dj06482 SuperDork
Dec. 22, 2016 1:14 p.m.

I have an '01 Mustang GT 5spd that was in a minor accident this morning. I'm the second owner (first owner is a co-worker of mine), the car has 293k on it and aside from the recent accident, is in very good condition. Actually, it's in exceptional condition considering the mileage. It's always been maintained well, garaged, and hasn't been driven in snow/ice. The underside is immaculate. My father has an '02 New Edge GT with about 80k on it, and this one runs/drives just as well, if not better than his Mustang.

This past weekend I replaced the lower intake manifold with Ford Racing version, used new Ford intake manifold gaskets, along with a Ford coolant expansion tank, all radiator hoses, Motorcraft thermostat, Motorcraft thermostat housing, all Motorcraft heater hoses (including the one that runs under the intake), and Motorcraft spark plugs. Rear rotors and pads have less than 200 miles on them, and the front rotors and pads have about 5k miles on them.

It looks like the front bumper cover, headlight, hood, and upper part of the radiator support took the brunt of the hit. The lower part of the radiator support (as well as the bumper support itself) appears fine, but the upper radiator support is pushed back 2.5".

The Mustang was driven back home 10 miles from the accident, it runs and drives fine, and there are no leaks.

It needs the following parts:

  • hood
  • grille
  • front bumper cover
  • header panel (behind the headlights)
  • driver's side headlight

To be perfect, it would also need a radiator core support, as well as a driver's side fender (minor damage to the tip of the fender). Both fenders line up correctly with the doors, so they weren't pushed back in the crash. I'm not sure if the radiator core support can be pulled back close enough to normal, or if it needs to be replaced.

The way I see my options right now are the following:

  • Sell it as it (potential challenge car or FFR Roadster donor?)
  • Part it out and then scrap it
  • Fix it and continue to drive it

What says the hive?

Here's the photo gallery of the damage:

Dec. 22, 2016 1:28 p.m.

If you really like the car then I would repair the car, the damage is not that bad.


maschinenbau HalfDork
Dec. 22, 2016 1:34 p.m.

Assuming someone else is not at fault for the accident and you don't want to file a claim. In which case...

You are lucky the radiator didn't get smashed in! Replacing that core support will not be fun. Ideally you could find a car being parted out and offer some $ to cut out the support and weld it into yours. I just recently parted out a car and let someone do that to it, same problem you have. Any New Edge Mustang should work. If you have a welder and a place to do it, this is the cheapest option. Otherwise you are paying a body shop big bucks, or covering up the issue and hoping the hood and bumper bolt on correctly.

Headlights are cheap and new on Rockauto

Hood might be the most expensive part since I think the GTs are different. Same with bumper cover.

So if you have a welder, a place to do metal work, and another car to drive for a while, I would try to fix it. If you don't, go get a quote from a body shop and weigh your options again. See what other GTs are going for in your area, both wrecked and nice. Also compare the cost of the repair vs the increase in your premium for filing a claim if you have collision.

XLR99 Dork
Dec. 22, 2016 1:35 p.m.

Thats a pretty good looking car for 300k!! It's probably worth far more to you than anyone else, especially with the work you just put in. I also vote fix yourself and continue driving.

curtis73 PowerDork
Dec. 22, 2016 2:12 p.m.

Honestly, I would shove the hood down and keep driving.

pinchvalve MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 2:14 p.m.

I kinda like the hood the way it is, looks menacing. I'd kink the other side, drop in a headlight and drive it.

patgizz UltimaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 2:23 p.m.

pound it back and drive it into the ground. it's a $500 car otherwise with almost 300k and wrecked.

TGMF Reader
Dec. 22, 2016 2:24 p.m.

How straight do you want it? If just "good enough" then a hood, headlight and a couple hours spent with a come along and a large tree might straighten it enough. Replacing the upper support is a lot more work, but from the limited pictures of the car, looks to be worth it. I'd fix it yourself and at worst, make it a track day toy.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 2:39 p.m.

Here's my deceptive answer...

Run a Carfax to see what odometer readings it shows.

If that shows a low number as the last reading maybe 150k then I would change the odometer and sell the car as True Miles Unknown.

No one would guess 300k.

That's if you sell it but I would fix (looks minor) and keep driving with no concern that it needs to be perfect.

xflowgolf Dork
Dec. 22, 2016 2:49 p.m.

I'm not in the fix it camp. It ran it's course, racked up 300K in usage, and realistically is not worth the cost of repairing properly.

I'd probably either give it a last hurrah with making it more track/lemons/etc. car with a DIY BFH type repair, or part it out and move on.

Look at it this way... if you didn't already own this car, would you buy this car as it sits right now for $500 to make it into a driver? If not... sell it/part it/etc. for $500+ and let it go. Ignore sunk costs. This is your current decision.

chandlerGTi UberDork
Dec. 22, 2016 3:00 p.m.

I can't believe the radiator didn't get punched and the door gaps are still so clean! If you like it, fix it. $800 in parts (parts car) and you are back on the road.

Huckleberry MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 3:08 p.m.

That hood can be repaired to whatever degree you are comfortable with from getting a fat kid to bounce on it to having a pro panel beater take out the little crease. The plastic parts are very cheap at any pick-n-pull. Probably less than $100 for all of it.

I would put a cage in it

Toyman01 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 3:10 p.m.
curtis73 wrote: Honestly, I would shove the hood down and keep driving.

This. Push the hood down, throw a junkyard headlight in it, and drive it into the dirt.

06HHR HalfDork
Dec. 22, 2016 3:11 p.m.
TGMF wrote: How straight do you want it? If just "good enough" then a hood, headlight and a couple hours spent with a come along and a large tree might straighten it enough. Replacing the upper support is a lot more work, but from the limited pictures of the car, looks to be worth it. I'd fix it yourself and at worst, make it a track day toy.

+1 My sentiments exactly. If you like it, I don't see any reason to get rid of it unless you want something new. Not like parts for 01 Mustangs are hard to find or expensive. But, on the other hand, looks like you have a great drivetrain donor for a $2017 challenge Ranger

Furious_E Dork
Dec. 22, 2016 3:32 p.m.

This actually looks really similar to what happened to my Camaro last month, if not quite as bad. My accident took out all of the above, plus the other headlight, both quarter panels, punctured the radiator, and tweaked the sheet metal under the DS quarter. Totaled by the insurance co so it's getting parted out, plus I'd rather have their money and the donor LS than the Camaro in working condition anyways.

I don't think I'd spend the time or money on a proper fix in your shoes. Even in the astonishingly excellent condition it shows, I just don't see the value being enough to make it worthwhile. My vote goes for ghetto fix or part out.

Appleseed MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:05 p.m.

In reply to JohnRW1621:

Isn't messing with the odometer unlawfull?

egnorant SuperDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:17 p.m.

Did you pop the airbags? I have 2 (96 Cobra and 03 Mach I) that had slightly more damage. Straight resale is WAY low on an unrepaired front hit. Parting it out is a long haul and might get better money, but is still a hard choise for a running driving car.300k on the engine is a buzz kill for resale.

Fixing might be best and fun! Check local wrecking yards for parts and prices. I picked up all my parts on a $100 all you can carry weekend and went to town. Some pulling and bashing got the core support straight.


Rufledt UltraDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:27 p.m.

Isn't the answer always "racecar"? are you asking what kind of racecar you should turn it into?

thestig99 HalfDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:52 p.m.

Hell, I'd fix it if only for the purpose getting it to the 300k mark. For some reason I feel a need to get there with one of my cars, and keep failing to do so.

Junkyard the plastic bits and hood, straighten out the rad support enough to make it work.

dean1484 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:59 p.m.

I would fix that. At here in MA the Cost of Tax title and Registration on a replacement that looked that good would be more than fixing that.

For almost 300K that thing looks great!!

dean1484 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 4:59 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: In reply to JohnRW1621: Isn't messing with the odometer unlawfull?


dean1484 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 5:02 p.m.

Not sure of the year it started but you can get actual mileage from the ECU in OBD2 cars (or at least the mileage that the ECU thinks it has traveled. That is why most ECU replacements in modern cars require a dealer reflash. I think that the modern inspection machines look at it also so when you enter the mileage it ahs to match what it is reading from the ECU and / or previous records.

ncjay SuperDork
Dec. 22, 2016 5:04 p.m.

Why would anyone entertain the possibility of parting out a running, driving car? Just not an option in my world. The only thing I see that you really need is a headlight, the rest is optional. At this point, I'd consider two options. #1 Fabricate your own custom front end. #2 Look around for some cool aftermarket stuff to throw on there.

Mitchell UberDork
Dec. 22, 2016 5:25 p.m.

Sounds like it's time to install cheapie snows and turn it into a winter hoon car! Rust be damned.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
Dec. 22, 2016 6:04 p.m.
dean1484 wrote:
Appleseed wrote: In reply to JohnRW1621: Isn't messing with the odometer unlawfull?


Honest question...
Is it still illegal if you disclose on the title that "True Mileage Unknown" ?

I see the ethical challenges but is it illegal?

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