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Old 03-28-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
sepandee
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Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

First of all, here are the pictures (9 total): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFaFk2k2PzY

My sister damaged the right-front passenger door of our BRAND NEW (not even 5 days old) Mitsubishi Ralliart. He right-front passenger door is now scratched and dented in the middle, with the bottom part of the damage sticking out a bit. The door's skin has lost its structural integrity now. It's flimsy. The damage is obviously noticeable, but it's nothing huge.

SO I take it to Mitsubishi and they tell me they need to replace the door shell. Cost: $1900 (CAD, which is around $1850 USD).

I take it to another body shop, and they say they can fix it by replacing the skin. Cost: $1100 (around $1000 USD).

I go back to Mitsubishi and tell them about the skin, and they say they can do that as well but then I need to sign a waiver that if the door rusts, it's not their fault (I don't know if this is because I have a rust module or not and whether that's going to void its warranty). Cost: $1400CAD

Then I take it to this ghetto-looking body shop. A mechanic I know and trust recommended the guy working there, saying that he does everything himself (from cutting to welding to etc.) and has 30+ years experience. So even though I'm skeptical due to its ghetto-like image, I trust the guy who recommended it. Over there, I was told he can fix it by just bringing the dent back out (with a suction? or hammer?), then he'll heat different points of the door so the metal shrinks a bit, and then paint over it. He assured me it'll look exactly like it was before.

What do you guys think? I mean, it's not a big damage, and I don't see why it should cost almost $2000. On the other hand, I want it to look like brand new again. I don't want any traces of the accident. The last guy toldl me several times that he can order the shell or skin if I want to, but that the good-old fashioned way of fixing it will do just fine.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

It is hard to determine from photos, but if I were to write an estimate on the car, I would probably write to replace the door skin. If there is damage to the inner shell, then the whole door needs to be replaced. I am not saying any of them or wrong. Obviously this is a border judgment call. I guess go with who you trust. Let us know what you decide and how it turns out. Any other advice out there?
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:46 AM   #3
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

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It is hard to determine from photos, but if I were to write an estimate on the car, I would probably write to replace the door skin. If there is damage to the inner shell, then the whole door needs to be replaced. I am not saying any of them or wrong. Obviously this is a border judgment call. I guess go with who you trust. Let us know what you decide and how it turns out. Any other advice out there?
Thanks. No not really. That's all the advice I've got. Unfortunately, I don't know much about cars, and even less about this kinda stuff. I promised that wherever I go/stay from now on, I need to know 7 people on really good terms (a doctor, a policeman, a lawyer, etc.), and one of them is someone who works at a body shop.

There shouldn't be any damage to the inner shell. Apparently it was a very soft collision... just coming out of the parking and hitting the divider. At least that's what I'm hoping for. Problem is, when you say "go with who you trust," I don't really trust anyone
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:22 AM   #4
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

I would guess to go with the door skin. If you turn it in to your insurance, I am guessing that is what they will put on their estimate. Have you turned it in to your insurance?
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:53 AM   #5
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

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I would guess to go with the door skin. If you turn it in to your insurance, I am guessing that is what they will put on their estimate. Have you turned it in to your insurance?
Nope, we don't do that here in this province, because no matter what, they'll jack up your premium.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:27 PM   #6
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

If the metal is stretched, which it sounds like from your "flimsy" description, then the skin would be the way to go. He might be able get the metal to settle down and not be a beer can, but it is a new car and you don't wanna go there. Also, you need to go to a more reputable shop. There should not be any issues with rust waivers. Sounds like bs to me. The door is skinned, apply the necessary corrosion proofing. I have never seen a corrosion problem from a door skin job. Also, the car looks black to me. Normally, if it was any other color, then the adjacent panels(reardoor & fender) would need to be blended for color match. If it is straight black no formula, then you would only need that damaged door painted. So the cost should only reflect that. $1100 sounds steep.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:41 PM   #7
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

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$1100 sounds steep.
Does it? You're living in the States though, right? Some Canadian dude told me that prices are cheaper in the US, so the American members of these kinda forums tend to get "shocked" when we tell them about our prices. Dunno if it's true or not, unfortunately.

I took it to two other body shops today, same price. $1100-$1200. Both also recommended the skin to be replaced, but one of them said it's better not to weld the skin (don't know what the hell I'm talking about, so excuse me if this memorized line doesn't sound right) because there's always the possibility of it rusting. So he said if I wanted, they can use a special glue they have which they've had great results with. Again, I don't know anything about this stuff, so I said sure. I'm actually going to post about this in this forum.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

Adhesives work great. There are some awesome adhesives available today. Depending on the door skin, we may use a few plug welds on the belt area. I also agree with chaswe75, if done properly, there should not be any rusting issues.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

Ok I am not sure about costs in Canada compared to the US i.e. labor rate, materials, parts. Still consider whether the car color is straight black. This will determine if the other panels need to be painted for color match purposes. That will drive the cost up. The estimate should specify what operations you are being charged for. Door skins are attached with epoxy glue and then a couple spot weld are applied.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:03 AM   #10
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Re: Replace door skin, shell, or just tap a dent out?

This is kind of a detailed question, if you've never did anything like this before you get off cheaper buying a used door and painting it to match the car.
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