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Old 07-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

Quote:
Originally Posted by twogone
Yep, second opinion... mechanic could be lookin' to score a cheap deal on a muddy van... just sayin'.
Kinda like you, and me, and everybody!


No really, link some pics somehow. We here would all rather see you get your baby rolling again, unless the insurance payout is the better deal. I too agree that the damage described doesn't sound 'totaled' unless you drove if long while overheating/leaking fluids.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #12
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

What a bummer. As long as the mud and debris did not get in the engine it should run fine. Clean the radiator fins, pull the hubs, brakes, and repackage the wheel bearings. Pressure wash the undercarriage. Check the air intake for junk.

Have always bought that if something happened to my van body I would just move the interior to a different van. It would be a lot cheaper that starting from scratch.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

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Originally Posted by larrie
What a bummer. As long as the mud and debris did not get in the engine it should run fine. Clean the radiator fins, pull the hubs, brakes, and repackage the wheel bearings. Pressure wash the undercarriage. Check the air intake for junk.

Have always bought that if something happened to my van body I would just move the interior to a different van. It would be a lot cheaper that starting from scratch.
I'd also replace the oil/filter, front and rear diff fluid.


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Old 07-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

Pretty much its standard procedure to total out a vehicle if water (or mud) get above the floor boards.

Engine wire harness should probably be replaced. Not too terrible, and its not uncommon for ford diesels to need this anyways without being flooded. Cooling system is pretty simple and radiators are cheap. ABS is malfunctioning because of contamination at the sensors.


If it were my van.... I'd buy it back and fix it. But I'm pretty good working in these things. Your best option may be swapping the body onto a donor chassis. This will most likely be the lowest cost option when you factor in labor, assuming you will be having all repairs done for you.

Your insurance should have standard depreciation tables they will apply to the conversion. Just be sure they understand the conversion was done in '08 not when the van was new. Try asking for an RV adjuster since they will be more familiar with kind of situation.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

What you guys are saying is that I need to "Total" my van every time I make the water crossings through Calamue Wash in Baja.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #16
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

yes, it was the 395 slide. I drove the van about 90 miles up to Bishop. Here are some pics and I will post a few more. They are all taken from under the van. Sorry I cant tell you what everything is but my mechanical skills are limited to changing tires, oil, air filters, batteries and other very basic maintenance. Hopefully the pics will make sense to some of you. Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate it.
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IMG_3948 (800x600) (800x600).jpg   IMG_3951 (800x600).jpg   IMG_3954 (800x600).jpg  
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #17
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

Here are some more.
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IMG_3956 (800x600) (800x600).jpg   IMG_3958 (800x600) (800x600).jpg   IMG_3959 (800x600).jpg  
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #18
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

Part of he reason they want to total it is the time it will take to clean all the mud and grime off and then check everything out to make sure it is right. They may also be worried about their liability if the they just clean it up and they miss a latent defect that was caused by the mud.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #19
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

My guess is that even a second appraisal will total it. Remember, though, that "total" only makes sense in comparison to the value the minute before it got whacked. My previous insurance company would have low-balled me on the value by about $15-20k so it would have taken less damage for them to say it was a total loss.

If you negotiate you can essentially get the van back with a salvage title; they pay you the amount of your loss less the salvage value of the van.

Repairing something like this is super labor intensive; that sand getting in things (say like the breather tube on your tranny) can be super expensive to fix. Somebody might be up to it though, so you can also see if you can take it with the salvage title and then sell it. But of course a salvage, particularly with water damage, is a hard sell. But there's also parting it out; again, labor intensive but if you start pulling appliances, etc and selling on eBay you can do well sometimes. The body on a complete new chassis is also an interesting idea.

Insuring a salvaged vehicle is also an issue. If you put tons of money and or effort into it, you may find that you can never effectively insure it for the real value. So if it were to get ripped off after all that work you might be SOL.

Good luck, and condolences.

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Old 07-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #20
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Re: SMB caught in mud slide

The reason water damage usually results in being totaled out is because of the high probability of future recurring electrical problems. This jag we went fishing for was totaled out as well, even though it otherwise would have cleaned up well:
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