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2009 OB-XT
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2009 Outback Limited XT. I love the car and think it's a great model. It has less than 50k miles. When I bought it in 2011 it only had 1500 miles, so it's a very clean car.

Unfortunately, someone backed into me in a parking garage and badly damaged my right front door. The other driver has not yet admitted any blame, although it was clearly their fault. I currently have claim through my insurance company with $500 deductible. They'll go after the driver's insurance for the full amount.

The body shop quoted $1400 for a used door (salvage) and to repaint and install the old door internals. They would need to blend the paint with the current paint.

I've been looking online at car-part.com (thanks to this forum!) and I see that I can get a salvage door in my paint scheme for around $300-400 +shipping. These are 2006-2009 models. I'm wondering how reasonable it would be to just replace the door on my own. The risk is how the paint would match and other issues that I might find with replacing the door parts I'd potentially be saving or pocketing $1000, minus what my time is worth.

Any thoughts or similar experiences?

Thanks in advance!
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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1,224 Posts
^ What Brucey said.

I changed my rear passenger door on my '03 Forester for $90. Insurance company gave me $1300 to fix it same as yours.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
+2 to what Brucey said.

Door swap is not too difficult. Paint should be close, but may not be perfect due to age/exposure.

If the pinstripe doesn't match at all they are not bad to remove with enough time and a gentle touch.
 

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2009 OB-XT
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all the responses and your thoughts. I had not even considered the pin striping. Is that something available 3rd party if the donor door doesn't have it? As you say, very unlikely it would like up anyway.

Good advice on getting pictures and details prior. Fortunately, I'm not in a rush and the car is drivable, although there is some more wind noise now.

My main concern is the paint match. I suppose that if I let the body shop take the whole job, they will 'blend' in the paint with the other panels it may look better than me replacing with the salvage door, which could be slightly different.

I had also thought it would be best to repopulate the donor door with my hardware (electrics, etc) since my car only has 50k and the typical salvage car much more.

Fortunately there is a car door listed about 1.5 hrs away from where I live and I'll go check it out in person. It will probably come down to how much hassle I want to take on myself vs letting the body shop deal with it. I don't know what the car will look like when it's done in both scenarios.

Thanks all!
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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Even a blended paint shop door may not match 100% depending on who does it. In my case insurance was going to paint front and back doors to give better paint match.

My $90 door from the junk yard does not show any difference to the other body panels. I would think a donor door with same paint code would likely be the best color match.

Seven bolts and a wire harness to connect. You may not even have to take the door panel off. Mine had a different harness connection ('03 vehicle and '05 donor) so I had to take the door harness out of my door and swap it into the donor door. Whole job was less than an hour.
 

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2009 OB-XT
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for sharing your good experience and the picture. Looks good!
Since my Outback is an XT, the donor door may not have all the fancy trim, I'm not sure. The door listed near me is identified as an XT, which would be sweet if that is true and it's my color too.
 

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'08 3.0R Limited Sedan; '09 Outback 3.0R
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I recently bought three doors from a salvage yard to replace rusted out ones. They were $100 each and in pretty good shape. The color wasn't a perfect match but "good enough" for $100. Car-part.com is amazing for finding them! I did drive a couple hours in each direction to get what I needed, though.

Doors are simple to install but it's a lot easier with two people. If it's just you then you can use a floor jack to help support the door.

The inner panels are pretty easy to swap over. There are screws hidden behind a small plastic piece behind the inside door latch and also inside the door "pull" bar. The plastic cover on the door pull pops out with some prying of a small flathead screwdriver. Other than that it's just plastic push pins, light bulb harness, and door lock cables.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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I've done it countless times. It's super easy, 4 bolts, a pin, and electrical connectors and you're done.

It can be awkward and cumbersome to do alone. A helper makes it very simple. That being said I've always done them alone except maybe once. Balance the door on your leg when the bolts aren't taking the weight.

I've never had paint match issues. If the vehicle is exceptional then I'm more picky with the part selection.

Another option is to buy a $250 door, have a shop paint it for $400 and do the door swap yourself - still $750 in your pocket.
 

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2009 OB-XT
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Discussion Starter #10
Quick update, the 2006 donor door is a different shade of blue than my 2009. So not as easy as I had hoped. Doing everything myself except painting still seems like a good way to go.
 
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