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Old 04-19-2020, 05:52 PM   #1
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Advise on a damaged Ford SportsMobile

We are narrowing down a search on SportsMobile that we're looking to purchase.

Found one 2005 Ford E350

But theres a catch it was damaged & now is being offered for sale. Was involved in what seems to be side swiped.
My question is for any experienced individuals who had or still own there van that was previously wrecked..

Should i steer clear of this one or if its been repaired i should be good?
Very worried of the frame damaged and also of a bent body (for water and other wind noises not to come in)

Here are the pics, what are your thoughts?
Need to make a quick decision before i fly out tomorrow.
Attached Thumbnails
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19587336-55B2-48FC-A4DD-1E7A702EF109.jpg   F175C5A6-755E-4BCC-9095-09CD3D358D1E.jpg  

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Old 04-19-2020, 06:11 PM   #2
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Since the E-series is body on frame, it's still structurally sound. Probably would not be the case with a modern tall-van. My van has been through much worse. It's fine. Just tap around the body panel that was repaired and painted, and make sure they actually pulled the steel, and didn't just fill it with 30 pounds of bondo. I'd also pull the corresponding interior panel, and make sure there's no cracks that went unrepaired. The doors were likely swapped, so not much worry about there, as long as they matched the paint right (or close enough for your liking).

Do definitely perform an out of state title search, and make sure it doesn't have any records of title branding. Re-titling in one state is a way to wash the title. Being branded isn't the end of the world, but should be priced accordingly, because you'll take a resale hit if you ever sell it.

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Old 04-19-2020, 06:43 PM   #3
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Ah that is the nice one at a killer price that came up recently. Worth checking out. That is not a bad accident.
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Old 04-19-2020, 07:35 PM   #4
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Damage is probably not a big deal if, as carringB said, if they repaired it correctly. Keep in mind if you plan to keep the van for a long time, there is a chance that the repair might start start to show some signs down the road a ways.

How many miles?
What motor?
How much?
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:26 PM   #5
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The damage doesn’t look like it would have hurt the frame. I would water test the window and door seals with a hose looking for leaks, check the doors to see that they latch tightly, and test drive paying attention to rattles and squeaks.
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:16 AM   #6
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A mostly reliable test for excessive body filler is use a rather weak magnet placed along different damaged spots---areas where it won't stay in place tends to suggest a bit more body filler than working the metal.

As for the actual repair you'd want to know if the body side was replaced or worked. From a body repair POV the damage is rather severe which these days translates into replacing a part instead of repairing. If replaced without considerable attention paid to proper sealing and rust prevention it can become an issue as time goes on.

As CarringB says the doors are of no concern---the damage doesn't seem to have affected the opening, they were simply replaced.

Nice looking paint job though.
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:45 AM   #7
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If you can access the inside of the affected panel that should really tell the story. Panel cut out and new one welded in? Original panel but obviously still dented in? That means plenty of Bondo on outside. JWAs magnet trick is also a common way to tell.

It all comes down to how much they are selling it for in relation to the unscathed value of the van and how much downstream risk youre willing to embrace. Also it WILL affect resale value, especially if shown on CarFax, so keep that in mind.
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Old 04-20-2020, 07:58 AM   #8
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The repair looks good in the pics but pics hide a lot. Good advice above plus one other consideration. Walk around the van from a distance and see if the paint matches well. In the second to the last shot you posted (angle shot from front right) it doesn't look perfect but it could be the light.

Just keep in mind that you can almost always tell a previously wrecked vehicles by slightly mismatched body panels. If you can live with it you are good but once you see a slight difference you will always see it and it may bug you.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:54 AM   #9
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The repair is probably fine. The question is: are you getting a big enough discount now to make up for the haircut you will take on it down the road? You may be ok with the work, but the future buyer may not be. Something to think about.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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Thanks so much everyone who replied,

I had my friend in Phoenix look at it, before we flew out to look & saved me a trip.

The damage side already has major bondo cracking.

Still on the look for one!

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