidence of an issue was some misalignment of the folding rear seats; the left one latches with a feather-touch as intended but the right one gets a little hung up when closing it. We traced the problem to a bend in the trunk floor that maybe had caused the lower mounting points to shift.

newcivic_wrinkledfloor.jpg


This sheet metal is not simple to replace at all and both adjusters suggested it could be pulled straight on a rack at the body shop. However replacing the frame rail will probably cause this area to come out for replacement anyway.

More evidence of shifting would be the right taillamp is pushed slightly proud of the body. Got to hand it to the Farmers guy for noticing this. It's subtle but clearly this is evidence of a bender.

newcivic_taillampbump.jpg


A closer look reveals separation of the body seam above the lamp in the trunk jamb. An area that would very easily be missed without a thorough inspection. We almost missed it ourselves!



All in all, I am very impressed with how this car took the hit. The structure is designed to absorb and distribute impact forces around the body to keep the passenger cell intact and that clearly is exactly what happened here. Thanks to Honda for engineering their complete line of cars to be 5-star crash-test rated!

The Farmers quote, which was admittedly conservative, came in around $9500. The State Farm one, which dug a little deeper into the carnage, rang in just under $13,000. Assuredly both quotes are under what the actual cost is going to be to restore the car which the body shop will determine. These quotes are only meant to give a general idea of the total cost to help determine the next step.

Mainly, is the car totaled?

The way this is examined is, according to Farmers, when the repair costs come close to 75% of the value of the car a financial analysis is done to decide if the total cost will end up being more than the cost to replace the car. One thing working for the case of a total loss is that this car is squeaky clean and could hardly be any newer before the hit. Every hint of damage is covered because there is no dispute over existing damage from prior use. The complete repair very literally is going to make the car new again because it still is new, which raises the repair cost.

But the same thing works against a total loss case. Because the car is so new, the value on it is high. A maximum, as a matter of fact. Depreciation hasn't taken effect. If the car had 10,000 miles on it, it would not be worth what I paid for it. It would be worth a couple thousand less, making the 75% formula a lower number to hit. Replacement value here is 100% of what I paid for it, basically. So even though the repair is extensive, and expensive, the car is simply worth too much to make totaling it easy.



An opportune brake in the rain blessed the Anderson Towing chap, who kindly arrived within two hours of a call in for a pick up. Off to RBP Collision for a tear down! More inspection may reveal more damage that could push us into a total loss...but at this point we aren't expecting it.

newcivic_towaway.jpg


With the car at RBP Collision, the tear down process can begin and a final tug at a total loss can be made. Nobody here seems to believe it will happen though.

newcivic_rbpdrop.jpg


These guys are real pros, one of the best around here, actually. They've got a great staff and a nice facility.

rbpcollision_inside.jpg


Plus they have all the current estimating and repair systems needed to ensure proper assembly. Here, Chris is showing me more or less how they plan on replacing our bent frame rail. it's going to be extensive, but I trust they will get it done without any trouble.

rbpcollision_inside2.jpg




After all, these are the same guys who did the color change on the #HTSpecTSX back in 2014. And look how great that turned out!

htspec_tsx_rbp.jpg
 
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MrHeeltoe

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Nobody wants a salvaged car.

No matter how well a car may be fixed, a brand on a title is the scarlet letter that will forever doom resale value. Many folks say that once a car is wrecked it is never the same again. While that is true, it is completely possible to rebuild a car to pre-accident condition. It's just a matter of replacing parts, and every part on the car is replaceable. In order to correctly repair a car so deeply damaged, the labor cost, not so much the parts cost, is intensive and extensive.

The fact is that initial estimates on our #HTSpecCivicX repair from the insurance companies suggest that a total loss would be a bit outside of range in this case. Despite the extensive damage, the value of our brand new Civic is so high that the damage would need to be an absolute maximum to warrant a total loss.



We bring in ADE to help

One thing is for sure, if our Civic is to be repaired we want a top-shelf job done. We took the car to the best possible shop to do the job to make sure we would get it back in a perfect a condition as possible. Because the title will most certainly show "frame damage" on any VIN report, we decided to employ the services of Auto Damage Experts.

Auto-Damage-Experts.png

Auto Damage Experts is a Portland Local company that specializes in auto damage repair auditing, vehicle valuation, and vehicle inspections. The main thing they would be doing in this case would be watching the vehicle repair, step by step, and making sure everything is fixed in the most correct way to the manufacturer's specifications. If something isn't fixed right, they keep the body shop accountable and direct them to redo work until it is right. Not that RBP Collision needs it...but with the potential of a salvaged car on our hands, we feel best knowing the repair is certified and documented.

The other service ADE would be doing for us is determining a diminished value on the vehicle. Because the car was wrecked and may be repaired, the value will be less than what it was before the accident. The degree of value impact can vary, but in any case the diminished value can be recovered from the insurance company as part of the claim.

For example, say the car is worth $20,000 when it gets hit. After the repair, which maybe costs $12,000, the car is completely fixed; safe and reliable. But it has "frame damage" on the title so if I wanted to sell it tomorrow, I maybe could only get $16,000 for the car, not the $20,000 it was worth before. There is $4,000 in diminished value that we can recover from the insurance company as part of the claim!

But determining the diminished value and subsequently recovering it from the insurance company takes some market and industry expertise I don't possess. ADE helps with that process.



RBP's Revised Estimate

In the last blog, the car was dropped at RBP Collision. $12,000 estimate from Farmers and $15,000 estimate from State Farm in hand, RBP will dig into the car a bit further to get a real and final estimate. After about a week I decided to stop in and take a peek.

newcivic_rbp_inspection.jpg

The estimates already had begun to grow. Inside the trunk it was found that to the inner panels had been wrinkled more than previously expected.

newcivic_rbp_insidetrunk.jpg

To fix that area, the whole left rear corner of the car needs to be taken apart and rebuilt with new parts. And noticing this separation on the right side of the body in the trunk area suggests that the whole inside structure shifted over relative to the right side body panels.

newcivic_rbp_insidetrunk2.jpg

Basically, the guts of the car shifted inside the shell, including the rear "package shelf" that holds the speakers, meaning all the metal inside the rear of the car needs to come out and be replaced or re-positioned. That…is a shit ton of work.

The total estimate from RBP Collision for this hit…

1518937394-newcivic_rbp_rear.jpg

…exceeds $18,000. On a car that stickers for $21,500, that is more than 83% repair cost versus the value of the vehicle. RBP Collision figures this is going to end up as a total loss.



Conclusion of the estimates

RBP forwarded on their estimate to Farmers for evaluation. On the meantime I sent it off to ADE for their input.

Within a couple days I heard back from Farmers with the golden words everyone was expecting to hear: Car's totaled. They gave me a figure to pay me out, and another for the car's determined salvage value. Not wanting to accept the first numbers just then, I contacted ADE for some advice and got some good feedback indicating I should get a second opinion from State Farm as well.

For now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All our followers who were jumping up and down shouting for a total loss…the right thing happens in the end. Being pushy usually isn't necessary if you let the system work.



Where to go from here?

Me being me, I know there is value in the car as it is. I have been in the Honda tuning industry since 1996 or thereabouts. Back then, engine swapping was ultimate job to make a Honda-car faster. Putting a B16 in a Civic was definitely a level up (when the only factory B-series Civic chassis was a del Sol VTEC). A B18C5 or H22A swap was for the rich kids. So with all the hype going on about power from the L15B7, especially on ethanol mixtures, the thought of farming the engine from the wrinkled wreck to insert it into a lighter chassis is just impossible to suppress.


What chassis would you put a pint-sized, 300+ ft-lb turbo monster engine in? I've got some ideas...
 

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