New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Sandwich [OP] » December 22nd 2020, 10:41am

It was owned by a school district. So on the one hand it’s awesome because it has 93k miles and regular maintenance, but on the other It has dings and dents in literally almost every panel on the van.
I’m trying to decide what I can do about it (if anything). Any suggestions?
It’s kinda making me regret the purchase*.


(*My RWD passenger that I lived in for four years died and then I got another one two months ago and totaled it two weeks ago in a freak accident. I decided I really wanted an AWD and found this ‘97 Cargo. It’s pretty cool, but just kinda banged up and I think I rushed into it a bit. I want to lift it, get a cool brush guard, etc but feel weird putting that much money into it with the banged up body).
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02 Safari Psngr Rwd: totaled two months in. RIP.
97 Safari Cargo AWD: current apartment on wheels. Joined here to finally do some mods!
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby dutch astro driver » December 22nd 2020, 10:56am

Hello. I would remove the worst dents myself and spray it a bit. white is easy to update
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby mglsite » December 22nd 2020, 12:54pm

You could call 'Fix a Dent' or do it yourself. as ling as the paint isn't damaged, the Fix a Dent people can do magic. My latest project had a lot of dings on it too but when I used spray foam for insulation in the panels the pressure from the foam popped most of them out.
Good Luck

https://www.amazon.com/ARISD-Auto-Paint ... ag=mh0b-20
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby SheldonYoung » December 22nd 2020, 2:03pm

Your solution is called an Auto Body.

Most will work in conjunction with a Dent Repair Specialist, to repair what can be, and body work and paint the worse ones.

With a White van, you'll never know where the repairs have been done.

Here's a before/after of my Surfari Door. Painless Dent Repiar.
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby tungtide » December 22nd 2020, 3:09pm

I am doing a little body work on my 99. Turns out I am not very good at it. ( I am having fun ) my point is that if you care you should have it all done. Take it to several shops to get bids.
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Coaster » December 22nd 2020, 4:28pm

the metal on these vans is paper thin. i had a road rager dent mine with his hand. still there. i wouldnt worry about those dents.

i'd be more concerned about the places where the vans rot and you cant see it
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Mmusicman » December 22nd 2020, 8:54pm

Coaster wrote:i wouldnt worry about those dents.
i'd be more concerned about the places where the vans rot and you cant see it

I tend to agree with Coaster. Personally, I've been driving "white cargo work vans" for decades.. and minor cosmetic dents don't seem like a big deal, at least to me. I don't dent them.. but it seems someone else always does. It doesn't look that bad, at least in the photos. Overall, it's clean and the paint looks good. If it's half as nice underneath, then you did well.

But you have to live with it... it is "your" call.
We all have different tolerance levels.
In my opinion however, they never seem to be the same once you repaint them.
If something better comes along.. then so be it.
But don't beat yourself up on an overall nice van.
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby AstroWill » December 22nd 2020, 9:04pm

Mmusicman wrote:Overall, it's clean and the paint looks good. If it's half as nice underneath, then you did well.

x2

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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Rod's Trucks » December 23rd 2020, 6:32am

Those are minor scars! Character lines!
As for the ding on the white LF fender at least; I do not think it should be too hard to find one of those in a P' n' P yard if you keep watching the listings.
I found a perfect green RF after half-hearted watching for about two years. I think I saw great ones in almost every other color before finding the correct match for what I needed.
They are out there, and white is by far the most common.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

I should add: If you get it all straight and shiny, then some jerk will likely come along and key it, or bump you with a door, and you will really be upset.
I remember how I felt when I put a dent in my first new car. I still feel bad about that
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby sumtingbig » December 25th 2020, 10:05pm

This is my best friend for dents in my body shop
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » December 26th 2020, 10:15am

Sandwich wrote:It was owned by a school district. So on the one hand it’s awesome because it has 93k miles and regular maintenance, but on the other It has dings and dents in literally almost every panel on the van.
.


re; The one at the back of the sliding door. Mine is like that and I didn't notice it till after I bought it.
The right rear, you can try to smear out with the end of a 2by4.

They are basically flimsy. Don't let it bother ya!
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby AstroOafAdventurer » December 26th 2020, 11:42am

Shoot, I wish mine looked like yours!
Being a conversion van I've got these cheesy 23 year old I guess looked good at the time vinyl stripes and paint like it's a vehicle 4X it's 65K miles.

Nice find though on a 97 under 100K and from a school. If the body bothers you, go with suggestions above, if you can live with it, smile as you're rolling down the road.
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby 90safari » December 26th 2020, 11:43pm

Looks a lot like my uncles work van, except his doesn't have any windows in the rear doors (a true cargo van) and his is a rwd van. If it's as rust free as the pics appear, then you've done very well. To me that's the big thing, rust free. And for the age and mileage, that's a bonus. My black 88 is only mostly rust free (has age related dents), because I don't drive it in the winter months (keep it out of the salt). Like someone already mentioned, if you make it look too nice, someones bound to mess it up on you. Plus, I thought you mentioned going off road with it, well what happens if YOU put a dent in it while off roading? Just a thought or 2. ;)
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Sandwich [OP] » December 29th 2020, 12:34pm

Thanks everyone for the reassurance. I think I’m getting over it as time goes on. The Safari I lived in for four years was flawless when I got it and got a couple dings in our time together, but I got over those too. I think I will probably do what I can, but mostly just live with it. I just got a looked at by my friend’s father who owns an auto shop and loves old GMs. He said everything was super solid except the rear shocks, but we were able to just swap them off my wrecked Safari :D even though I’m getting it lifted once funds allow for it.

Thanks again everyone!
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby AstroWill » December 29th 2020, 9:52pm

That's the attitude to have IMO. Glad you could salvage some parts off of your wrecked Safari. Good to keep around if you have the room. I have been thinking of scrapping my white 03 but I keep finding little bits and pieces to use, and it works for storing these extra parts I have laying around. :)

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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » December 29th 2020, 9:55pm

My spare van is a cheap shed til I fix it.
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Re: New ‘97 AWD Cargo has lots of dents

Postby Leeann_93 » December 30th 2020, 3:36am

They’re both sheds and your own personal pick-n-pulls. It’s wonderful.
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