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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sad turn of events. Did that wheel/tire survive the crash?

Depending on how insurance plays out, could end up with some "extra" money to build it back better. Sometimes you can get lucky like that.
Yes, both rim and tire were fine. All four are still on there now, briefly now until new offroad wheels and tires go on this week and will eventually sell these.
The fiasco with Geico over that accident is one for the books. Unbelievable. Ineptitude by their goofball claims staff was epic. Once they gave in and valued the truck accurately I allowed it to go "total loss" since I have no intention of selling it. You're right, in the end I got a nice check. Accidents are unfortunate but it's been my experience that if you have appropriate coverage and the vehicle goes to salvage, just collect the check, buy the vehicle from the ins and either rebuild it or part it out for profit.
 

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Looks like a fun project. Seeing GMC chalk marks, do you think those parts were replaced previously? JL4 is Stabilitrak.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what I thought but I would have heard if the dad had replaced that. I suppose he may have tho. Yeah JL4 is their anti-roll over allegedly - the yaw sensor under the pass seat, steering angle sensor, abs and wheel speed sensors.
 

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I've always heard bad things about Geico and progressive, but not state farm if you want to get a way from them.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've always heard bad things about Geico and progressive, but not state farm if you want to get a way from them.

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Yep, I heard good things too. That's who I switched to. Asked 5-6 body shops looking for a painter asked them what insurer was the most cooperative on repairs - three said State Farm, one was a Geico-based shop, and one said "doesnt matter." Three out of five is a pretty good indicator. Apparently SF won't argue against true OEM panels and parts, pays for the good stuff if they're available and pays out quick, at least what these guys found.
 

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1999 Silverado ECSB 6.0
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The frame actually doesn't look all that rusty, the control arms and all the other stuff look pretty cancerous though
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The frame actually doesn't look all that rusty, the control arms and all the other stuff look pretty cancerous though
I'll post pics of the stripped frame. The grease/wax/coating they use scrapes off in the thick areas with a putty knife then wipes off with lacquer thinner - probably 80% of the frame clean was doing that. It did a good job of preventing rust. You're right on everything else being rusted to pits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At this point I did not have the intention of tearing the front end down any further than was necessary just to replace the front clip - sheet metal only - and then with that removed, get in and clean as best I could the front chassis components that are exposed - installed - just to get as much rust and grime off what was within reach.

* * * * * * *

With the front clip removed, since the core support was rusted almost to the point of failure even before the wreck, I drained the radiator, ac condenser, and trans cooler and pulled the fans. The support itself was still unbelievably straight as an arrow, the impact didn't move it. But check out the cancer on both sides. There wasn't a whole lot of "supporting" of the radiator going on here:

View attachment 944215

View attachment 944216

Hilariously, Geico's estimate did not call out for a new core support but it did call for new radiator, condenser and trans cooler - despite no leaks or signs of damage from the accident. I had my doubts those were bad but just to be sure tho, I wanted to test them.

Yeah, right. Good luck finding a shop that will help some poor schlub working on his vehicle - well in Scottsdale anyway. I heard from several places - "sorry, we don't test radiators that are out of the car." Huh? Dumb.

Then I got lucky. Found a place downtown Phx said no problem, we'll test those whenever it works for you, no hesitation. Pinch me dammit, am I dreaming? Tossed them into the car and raced down - Colby Welding and Radiator, a pretty big outfit with a row of semi's, indoors, getting radiator work - that's how big this place is - no little mom and pop shop. They recommended a good place to grab some lunch nearby and said stop back in an hour.

I return and all three are hanging off a rack with a guy drying them with compressed air. Stop into the office and they say you're all set, no leaks. Whew. I ask, "What do I owe you?" Girl says, just give us twenty towards happy hour after work. Couldn't believe it. I gave her $40. When I see the extent of what they did I would have paid her two, three times that. Turns out they flushed and tested each, cleaned them up even touched up a weld/braze at one of the condenser mounts and straightened the inlet and outlet pipes. I don't know what they used on the radiator but the thing looked almost brand new. And to top it off, they did the work IMMEDIATELY - not, "we'll try to fit you in next week". Unbelievable. That kind of service is damn rare these days. What a great change of pace.

Do if anyone is ever in need of welding or radiator work in Phoenix, please check out: Phoenix Radiator, Welding, Heavy Equipment Welding, Construction, Automotive Radiators

Remember to bring beer money. (y)(y)

***

Picked up a new core support on Ebay - last one in stock and the last one I could find that wasn't priced like it was made of gold. Support arrived a few days later in a giant box that looked as tho it fell out of an airplane at 30,000 feet. Surprisingly the support was well packed in there but the bottom had still suffered in transit damage. Nothing too serious - definitely could be straightened with a hammer and a block of wood - otherwise not too bad.

View attachment 944217

But I've learned in buying via Ebay and Amazon - and I stress others to do the same - if I find damage that can be photographed, just go ahead and send a couple photos in immediately after receiving the part and ask what they can do for you. It's a 50/50 shot but you never know, and this is a perfect example of why you do that.

I sent in a couple photos showing the bent areas as clearly as possible and POLITELY asked what they could offer and how they wanted to handle it. Here's how they responded: "Keep it, we'll refund you're money." I can't stress enough the "polite" approach. For me it works more than it doesn't. I of course don't take advantage of sellers - if something's in great shape, great - but if it's bent, scuffed, scratched, dented, I show them and ask what they can do. That simple.

Cha-ching. That's $250 back into the budget.

So I spent a little time straightening the tweaked areas and then scuffed and repainted it better than new now with several heavy coats to better ward off what had happened to the original...

View attachment 944218

****

Then I disassembled the cooling fans, cleaned and repainted the semi-corroded motor covers, cleaned and coated the plastic fan housing, and stopped by Ace and replaced the rusted clips and fasteners and marked/bagged those and set aside for install later.

View attachment 944222

View attachment 944221

As you'll see in all this, I refuse to RE-install any part or fastener that isn't it in at least great (looking) condition. I'll try cleaning first, then replace with new if it can't be cleaned. If I haven't removed the part, I'll try cleaning but if it ain't broke or didn't require removal....see below.

***

So I turn attention back to the truck and since I've got easy access, try to clean and paint as much of the exposed chassis and suspension parts as I can while they are still in place. I know enough about midwest rust to not want to dive into a full teardown, plus that isn't my goal here. I just want the truck looking as best I can with the least amount of work. But I should also note that I was planning to add in one of those leveling kit spacers. You know, just one of those spacer things - you've seen them on Youtube. No problem, you just loosen up some bolts, slide it in and retighten. With the fenders off, this should be a breeze.

Did you get that? "....with the least amount of work...." he said... :ROFLMAO:

***

Next up, the "cleaning" takes a hiatus while I discover just about every suspension bolt and nut is rust-welded in place.
 

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2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD CCSB
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You are spot on with contacting seller's politely if you have any issues. I've had pretty much all good success on ebay or wherever using your same method. Ended up with a few free items, and at least replacement or refund on just about everything else.

It's nice to find those rare shops that do some of the more niche work so well. Testing and fixing radiators used to be really common but they aren't treated that way anymore typically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
You are spot on with contacting seller's politely if you have any issues. I've had pretty much all good success on ebay or wherever using your same method. Ended up with a few free items, and at least replacement or refund on just about everything else.

It's nice to find those rare shops that do some of the more niche work so well. Testing and fixing radiators used to be really common but they aren't treated that way anymore typically.
build
 

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Is it bad for you for the insurance adjuster to say the repair cost is more than what it really is?

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's bad for you not to point out the errors in either the truck valuation or the repair estimate. Depending on your selected insurer you may be dealing with epic boobs as it relates to - you know - cars - which is apparently the item they happen to be insuring. You can either accept the errors (or be willfully ignorant) or else challenge their "work." IMO you need to raise the issues to hopefully correct the problems and/or get competent staff on your claim.
 

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1999 Silverado ECSB 6.0
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God damn that is a clean frame!
Props to you!
 
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