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Collision Aftermath - Worth fixing, & what should I check?


NAXJA Forum User
D/FW Metromess
Alright, I'll link to the dashcam & pics below, but long story short I got hit the other day, with the rear passenger tire & axle taking the brunt of the impact. Twisted both leaf springs, both shackles, & likely damaged both shocks. Towed to my local trusted shop, where they said it doesn't appear the unibody was bent, but they're making no promises. They also said while the axle appears to be straight, they can't confirm whether it's damaged yet. Other driver has insurance, but of course they're totalling the 25 year old Jeep. My plan at the moment is to keep it, but I feel like I need some expert input. I know I'll need shocks, springs, & shackles. I was going to replace the tires soon anyway. Wheel appears undamaged. Driveshaft doesn't seem to be damaged, though the end did hit the pavement. No leaks noticed at the T-case or trans. Not sure yet about the axle; hopefully I'll have an answer soon.

My question is, what else should I be checking? Should I go ahead & plan to replace the axle anyway? Should I replace the wheel? What would you do if this was your daily? Thanks in advance!


Side Pic
Rear Top Pic
Dashcam Video
Take the insurance money and let them total it. Buy it back and fix it.

Used parts are still very common in the junkyards, buy a Chry 8.25 axle to replace what is very likely a damaged axle. If the rim doesn't show signs of damage, and runs true with no wobble, it probably is OK.
I got broadsided a few years ago where the offending vehicle hit the rear tire / wheel squarely. The only thing that was an issue was the axle seal developed a slow, very small leack on that end of the housing. The second leaf on my spring pack is broken, but I'm pretty sure I did that on the trail. They were already "S" shaped. I figured I got pretty lucky. The impact did slide me sideways a couple of feet. My tires are 13.5 " wide so they probably provided more resistance than your's did. That may be why your spring packs and shackles spring packs are fubar. When it all boils down it's not much of a big problem. The springs absorbed the force saving the uniframe
You were wanting new springs anyway right? 😁

As mentioned by the other Tim, take the insurance money. 💸
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Take their money and then try to fix it.

Looks like a clean, rust-free XJ. I would put the effort into keeping it going.
Thanks for the input, y'all. It was never really a question of keeping her so long as the unibody/frame were okay. (I can't afford anything else anyway!) But I GREATLY appreciate the outside perspectives. I spoke with the tech again this morning, and he basically said that off the record, he doesn't see any damage to the axle, but for liability reasons they would have to disconnect & open everything up before giving any statement about the condition. That alone would eat up more than a third of the totaling settlement just in labor. I'm going to get her home, replace the suspension components, and go from there. Fingers crossed the axle is okay, at least for as long as it takes me to locate a spare. I'll keep y'all posted!

What an idiot (other driver). That looked like a pretty decent hit, how fast were you going?

Hard to tell in the pics but the quarter looks like it may be buckled (from the truck or possibly a tweaked unibody)
Speed limit there is 50, and I was going about that. The denting over the wheel well combined with the bumper cap being wedged upward makes it look worse in the photos. I haven't seen any cracks/wrinkling of the uniframe. Now I just have to figure out how to get it back to the house. I really DON'T want to pay for another tow truck...

It likely goes without saying, however, you do want to take a look at your forward spring mounting brackets. The nature of most shackles probably allowed for them to absorb most of the inertia.
Worse case on the spring hangers, if they are tweaked or anything you can buy the ruffstuff replacements front and rear.