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Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 30+ years in automotive repair.
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I have been in a minor accident and the hood and underneath

Customer Question

I have been in a minor accident and the hood and underneath frame is bent in slightly
Is there a way I an straighten this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
2000 Toyota Camry
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with this concern today and am sorry to hear that this is happening. I will have to ask you a few questions so that I can get a better understanding as to what may be going on with your Camry.

How bad is the hood bent? 1-2 inches up? Like a small dimple?

Is the paint chipped any (like it flaked off)?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no more than 2 inches ... The hood is bowed but the paint is not chipped or flaking at all but when the hood is up you can tell that the frame for the hood latch is pushed back maybe an inch or so ... Thanks for your response.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Wanted to make sure the send button worked sending again
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 2 years ago.

I see. It's hard to tell from the pic but the hood itself doesn't look bent. It just looks raised up due to the hood latch frame being pushed back. Either way this looks minor, like you said, and shouldn't need replaced.

Are you gonna fix this yourself?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Possibly will fix myself that is why I am seeking advice but need to be able to pull the latch frame out and reshape the hood suggestions ??
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure of your skill level or experience but I do know that cost can be an issue. As always, a salvage yard or used parts even off Ebay like this one, can help keep cost down.

Also, if you feel that this may be a bot more than you want to tackle, you can use what most Auto Dealers use, a mobile auto restoration service. These are services that come out and will perform painting, dent removal, fabric restoration etc. at a minimal cost. Trust me, Dealers spending money on getting a trade in ready for sale is as cheap as they can get it. These guys are what they use to get the cars ready to put on the lot for sale. Here is just one such service.

You can always call and ask the used car department of any dealer and ask for a referral as this will give them a discount. These guys are always looking for work and offer Dealer for extra work like this. Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This may be a good suggestion but it doesn't answer the question of how can I bend the hood latch frame and hood back to its normal position... Any thoughts on that?
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 2 years ago.

To be honest, most shops will just replace these but if they had to try and "bend" them back into some usable fashion. A good hammer and a come along puller would be used to pull these back into place. I will open this back up for other Experts to see if they have another idea.

Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'm DJ and I've done this type of repair before.

The part that holds the hood latch is called the core support. It's an important part, but certainly not as important as the frame rails.

You can fix this with a couple of hours of work. Here's how I would do it.

Remove the radiator.

Mount the replacement hood so that you know how far you're going to have to move the core support to get the hood latch to work. It looks like maybe 2" from your picture.

Get 4 pieces of 2 x 6 that are 6 inches long. Home Depot or Lowes can cut them for you. You'll need a long piece of 2 x 6 that will fit between the fenders with the hood open. The small 2 x 6's will space the large piece away from the core support.

Looking at it from the top it would look like this with === being a piece of 2 x 6.

++++++++++++ core support

=== === Short 2 x 6

=== === Short 2 x 6

============ Long 2 x 6

Then I would use a come-a-long or an off road jack to pull the core support forward.

You can measure from the back of the hood to the hood latch, then measure on the car from the back of where the hood goes to the hood latch to get it close.

So you'll be out ten bucks for the lumber, fifty five bucks for the off road jack if you get it at Harbor Freight. If the latch itself is ruined, another twenty five bucks.

So about eighty five bucks, not counting the price of a hood.

Check on Craigslist and the local junk yards for a hood. if you're lucky, you might find one that's already the same color as your and you won't have to paint it.

But if you do have to paint it, there's several companies that offer spray paint to match the color of your car. It won't be as nice as if a body shop did it, but it also won't cost you much money.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions on this or if there is anything more I can do to help you.