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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On the freeway a a couple of weeks ago I hit some ice and spun out. Tail slid left, steering correct, rear tires suddenly regained traction, tail slid right and put me 180° and facing backwards. I ended up sliding across 2 lanes, and hitting the K-rails sideways. The passenger corner of the front bumper hit and the rest of the truck pivoted on that point and my rear passenger tire hit the K-rail.

I got out to make sure that there's no major damage to the truck. I turned myself back the correct direction of travel and drove to work.

I was fine. There's no damage to the side of the truck. The wheel where it contacted the bottom of the K-rail had a 2 inch or so scuffed area that caused the bead to leak and had to be reworked.

My bumper cover is cracked on that corner and missing a piece. The plastic grill has a sizable section missing from it and isn't really held on anymore on that side.

So, my local pink-n-pull wants $28 for a plastic grill. Looking online it seems like I can get a new one for about that price.

Parts Geek 89 Sidekick Grill

New bumper covers seem to be much more expensive at around $150-250. My local pick-n-pull wants around $50. I did find this one, though.

Bumper Cover

Looks like Rock Auto has both. Their shipping is over $100 for both, though.

Bumper cover - Part # SZ1000102
Grill - Part # SZ1200104

Anyone have any experience or advice for buying a new bumper cover or grill? Any options that I should consider instead of OE style parts? I've love a set of tube bumpers or something like that but those wont happen for a while I think.

On that note, though. I've thought about going to one of my local junkyards and pulling a brush guard from another vehicle and cutting/shortening and rewelding it to make it fit. Anyone have and experience with anything like that?
 

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Wow~ that sounded like a roller coaster ride~ I'm so glad you're OK! and that no one else was involved!
I don't know anything about the bumper issue other than what you're checking out by shopping and comparing prices. Knowing myself all too well, I'd probably buy a new one (if available) so it looks really great! However, Rockauto's price on shipping sounds high, but those are over sized parts to ship I'd think.
;) dne'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Dne. I'm glad that I didn't hit anyone else and I'm lucky that the damage was minor to the truck and non existent to me.

Here's a pic of the damage. Forgive the salted body for now. It's too cold to wash it and I don't have a garage to work or wash it in. I'll take it to the wash in a couple of days. I'm worried that an automated wash will rip off the grille, though.

I'll wait a while before ordering something new to see if anyone responds with experience with buying a new bumper or grille for these trucks.

I'm kinda bummed that the new grille will be black instead of body colored. The truck can use a new paint job in the future so I can always have it painted then, I suppose.
 

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Well, as for the painting of the grille, perhaps you could get something like this paint sprayer for small jobs, then order a pint (or less) of automotive paint and paint it? Maybe a local paint shop could paint it? I'm just thinkin for you!;)

Spra-Tool Aerosol Spray Gun
 

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You've probably seen the other recent post on here about bumpers. My links on my replacement jobs are in it, or you can search for my posts...but I got mine off ebay because with the free shipping they were pretty cheap. Anyways, I mentioned that the hardest part is if your hardware is rusted. Heads will strip, or pop off. Those aftermarket bumpers pretty much go right on. I guess it all comes down to how much you want to invest, and what end state you want. I was going for a like new appearance, you may want something different (like something paintable).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to buy a house this year. One of my "must haves" for it will be a big garage. After that I'll get it situated as a work shop, including a pneumatic tool set up. I may just buy a proper spray gun at that time.

But until then that's a neat sprayer. I didn't know that something like that existed. Thanks.

It's obvious that my Sidekick has been re-clear coated at one point. Maybe resprayed entirely. The clear coat has runs in a couple of spots and the emblems are held on by strips of mounting tape and most are crooked. The entire thing can use a new paint job. Plus the driver door has a few indents and the rear driver corner has a crease. I would live to work the body back into shape and then strip and repaint (or have repainted) the entire 'Kick. If I'm going to go that far I might just strip the entire thing down and change the color :lol: Darn bare metal painted body color in the interior pillars and whatnot.

Anyways, I mentioned that the hardest part is if your hardware is rusted. Heads will strip, or pop off. Those aftermarket bumpers pretty much go right on. I guess it all comes down to how much you want to invest, and what end state you want. I was going for a like new appearance, you may want something different (like something paintable).
Hell, I don't mind having to deal with stripped or broken fasteners. It's something of a not uncommon occurrence in my line of work. I'm willing to put in some work to make it look good.

What do you mean about the paintable part? What stops these aftermarket bumpers from being painted? There are paints and primers for plastics.
 

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I was just think if you find one in a pick n pull, and its been painted, its easier to paint. The aftermarket black ones would just be more prep. I also like the early original bumper covers, they have the grooves for the pin striping and a flat space on the tail for the tailgate protector. My after market covers are all smooth and rounded. They look nice, but the early 89,90,91 year painted bumpers were cooler.
 

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They look nice, but the early 89,90,91 year painted bumpers were cooler.
Funny how perception works. I never appreciated my 91 bumpers which, yes, have a groove for pinstriping and are flat under the tailgate. I will now....thanks! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This whole bumper thing will have to wait. I hit more ice and hit the wall of a bridge. The entire front clip is ruined. Not sure what I'll do with the Sidekick just yet.
 

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oh gee, I'm so sorry to hear this! Just out of curiosity, in your pictures of all the snow/ice, how does the tracker handle with the 4wd? I know you hit the ice and probably nothing would be able to handle that. Here in Houston, approaching 30 degrees, schools are closed, most freeways, and it's not even freezing yet. That's all that's on news right now.
But we southerners aren't adapted for the cold like you deal with.
So is your Sidekick "totaled?"
dne'
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's absolutely amazing in the snow. It's unstoppable.

I definitely hit ice. It was negative 12 F this morning. The bridge looked clear. I spun, hit the wall going about 35-40, and then spun 2 more times before stopping. As I limped the truck back home I noticed two more people who spun out and hit one another at about the same spot I did going the other direction on the bridge.

Headlights, hood, grille, bumper, quarterpanel, etc. While front clip. And the steel bumper is currently pushed so far back that a corner of steel is rubbing into the tread of the front passenger tire. I have no idea what the radiator or front suspension looks like.

Saving the Sidekick isn't a good decision financially. If I do it'll be a labor of love. It's going to need a lot of work and I don't have anywhere to store a non-working vehicle right now. I don't know what I'm going to do. It has brand new wheels and tires on it which are $800 alone. If I try to sell it I'll only get a few hundred at best. Either way, I don't have something to drive right now. My Eclipse blew a head gasket and my Z is strictly a summer car (way too much power, way too low to the ground, and on drag racing tires). Last year was hard on my finances and I only have a few hundred free to spend right now. I'm kinda screwed.

 

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Crap! I'm speechless here and feel helpless for you! If you were here we'd tear it apart and make it drivable. The weather up there is awefully cold~ you should move down here to Houston! We're freaked out with 32degrees!

You have family and friends there? I know very little about you and your friends and family situation.
 

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It's absolutely amazing in the snow. It's unstoppable. ...
... Headlights, hood, grille, bumper, quarterpanel, etc. While front clip. And the steel bumper is currently pushed so far back that a corner of steel is rubbing into the tread of the front passenger tire. I have no idea what the radiator or front suspension looks like. ...
It looks like the frame will be bent on the passenger side, but I doubt it is damaged far enough back to mess up the suspension.

You might want to give up on making it pretty and make it functional for use as a snow and bush rig. Pick up cheap (rough) rims and sell the pretty wheels. use the proceeds to get tube bumpers. Something that protects the lights... for next years snow.

Meanwhile: Pull the front bumper off or chain it to something solid and back up quickly. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Crap! I'm speechless here and feel helpless for you! If you were here we'd tear it apart and make it drivable. The weather up there is awefully cold~ you should move down here to Houston! We're freaked out with 32degrees!

You have family and friends there? I know very little about you and your friends and family situation.
Heck, at 32 degrees I'd be walking around in a t shirt and jeans at this point. I like Illinois but this winter has been awful for snow and temperatures. The last couple of winters were pretty easy going.

I only really have 1 friend outside of work and I have my brother, sister, and mom close by. None of them have much spare money, though.

I ended up taking out a small-ish loan and buying a 99 Grand Marquis to get around in. Panther platform cars are pretty reliable and this is one of them that was owned by an older guy so it's in pretty good condition.

It looks like the frame will be bent on the passenger side, but I doubt it is damaged far enough back to mess up the suspension.

You might want to give up on making it pretty and make it functional for use as a snow and bush rig. Pick up cheap (rough) rims and sell the pretty wheels. use the proceeds to get tube bumpers. Something that protects the lights... for next years snow.

Meanwhile: Pull the front bumper off or chain it to something solid and back up quickly. :D
When it's warmer I'll crawl under it and see how the frame looks. If I have to do the chain trick then I do but I hope that it's not that bad. I really wish that I had tube bumpers as that would have probably minimized the damage. Oh well. Come spring I hope I'll be in a position to rebuild it.

Thanks for the empathy, Dne, and the advice, m000035.
 

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Keep an eye out on Craig's list for a cheap parts car to pick every thing you need and sell the rest. We use kijiji here and you can pick parts cars up for a few hundred dollars. Pull the bumper off it looks like the right side is already drove back and maybe loose already. Get a headlight in there and some screen for a grill. If you don't have safety inspections on vehicles run it with no bumper until you can afford parts. Not to criticize your driving but these little vehicles are quite easy to loose control of. You may want to change your driving habits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Keep an eye out on Craig's list for a cheap parts car to pick every thing you need and sell the rest. We use kijiji here and you can pick parts cars up for a few hundred dollars. Pull the bumper off it looks like the right side is already drove back and maybe loose already. Get a headlight in there and some screen for a grill. If you don't have safety inspections on vehicles run it with no bumper until you can afford parts. Not to criticize your driving but these little vehicles are quite easy to loose control of. You may want to change your driving habits.
I'll keep on the lookout for parts and I'll go junkyard hunting once the weather warms up.

Yeah, the short wheelbase and light weight make it a bit squirrely once things start going bad.

I've never had a problem with driving in winter before. This year it's been abnormally cold and it's the first year that I've had the Sidekick. Twice so far I've had problems with the ice. Although both times were days that it wasn't just me. I've personally witnessed people spinning out this winter and have seen several cars on the side of the road.

I didn't think that I've been driving reckless. I thought that I was being fairly cautious. This morning I wasn't beating on the truck, accelerating hard or anything. The bridge had a gentle curve to the right (from my POV). I was driving just fine, steady and dead center, and the bridge looked clear. The next thing I know my tail started sliding.

Honestly, I am a good driver. I've never once had a problem in bad weather in the 12 years that I've been driving. I've driven through heavy snow storms, white out rain falls, and everything in between that the Midwest has to offer. I can parallel park quite well and my spacial awareness has surprised my passengers more than once. Which helps when driving in Chicago.

But apparently I'm not good enough. I'm fine with a "wake up call" or with realizing that I need to improve. I actively try to be good at things that I enjoy, which includes driving. I have improving to do, it seems. I just wish that this knowledge came at a lower cost. Although I'm not injured and that's the important part. Things can be replaced. My body can't.

Meh. I'm tired and ranting now.
 
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