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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking around and it seems that if you are lucky you can get a wrecked challenger for roughly 5k on some auction sites. Now that doesn't seem too bad. But my question is if it is really worth fixing? Am I going to be putting in more than it is worth? I mainly look at ones that have primary damage in the rear, my thoughts being that would be cheaper than fixing one that has been hit in the front. On rough estimations how much do you think it would cost to repair a challenger? I don't really plan on selling it after it is repaired so the rebuilt title does not bother me. I have talked to a couple of my mechanic friends who estimated to repair the rear would be around 4-5k. Now of course this would not be at a shop but me and his friends doing it in the garage. Is that a close estimate or are we way off?
 

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If doing this made great financial sense, those in the business would snap up the salvages and fix them at their shops. Maybe they are, but you will be in competition with them for the cars. You can do the grunt work yourself, but who will do the unibody pulls and frame alignment?
 

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Depending on the year and damage some parts aren't cheap, e.g. grills, head light assemblies, front bumpers/clips. Plus factor is anything mechanically that may be damaged, e.g. cooling system, ABS/ESC, steering/suspension, etc. Having factory repairs manuals will help and you may need several tools specific to what a dealership or other shop may use to repair something. From what I have seen on this site, some accident damages didn't look all that bad but the cars ended up being totaled. I guess it doesn't take much to total out one of these vehicles....
 

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It might be faster to dig a hole in the ground, dump all your money in it, and set it on fire.

I've had friends try this. Yes it can work out, if you value your time at $10.00 an hour or less, and then God forbid you have to sell it for some reason or try and trade it in..no one will touch it, or low ball you big time.

As mentioned above, there are some things you MUST pay to have done, as well, any car that's been in a serious accident is going to be prone to strange electrical problems, guaranteed.

If you decide to go ahead anyway, best of luck.
 
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I don't see how your mechanic friends can give you an estimate for repairs without seeing the car in person. There are far too many things to go wrong to even give a ball park number without going under the car.
 

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Having done this with a Frontier pick-up, let me add one piece of advice. Only do it if you plan on keeping the car until it is essentially so old that no one looking to buy it will care that has a salvage title.

I got my Frontier when it was two years old and paid $4,200 when they were going for 17k. I put less than a grand into it, did the work myself, and have driven it when I needed a truck, for a decade. Now it's worth south of 2k. So I didn't lose 15k in depreciation, I had a pick-up at my beck and call for about $500 a year. That was a winning proposition, yours may, or may not, be.
 

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I think it all depends. And if I were you would bring someone with you that works on stuff like this to give you a ball park. Things like bent frames and power train components are big dollar items, other items can nickle and dime you to death.

Salvage title can and will hurt your resale, but if you get it cheap there still might be room for you to profit or at least recoup your costs when your done with it. I owned a salvage titles WS6 before, when I went to sell it was 7-9 years old, it affected the value a little, but I also got it cheaper when I bought it, and by 8 years old people didnt seem to care to much.

Ive also seen guys buy salvaged cars spend a grand in it, and sell it for 5-6k profit. But I think thats the exception. If there was big business in this, it would be happening all the time. The stuff thats worth saving is probably already been picked over.
 

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It really comes down to cost analysis. How much is it going to cost to repair regardless of who does the work? It could be a big cost savings or not...depends. My son recently got t-boned on the driver side of his Miata. It was all body damage, no engine or frame issues. The repair estimate came in just $84 under salvaging because of the labor cost to repair.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input, this is definitely a friendly and helpful community. It seems that I will just be better off waiting till I can afford a used non salvage challenger. I appreciate all the help and honesty.
 

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If you buy wise you can definitely come out. Flipping salvage cars is big business like 70percent of salvage cars are fixed. Ive owned quite a few and it makes no difference to me. If salvage bothers you never buy a car with anything but a perfect carfax and even then you cant be completely sure the car was never wrecked.
 

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If you buy wise you can definitely come out. Flipping salvage cars is big business like 70percent of salvage cars are fixed. Ive owned quite a few and it makes no difference to me. If salvage bothers you never buy a car with anything but a perfect carfax and even then you cant be completely sure the car was never wrecked.
See that's what I was figuring. Somebody has to be buying them and fixing them so why can't I? I plan to use the challenger as my personal vehicle and don't really see myself selling it. My hope was that I could spend some time waiting to find a salvaged challenger for the right price and snatch it up. I'm still not entirely sure what would be the "best" area for the collision to have happened. I am still thinking the rear due to the fact the engine and all the electronics are up front.
 

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See that's what I was figuring. Somebody has to be buying them and fixing them so why can't I? I plan to use the challenger as my personal vehicle and don't really see myself selling it. My hope was that I could spend some time waiting to find a salvaged challenger for the right price and snatch it up. I'm still not entirely sure what would be the "best" area for the collision to have happened. I am still thinking the rear due to the fact the engine and all the electronics are up front.

Im not guiding you against it, just be smart. Ive owned a salvaged car. You got guys here that take carfax as gospel, when in reality something like 30% of cars have been in a crash at some point, which carfax doesnt show. The only way to know for sure is if you were the first owner.

Also keep this in mind people that make money on salvage do this as their job and they dont win them all. They also understand what to buy, when to buy, and can often times get discounts on what they buy. They also have buying power in in supplies, and when they flip a salvage they do it at wholesale or their cost and then sell for retail market price. Which you would be paying retail market to get it fixed.
 

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I currently daily drive a prior salvage title vehicle and have for almost the past 9 years. It just depends on how bad the damage is and how much you can do yourself. My car(1992 Chevy cavalier) was already fairly old when I got it but it only had 76,000 thousand original miles on it and looked almost new other than the front end damage. The car had been hit from the right side and basically sheared off the front bumper and destroyed the passenger side fender, hood, grill, lights and bent up the uni-body and core support.

I originally bought it as a parts car for another 92 Cavalier that I had but since the car still drove, I took it to a frame shop and they told me they could straighten the uni-body, core support and bumper attachment horns for $225. I found a complete front end in the salvage yard the same color as the car for $250 and stripped down the car myself and installed the new front clip myself.

Normally in my state for vehicles that have salvage titles, you have to have the highway patrol inspect the car after it is repaired to pass inspection so that you can have it titled.

After I repaired the car, I took it to a local shopped and had it inspected and it passed. I didn't know about the highway patrol inspection at this point and didn't know the title was a salvage title until I sent it in and it was rejected. I had received the original title to the car when I bought it and it did not say salvage on it and the seller did not mention it to me and I didn't ask.

Anyway when I called the state DMV to find out how to get the car titled, I mentioned that I had already had a local place pass the car for inspection and that I had not known that the title was a salvage title at purchase so the DMV had me fax them the inspection paperwork from the local shop and they issued me a title without going through the HP.

The car now has almost 208,000 miles on it and I still drive it to work almost every day.

I know other people who have bought vehicles on Copart and fixed them up and resold them for a profit so it can be done. You just have to be picky on what kind of damage there is and how much the stuff that you can't do yourself will cost.

Wayne
 

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It is all a money thing, if you are OK with the repairs AND the repairs plus purchase price is less than the same car with a salvage title would sell for. Your choice.
Some theft recovery cars are sold as salvage too, they may be missing an interior or engine or trans or just have broken windows an have been thrashed.
 
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