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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cruze or other? Anyone fixed a totaled car. I've purchased several in the past for daily drivers and if you can get them for they right price and have the right people fix them, you can get a great deal.
 

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I haven't read of someone doing a Cruze, but I've read tales of other new vehicles. Nearly all were not good endings. First of all, stay away from flood cars. The ensuing corrosion creates numerous problems that are nearly impossible to trace and correct. Remember that these cars are highly electronically integrated. They have a proprietary communications network in the wiring for the various components to link with the various computer processors on board to function properly. The software that runs all of this is also proprietary and accessible only by a dealership, or a shop that has paid many thousands of dollars to have a license. As an example, you can't just plug a new BCM, or ECU, into another car of the same make, model, & trim level and have it communcate with the rest of the vehicle pieces without having the software updated with that vehicle's VIN etc. Things as simple as the radio, tailights, headlights might not work if they are nodes on the network. Engine and transmission computers might not "talk" to the BCM. It's far more comlcated than in the old days when you could splice the parts from a couple of cars together and have a useable car. Good luck and keep us posted if you attempt it with aCruze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good luck and keep us posted if you attempt it with aCruze.
Did it :D

When I 1st joined there was 2 brother rebuilding a front crashed Eco. Haven't seen much of those threads since then.
There is an unbelievable amount of them at the auctions.

It hit a tree at 3,000 miles and needed a windshield, roof airbag, headliner, driver airbag, knee airbag, fender rail/apron, fender, hood, bumper, door, misc suspension pieces

The gaps are better than some I've seen on dealership lots. It drives straight and looks excellent. Even under the hood looks perfect. Everything works and the only issues I've found are common issues that it seems many have with these cars. Funny, before registering it, it was inspected by a dealership and they couldn't figure out where it was smashed.







 

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Impressive. Can you share more details of the rebuild so everyone has a better idea of what was involved and costs also?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Impressive. Can you share more details of the rebuild so everyone has a better idea of what was involved and costs also?
My grandfather has been doing auction cars for as long as I can remember. Some are wrecked, some are stolen recoveries. I've seem some missing wheels, tires, and interior and some that were wrecked worse than this. I had a car one time that was hit so hard in the back, the wheels were pushed to the quarter windows. We took another car hit in the front and cut them in half and welded them together. Again, you couldn't tell. The people he has do the work are top notch and they look as good as new when done.

In high school I had several different summer cars and made money buying auction cars to drive during the winter and flipping them for profit to buy summer cars. Most of my summer cars were bought new, but I made a good amount of money flipping auction cars.

The best is when you can find a car the same color to get parts from and say it's been wrecked but never had paintwork... that makes people scratch their heads LOL

The car was purchased on an online auction from FL seeing only the photos I posted above and shipped to MI. I have a total of $11,000 into it.
 

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rebuilders are only as good as the people fixing them . I know around here if car is total it gets fix it must be inspected by DOT and title is branded rebuilder. some cars have seen that insureance company pays out takes car but does not list totaledor salaved on title gets sold to builder with clean title. Freind has body shop seen alot of things go though make you think twice
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rebuilders are only as good as the people fixing them . I know around here if car is total it gets fix it must be inspected by DOT and title is branded rebuilder. some cars have seen that insureance company pays out takes car but does not list totaledor salaved on title gets sold to builder with clean title. Freind has body shop seen alot of things go though make you think twice
Agree! I've definitely seen some junk... a lot of times when a car is done wrong, among a lot of other things, I've seen the entire under hood painted flat black with a spray can to mask the repaired area. With this car, everything was done correctly and inspected by a dealership / DOT. My insurance company also inspected it before I was able to insure it and my agent has a grey LTZ RS and said mine looked nicer than his.

My grandpa typically does Cadillac and higher end cars, but I wanted a Cruze so we found this one and put it back together.
 

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Rebuilt wrecks can be dangerous if not done right. I'm not making any accusations against your grandfather, but some of the more unscrupulous ones have pulled some pretty rotten stuff. Not reinstalling air bags and faking out the computers, worse yet cheap fake airbags that end up shooting shrapnel at passengers in a wreck, seen cases of cars that were welded together out of 2 different cars split in two like a zipper, etc. And even beyond those safety issues, the electrical gremlins that can ensue if you have the misfortune of ending up with a flood vehicle. Around the time I bought my Cruze the used market was flooded (pun intended) with wrecks from Hurricane Sandy. I'm also just a little bit paranoid with these modern unibody cars. If there was any significant damage in the floorpan and such I'd worry about how the car would perform in a crash - you might be able to make the metal straight again, but who knows if it's as strong as one that wasn't in a crash and straightened back out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Rebuilt wrecks can be dangerous if not done right. I'm not making any accusations against your grandfather, but some of the more unscrupulous ones have pulled some pretty rotten stuff. Not reinstalling air bags and faking out the computers, worse yet cheap fake airbags that end up shooting shrapnel at passengers in a wreck, seen cases of cars that were welded together out of 2 different cars split in two like a zipper, etc. And even beyond those safety issues, the electrical gremlins that can ensue if you have the misfortune of ending up with a flood vehicle. Around the time I bought my Cruze the used market was flooded (pun intended) with wrecks from Hurricane Sandy. I'm also just a little bit paranoid with these modern unibody cars. If there was any significant damage in the floorpan and such I'd worry about how the car would perform in a crash - you might be able to make the metal straight again, but who knows if it's as strong as one that wasn't in a crash and straightened back out.
I agree with this as well. I can say for 100% sure mine has all OEM GM airbags and replacement metal. There was also no frame or floor pan damage underneath.
 

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The insurance auction world is crazy. Anything with little damage/chance of rebuilding goes for some crazy money.

If you search and buy one right with a clear title, you could rebuild it right and sell it for a good profit with no visible history attached to the title. When I bought a rollover Excursion from IAA over two years ago, I had searched a long time to get the right kind of damage and clear title, and close to me. In my case, I wanted no engine/electronics damage, and I needed a clear title because I don't have a rebuilder license to buy a salvage title vehicle. Funny how with like $200, I could go in and bid on/buy cars with clear titles.

It was quite an interesting learning experience, both in terms of the purchase and the tearing down once it was delivered.

A friend has a business where he specializes in buying late model Super Duty wrecked trucks and wrecked Excursions from an insurance auction. He posts pictures, he cuts each apart at the factory seams and welds them back together to make a new model Excursion. Finding an Excursion is the easy part for him, a reasonably priced Super Duty is another story.
 

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Repairable? Son's friend tried this with a Dodge pickup, but paid to get all the work done, would have been $7,000 richer if he purchased a new one.

Another friend tried this, but didn't figure in the cost of the airbags, lost money on this deal. Did the work himself. Also have to live with a salvage title. Really affects the resale value.

If I could go back to the 50's, could get any vehicle from a wrecking yard for ten bucks, get two of them and make one good car out of it. Cars had frames, easy enough to switch bodies. Forget about trying to repair a unibody car with a bend frame, never would get it right. Could rebuild a fuel pump for a buck or get an engine with only 8K miles on it for 50 bucks.

All this is history. Ha, just calculated at dealers prices, would cost over 900 bucks just to replace all those push pin plastic rivets on the Cruze.
 

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Actually, I've totaled a few fixed cars! Opps.....sorry.......my dyslexia just kicked in. I did try to repair a totaled car with my friend in our high school days but when we were finished........it remained totaled!
 

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Bought a "cut car" from our trusted mechanic. A "69" Super Beetle. It was spliced at the "A" pillars, bright yellow, but blue up under the dash. It ran great for many years and we traded it in on an "80" Celica GT.
 

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When I 1st joined there was 2 brother rebuilding a front crashed Eco. Haven't seen much of those threads since then.
That might have been me with my brothers '12 Eco. I never did post any pictures. His went though the auction last June for $4300 with 19,000 miles. My brother's is a '12 stealth gray Eco automatic. His was hit high front and needed coolers, drivers front core support, hood, left fender, left headlight, a bumper cover, airbags, clockspring, dash, and seat belts. All in he laid out about $7500 including taxes, broker fees, auction fees, and transportation from VA to Chicago.

My daughter's is a red '12 Eco manual with 30,000 miles. Hit low front. It needed, bags, belts, coolers, inner fenders, Eco pan, front cover, and a slight pull. I was lucky enough to find a cover in color so, no paint is necessary. It was transported here from Ft Wayne by a third worlder who ripped the Eco shutter off the car. I changed the module so no CE light without the shutters. I have a little less than him into hers. Both cars were pretty clean, but his was owned by old people with a poodle I'm guessing, and the dog had peed in the car multiple times. That was fun to clean up!!

There are a lot of hidden fees. Brokers are about $300, transportation is about $1/mile, sales tax, and auction/gate fees run about $600 in this price range. Both cars have rebuilt titles, so there is no warranty. I try to pay about 1/3 of clean value for rebuildable cars, and wind up with a little over 1/2 clean value in the finished cars.

Cruzes are pretty solid little cars and take these hits pretty well. The airbags go off easily and are expensive ($1300 in used bags, belts, dash on daughters( probably $8000 in new parts and labor)), so that alone totals lots of cars. Cruzes are a popular new/current model car, and there are loads of used and new GM surplus parts available for reasonable. Check out Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market to find deals on parts. Clearing codes is a pain. Cruze uses GM MDI scan tool which isn't too common in small shops. Tech II doesn't do much on the Cruze, but I did use on to clear out the airbag codes using T body on the menu. Both cars had service steering and traction control lights after changing the clock springs. A FEW alignment shops can reset the steering wheel angle sensor, but most will have no clue. I found a small shop in Chicago with MDI who will clear the codes and reset the angle sensor for $50. I live in IN so the inspection is no big deal, but some states suck. Some like IL won't let private parties rebuild. Know the laws before you spend your money!
 

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Repairable? Son's friend tried this with a Dodge pickup, but paid to get all the work done, would have been $7,000 richer if he purchased a new one.

Another friend tried this, but didn't figure in the cost of the airbags, lost money on this deal. Did the work himself. Also have to live with a salvage title. Really affects the resale value.

If I could go back to the 50's, could get any vehicle from a wrecking yard for ten bucks, get two of them and make one good car out of it. Cars had frames, easy enough to switch bodies. Forget about trying to repair a unibody car with a bend frame, never would get it right. Could rebuild a fuel pump for a buck or get an engine with only 8K miles on it for 50 bucks.

All this is history. Ha, just calculated at dealers prices, would cost over 900 bucks just to replace all those push pin plastic rivets on the Cruze.
Unibodies actually hold up to accidents better than full frame cars. Ever see the 59 vs 09 Chevy crash test? The damage is much more localized on unibody construction. I've had full frames diamond and bend parts on the undamaged end of the car.

You are right about paying for the work. Rebuilding can loose its $ benefit quickly if you are paying someone to do the work for you. You're absolutely right about the screws and push pins on these cars! I found Clips and Fasteners online. I spent $60 buying clips, cover screws, and pushpins in boxes of 25 rather than paying GM $5/ea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The bumper on your red car looks similar to mine. Must be a common spot to break during impact.

You're right about all the fees, etc. Thanks for your detailed reply.

Mine had 3,362 miles to be exact. I just noted the major parts I could recall, but small parts definitely add up quick.

The $11,000 I mentioned was my final total cost with the price of the car, fees, shipping, parts, etc. I was happy with that considering it's a low mile LTZ RS with nearly every option.
 

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The bumper on your red car looks similar to mine. Must be a common spot to break during impact.

You're right about all the fees, etc. Thanks for your detailed reply.

Mine had 3,362 miles to be exact. I just noted the major parts I could recall, but small parts definitely add up quick.

The $11,000 I mentioned was my final total cost with the price of the car, fees, shipping, parts, etc. I was happy with that considering it's a low mile LTZ RS with nearly every option.
Yes, small parts can kill u. I like to buy cars that are still assembled. Unless you're buying a $2000+ front cut, the cars that come in pieces will have missing parts.
Also they tend to throw the parts into the interior once totaled, and that screws up the interior.

At $11,000 I'd say you did well and it's right in line with 1/2 (maybe even less) of the clean value.
 
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