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Old 07-30-2018, 10:39 AM   #1
palallin
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Unhappy Tahoe in a wreck

My son and his '95 4WD Tahoe were in a wreck yesterday. The left front of the Tahoe impacted the right rear of the suddenly-stopped vehicle in front of him on the highway. His speed was already down, but he just couldn't stop fast enough to keep from hitting the car in front. It was a light car, but we don't have the extent of the damage clearly determined yet. The Highway Patrol cleared the vehicles so quickly that we couldn't get pics or look closely (I was behind him in another vehicle), and, when the tow rig got it to the yard, it was pouring rain. Going back down to it today to get the rest of his stuff and take some pics.

the airbag did NOT deploy. I don't know what sort of impact is supposed to set them off, but this suggests to me a reasonably low differential speed between his Tahoe and the car in front of him.

Anyway: the front bumper has been pushed back so that the fender well touches the tire. I couldn't tell at the time if the time whether the tire/axle has been pushed back. I will try to find out today (if the rain holds off). The insurance company is transporting it 100 miles away to a secure place that they don't have to pay storage to until an adjuster can get a look at it.

Anyway, I know it will need bumper, grill, hood. The left front frame horn is probably munched. We do have collision on it. Until this point, the thing has been in grate shape, very straight an only a few rust patches. 203,xxx miles.

Other than the possible axle damage, what should I be looking for? I haven't had to deal with one of this body style/vintage after a wreck before.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:14 AM   #2
arrg
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

With that level of damage, the insurance company will total it. Usually if more than one panel needs replacing on something that old with that many miles, they won't repair it. Are you planing to buy it back?
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:18 PM   #3
speedygonzales
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Any wreck should be treated the same......

Measure a few diagonal items. Frame front corners to rear frame corners and inside front spindles to inside rear axle tubes. This will give you an easy instant idea of either frame or axle/spindle twist. If they are good, no matter what happens with insurance, keep it and fix the cosmetic damage.

Incidentally, don't assume anything regarding the accident because the air bag(s) did NOT deploy. My friend was a wrecker driver and I can't tell you the number of vehicles he showed me that the bags never deployed. Back then I was witness to numerous vehicles that did not work when they were intended to. I can't speak for today's vehicles but back then, they were very unreliable.

Good luck to you and it's good to hear your boy was not hurt.
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:50 PM   #4
palallin
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

Thanks for the posts, guys.

Here's an update. Looking at it really good (i.e., not in a downpour), I don't think the suspension/front driveline is damaged: the fender wasn't pushed that hard against the tire (the tire can still turn). The driver's door does not appear to have been pushed back either. I couldn't get under it, not nothing liked out of place.

If all of the above is true, I think I am looking at driver's fender, hood, grill, bumper, possibly driver's side bumper bracket, and maybe core support.

Question: on the earlier years I am familiar with, it is easier to change the who front clip than one fender. Is that still true of this style? I have a '99 with a blown engine but a good front clip.
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Old 08-01-2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

There are so many components bolted to the inside of the fenders now I can't imagine trying to remove the clip in one piece. Take a close look at everything bolted to the inner fender and ask that question again. On the '97 I'm working on I'm pulling the fenders one at a time. I had the inner fenders powdercoated and they're actually fairly easy to remove.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:01 PM   #6
palallin
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

OK, here's an update.

After the inspection, the insurance decided to total it--no surprise. The only non-cosmetic damage is that the driver's front frame rail is bent out a little.

I am keeping possession, and they are going to deliver it back to my house (a real blessing given the distance involved).

Now, I need to start thinking about straightening the frame horn. I wonder if it could be done with a come-along . . . .
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:34 AM   #7
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by palallin View Post
OK, here's an update.

After the inspection, the insurance decided to total it--no surprise. The only non-cosmetic damage is that the driver's front frame rail is bent out a little.

I am keeping possession, and they are going to deliver it back to my house (a real blessing given the distance involved).

Now, I need to start thinking about straightening the frame horn. I wonder if it could be done with a come-along . . . .
Depending on just how bad the bend/deflection is, you might be able to do just that. I've seen some frame straightened with hydraulic equipment (backhoe). I've heard of people using come alongs and ratchets, make sure you get a heavy duty one though. Are you sure the frame is tweaked, and it's not just the bumper brackets?
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:46 AM   #8
palallin
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

No, not sure yet. I am still waiting for it to be delivered so I can start removing the damaged parts.

I watched a YouTube video about removing the bumper and was surprised to see how it attached. In any case, the tow hook does not seem to have been moved at all, so I am not yet convinced the frame is bent any.

I hope to have it home by mid-week, maybe earlier.
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

OK, it's home. They had to pull the driver fender out some so the wheels had more freedom to turn, but I am still not sure that there is any frame damage (other than the bumper brackets).

No radiator damage, and the A/C still works--it's a shame the core support has to be replaced because my son just had the A/C charged. I will try to get a few pics to post.

We're going to start by removing the necessary pieces off the dead Tahoe, and I am going to ask around a few shops to see what a frame tweak might cost. One thing, I am going to have to pick up some additional metric sockets/wrenches. I jut haven't worked an anything this new enough to need more than a handful of odds and ends.
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

OK, the disassembly of the parts-donor is under weigh. We pulled the hood, the grill, the bumper cover, and all the electronic gear off the inner driver's side fender last night.

Both boys are home working without guidance (well, they do have some YouTube videos and the Chilton manual)--I hope they survive. I hope the parts survive! They are going to work on the driver's fender and inner fender, the core support, and the bumper today.

I finally have pics of the wrecked one:
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:19 AM   #11
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

Looking at the age of your tie rods, you might want to run through the steering system and check everything out. Make sure the idler arm bracket is bolted down tight to the frame. They come loose pretty frequently, and if it was loose during the impact, it will have to be replaced before you get it to drive right.

I don't know that it would give you any more clearance to do it, but if you pull the inner fender wells and have a nice easy shot at the idler and/or pitman arm, think about knocking those out. They aren't engineered well, and if you haven't done them in the last 100k they're ready.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:49 PM   #12
palallin
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

Thanks for the advice; I will check them out.
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:27 PM   #13
diveplane
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Re: Tahoe in a wreck

to be honest that does not look to bad
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