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Old 01-16-2020, 12:24 PM   #1
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Front End Rebuild Project

So I bought a 2003 Boxster S at auction with front end damage.

From what I see, it looks like the car drove under a pickup truck or something. The fender was pushed down and the hood buckled.

So far I bought a new fender, light and hood, you can see it temporarily installed in the pics.

Regarding the damaged metal, does this need to be replaced somehow or can this be straightened out/massaged back to that all panels line up?

Looking for some opinions and hopefully from those experience with bodywork before i get some estimates for repairs.

Pics are here >>>>> https://imgur.com/a/wozXvLx

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Old 01-16-2020, 04:05 PM   #2
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I did exactly that with my '99. Dove under the rear bumper of a pickup. No damage to the pickup. My guess was $3-4k. They stopped estimating at $26k and totaled it.

The issues are insurablity, frame alignment check, and doing a repair that makes it as crash-worthy the next time as it came from the factory.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:33 PM   #3
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My standards are probably a lot lower than Mike's, but if I had that it would be a parts car. That damage is more than I'd want to take on with a BFH and more expensive than I'd want to pay a shop to fix.

Here's a recent repair job -less damage- on another forum. Porsch-Uh Oh Build...
I don't think Lemming's was nearly that bad. http://986forum.com/forums/show-tell-gallery/69277-98-project-car.html

I did have similar damage fixed on another car (Infiniti i30) many years ago. After I declined the repair at a reputable body shop, they recommended a guy who worked in a barn outside of town part time. What's your goal; good enough to have fun in, or restored value and safe for your loved ones to use?

Two of your pics:


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Old 01-16-2020, 06:52 PM   #4
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From your pictures and my opinion, that car needs time on a proper framer rack. Otherwise, it will be next to impossible to get that front end close enough to do an alignment. That corner looks to be pushed in +/-6" and down +/-4". I second the notion of it being a 'parts car' unfortunately.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:16 PM   #5
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Better Yee than me. I'd part it out
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
My standards are probably a lot lower than Mike's, but if I had that it would be a parts car. That damage is more than I'd want to take on with a BFH and more expensive than I'd want to pay a shop to fix.

Here's a recent repair job -less damage- on another forum. Porsch-Uh Oh Build...
I don't think Lemming's was nearly that bad. http://986forum.com/forums/show-tell-gallery/69277-98-project-car.html

I did have similar damage fixed on another car (Infiniti i30) many years ago. After I declined the repair at a reputable body shop, they recommended a guy who worked in a barn outside of town part time. What's your goal; good enough to have fun in, or restored value and safe for your loved ones to use?

Thanks for the info... the plan is to have it as a weekend car, possibly track it as well. I have yet to have it looked at in person from a bodyshop so will be interested in hearing what they have to say. Parting it out would be a last case scenario but could be a possibility.

Two of your pics:




Thanks for the info... the plan is to have it as a weekend car, possibly track it as well. I have yet to have it looked at in person from a bodyshop so will be interested in hearing what they have to say. Parting it out would be a last case scenario but could be a possibility.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info... the plan is to have it as a weekend car, possibly track it as well. ...
In most US states a salvaged car must be inspected to certify that the car is restored to safe condition to be back on the road. Find out Toronto's standards (Body shop should know) and you may be able to repair it to 'weekender' standard, but still 'not quite right' underneath. It could be a lot more affordable. I have one like that and it's a great car to drive.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:53 PM   #8
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Ooohhhhh...... friend, I'd part that. You'll spend more in repairs than it's worth. (Remember, that car is worth about $5k, MAX, in perfect condition with that title branded.)

Part it.

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Old 01-17-2020, 04:22 AM   #9
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Thanks all for the advice. Will get some estimates and see what the body shops say. Hoping it can be fixed if not will have to deal with parting it out.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:33 AM   #10
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Did you buy a replacement RH headlight or did it survive the crash like that? If it's the latter, that's pretty amazing!

BTW, I too would part it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:41 AM   #11
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Did you buy a replacement RH headlight or did it survive the crash like that? If it's the latter, that's pretty amazing!

BTW, I too would part it.
I actually got that replacement on ebay really cheap, considering it was xenon as well. Yea the original was smashed to bits!
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:47 AM   #12
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Before parting, I am definitely going to get some estimates and get an idea on what some body shops will say. I don't want to give up on it quite yet.

There's a guy on Youtube that is rebuilding a 911 that was also hit in the front and he ordered a bunch of metal panels from Germany. >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A5rkQDz5kg

I imagine I could get these from a donor car locally that the bodyshop could use to fix if bending back into place. Just not sure of the front structure of the Boxster and what panels can be "de-riveted" out.

If anyone has any diagrams/info on this please let me know... been searching online can't find much.
Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:13 AM   #13
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It can be removed and replaced. I just scrapped a car that had the whole front end intact. I think that you or a body shop can find a front tub in Toronto that could be parted. The skilled labor hours are probably what make it impractical.
My old factory service manual "Group 5, body" has instructions:



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Old 01-17-2020, 10:11 AM   #14
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This is great thank you. Since the tub looks to be ok, based on the diagram it looks like Part A is what I need and maybe the left side could be pulled back into shape. All the damage was above the frame rail - then again, it needs to be checked.

There's a 986 in Toronto being parted out so might be an opportunity. Would you know if the rivets on these cars are hardened or can they be drilled out? Not sure if they'd sell just this one piece or if i'd have to buy the whole shell.

Luckily I might get some help from a good friend who owns a car dealership and has a bodyshop that he does a lot of work with.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:41 AM   #15
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... There's a 986 in Toronto being parted out so might be an opportunity. Would you know if the rivets on these cars are hardened or can they be drilled out? Not sure if they'd sell just this one piece or if i'd have to buy the whole shell. ...
The sheet metal panels are spot welded and sealed. The welds can be drilled and welding the new part on fills the holes.

I think that it would be best to have the shop/person that is repairing your car have the whole front of that parts car. That way you know that the parts are removed complete and correctly.

DFreswick has some pics in his for sale thread that might help you visualize the construction of the front:
http://986forum.com/forums/589208-post115.html

I can probably scan and email a few pages of the manual if you need to see any particulars. I don't like to post too much of it directly
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Last edited by 78F350; 01-17-2020 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:21 PM   #16
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The sheet metal panels are spot welded and sealed. The welds can be drilled and welding the new part on fills the holes.

I think that it would be best to have the shop/person that is repairing your car have the whole front of that parts car. That way you know that the parts are removed complete and correctly.

DFreswick has some pics in his for sale thread that might help you visualize the construction of the front:
http://986forum.com/forums/589208-post115.html

I can probably scan and email a few pages of the manual if you need to see any particulars. I don't like to post too much of it directly
That would be great if you don't mind! I will send you a PM so you don't have to post it here.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:47 PM   #17
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To me, that doesn't look too bad. Sure the fender is trashed and the part that the fender attaches to is bent, but the main frame rails are untouched. A slide hammer, body hammers, variety of hand tools, some heat and that panel would be back to usable condition quickly. As long as you got the mounting area straight, no one would ever be able to tell unless you told them. Even then they'd have to pull back the trunk liner to really see. On another note, if you do decide to part it out those 2003-04 3.2's are gold. You'll probably get most of your money back with just the engine.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:13 PM   #18
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To me, that doesn't look too bad. Sure the fender is trashed and the part that the fender attaches to is bent, but the main frame rails are untouched. A slide hammer, body hammers, variety of hand tools, some heat and that panel would be back to usable condition quickly. As long as you got the mounting area straight, no one would ever be able to tell unless you told them. Even then they'd have to pull back the trunk liner to really see. On another note, if you do decide to part it out those 2003-04 3.2's are gold. You'll probably get most of your money back with just the engine.
Thanks for the input Woody. I really do want to save it but want to do it right too. Initially I thought the same by just pulling back into place but 78F350 convinced me that replacing some of the structural panels is the way to go.

I'm currently looking for a donor and just missed out on a full front clip that was sold locally. Checking to see if the parts can be bought separately online.
This is the actual car prior to the accident - Paul's Car Care - 2003 Porsche Boxster S
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #19
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That's cool. I like doing body work and I'm pretty good with metal. I took a year of autobody in high school and I've been doing it as a hobby for the last 30 years. It's really not that hard and kind of fun. I'd rather paint a car than have to rebuild the motor. I rarely flip porsches as there's more money in the parts. I bought this one with very similar damage as yours. It had more damage in the front but less on the side/top. I took it from this



To this in 3 hours.

I sold it to a friend's 18 year old son and they finished the painting to this.

A year later and now it looks like this
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:00 PM   #20
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Thanks for the input Woody. I really do want to save it but want to do it right too. Initially I thought the same by just pulling back into place but 78F350 convinced me that replacing some of the structural panels is the way to go. ...
Just to note: Woody knows a lot more about this stuff than I ever will and I value his advice above mine. The thing about it is that in a case like this, he could spend an hour with a slide hammer and make more progress than I could in a week. He may not realize that not all of us have his skills.

Email replied with 5 attachments.

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