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My car drives again! Need body repair info


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The front right door and quarter panel, hubcap (I need a new wheel emblem too...), and trim are still bashed up, and the door won't open, but it drives once again!<P>I found out what happened to it in the accident, and why so much damage was caused:<P>The collision was between myself, travelling at 25 MPH straight down the road, and a Neon at about 10 MPH at a slight down and rearward angle (turning out of a parking lot into my lane) from the side. Due to the angle of the impact, the top of the wheel was pushed in, bending the strut and a control rod, throwing the hub bearings out of alignment, and destroying the ball joint at the base of the hub assembly. Basically a replacement of the entire front right drive system sans brakes, shocks, and wheel (luckily, slightly used parts were available - and with a free lifetime warrantee - thanks, Tuffy!). Quite an expensive repair, but I can luckily get $500 of the ~$750 cost from the insurance of the person at fault (due to Michigan's no-fault insurance system). Not that I want to, as she graduated from my school last year and is going to a small local college, but I can't cover the cost myself, and she did cause the accident. Ah well, it's an expensive lesson in an expensive world.<P>Now, I just need to find a good place to repair the body damage. I know it's probably cost prohibitive to repair it completely, as the car actually isn't worth all that much - to someone else. To me, it's worth more than that. I seem to truly understand the man/machine sentimental relationship now that it's been stressed. I will take much better care of <I>my car</I> now than I did before.<P>That said, what should I look for in body repair shops? I really don't know anything about how much this kind of repair costs and what is involved. Any tips would be gratefully accepted.<P>Thanks,<BR>-John

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