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My Insight is going through a total front clip replacement....cut off the old one,weld on the new one...The shop seems to be very competent,and are bringing in an experienced welder....

I bought the car wrecked,with 78K on it.I have never driven an Insight,but I am a decent mechanic having raced mosickles for a long time.

Just wondering if you experts can tell me what to check when I pick the car up....I will be flying in,picking it up,and leaving immediately for a 1000 mile trip back home....Look for warning lights,charge indicator,etc?

So if you have any suggestions,please post what I should look for...assuming the chassis is straight(computer printout of alignment)and hoodlines match up...The car went offroad...hit nothing,bottomed out hard.Airbags did not deploy..

Any ideas greatly appreciated,as I will not know how the thing is supposed to feel......I can't find one around here to test drive ....

Thanks much...very much!Bob
 

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Hmm, that's kind of a tough one to describe fully. Her goes.

Steering should be nice and tight, point and steer with a lot of understeer. I'd make sure everything looks hooked up properly . There should be a temperature sensor on the lower front grille, if this is not there it will prevent the car from auto stopping. Things I've seen in "repaired" cars, they will leave out parts. Look to see the lower front grille is there, make sure there are seals on the back of the headlights. I'd also inspect the welds they do very closely and make sure they are sound since we're talking major reconstruction here.

One thing I would be real concerned about is the use of the proper Dacro coated bolt where they are going in to alluminum. They are ok to reuse, but I wouldn't be so certain in the event of a crash situation. They should have a grey on the head and the threads will be green (not that you should see the threads). If you find plane jane bolts on the car I'd have them get the proper ones because eventually you will get some electrolytic corrosion going on between the two different metals, especially in the presence of road salt.
 

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eastender43 said:
My Insight is going through a total front clip replacement....cut off the old one,weld on the new one...The shop seems to be very competent,and are bringing in an experienced welder....
I would question this "experienced welder". The Insight is aluminium, with plenty of crumple tubes and specifically engineered "zones" built into the front end. These tubular sections and reinforcements are there to add strength to the chassis, while keeping it as light as possible and crash worthy. Any experienced welder would have serious reservations about welding on such a structure.

Welding on aluminium is such that is is nearly impossible to determine the exact alloy of the source material unless you have it in writing. The weld and HAZ (heat affected zone) have radically different metallurgical properties after the weld is complete, and strength can be severely compromised in the surrounding material unless specific steps are followed. Aluminium welding is as much a black art as it is a science.

Just wondering if you experts can tell me what to check when I pick the car up....I will be flying in,picking it up,and leaving immediately for a 1000 mile trip back home....Look for warning lights,charge indicator,etc?
INSIST that pictures be taken of the unfinished welds on BOTH SIDES. Find out the process (presumably TIG....if they say MIG, RUN, don't walk, away) used settings used on the machine as well as the shielding gas and filler material. These pictures should be as detailed as possible, and be taken before any grinding or finishing is done to the beads. Please post them here.

Examine the certification of the welder. He/she should be specifically certified for this type of job. Just because a welder is "certified", DOES NOT MEAN that they are good to go. Certifications are very specific and cover a specific process, position and joint type. One type does not transfer to another. If you can, have it independently inspected during and after the process.
 
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