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Smushed Front End to 1st GEN Tacoma

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Tacoma Doug, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Jan 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM
    #1
    Tacoma Doug

    Tacoma Doug [OP] Member

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    I have the best truck ever built -- a 1995 1/2 Tacoma 2wd extended cab LX. Reliable as asbestos underwear.
    A few months back I tapped the back of a Jeep at a stop light. I've had it off the road since and want to get it operational again. My truck received definite, but minimal damage from the impact: A deformed hood and grill.
    I now have a spare hood and grill to replace the damaged parts, but i know the front of my truck is pushed in, as I can see looking straight down at the bulkhead that the radiator attaches to.
    I have the idea in mind of (i) making out of angle iron a piece to put in back of the top of the bulkhead, (ii) bold eye bolts to the angle iron (through the bulkhead at places) and (iii) hook a chain and come-along to a tree to pull things gently (and hopefully) back in shape (before installing my grill and hood).
    I've never done metal or body work.
    Do you guys have any suggestions?
    TIA.
    Doug
     
  2. Jan 28, 2012 at 2:03 PM
    #2
    Adam Baum

    Adam Baum Well-Known Member

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    What about taking it to a professional body shop that has the hydraulic equipment for this type of job?

    With your plan you will end up ripping the front end off of your truck if you aren't careful. If you decide to do it make sure you have someone taking a video. I would love to see it on youtube.
     
  3. Jan 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM
    #3
    Tacoma Doug

    Tacoma Doug [OP] Member

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    Well . . . frankly I'm really trying to save money. It's taken me months to get where I am now . . . with having salvaged parts now at hand.
     
  4. Jan 28, 2012 at 2:08 PM
    #4
    babytruck

    babytruck Babytruck, babytruck...I've got a babytruck :)

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    Doug, that almost sounds like your are going to jimmy-rig it.

    ???

    If you do, I would suggest installing an I-beam as a bumper for justincase it should happen again.
     
  5. Jan 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM
    #5
    Adam Baum

    Adam Baum Well-Known Member

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    But if you ruin the front end will that actually save you money?

    At some point it has to make sense to pay a professional.

    Do you have a skill others can use? Maybe you can barter with a body man. My cousin lays flooring (carpet, tile, wood) and he traded that skill to someone who knew how to build cabinets.
     
  6. Jan 29, 2012 at 6:26 AM
    #6
    Tacoma Doug

    Tacoma Doug [OP] Member

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    It really looks to me that the front bulkhead should be easily "pull-able."

    I hit . . . really tapped . . . the spare tire of the Jeep . . . pretty much right in the center. It looks like all I really need is to pull the radiator support forward about an inch so the grill supports can meet the holes.

    But I'm hearing from you all that I should leave it to a professional. Hasn't someone on here tried this sort of thing?

    Doug
     
  7. Jan 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM
    #7
    babytruck

    babytruck Babytruck, babytruck...I've got a babytruck :)

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    If you have the confidence and pretty much know what you are doing, go for it. We don't know what the situation really looks like because we aren't there or have no pics. It may work out for you.

    I'm just a big chicken when it comes to my babytruck.

    Good luck and let us know how it turned out.

    Oh and post pics please. :)
     
  8. Jan 29, 2012 at 8:21 AM
    #8
    tostidos

    tostidos Well-Known Member

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    how bout a picture of the damage so everyone can get an idea of what you are talking about exactly and see what you are dealing with so we can try and help you out.
     
  9. Jan 29, 2012 at 9:09 AM
    #9
    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    Indeed it's easily pull-able, but there's a very probable risk of over-pulling it if you try it yourself (i.e. the rad support bent outward). Then you'd be stuck. The reason we suggest a collision shop is because proper chassis-pulling racks are slow and precise enough for this type of job.
     
  10. Jan 29, 2012 at 9:12 AM
    #10
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    I like your idea, just go slow and easy, don't over do it.

    Props to you for fixing it yourself.
     
  11. Jan 29, 2012 at 10:47 AM
    #11
    Adam Baum

    Adam Baum Well-Known Member

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    Ideas are great, but what about execution?

    Pulling it with a gas engine isn't going to be slow, or smooth like using an electric motor or hydraulic equipment. Have you ever tried to tow anyone with tow straps? Your foot and gas pedal aren't as precise either.

    Good luck either way though.
     
  12. Jan 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM
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    Tacoma Doug

    Tacoma Doug [OP] Member

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    I'm taking all your suggestions under respectful consideration. I really am a new-by.
    I'll try to post pics soon. Am in an approach that says doing this over 5 weekends is reasonable. (After all, I'm saving money while it's not my daily driver.)
    Thanks to all who have taken time to advise me! I'm going to post to this thread again after I sort out what I'm doing so I hope you all visit back.

    BTW, I LOVE someome's (sorry I dont' remember names so well) one-piece photo-shoot pic/avatar type thing! Getting toward retirement but the images of beauty . . . cars, trucks, whatev . . . objects of delight, abound for us all!

    Doug
     
  13. Jan 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM
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    Adam Baum

    Adam Baum Well-Known Member

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    I'm a DIYer myself but I have screwed up plenty of things for the sake of saving cash. I just hope you don't hurt yourself or your truck in the process. Good luck!
     
  14. Jan 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM
    #14
    cc350

    cc350 Buckeye Member

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    Just install a new core support.
     
  15. Jan 29, 2012 at 1:54 PM
    #15
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    he's not using a gas engine to pull it. He is using a come along which is very controllable and should work great.
     
  16. Jan 29, 2012 at 3:14 PM
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    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    The truck needs to be tied down to a rack( frame shop ) in order to pull the damaged parts back to OEM spec's, that doesn't mean that the radiator support will be serviceable, it may be it also may need to be replaced in order for the hood,fenders, headlights all align as needed. I did this shit for a living and a come along and tree is OK for a little tweeking but not always. Take it to a shop and ask for a estimate they should be able to determine the number of hrs needed, get 3 as a matter of fact. With out seeing the truck I am guessing 3hrs if labor X's $$$.
     
  17. Jan 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM
    #17
    lbrownin

    lbrownin Member

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    I did exactly what you have described when my son shortened my 91 Toyota pickup. I used a 2x4 block behind the radiator support (to spread the load) and a large eye-bolt. I attached a come-along to the trailer hitch of another truck and pulled slowly. I tried measuring, but mostly just eyeballed it. The new fenders lined up and the hood closed perfectly first time. I say it's worth a try. Good luck!
     
  18. Jan 29, 2012 at 9:39 PM
    #18
    Alderleet

    Alderleet Ace of Spades

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    If you're any good at welding, why not cut out the support, and fab and weld a new one in place?

    But if you're not that skilled, i really have to agree with Baum.

    Make friends with folks in the automotive repair field. They could perhaps hydraulically bend your support back in place for a case of good beer... just saying.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2012 at 9:48 AM
    #19
    MowTaco

    MowTaco Well-Known Member

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    Why not try it? Sounds like worst case you break your already broken core support. Might as well try to fix it before you go buy another one.
     
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