Salvage to rebuilt title

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rhanna

rhanna

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Curious, anyone work in banking/lending? Why do salvage vehicles have such a black eye that the execs set precedent to refuse to finance a lot of them?

Not in banking or lending but I would guess it’s all about collateral. It’s a lot harder to estimate value of a salvaged vehicle verse a clean title.
 
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AndyG

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I did all the frame swaps for the body shop when I work at a dealer. I spoke with the owner of the body shop and he said a lot of adjuster will total a vehicle if it nears anywhere near the value for fear of “hidden damage” like a bent frame that wasn’t caught during initial inspection. I think shops also have reputation of lowballing to get the job then hitting insurance with the upswell once hey are into it.
One other thing our parts department would complain about was body shops ordering every little bracket then straightening them and returning the new ones to increase profit.
When I was looking for my LJ I came upon a couple salvage titles and one was just the lower control arm bracket that got damaged. Adjuster didn’t want to mess with the frame. Another one the gas tank got punctured and it was totaled. These pm’s were about 3000-4000 less then non salvage ones at the time.

It has surprised me how little damage that the TJ would really have and be totaled....Basically over a little parking lot accident.

To me that is the upside as you’re getting something that’s just not that messed up in a lot of cases- You are an exceptional example because you would know exactly what you’re looking for.
 

Fouledplugs

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She was afraid to drive it again and had it totaled by the insurance.

Here in Ca we can have our insurance total a vehicle for almost any amount of damage.

How does one get insurance to total it?

I’ve read this several times to try to understand it. You're saying a $5,000 damage claim can turn into a $30,000 check from your insurance just because you want them to total something?

Example: You drive a newer $30k Jeep and side swipe a guard rail, the repair quote is $5,000, you make a claim and want it totaled, they total it and give you a check for $30,000 instead of paying for the repair quote for $5,000?

How are they in business? Am I reading it totally wrong? I get it if it’s $2,500 in damages on a vehicle worth $5,000 (50%)
 

Fouledplugs

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It has surprised me how little damage that the TJ would really have and be totaled....Basically over a little parking lot accident.

To me that is the upside as you’re getting something that’s just not that messed up in a lot of cases- You are an exceptional example because you would know exactly what you’re looking for.

I think it goes back to fixing things right that matches the quality, fit, and finish of what the factories deliver.
Good work isn't cheap and cheap work isn't free.
 

AndyG

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I think it goes back to fixing things right that matches the quality, fit, and finish of what the factories deliver.
Good work isn't cheap and cheap work isn't free.

Yes that is for sure.

I wonder if they have some formula where the cost of the repair is relative to the overall value of the vehicle. For example where is the line where they total one?
 

NskLJ

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It has surprised me how little damage that the TJ would really have and be totaled....Basically over a little parking lot accident.

To me that is the upside as you’re getting something that’s just not that messed up in a lot of cases- You are an exceptional example because you would know exactly what you’re looking for.

If I recall both had pictures of the damage, so you could see the damage before the repair. I did not end up getting a salvage LJ but I wasn’t opposed to it if it fit my wants.
 
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TexasTJ2004

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I bought mine as a salvage from auction and rebuilt it myself. Here in Texas.
The process is that you need to deal with paperwork.
There is a form that you need to fill where you list the repairs, the receipts for parts (to prove that they are not stolen) and then you submit it to County, they look at it for like 6 weeks and then issue you a rebuilt title. With rebuilt title you can easily drive. I have only the standard insurance, no comprehensive, so don’t have any insurance problems.
I had to replace the grill, the radiator, the AC evaporator and the driver side front fender. Other than that it was completely OK.
One major issue, at least here in Texas, is that before you take it to county for paperwork, you need to pass safety inspection, the standard one like any other car. There they inspect emissions through OBD, so you need to have them in ready state. Legally, w/o a rebuilt title, no matter what a vehicle cannot be driven on Texas roads. So I had to do a drive cycle for 4 jack stands in my garage, so monitors become ready for emissions testing. I wrote an article in how to section how to do it. I cleared 3 out of 4 monitors, and it is pass in Texas.
 

NskLJ

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Yes that is for sure.

I wonder if they have some formula where the cost of the repair is relative to the overall value of the vehicle. For example where is the line where they total one?

Yes they would use a formula but I think the unknown factor is an issue. If electronic modules or wiring is damaged the cost can skyrocket.
 

Fouledplugs

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Yes that is for sure.

I wonder if they have some formula where the cost of the repair is relative to the overall value of the vehicle. For example where is the line where they total one?

Its all written by the states, state to state.

If, for example, Alabama state law has a 60% threshold for repair cost to fair market value of a vehicle, an adjuster walking around a recent claim gets to 50% and still has digging to do…it likely to be totaled.

As mentioned earlier, an adjuster isn't the body shop manager or tech. There are exceptions to the rules as some adjusters will allow a body shop to write an estimate for a claim. But once a body shop gets a green light to start a repair and then finds a hairline crack in the transfer case that calls for a replacement case or rebuilt case, if the claim was already near that state threshold, it then takes it past it and now the insurance company is writing a check for repairs that exceeds the value of the car.

As pointed out earlier, some shitty body shops will abuse this and exploit it.
 
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Claytone

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About 5ish years ago we had a huge hailstorm come thru the area and there's still a lot of hail damaged totals out there. My 2002 E320 is one of them. It looks like a bag of wet laundry in the right light;) but it's still a great car. My 93 Silverado was on the edge of totaling and the adjuster asked me if I wanted the estimate to total or not. I elected to not and he kept it below the threshold and I'm still driving that one too.
I'd definitely buy a total, depending on the damage type and severity.
That said, knowing that it's de-valued is the thing to remember. It helps if it's something older, the value difference isn't as high.
I'm also a technician and have friends that do paint/body, so my willingness to go there is more than the average person that has to hire that work out at full price.

**The state never asked me for the title on the E, so maybe this state doesn't have a stipulation on titles**
 
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SPECWAR

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About 5ish years ago we had a huge hailstorm come thru the area and there's still a lot of hail damaged totals out there. My 2002 E320 is one of them. It looks like a bag of wet laundry in the right light;) but it's still a great car. My 93 Silverado was on the edge of totaling and the adjuster asked me if I wanted the estimate to total or not. I elected to not and he kept it below the threshold and I'm still driving that one too.
I'd definitely buy a total, depending on the damage type and severity.
That said, knowing that it's de-valued is the thing to remember. It helps if it's something older, the value difference isn't as high.
I'm also a technician and have friends that do paint/body, so my willingness to go there is more than the average person that has to hire that work out at full price.

**The state never asked me for the title on the E, so maybe this state doesn't have a stipulation on titles**

The ability to see through the damage or required repairs is definitely a plus and not everyone possess that ability.
Fortunately I also have that ability and it has paid off many times over in the past as I have explained in other salvage/rebuilt threads here.

On a side note, I have had at least 2 legitimate offers on my rebuilt 06 at 14-15k with the potential buyer well aware of its title status. I just have no desire to sell it.
Perhaps buyers have different perspectives from geographical areas.
It’s all good😊
 

TexasTJ2004

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What was your repair cost compared to the fair market for an identical comparable Wrangler at that time?
the accessory belt for 20$, grille for 300$, radiator for 200$, Evaporator for 100$, replacement stock headlights for 30$, fender for 300$. Turn lights like 30$.
Installed everything myself. If I would not do everything myself, then it would be a stupid idea, as shop labor costs would be too high.

It was 4.5K$ Jeep from auction, with 103K miles. Everything worked, but AC was leaking, heater core had a very slow leak, Dana 35 wheel seal was slow leaking on passenger side, slow leak in the valve cover gasket. Also the transmission sometimes would slip in first or in reverse when really hot.

As of today AC is still slowly leaking, heater core working with heat exchanger using non-pressurized coolant, installed XJ Dana 30 and TJ Dana 44 With lockers and 4.56 gears in, 1.5 inch lift, and the transmission - bought some rebuilt from random dude in marketplace for 850$ And installed for 500$ By some other random dude.
I did bunch of cleanings, Like full BG etc, now it is running really good.
 
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TexasTJ2004

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I would not recommend anybody buying salvage title TJ, unless you understand the damage and you can repair yourself, or have some treeshade mechanic that can do it for cheap.
In my case the only thing that I trusted anybody else to do was replacing the transmission, which was like 500$. All the money saved in labor i invested into parts, like replacing all coolant hoses, fan clutch, thermostat, engine flushes, etc.
 
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BlueC

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I don’t understand the salvaged/rebuilt paranoia here.

It simply comes down to who did the rebuild and their quality of work. Far more salvage/rebuilt vehicles are done so using bottom-of-the-barrel parts and questionable quality of workmanship in the name of maximum profit. Basically, they polish a turd and sell it to the common price point buyer who will not look at anything but price and decent paint.
 

SPECWAR

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I would not recommend anybody buying salvage title TJ, unless you understand the damage and you can repair yourself, or have some treeshade mechanic that can do it for cheap.
In my case the only thing that I trusted anybody else to do was replacing the transmission, which was like 500$. All the money saved in labor i invested into parts, like replacing all coolant hoses, fan clutch, thermostat, engine flushes, etc.
It simply comes down to who did the rebuild and their quality of work. Far more salvage/rebuilt vehicles are done so using bottom-of-the-barrel parts and questionable quality of workmanship in the name of maximum profit. Basically, they polish a turd and sell it to the common price point buyer who will not look at anything but price and decent paint.

Not everyone is born a sucker.
I however do agree that when buying such a vehicle you must be very cognizant.