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2001 Explorer Limited T-Boned, is it worth the fix?

My 19 year old Explorer limited was in its first and only collision today. I was T-Boned during a turn and thus received a bit of damage to my left rear door. Despite my cars age, it was in pretty good condition all things considering before this damage. Despite that KBB values it at like $350 which is what the insurance company would probably total my car out to. I can probably ask for more if we settle without insurance (to avoid raising those premiums) but in general is the damage worth repairing? The repair would exceed the KBB price of the car but likely not the average private sale price. What do you think?

Only your insurance company know at what point it is totaled. You can always get some estimates yourself.

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If the damage is as it appears, just the scrape to the rear door, it could be replaced by a door from a salvage yard. Or driven ‘as is’.

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You are not at fault so your premiums are not going up. You should never settle something like this without using insurance . And you don’t care about the other persons insurance premiums .

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Its worth more than 350. I might go 400. If it has a new trans.

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Well I know it wasn’t my fault, but the police officer put 50/50 in the police report. Despite that, even if I went through insurance and was found not at fault, because of the age of my car his insurance would likely total out the cost of my car which wouldn’t really help me as the repairs cost more than what the insurance would offer.

Does the door open and close normally?

If it does, it should be possible to hang a junkyard door . . . as @Purebred already mentioned . . . without any additional body work

In other words, let your insurance handle this, take whatever money you get, and keep driving the truck

It still drives straight, I presume?

If for some reason, it’s now dogtracking after the accident, then it’s time to shop for something else

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I probably could open the door, but the flares over the wheel well have kind of been pushed in front of the door.

If the axle isn’t bent, then all you need is a used door from a junkyard. Certainly not worth junking the Explorer over such minor damage.

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It looks like the plastic fender flares are separating from the sheet metal

I suspect if you removed them, the door would open and close fairly well

I’m at a loss as to why you’d be assigned 50% blame if you know you’re not at fault

Were you in the intersection a long time and couldn’t make the turn until oncoming traffic had cleared?

In other words, had the light already turned red by the time you could safely make your turn?

anyways . . . I’m still in agreement with the others. If this accident hasn’t caused the truck to be unsafe and it still meets your needs, consider hanging a junkyard door. This is well within the realm of diy repairs. Obviously the cheapest option would be to get the door at pick a part on a 1/2 price weekend. But you’re subject to whatever is in the yard on that particular weekend. Be aware that salvage yards have the ability to check inventory at other yards, and they’ll probably be able to obtain a same color door for you.

Is the other driver “demanding” anything from you, as the police officer deemed both of you equally at fault?

If you go through the regular insurance channels and your vehicle is in fact totalled, it might get considerably more difficult to register it as a salvage title vehicle. In my state registering a vehicle with a branded title means you have to go to a licensed brake and lamp inspector, then present it at the dmv in person, and also have to smog it more often, versus the same vehicle with a clean title. Somebody might disagree with me, but that was the case just a few years ago.

here’s something else to bear in mind. That other driver might try to claim he was injured and seek the maximum payout from your insurance. Depending on where you’re located and your state’s laws on such things, it could be a common scenario. Going through your insurance could theoretically protect you from such a possibly sleazy maneuver on the other driver’s part.

Eddie Bauer edition . . . ?

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Yea I’m fairly confident I could open the door if I removed the flares. It was a T intersection and I was coming from the right of the T and making a left down the stem while the other guy was at a stop sign at the stem and trying to make a left to go to the left part of the T. He basically hit me as I was turning. My insurance told me I wouldn’t be at fault though so that’s good. I looked around on the web to see if I can find doors that would work on my vehicle, but unfortunately it seems near impossible to find a door specifically for an 01 Limited Explorer. Ive found a lot off of 1999 and 2000 explorers but I have to find out if those doors would even fit though. Is there a resource for that? I’m not sure. Regardless of what I find I’m pretty sure I’m gonna have a mismatched door.

Yes, take your vehicle to a salvage yard so they can verify what you have and they can use their locator service to find a door . They might even find a close match.

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I think it’s called Hollander Interchange . . . but the salvage yard should also be able to answer those questions

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1995 - 2001 explorers are the same bodies.

FYI - the 95 - 01 Ford Explorer had the distinction of being two of the top five vehicles traded in under the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, with the 4WD model topping the list and the 2WD model coming in at number 4.

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That is very useful information, Thanks!

From a purely dollar and cents view, probably best to buy another vehicle. But if you like it, know it has been well cared for and driven gently, no worries, if the basic inspection shows no severe structural damage, pay up what’s necessary to put it back on the road. Whatever it costs will likely be less expensive than buying a new Explorer, what w/the new car payments, loan charges, new car registration and insurance and the like. If you’d prefer to drive a new Explorer anyway, this is the reason you’ve been waiting for. Sell or keep, it’s a wash.

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You don’t mention what your insurance deductible is? It would be an expensive repair at a body shop but cheap if it is an DIY repair. Look for a door on eBay and it should show you a list of models and years that it will fit. If the door frame is not bent all you need is a door, some Bondo, and a can of spray paint.

Yeah you could replace the door but they run from $300-500 plus any painting and then that molding over the wheel. I think if it were me, I would pull the inside panel off and push the dent out fairly carefully so you don’t make it worse, then maybe replace that flair. Then polish out the paint marks or use a couple cans of paint on it. Of a little concern to me is the rust pieces laying on the running board. Does that indicate some rust through either on the door or the rocker panel? If so, you aren’t going to want to keep it too much longer anyway.

Oh, that’s not rust, those are broken shards of the light from the vehicle that hit me.

OK, that’s good. I still think I would try to straighten that door. If you put a block of wood toward the bottom of the door and bang on it a little to push it back back out, and then move up a little, I think most of that dent would come out to be presentable anyway.