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Discussion Starter #1
I hit a deer and want to go to the junkyard and swap hoods since it seems unlikely it can be hammered back to a usable shape. I can't find instructions on how to do this, can anyone link me to a diy tutorial?

Secondly I will need to replace the whole left headlight assembly probably since the cover is shattered. Both headlights work but seem to be pointed much lower than before. The front bumper is loose as well. I'm hoping it can all be put back together and that there isn't any frame damage that would prevent me from doing so. I am on a road trip a couple thousand miles from home. My insurance deductible is too high and I am pretty much out of cash so need to fix it myself on the cheap in a parking lot. Luckly seems to drive fine and no leaks or fumes (knock on wood).

Thanks for any help!
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Many "pick-&-pull" type wrecking yards will give you some guidance or even do it for you for a modest fee. It looks like the top support where the latch resides is also pushed back, so it's going to take a bit more work than just a hood replacement.
 

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I'd straighten everything as well as I could, wire everything back in place and fix it at home.
Count your blessings. When I hit a deer, at 50mph, I was driving a low convertible car. It could have killed me.
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I hit a deer and want to go to the junkyard and swap hoods since it seems unlikely it can be hammered back to a usable shape. I can't find instructions on how to do this, can anyone link me to a diy tutorial?

IF You have comprehensive - there is NO DEDUCTIBLE (or a low deductible) for hitting a dear. comp is like theft, windshield breakage, baseballs, dear, dogs etc..my comp has a zero deductible. However I can tell you your damage will be over $4000 (I know I had something similar). They might want total the vehicle depending on value - you could allow that and possibly keep the vehicle - but in the end you might end up with a salvage title.

Your radiator is probably cracked - and so you will want to monitor the fluid level frequently. Your upper support across the front is probably bent as well and will need to be replaced.
You can probably pry up the hood in front to get to the latch to be able to open the hood. pull the catch release as you pry up ..
 

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IF You have comprehensive - there is NO DEDUCTIBLE (or a low deductible) for hitting a dear. comp is like theft, windshield breakage, baseballs, dear, dogs etc..my comp has a zero deductible. However I can tell you your damage will be over $4000 (I know I had something similar).
Unfortunately, we don't have standardized definitions and terms on insurance policies across the nation. The content and coverage on Comprehensive varies state by state. In NY, my policy covered deer hits nearly completely (two, @ $2,500 & nearly $4,500) with no penalties on future premiums, but that's not universal. The OP really needs to check his policy before doing anything himself.
 

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Many "pick-&-pull" type wrecking yards will give you some guidance or even do it for you for a modest fee. It looks like the top support where the latch resides is also pushed back, so it's going to take a bit more work than just a hood replacement.
Oh yeah gonna have to do some welding, you're right.
 

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Oof, yeah those deer pack a punch, I get real nervous when I see deer by the road now since they're so unpredictable

I'd straighten everything as well as I could, wire everything back in place and fix it at home.
Count your blessings. When I hit a deer, at 50mph, I was driving a low convertible car. It could have killed me.
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You are correct, comprehensive covered it with the $500 deductible and the van is totaled. I can keep it for $1200 with a salvage title. I drove it to MD from NM so I know it runs pretty good, though they said the radiator is leaking. I was thinking of keeping it and fixing it up. It is due for $650 timing belt/water pump regularly scheduled maintenance, and the transmission has not been as smooth as it used to be but is still pretty responsive I think, so maybe it is worth keeping. Looks like a junkyard here has a van in a different color can use and get a $65 hood, $30 headlight assembly, $50 bumper, and cheap radiator parts. I'm not sure about what is will take to get the hood back on there and everything but I am going to talk to the insurances autobody shop tomorrow and get the full run down.

IF You have comprehensive - there is NO DEDUCTIBLE (or a low deductible) for hitting a dear. comp is like theft, windshield breakage, baseballs, dear, dogs etc..my comp has a zero deductible. However I can tell you your damage will be over $4000 (I know I had something similar). They might want total the vehicle depending on value - you could allow that and possibly keep the vehicle - but in the end you might end up with a salvage title.

Your radiator is probably cracked - and so you will want to monitor the fluid level frequently. Your upper support across the front is probably bent as well and will need to be replaced.
You can probably pry up the hood in front to get to the latch to be able to open the hood. pull the catch release as you pry up ..
 

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I read something online that was like "Confessions of an insurance agent" for my insurer Progressive, and they were saying that since it's kind of a no fault situation with hitting an animal it generally doesn't raise your rates, so hopefully that will be the case for me. I did read it can be hard getting insurance for a salvaged vehicle but idk exactly why or what they meant, maybe I will find out soon.

Unfortunately, we don't have standardized definitions and terms on insurance policies across the nation. The content and coverage on Comprehensive varies state by state. In NY, my policy covered deer hits nearly completely (two, @ $2,500 & nearly $4,500) with no penalties on future premiums, but that's not universal. The OP really needs to check his policy before doing anything himself.
 

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You are correct, comprehensive covered it with the $500 deductible and the van is totaled. I can keep it for $1200 with a salvage title. I drove it to MD from NM so I know it runs pretty good, though they said the radiator is leaking. I was thinking of keeping it and fixing it up. It is due for $650 timing belt/water pump regularly scheduled maintenance, and the transmission has not been as smooth as it used to be but is still pretty responsive I think, so maybe it is worth keeping. Looks like a junkyard here has a van in a different color can use and get a $65 hood, $30 headlight assembly, $50 bumper, and cheap radiator parts. I'm not sure about what is will take to get the hood back on there and everything but I am going to talk to the insurances autobody shop tomorrow and get the full run down.
my state required salvaged title vehicle to get fully inspected at qualified inspection station to be on the road again, and no longer can be covered with comprehensive coverage.
 

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Oh good to know, thanks!!
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You said it seemed sluggish - given age - mileage is probably high - many people do not clean or replace the VVT screens, I would replace throttle body, replace the coolant bypass hose under the intake manifold (hose is $20 from the dealer and worth it - has insulation for the heat of manifold and engine block) also would replace the Knock Sensors and Knock sensor wire harness that gets all melted up under there too.
 

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Yeah it had 200,000 miles and felt a little jerky when accelerating up through the gears, so seemed to be something with the gears switching. I read it could be a simple sensor issue, but decided to go ahead and let them have it for salvage. Gonna buy a Sienna with lower miles just to be on the safe side and avoid headaches. Sad though, loved that van, never had any engine trouble and she got home even after the crash 😢
 

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Ooops just posted this right about the same time as you posted your post .. no harm in getting a newer vehicle - it saves lots of work and effort - depends on the Love really .. some cars are like family .. hard to say good bye too.

States differ on the Salvage Title - here is some good info to help you get your car back on the road and with a good enough title to get insurance and drive it again - and yes even comprehensive insurance might be possible..


 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Oh nice thanks! Yeah for me here in Maryland they would have had to do another safety inspection to get it back on the road, and I hear they can be real sticklers just to drum up business, part of the reason I let her go, though she did feel like family too.
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Here are some pics on our road trip this fall to California and back:

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Stayed at tons of free spots on BLM land, free state and national parks primitive recreational camping areas, as well as some Walmart and Sams Club parking lots.
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I can't believe how much stuff fits in these vans, had all the gear I could want and room for a little mattress in the back.

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Pinned sheets over the windows for privacy. Even flipped some Craigslist furniture for profit on the way.
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