Mechanics

DENT IN CAR HOOD

1986 Toyota MR2

Im in graduate school with no extra money. I drive an toyota mr2 1986-stick shift. I was in a car wreck and ran into the back end of a truck and my hoood has a dent in it and my head lights work but will no longer close. Is there anyway I can purchase the tools and hammer the dent out of the hood, please please help me. Im female and know nothing about fixing cars.
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Italia80
March 30, 2011.



STOP! Hammering a big dent will result in a whole bunch of little dents. I know from experience. There are some things I just don't have the talent for and bodywork is one of the big ones.

First see if your college has an Auto Body program, (mine did), where the students can work on it for you. Next, look for a community college that teaches Auto Body, (mine does). They will keep your car longer than regular body shops but you'll only pay for material and a small labor charge.

You can also look in the salvage yards for a replacement hood. Try to find one the same color because paint is very expensive. If you are around Georgia, Alabama, even up as far as Indianapolis, there is a chain called "Pull-A-Part" where you pay your buck, throw your tool box in one of their wheel barrows, and you can spend all day there. Removing a hood isn't real hard; typically four bolts. The guys will come around with a cart to haul it for you. There can be over a hundred people looking for parts on a nice day, and most of them will be happy to help you pull a hood off. I visited 12 of their 16 yards two years ago, and found the workers and the customers to be very friendly and helpful. Their yards are REAL clean and well organized, and parts are very reasonable.

You'll find other similar salvage yards around the country.

Caradiodoc
Mar 30, 2011.
Cardiodoc,
Thank-you so much for taking the time to provide me with such critical information about fixing my mr2 hood at descent price. This is the only vehicle I have and I live 2o mins from campus and can not afford to miss graduate class. Meaning, I can not go more than a few days without my car).

If you dont mind, what you say based on your expert oppionion, is an approximation(days, hours, weeks) as to how long would it take for someone to replace an mr2 hood if I was to purchase to hood at discount auto parts store and maybe get a mechanice to put in on for me?

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
15 minutes if it doesn't have to be painted. Longer to make teeny adjustments for a good fit. Only two bolts on each side hold it on. Figure a good two or three days if it has to be painted. Body shops are always busy but they can usually sneak in small jobs. The new hood will have to be sanded and "prepped" with a good cleaning and a coating of anti-rust primer. After that dries it will be sanded again, cleaned and painted. Figure a good day for the paint to dry. They will likely paint part of the two fenders too to blend them in so you can't see a difference in shade. It all depends on how hard it is for them to match the paint color. Chrysler uses acrylic enamel which you really can't mess up even if you try. GM uses acrylic lacquer which is almost impossible to match except by the experts. The shade will vary depending on air pressure, distance the spray gun is from the panel, even humidity and temperature affect the color. I don't know which type of paint Toyota uses but I don't ever recall hearing how hard their colors are to match.

The bolt holes in the hood hinges are slotted to allow each side to be moved forward and backward and up and down. Those adjustments take a lot longer than it takes to just bolt the hood in place. The job can be done by one really talented person but for the rest of us it takes three. One to hold the front up, and one on each rear corner to hold it in place and run the bolts in. It often takes two people to make the adjustments too because the front has to be held up when the bolts are loosened to make an adjustment.

Caradiodoc
Mar 30, 2011.
Your a total life saver thankyou again.
My mr2 is black in color and I dont beleive it needs a paint job--but thats coming from a person with zero experience working on cars.
Thank-you so for telling me to bring a tool box with me to pull apart to get mr2 hood (I wouldnt know to bring tools otherwise). You did say it wont be too difficult for me to get the hood myself from pull a a part right? At 5 ft 100 pounds Im not the strongest person, just want to make sure I will be able handle getting the hood off the car by myself? (I truly understand its a do-it yourself get your car part yourself kind of place).

Let me get this straight, I need to buy an mr2 hood for my car from pull-apart --
-Round up 3 (or 2 if I can assit)assistants to install my new hood.
-I need to buy a quality anti rust primer (where can I purchase this item)?
If you dont mind suggesting any other items/tools I will
need to install a hood?

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
This is a totally new area for me, so as you can probably tell I am a bit clueless, and am a little anxious about going to pull apart facility and repairing my hood-
I alpologize for asking so many stupid questions, just really trying to grasp all the necessary information. Thank-you really, for your patience

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
First of all, if you find a hood the same color as your car, you don't have to do any painting at all, just bolt it on and make a few adjustments so the gaps line up. The primer only applies to having a body shop paint a new hood or a used one that is the wrong color when you buy it. When you buy a new replacement hood, it will have a black electrostatic coating. That is not paint or primer. It is an anti-rust coating. All new panels will have minor imperfections that must be tweaked and sanded before they are painted. That tweaking and the paint are the expensive items.

Pull-A-Part doesn't buy wrecked cars, only cars that people bring in themselves, so they usually have engine or transmission trouble, not body damage. I got a rust-free lift gate and sliding door for my old '88 Grand Caravan for under $100.00 for the pair, with all the trim panels and latch hardware.

Before you remove the new hood, dig through the other cars to find some floor mats to throw on the ground to set it on. The yards have crushed rocks on the ground which will scratch the paint. If you lean the hood against the car while you run to find one of the "parts hauler guys", they will likely carry the hood from the car to their hauler, and you can drag the floor mats along and throw them on the trailer first. You'll be amazed at what else you can find that might work, like cardboard, bubble wrap, and stuff like that.

Without actually seeing your hood, I'm visualizing needing two wrenches, ... Well, ... Probably only one wrench. Strictly as a guess, I would suggest a 15 mm box wrench for the bolts on the hinges. Try it on your car first. In the rare event you have to transfer your old latch to the new hood, that might take a different size wrench. Chances are no one swiped the latch from the new hood so that won't be a problem unless you have to loosen it to adjust its position. Once the new hood is bolted on, close it very slowly while watching to see if it is going to hit or catch on anything. Use some small carpet scraps or cardboard under the two rear corners while you're making adjustments. If the hood slips down when you loosen the bolts, it won't nick the paint on the hood or fenders.

You might consider taking along a six-pack of soda to entice a couple of people to help you install the new hood right there in the parking lot. That way you don't have to transport it and you can leave the old one there. They might have a "core charge" where they give you a couple of dollars back for the old one.

Rather than buying the tools, ask some of the guys in one of your classes or in the dorms if they have a few wrenches you could borrow. I'm sure it won't take long to find someone with tools. By the way, I noticed you used "your" instead of "you're". Don't do that on your papers. I still have nightmares from my years in college, and graduate class over-educated idiot professors can be some of the least forgiving teachers, not the sweet, understanding teacher I was. What are you studying, and which school are you attending? In case you can't tell, I don't have much use for four-year colleges.

Caradiodoc
Mar 30, 2011.
Ok I admit it, in the final stages of writing my thesis, and yet I managed to confuse your and you're. I appreciate the reminder. I'm a graduate assitant enrolled in the Human Science Graduate Program at MTSU.I agree with you! Could not have said better myself! The majority of my professors are overly rigid, leave little if any room for mistakes or common human error. It is a though they expect graduate students to anticipate and rise above any unforseen circumstance.
-Thank-you, I had already considered borrowing tools, but wasnt sure which tools to borrow. You cleared that up for me!

I admit, its lame that I'm still fairly concerned about going to pull-apart, because, I'm unfamiliar with the process-

I will certainly use your step by step instructions, hopefully I will be able to actually remove the hood. I have never attempted to repair anything on a vehicle, so we will see how this turns out. Thank-you again

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
I clearly need to make a few mechanic friends and stop bugging you. Last question, the hood of my car is fairly dented, I have hardly driven the vehicle since the accident. Is there any danger in driving the car small distances (like to pull-a-apart).

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
Probably not. What city are you in? The concerns are the hood could fly open if it isn't fully latched, there could be a bulge that partially blocks your view, or the engine overheats. The overheating issue is so uncommon but it should be mentioned anyway. There is a rubber seal under the front edge of the hood that blocks air flow. That forces air to blow through the radiator rather than around it. It is one of the unusual things we look for when we run into an overheating situation and none of the normal fixes takes care of it. That seal is not likely to cause a problem this time of year.

As for the process at Pull-A-Part, when you walk in, you'll walk past a counter with four computer stations. If you choose to ask, they will enter the car you're looking for, then print out a little slip that lists which rows you'll find them in and the year of each one. I think they can tell you which other years use the same hood. Your next stop will be the sign-in desk just before you walk into the yard. They charge a dollar, stamp your hand for the entire day, and you sign an electronic pad that basically says they aren't liable if you get hurt. All of the fluids have been drained, and every car is propped up on four pairs of wheels welded together so you can get underneath if you have to. They are very solid; you won't knock them over. Well, ... If you do, I don't want to meet you in a dark alley when you're angry with me!

As soon as you get into the yard you will see a big sign that maps out the entire yard and shows the row numbers. All imports will be grouped together in one area. I'm always searching for Chrysler stuff. That means hiking all the way to the farthest reaches of the yard. If I had friends or relatives who would miss me, they might put my face on a milk carton! I found my sliding door in Nashville, of course on the hottest day of summer. Took me over ten minutes to rattle it back to the office riding on the wheel barrow. At the office they had a couple of huge fans set up blowing water to cool people down. Nice! There will also be a sink there with real good hand soap. If you've never been in a salvage yard before, just know that these are real clean. They have a team of people go through every morning to clean busted parts that inconsiderate people through around. I've been in some yards where you have to wipe your feet, ... When you leave, so you don't track the dirt into the world! The yard in Indianapolis was the worst of the Pull-A-Part yards, mainly because I was there when it was muddy from melting snow. It was still way better than all other yards.

When you go out the checkout line, they will charge you for the part, sales tax, an "environmental" fee of a couple of bucks, and possibly that core charge. Expect a total of around $40.00 and about $2.50 back when you take the old hood back. If you have to make a second trip to take the hood back, you might spend more for gas than it's worth. They tell you that you have up to 30 days to bring old parts back but for me it's a seven hour drive to Indianapolis. I took parts back after six weeks and they still refunded the core charges with no argument what-so-ever.

You will also be offered a warranty on almost anything you buy. That will cost around another five bucks. That's a good deal for electrical items or parts that you can't tell if they're good until you install them, but you shouldn't need that for a hood. Just look it over to be sure it isn't bent. If you find something wrong with it later and you didn't pay for the warranty, they won't let you return it. With the warranty they will exchange it. I don't know about just returning it for a refund. Still, you will get a real good deal even if you did end up buying two hoods. I visited a different yard in St. Louis, MO after attending a class there, and that guy wanted $250.00 for the lift gate for my van. The one I finally found at Pull-A-Part was much nicer and cost less than $45.00 with the tax and environmental charge.

Feel free to bring on any more questions. Answers are what I'm here for.

Caradiodoc
Mar 30, 2011.
I am so lucky, to receive advice from such knowledgeable individual.
I clicked on this board out sheer desperation, I dont know many people here and just thought for kicks Id try to get some helpful advice. You have been more than helpful and have made this task seem less impossible.
I live 3o min from nashville tn I know there is a pull apart in nashville.

Tiny
Italia80
Mar 30, 2011.
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