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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:12 PM
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Buying a cat D insurance loss

Okay, so about 2 weeks ago we bought a 2005 Mini One from a Mini breakers in West Mids somewhere. It was a cat D insurance loss, so came to us fairly cheap, or so I thought.
I've bought cars over the internet before, on the strength of photos, and although there's inevitably more wrong than you're told, I find I can fix most things.

SO...
the car is bought on the understanding that the repairs required are
1 - new bonnet
2 - new n/s headlight
3 - new bumper
no structural damage, air con still works, tidy little car, in a very popular colour (pepper white)

watch this space...
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:19 PM
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I ordered a pattern bonnet (BIG MISTAKE!!!), pattern aero bumper and genuine aero bumper/bonnet grilles (another big mistake)

**don't mix pattern and genuine parts **

Anyway, on lifting the bonnet it was clear the slam panel was smashed to pieces, the n/s fog light was gone and the wheel arch liner was missing.

Oh yeah, and there are two odd dents in the leading edge of the roof (not a major problem) and the n/s mirror is hanging off.

So a trip to the local breakers (where I should have got my bonnet from!!) and my wallet is 70 odd lighter, but I have the wheel arch liner, mirror, wheel arch and bonnet trim (did I mention they were missing too?)

The slam panel cost another 35, complete with horns and (huge bonus) a pair of foglights!!
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Old Apr 4th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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Did I mention that the front tyres were like slicks?

Another trip to my local breakers (I should really have my own parking space!) and I have two "part worns" (obviously never used spares from a salvage car's boot, as they both still have the nobbly bits on them) for 50, fitted and balanced...

So I'm desperately trying to fit the radiator panel, without disconnecting the rads, as I didn't want to have to fork out for an air con regas unnecessarily.
After several hours and numerous skinned knuckles, I decide it can't be done and take both rads off, fit the panel, and put the rads back on.

Fill up with water/antifreeze and start the engine to find....



a MASSIVE hole in the bottom of the radiator (and all my antifreeze on the driveway)

So I'm thinking... "If the water rad has gone, maybe the aircon one has too? Although the nice chap that sold it to me said the air con was nice and cold"

SO I checked... and guess what?
Yup. No refrigerant. Maybe it was nice and cold because he was sitting in the car with the fan on cold with the windows open in his chuffing underpants.

So where do I go?


Yup, you guessed it; back to Silverlake (thought they deserve a mention seeing as they've been so helpful to me!)

120 for the rad pack (both rads and the fan housing) - a bit steep, but cheaper than new, and a new fan housing, in case mine is cracked/bent/broken (as everything else seems to be)

Fitting tomorrow, as I've run out of light. The bonnet, bumper and wheel arch trims are all off at the paintshop waiting for a few coats of pepper white to be applied (painting is something I cannot do)
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 04:04 AM
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Another update folks!

The water rad that I bought from the scrap yard? It had a leak. Not a huge one, but a leak nonetheless, so back it went, and I ordered an overnight brand new one from some ebay company.

It arrived the following morning (not bad for a 3pm order) and was duly fitted along with the second hand aircon rad and fan housing. Result?

All working fine (obviously no aircon as it's not been charged)

The parts came back from the body shop, and I have to say I'm a little disappointed. The wheelarch trims haven't been flatted particularly well and the scuffs have just been blown over. The main issue is that the pepper white that the painter applied appears to be much whiter than the rest of the car :-(

We're off away in the car at the weekend though, so it'll have to go back next week to be re done.
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 04:05 AM
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I guess it's about time I uploaded some pictures...
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Old Apr 17th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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By a write off cheap and repair it ok, but it will always be cheap, even when you come to sell it again in the future it has the history.
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Old Apr 18th, 2014, 04:03 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Nun (original)
By a write off cheap and repair it ok, but it will always be cheap, even when you come to sell it again in the future it has the history.

That is true. However, I bought it cheap so that my 17 year old daughter could learn to drive in something nice, that didn't cost the earth. It's a nice car, that will last (hopefully) for quite some time for her.
Plus some people can't afford to buy brand new or nearly new Minis
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Old Apr 18th, 2014, 04:10 AM
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Before...
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Old Apr 18th, 2014, 04:13 AM
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Trial fitting the panels...
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Old Apr 18th, 2014, 04:18 AM
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and after... (obviously, I still have the badge to fit, but the car has to go back to the paintshop for the white to be "yellowed" slightly to match the rest of the paintwork)

I'm quite pleased with the way it looks
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 09:45 PM
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Looks like you have don a good job.

Interested to know if the price you paid + the price to fix it up comes anywhere need the price for an undamaged Mini One of the same year / condition???

I have seen damaged /repairables myself (also for my daughter ) but have always been afraid of hidden problems taht only come out when repairing leading to a Cat D that costs more than one with a clean record...
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