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Involved in 5-car wreck today; fender gasket replacement?
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ANSAracingb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Involved in 5-car wreck today; fender gasket replacement? Reply with quote

So...eventful morning: on the way to work, was in some "slow-n-go" traffic on a 4-lane section of Hwy 87n in San Jose. In the lane to my left, cars were stopped, and the next guy locked up his brakes and SLAMMED into the rear of the car in front of him (at full speed), then bounced off and hit me on the left front fender.

I was lucky; the driver started a chain reaction. He hit the Honda in front of him so hard, the Honda hit the Firebird in front of him, and the Firebird hit an SUV in front of him. The SUV and I were the only two vehicles to not be towed away! I thanked my lucky stars I didn't receive more damage than I did...whew!

Anyway, my fender is toast. I have another fender at home from a '71 Standard Beetle, and a fender gasket strip on hold at the local ACVW specialty shop. I've never removed the fender panel before; is there anything I need to do to install the gasket that goes between the fender and body?

TIA! Very Happy
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vintagevwbeetles
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always attach the fender but leave enough room to get the welding between the body and fender without difficulty. Then at the bottom nearest the body - in your case, rear of the fender near the door) and insert the welding and tighten the first bolt enough to hold it but not real tight. I do this at each bolt and then trim, if needed, at the last one. I then go back and tighten the bolts and I am done. Takes no more than 15 minutes max
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jugglerkevin
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to mention that you can get access to the back side of most of the fender bolts in the trunk. If things are rusty, it is very helpful to spray the bolts (on both sides) with PB Blaster or whatever penetrating oil you use. It is even better if you do that a day or two ahead of when you plan to remove the fender. (It is easier than dealing with a broken off bolt.)
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19super73
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like people involved in the chain reaction part of the "accident" don't know how to drive defensively.

Lucky that you got away with comparitively minor damage, best of luck with the fix!
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ANSAracingb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the swift and informative responses!

I will spray the bolts with PB Blaster (love that stuff!) tomorrow on my day off after I make a run to Bugformance to get that sealing strip. Maybe once or twice more between tomorrow and Sunday, and attempt the fender "swap-o-rama" Sunday afternoon.

As far as driving defensively goes, I'd agree...I don't think there was too much space between the Honda and the Pontiac, and the Pontiac and the SUV. The guy in the Toyota who started it all couldn't have been paying attention; everybody in all the lanes was pretty much stopped or crawling. Slick roads due to last night's rain, but he had to be going at least 60mph before he applied the brakes. Too much pressure too late...he locked up all wheels and just headed straight for the Honda then me.

I'm just glad I wasn't where the Honda was. I feel sorry for those guys whose cars were towed...they'll be feeling it tomorrow that's for sure.

Drive safe everyone!
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EXJAY
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any pics of the damage? I tend not to take the bug out in stop/go traffic just for that reason. Good luck with the repairs.
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ANSAracingb
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXJAY wrote:
any pics of the damage?


I have a cell phone pic. When I get home from work later tonight I can xfer it to my computer and then post it here.

EXJAY wrote:
Good luck with the repairs.


Thanks!

Edit: uploaded pic of the fender. It's pushed in farther than the pic shows. And I noticed when I turned on my lights tonight while warming up the car that the left headlamp is now pointed up. Sad
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Besides being dirty, this hubcap was unblemished before the wreck:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Oh well. At least hubcaps are cheap, and I have a spare fender. -thumbs up-
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EXJAY
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks or sounds like it could of been much worse. Thanks for sharing
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Mark33563
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, that will buff right out....
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ineedastudentgetup
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I step away from the computer a few days and miss all the excitement
I am sorry to hear about your bug. It doesn't look as bad as I imagined when I read the post in what did you do to your bug today.
At least they didn't get that purdy new muffler tail pipe you just added.

You sound like your handling it well. Much better than I would. Imagine a crazy southern lady with a tire iron running the streets yelling I painted it Safety Yellow what do you mean You didn't see it. Twisted Evil
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jimkeo
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the good thing is you did not get hurt.

since the accident was not your fault are you going to make an insurance claim?? if so you might want to have the front end looked at for alignment issues since it even bent the hub cap.
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ANSAracingb
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimkeo wrote:
since the accident was not your fault are you going to make an insurance claim??


Yeah, my insurance company is already investigating using the CHP report and they're looking into the other guy's insurance. They told me that whatever I receive, if anything, is dependent on his insurance coverage (the guy in the Toyota). Since he is responsible for creating the wreck and there are 5 vehicles involved (2 of them totaled), there is a lot of money at stake. If he didn't have much insurance coverage at the time, the rest of us involved probably have to pay for repairs ourselves or from our own insurance company.

ineedastudentgetup wrote:
At least they didn't get that purdy new muffler tail pipe you just added


I would have been super pissed! I'm taking it well because I realize sh*t happens. I'm just glad I was in the #3 lane, not the #2 lane where he rear-ended that Honda. And I'm glad nobody was hurt.

Thanks for the offer to borrow the repair tools btw. I think on Sunday my friend and I are going to the local pick-n-pull to source another fender. Last time I was there, they had 5 or 6 ACVWs, and at the time I didn't need anything. Of course, now that I need a body part, I'm sure there won't be any ACVWs out there...we'll see.
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jimkeo
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you have uninsured motorist coverage your insurance carrier should cover up to $3,500 in damage and battle it out with the other guys insurance company.

but it sounds like your taking it well and i think most of us rolling around with one or two downer fenders anyways
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Madtat
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about the acident! At least you were not hurt, the rest can be replaced no sweat, stay on the insurance vatos don't let 'em slack!
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