If you have read my posts in the past you will know I wrecked a R32 Skyline GTS-T. I wrote up a process of importing it, this is the process of repairing it.
DAMAGE VISIBLE TO ME
Basically I t-boned a E55 mercedes. The front end was crushed, car was undrivable but would roll, and the driver side fender cracked.
FINDING A SHOP
I knew a couple of shops that were willing to work on this car. In fact one, Uerhara Motowerks, that I went to often is the first I went to in order to see if they can fix this or at least take a look.
They are not a body shop, they say, so they suggested someone else. I called that person, told him where I was. He said he would come out and look at the car. Never called back, never showed up. Typical Vegas experience. Where I am from in Chicago people want your business. In Vegas people don’t. You have to call them continuously to actually get them to do anything here typically. Eventually I found that this guy was across town and didn’t want to come to my place. Which is silly, if he told me that I would have had it towed to his shop.
I called a few other reputable body shops in Las Vegas. Even though I said I would source the parts none of them wanted to work on this car. I called about 4 or 5 shops in the end, nobody willing to work on it.
Now I had two out of state contacts. A guy who works on Datsun 510s and 240Zs in California and Pitstop Performance in Arizona, a rather reputable Nissan shop in the southwest. I called Pitstop and immediately the difference between Vegas and out of state was apparent. The owner Vitali seemed happy to have my business and actually discussed at length my issues with the car! I was shocked. I hadn’t seen customer service this good in the 6 years i’ve lived in Las Vegas.
Now off the Vegas bashing.
Before I talked to any shops I assumed I would have to at least do the legwork on finding parts. I found several “wreckers” in canada that had front cuts for sale. Basically what you guy if you buy a front clip minus the engine and transmission. This contained all the body parts I needed including things like the AC condenser.
When I talked to Pitstop they said I should look at ebay as well, so I did. I found a great front cut but it was $1300. I offered $800 and the offer was accepted. It is being shipped as I type this.
Other things I will need are a new intercooler and possibly a new fan clutch and fan. All of which I was able to find on ebay or other sites like where I bought the intercooler I had to begin with, Nengun. This time i’m probably going with a Japseed Racing intercooler from the UK.
INITIAL OBSERVATION ON DAMAGE
I shipped my car to arizona using USHIP. A site where you put your car on there and people bid to ship it. The guy came out on friday and shipped it there by monday.
On arrival Pitstop did a brief inspection of the car. The car has some frame damage. However they found that the car are prior accident damage and damage to that same frame.
This was kind of surprising to me. The car was rated a 3.5 at the Japanese auctions, also cars in accidents there typically are rated R.
They said the repairs on a domestic vehicle with this level of damage would be $5-7000. The car cost me $7000. Seeing that getting a new one would be impossible for a reasonable price I decided to go through with the repairs.
If you live in a smaller city DO NOT import a foreign market car unless you are willing to ship it if something happens. I knew this beforehand and had no problem. Shipping a car is easy but it’s nice if you know someone there that can check up on things. My dad lives in Phoenix, which helps.
Vegas services are indeed SHIT. It’s not just with cars, literally anything you could want to do or have done is lacking here. Consider that if you ever want to move here. You can find good/decent places but they will always be lacking compared to what you would find in like Socal, Phoenix or Chicago. Plus where you can shop between 3 or 4 good places in like Chicago you have ONE choice in Vegas. Also like I said this is anything, not just car shops.
Oh I forgot. In Vegas there is a gun shop at every corner. So if you want a AR15 built you have like 100 options and probably 5 good ones, lol. Only thing where that’s the case i’ve seen.
Don’t take Japanese auction ratings as law. I didn’t have problems with my car at all until the accident but it was in a prior accident with no indication of it. I had a PPI even done and it took an experienced body shop to see it.
The next time I type something like this I will if anything happens but otherwise when the car is finished.
No picture, at work and kinja works horrible here. So I can’t use any of the formatting options as well.