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BEEFjerKAY said:   CptSavAHo said:   Would be awesome if an engineer could comment on the strength and flexibility of steel used in car construction after an accident.

That might have been a significant factor 20 years ago. Today with unibody construction the norm -- and aluminum so pervasive -- I'd be more interested in hearing an engineer's perspective on the degree to which internal crumple zone deformations can truly be repaired.


Stress Strain Curve

I don't have any of my materials science books at work so I can't pull up some of the alloys cars use (It varies and some manufacturers spec their own metals) but you can get a rough idea from the picture above.

Once a metal reaches the yield point it is in plastic deformation. Plastic deformation means that the metal will never return to its original length. This is important because when you're in a wreck you compress the metal. When a mechanic pulls the metal back out he is going to have to go into the elastic region of the metal to stretch it back to the right length. Unless he is somehow treating this to relieve stress (Heating for example) he will have points in the metal that have high stress concentrations (Hard) and other points that will still be in the yield region (Soft). This soft area doesn't have the same strength as the original metal and is slightly thinner generally speaking.

So whats that mean? Long story short the metal will not have the same properties and will not react the same in another crash. Its performance will be negatively impacted vs. the performance of a frame straight from the factory. Does that mean its not safe? The manufacturer accounts for some "slop" with a safety factor. As long as the metal still remains in that area it should be fine and perform roughly within manf. spec. If it isn't in that safety factor area then its pretty much a crap shoot, but could be adjusted for with some extra bracing to some extent.

*Note: I am not a materials science engineer nor metallurgist. My experience comes from a few material science classes taken during my engineering bachelor's education

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   What country does he export to?
I've found several niches exporting non salvaged cars to Australia , brazil , Russia , Spain , Germany and the Netherlands


Damn, SIS, is there anything you are not into?

dowxp said:   where is the best way to buy a salvage car other than craigslist?

https://www.iaai.com/Auctions/AuctionSingleDateView.aspx . They have some public auctions too, but they typically ruin any potential profit. I used to buy a bunch of salvage titles in Indianapolis on my friend's dealer license, then IAAI allowed public bidders, and that pushed all the prices way up. That link I sent just shows the auctions running today, so click around.

Al3xK said:   dowxp said:   where is the best way to buy a salvage car other than craigslist?

https://www.iaai.com/Auctions/AuctionSingleDateView.aspx . They have some public auctions too, but they typically ruin any potential profit. I used to buy a bunch of salvage titles in Indianapolis on my friend's dealer license, then IAAI allowed public bidders, and that pushed all the prices way up. That link I sent just shows the auctions running today, so click around.


You can also buy them on eBay.

wvtalbot said:   This happened to me once about 10 years ago when I was in college.

Was at a dead stop and got rear ended and pushed into the car in front of me. Front and back bumper of the car were destroyed and I ended up in the hospital and about 3 months of PT. Insurance company totaled the car and send me a check for $2000 (Car was a piece of crap)- $200 for me to keep the salvage. Went to the junk yard and bought a new front and back bumper for $200 and put it on myself. I remember having to fill out a lot of paperwork for the DMV and having to drive it to get inspected by a special inspector who worked for them. (Not the typical state inspection.) She walked around the car once and signed off on the title. Then I sold the car for about $1500.


Not too bad for a little DIY work...

LOL.... decided to post a picture of a cold air intake you put on a base model Neon?
Gee, thanks, we were all wondering the performance mods. hahahha

Thanks for the "constructive" comments there rob. I was showing the car was clean, but that I had made the change. With a salvage title it could be assumed there were damages under the hood and someone had made the mod because the intake was broken in an accident.

FSBox said:   SUCKISSTAPLES said:   What country does he export to?
I've found several niches exporting non salvaged cars to Australia , brazil , Russia , Spain , Germany and the Netherlands


Damn, SIS, is there anything you are not into?

I've stumbled upon these by accident , its not like I set out with the intent to do this. Haven't pursued to build a major business out of it like the Lebanese guys above .

Informative thread. Also just found my former car for sale on IAA

We have a guy in town that rebuilds one type of car.
The Ford Focus.
At any given time he has five or six of them for sale.
He is a retired body man from ford.

How hard would it be to extend hail damage to the rest (sides especially) of the car, other than parking it on its side in the midwest? I think if you're going to have a dimple pattern, it really should be uniform. Though I wonder if this would create more wind noise.

Bagofchips said:   How hard would it be to extend hail damage to the rest (sides especially) of the car, other than parking it on its side in the midwest? I think if you're going to have a dimple pattern, it really should be uniform. Though I wonder if this would create more wind noise.

Where are you going with this??

Al3xK said:   Bagofchips said:   How hard would it be to extend hail damage to the rest (sides especially) of the car, other than parking it on its side in the midwest? I think if you're going to have a dimple pattern, it really should be uniform. Though I wonder if this would create more wind noise.

Where are you going with this??


I think he wants to buy a hail damaged car and turn it into a gas powered golf ball...

Are there many subarus at these auctions?

I got a great deal on a hail damaged car from a western state. Here in Minnesota we have to worry about rust from the road salt. My car is a one-owner Buick Lesabre. It is valued at about $7,000 in good shape, but I bought it for only $3,800. It was supposed to have a salvage title, but when the title came in the mail, it was clear. The car should last me a long time. My brother and I have been buying salvage cars for years and years.

I've seen small auto lots in big cities (i'm in Houston) and that only deal in salvage rebuilt titles... (google salvage rebuilt dealer with your city name) I'm strongly considering one for my next vehicle. My question is... many of them will say in the posting (1 airbag deloyed) but in the pictures the vehicle looks to have been repaired (steering wheel looks fine) Do they typically just fix it cosmetically but don't reset/repack/test the airbag? Maybe its different for each salvage dealer.

Local place has sold reconstructed title vehicles for years. They take total cars and fix them and sell them much cheaper than the car would be if not reconstructed. Here, the title has to say reconstructed if the car was totaled and rebuilt. You many have unexpected problems or no problems at all. If you plan to reconstruct the car yourself, you better have some serious skills. We don't have hail damage cars, but I would probably go for that if the price was right, I don't care very much what my cars look like. Generally I keep a car until it dies and do everything to fix it myself. As my cars get older, I have tackled more and more challenging repairs. The toughest so far was captive rotors and a lower ball joint on the 95 accord. The entire uprights/hubs (loosen upper ball joint, lower ball joint, tie rod end and remove axle nut) have to come out and then the bearing assembly has to be beaten out of the rotor assembly. It's fairly intense.

In the future, I think I'll try to get something that is in good shape and a reliable car 5 years old and keep it forever. The reconstructed thing really isn't for me. I had a reconstructed car one time and mine was a piece of junk. But not necessarily due to the re-construction. The A pillar on the driver's side also creaked when going around turns. A little unsettling.

I wouldn't buy a flood car at all. It can cause trouble for years and some things may never work right again. If it was salt water, it's even worse.

clearanceman said:   I wouldn't buy a flood car at all. It can cause trouble for years and some things may never work right again. If it was salt water, it's even worse.

All depends on how high the water got. I bought a brand new 2013 Chevy with 9 miles on the odometer a few weeks ago and the water only came up to the door sills.

woowoo2 said:   We have a guy in town that rebuilds one type of car.
The Ford Focus.
At any given time he has five or six of them for sale.
He is a retired body man from ford.


Back in the 1990s, there was a dealer in Kalamazoo who only did Escorts. He'd have 20-30 of them on the lot at any given time, most or all rebuilt from salvage.
Free drivetrain warranty too, he had several engines and transmissions in the garage.
I wonder if he's still in business but selling Focii now.

Edit:
Still in business, but has as many Cavaliers as Focii on the lot right now.
Wonder if any of them have branded titles?
http://www.joerossusedcars.com/vehicles/

if you're a member of the general public and don't have a dealer's license and want to buy a car at either the iaa auction or thru copart or autobidmaster, how do you do it?



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