00 Mitsu Galant - Front end damage - Advice



Hey guys,

Recently my '00 Galant hit a deer and the insurance company decided to total the car. I am willing to overlook the chip paints since the bumper never moved and air bags never deployed. My main concern is that the radiator support (which since it looks like a unibody frame to me) is bent on one side. The frame holding the radiator was pushed in but the radiator was never broken. Everything is fully functional. Is it worth it to get a frame specialist to pull the frame back out? THe insurance company wants a salvage value of around $1k for the car, but after looking at parts pricing all parts to replace (not including the repaint for the hood) would cost around $750, aftermarket parts. I have enough in the car with warranties for lifetime alignments, oil changes, and tires with 80%+ tread and roadhazard (and not to mention a less than 1 year old timing belt).

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks for your help!



If you want to do that, make a deal with the insurance company. But, if the bumper didn’t move, chances are you don’t need a frame shop. But, you will need an hydraulic ram. Or, you may be able to get away with a BFH (big f’ing hammer) to get it back to reasonable. I’m willing to bet the insurance company will want to drop C&C from your policy if you keep the car, but I’ve kept cars with far more damage than this.


I did the same thing after hitting a deer. Insurance totaled it. I bought it back and fixed it. The agent just had to inspect it first before the collision coverage was OK again.

The radiator support is not really a critical alignment issue but will screw up the hood latch fit etc. Sometimes you can just drill out the spot welds and weld a new/used one in. You might want to pay a shop to straighten it. Also a caution on after-market parts. Especially the hood. It would be better to use used parts that fit. You will struggle trying to get them to fit and if the hood is not right, its not fun for the hood to pop open at 70 mph.



Busted and Anonymous,

THanks for the advice. Some of my friends think I’m crazy for trying to fix this. But I really don’t wanna buy a new car when I have so many warranties in this one.

I will take your advice and try and get a used hood. I had one that was white, but held off because my car is maroon. I guess I will wait it out and see if a maroon one comes up and will check out what a local shop wants to bend it back. I thought about using a lil force from my old truck but was afraid I would pull it too far. If they want too much at the shops, I’ll try out my truck :wink:

All the best! Appreciated much to make my decision more justifiable!



Try straightening the parts with a come-a-long. Tie it to a tree and park teh car in front of it. You have a lot more control over the movement this wan than pulling it with a truck or using a BFH.



what is a ‘come-a-long’? Is it just tying to the tree and straightening that way?



come along is a winch that is manual. Has a big lever and you can pull pretty hard against a tree. I got mine for $10 at harbor freight tools


You can paint that white hood any color you want that almost matches your car. Then you can get 280 grit sandpaper or somewhere near 240 if they make that number and lightly sand it, remove the dust and clear coat it, also in a can and it will surprise you. It should turn out alright.