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Old 02-28-2014, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Wrecked HHR-Total loss or blank slate?

SO I've got an '08 Chevy HHR with the 2.2 Ecotec 4-cyl and a 5-speed manual trans. I've been lurking the boards, off and on, for a year or so.
I recently had an unpleasant encounter with a guardrail due to some oil-slick, rainy roads. Unfortunately, I don't have full coverage...but it's been payed off for over a year.
I took it to a body shop and got a quick quote of over $6k. He's willing to work with me, but a lot of the cost would be labor and replacement of the pass frame rail. I'm mechanically inclined, mechanic for nearly 10 years, and don't scoff at mechanical work.
I'm thinking of removing the engine/trans for him. Letting him fix the frame rails and ensure it's safe to drive. Then I can piece it back together myself...doesn't have to be perfect if it's light on the wallet.
I'm starting to see the front as a bit of a blank slate to be tinkered with for maximum mileage possible, while keeping the overall shape of the HHR.
What are y'alls opinions, comments, etc?
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Last edited by HotRodEconomist; 02-28-2014 at 08:18 PM..
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ouch. Sorry to hear about what you are going through.

I know you said the passenger rail needs to be replaced, what about the rest of the body?? What is your timeline to get it fixed?

Maybe you could fab up a boat tail and create a really aero design, then have it painted up to look like it was factory??

On second thought, can you part it out and get a better car for FE? The HHR is good for 30 city (EPA), so maybe it isn't worth fixing?? You'll dump $6,000 into the body, right? For $6,000, you can get a decent car that can probably get 40 hwy without changing anything. Just a thought...
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can use my truck for commuting...although it gets about 1/3 the mileage.
I can erk the HHR to 35 MPG avg to and from work. It really likes warmer weather better.
My main goal is to dump the least amount of money total. I can do a lot of the work myself and save some money, but don't want to pay $6k to put it back to factory.
I doubt I could sell it for much...likely less than a grand.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I saw a few decent looking used manual Civic sedans in my area for $6k. If you can get a grand for the hulk, it looks like time for an upgrade.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Eh...not a foreign car fan. If I were to get another car, it would likely be from the big three....
No one thinks the HHR is worth saving?
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I could see saving it if you could get that for it.

Will what you put into it be able to be taken out? If not, I would get as much as you can for it/the pieces, and get something else.

Depending on other details, it doesn't seem like you will get that for it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you dont mind looks, id just make it run and drive. Then worry about the body whenever you like. And you dont have to make it look stock. Fab up your own fiberglass body parts.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HotRodEconomist View Post
Eh...not a foreign car fan. If I were to get another car, it would likely be from the big three....
No one thinks the HHR is worth saving?
I wasn't either, until I realized how reliable Hondas were. If your reason is a made in America one, remember, when buying used the car maker gets nothing. If you buy used at a private sale, the cash doesn't even fuel the dealership.

If the frame was bent, the car might not ever drive right again. I could live with some body work, but not a fixed bent frame. When part of the frame bends, it usually pushes/pulls other parts of the frame, then the car might have alignment and tracking issues. Those could be bad for FE.

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Old 03-02-2014, 10:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Another man's loss and another man's treasure...

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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From decades of experience in fixing wrecked cars, including a couple hundred totals.

How many miles on the vehicle?
Air bags deployed?
Overall condition of the vehicle prior to the wreck?

It's definitely totalled. The frame damage is most likely confined to the area in front of the suspension. One way to check that is to check the front end alignment, BEFORE ANY REPAIRS.

At what speed did the impact occur (approximately)?

What is it worth when repaired, realistically?

What is it worth without repairs?

regards
Mech

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