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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I got my 2001 TDI Beetle about 6 months ago. I ended up getting in a wreck last week and unfortunately I only had liability insurance. So now I am left without a car. Finances are tight so I am looking into fixing it myself. I don't have much experience with working on vehicles but I am left with no other option. I wanted to get some advice on how to go about this....

The first thing I would like to know is how can I tell if the frame is bent? The front passenger side tire is bent in towards the car and I would hate to start sinking money into this only to find out it is more serious then it looks. I will include some picture here. Hopefully someone can offer some advice.

Secondly I would like to know what model Beetles would have interchangeable parts with the 2001? The car still runs fine so the majority of the damage seems to be body work. My biggest concern tho is the front tire here so any advice on that would be most helpful. I ask because I am going to try to use as much used parts as possible.

Any other thoughts and opinions would be helpful. Thanks




 

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This was my Beetle after an accident. Very similar damage it seems. My frame was completely tweaked. It was pretty visible just by looking under the car and sitting in the car after the fact (plastic pieces wouldn't go back into place, things just didn't line up anymore inside).

If you really want to know for sure, I'd say get it to someone who can give it a good look and tell you. I was nowhere near in the position to rebuild my car and with the frame damage, blown airbags, axle that ripped out of the transmission, etc. it just wasn't worth it to me to fix mine. But I also got an insurance payout, as another car hit me nearly head-on when she crossed several lanes of traffic and into the oncoming direction (mine).

I would definitely get the car looked at for frame damage. I wouldn't be at all surprised if its bent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. The plastic around my shifter did pop out. I haven't tried to mess with any of it tho. I am still hopeful that the issue is localized to that tire. I really dont have access to a trailer to haul it to get looked at as of now. I have less than 60,000 on the motor so I really hope I can fix this thing. :(
 

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I hate to say it but it doesn't look good. It's possible that a new door and some wheel work will take care of it, but I don't know. It looks like you have the bigger mirrors so anything from 02 to at least 05 and possibly 10 should work door wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. I will keep it in mind. I found out that if I can get the wheel fixed, I can know if the frame is bent by trying to get an alignment done. If it wont align, it's bent. That's still a bit of a gamble tho. :confused:
 

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It definitely is, I would rather gamble on a TDI than any other though. If it comes down to it and you have the ability you could make a pretty penny parting it out, especially the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can anyone provide a link for how to take the body apart? I need to remove the door, the trim beneath it and the part over the damaged wheel. Thanks
 

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Leave the door on. It is "form fitted" to the body right now. If you put a new door on it will never fit without doing major pulls on the a-pillar and fender apron area.
Get a "knee assembly" for the right front, that should fix your alignment issues with a new wheel.
Car-Part.com or call your local wrecking yard.
The door may look ugly, but it will cost several thousand dollars to fix. You can get the suspension back on it, and running down the road for fairly cheap.
 

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It looks like somebody hit YOU. If this is the case, won't their insurance be primary, and pay you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The door does not close so I think I am going to have to remove it anyways. I crawled under the car today and the only thing bent under the tire seems to be a strut. Aside from the strut there wasn't anything else that was obvious. I am thinking of repairing the strut, purchasing the door myself and hiring a shop to work the frame and door into place.

I can get the strut and attempt an alignment for about 150$. In doing this I can determine if the frame is badly tweaked. If I can manage a repair for around $3,000 or so I will go that route, if not I am going to have to just part it :(

The wreck was my fault. I was driving in a area with road construction and a light turned red while I was reading the detour signs, so while someone did hit me I wont be getting any financial assistance :(.
 

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Instead of buying a bunch of parts; I would get a estimate and evaluation/estimate of the frame repair FIRST. Then, you can see if the repair and estimate for the framework, makes financial sense. Most of these cars; are worth so little, it usually isn't cost effective to repair them. On the other hand; if you don't mind working on these New Beetles; I am sure, you could find a similar car that is a fixer upper and just use your wrecked car as a parts car. Transfer any good parts; that another route anyway.
 

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As others have said, your best bet would be to find a Beetle with a bad engine/transmission and swap your parts over. They are not that hard to find.
 

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I can get the strut and attempt an alignment for about 150$. In doing this I can determine if the frame is badly tweaked. If I can manage a repair for around $3,000 or so I will go that route, if not I am going to have to just part it :(
Hopefully you'll be able to do something and get it fixed up. Like has been said though, start with the cheap things to see if it's worth spending more.

If you do part it out, make sure you post it here, the hounds will be all over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That is a really interesting idea. I got a couple questions tho....Does anyone have any suggestions on where/how to look for a beetle with a bad motor/transmission in my area? (Louisiana) I checked my local Craigslist but they only have running cars listed.

What year models would easily accommodate a 01 TDI engine and transmission? Would the diesel be a clean swap with a gas engine? How much would I be looking at in labor for a engine/transmission swap?

If the cost would be roughly the same with everything included I might try that route.
 

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That is a really interesting idea. I got a couple questions tho....Does anyone have any suggestions on where/how to look for a beetle with a bad motor/transmission in my area? (Louisiana) I checked my local Craigslist but they only have running cars listed.
You just need to look around. I found this one in less than 5 minutes.
2000 Volkswagen bug
What year models would easily accommodate a 01 TDI engine and transmission? Would the diesel be a clean swap with a gas engine? How much would I be looking at in labor for a engine/transmission swap?
Probably an 05 or older. To go from gas to Diesel would take wiring, probably fuel tank, etc. It would be a job, but many have done it. Do a search at TDIClub Forums - Powered by vBulletin
If the cost would be roughly the same with everything included I might try that route.
If you have to pay someone, it's probably not worth it. If you can do most of the work yourself, then it becomes viable. I would think you could do the swap in several weekends.
 

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As was said, 05 or older would probably work best. But I would stick with 03 or older since 04 changed away from the ALH TDI engine. Diesel to diesel would be best as you wouldn't need to swap fuel tank/lines etc. But since you have the diesel parts it wouldn't be impossible, just more to switch over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you everyone for all the replies. I found someone who is willing to do rent-to-own for a 06 Beetle with 80k miles on the engine. They are asking $3,000 negotiable. I am going to test drive the car tomorrow. If I am impressed with it I might go with that and just make up for my loss by parting this one out. I am not clear on if it a diesel or gas but I will know by tomorrow.
 
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