1997 Toyota 4Runner Front End Deer Damage & Repair

A deer recently ran into the front of my 4Runner causing a bit of damage to the front end. The Blue Book value for the vehicle is less than $4000 and I don't carry comprehensive coverage for this reason. I don't know how much a body shop would charge to fix this but I'm going to give it a go myself.

Here's a shot of the damage:

And a closer view.

Time for some dis-assembly. The first step is to remove the turn signal housings. Two screws in each to disconnect them from the bumper (except it's not a bumper. More on this later). Once the signal housing is loose wiring can be removed by depressing the tab and wiggling the connector out.

Left signal:

Right signal: (the lens has a crack in it but it seems structurally sound)

and the screws that hold them in (more on the nuts later):

After some searching around on the 'net it seems what I've been calling the bumber is actually the "face bar". And below the face bar is the "valance panel". That little piece under the right headlight and above the face bar is a "filler panel".

Research indicates that the face bar and valance are held on with six nuts and bolts. Access to the first is in the front of the wheel well down in the 'corner':

Due to the damage the nut on the right side wasn't accessible through the access hole. A little Dremel surgery was required for access:

These nuts seem to have a 12mm head and need a deep socket for removal.

After removal the bracker on the left side seems to form a right angle with the lower edge of the fender.

The bracket on the right is displaced slightly to the rear and the strip of fender under the headlight is also bent:

More nuts with 12mm heads:

After removing the face bar and valance we can do more inspection. The mniddle brace in front of the radiator is bent but it doesn't seem to be an issue. The clip on the filler panel is damaged.

The lower attachment point for the grille is broken off:

After disassembly, more web searching leads to parts orders. I've ordered:

More to follow when the parts come in.


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