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Need help straightening frame of FD3S in Miami.

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Need help straightening frame of FD3S in Miami.

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Old 01-14-18, 03:31 PM
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Need help straightening frame of FD3S in Miami.

Abou two years ago I saw an FD3S shell on craigslist for sale. No engine, no transmission. Just shell. The interior was in rough shape - someone tried to paint the tan plastic black, and it didn't work very well. The body had dings and dents. It had a poor metallic silver maaco spray job. I did a carfax report and while it did show an accident, it reported no frame damage. The center bumper had a large crack in it. Because I am an idiot and because it was only 2k, I bought it. It sat in my garage. Well I've decided to start the long process of putting her back together again.
I noticed something about the car after I brought it home - at half lock right the rear of the passenger wheel makes contact with the fender. I just figured someone put the wrong offset 18" wheels in it. But I noticed the driver's side has the same wheel and doesn't have the problem. In fact, the wheel seems out of center in the wheel well, perhaps an inch or two back.
The tie rods and control arms seem fine.
So I removed the front bumper and the two fenders, and I was sad to see that the upper part of the frame forward of the shock tower had obvious unrepaired damage. The lower parts of the frame show no wrinkles, but I assume the reason the wheel is out of whack is because the frame is out of alignment.
How much should a good shop charge to make this straight? Anyone know anyone in South Florida who check and possibly straighten the frame out for me, and maybe weld the frame?

Thanks.
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Old 01-14-18, 04:24 PM
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I just measured the distance between the wheels.

Passenger front to passanger rear, on center is about 95"

Driver front to driver rear on center is about 97.5"

Should I call the scrap yard now?
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Old 01-14-18, 04:31 PM
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BC Getting unbent

There is a guy (Carlos) on here located near Cape Canaveral that brings in JDM FD for parting out. His prices are reasonable. You might get a cut-out of the damaged frame piece from him. You may also need to get a front sub-frame as well.

He sells stuff on ebay under the name: rewjdmimports

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Old 01-14-18, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbul View Post
There is a guy (Carlos) on here located near Cape Canaveral that brings in JDM FD for parting out. His prices are reasonable. You might get a cut-out of the damaged frame piece from him. You may also need to get a front sub-frame as well.

He sells stuff on ebay under the name: rewjdmimports
The subframe itself appears to be straight. What seems to be bent is the actual frame. When I put a small carpenter's square across the front cross bar, it doesn't line up. I don't think having the actual damage to the metal is a big deal, but I'll contact him to see what he says.

Thanks.
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Old 01-14-18, 06:30 PM
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if you can find a body shop with a frame machine, its actually pretty reasonable to pull the thing straight.

as usual in 2017, most shops don't actually DO frame repair anymore, so it makes finding the machine the hard part...
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Old 01-14-18, 07:30 PM
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Call around to body shops in the area, they will tell you what shops can do full on frame work with a frame jig. Get some quotes and I would ask around in your local community (local message boards) for recommendations.

You're looking at a LOT of money quite likely to get the car fixed. Also how complete is the car - are you also needing a lot of money in interior, engine, etc.? Be realistic here. You can get a decent, running, nice looking FD for $15-20k, if you are pouring more than that into the car (which can be REALLY easy) it might call for a different plan.

I firmly believe that we all need to do our best to keep the FD's on the road, but there are going to be some that are beyond hope. Hard to say off just a few pictures, I may be totally wrong, but be honest with the project. If it is more than you can tackle, part out the car or sell the frame to someone who can use good parts of the body to fix another car.

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Old 01-14-18, 08:14 PM
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BC Getting Sub-framed

The subframe may look okay, but given the blow to the structural member, the sub-frame may be suspect. The problem may only show when you eventually go to do a wheel alignment.

Regarding part out, I 've seen lists of parts on this forum sell out very quickly, so self parting-out may be a better alternative than "calling the scrapyard".

The value of the individual parts adds up very quickly.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DaleClark View Post
Call around to body shops in the area, they will tell you what shops can do full on frame work with a frame jig. Get some quotes and I would ask around in your local community (local message boards) for recommendations.

You're looking at a LOT of money quite likely to get the car fixed. Also how complete is the car - are you also needing a lot of money in interior, engine, etc.? Be realistic here. You can get a decent, running, nice looking FD for $15-20k, if you are pouring more than that into the car (which can be REALLY easy) it might call for a different plan.

I firmly believe that we all need to do our best to keep the FD's on the road, but there are going to be some that are beyond hope. Hard to say off just a few pictures, I may be totally wrong, but be honest with the project. If it is more than you can tackle, part out the car or sell the frame to someone who can use good parts of the body to fix another car.

Dale
Dale - I have no illusions about costs here. Interior is all there, just needs some elbow grease

The question for me right now is basically whether the frame can be made to factory spec, and if so, how much that particular part will cost. I guess I will find out tomorrow.

I've done LS swaps in old muscle cars, and I did a frame off of an old camaro, so I know what this takes. Actually this car is a pleasure compared to the 50 year old rust buckets I've done in the past, which need body panels welded. Haven't decided as of right now whether to go with a 20B or an LS. We'll get there when we get there.
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Old 01-14-18, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbul View Post
The subframe may look okay, but given the blow to the structural member, the sub-frame may be suspect. The problem may only show when you eventually go to do a wheel alignment.

Regarding part out, I 've seen lists of parts on this forum sell out very quickly, so self parting-out may be a better alternative than "calling the scrapyard".

The value of the individual parts adds up very quickly.
Whether I part it or scrap it, the results are the same. Bye bye car.

Hopefully whatever frame shop I go to will let me know.

I might not be keeping the stock subframe - again, I'm between a 20B and an LS. (Please don't boo me about the LS).
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Old 01-15-18, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rp0029 View Post
Whether I part it or scrap it, the results are the same. Bye bye car.

Hopefully whatever frame shop I go to will let me know.

I might not be keeping the stock subframe - again, I'm between a 20B and an LS. (Please don't boo me about the LS).
So I am now leaning more towards getting rid of the car. I re-reviewed the Carfax last night and it reports serious accident. It also says the car at one point had a salvage title in another state (don't know how this didn't show up on my title?) Anyway, doesn't seem to be worth reviving.

The only question becomes is my time worth parting it out, or do I just call the scrappers.....
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Old 01-15-18, 09:09 AM
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There was some pneumatic frame straightener machine that was in a carrying case on one of those engine build shows. Basically just a very long air jack that was used to push or pull the parts back straight. Might be worth a try, but have no idea on the name.
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Old 01-15-18, 11:50 AM
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A tool like that is great but you need to know how to use it and how far to push. Having a frame table is critical for this, you have to keep everything in alignment as you straighten.

OP, if you are going to let that project go, either sell as parts or sell it as a whole parts car if you don't want to bother with it. Hell, a decent interior can net you $1000 at least. It is time consuming to deal with shipping, advertising, PM'ing people, Ebay, etc, but you'll make more that way. Or just sell the car as a rolling salvage parts car and I'm sure you'll have good luck.

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Old 01-15-18, 03:07 PM
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This can definitely be fixed on a frame machine to get the suspension pick-up points back into the right positions and then some panel patching will be needed to get it back up to full structural strength.

This should be fixed (by someone) in my opinion as it is the start of a great race car or even very modified street car (already been wrecked/lower value).

This thing sounds and looks a little beat down in all sorts of ways, I wouldn't go the full restoration level build on this FD when you can pick up pretty clean high mileage FDs for $15-20,000.
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Old 01-15-18, 03:55 PM
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Thinking more about it it could be worth getting a decent car, using this car as parts to fix it up, then sell of whatever remains.

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Old 01-15-18, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BLUE TII View Post
This can definitely be fixed on a frame machine to get the suspension pick-up points back into the right positions and then some panel patching will be needed to get it back up to full structural strength.

This should be fixed (by someone) in my opinion as it is the start of a great race car or even very modified street car (already been wrecked/lower value).

This thing sounds and looks a little beat down in all sorts of ways, I wouldn't go the full restoration level build on this FD when you can pick up pretty clean high mileage FDs for $15-20,000.
last one we straightened was $500... its not that expensive.
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Old 01-16-18, 11:23 AM
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Here are the frame measuring points so you can see where and how much the frame is off.


AND

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