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Urgent!!! I Need Your Advice!


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Structural - but repairable.

As Will said, I wouldn't be putting any more miles on it. My next destination with the car would be a body-shop with frame straightening capabilities or simply a good Frame Shop. And be ready to fight the wheel and don't drive very fast....better and safer yet, have it towed.

Any attempts YOU make to repair it, might actually make it worse for the guys at the frame shop...believe me on this.

While it may seem that just a simple tweak here and there and .... and you'll find out that it will get worse and worse. The current bent and stressed condition of the metal is all a result of the main impact...anything you add/remove now is a SECONDARY impact. That changes what can be done on frame work.

Your impact now, may be a simple grip and pull.....on a frame machine. There they virtually tie your car down on all four corners, take measurements and pull/push the car back into proper shape....for the frame of the vehicle. It might not be cheap, but it will be CORRECT.

But if you start adding to the problem, by hammering etc., you may change the pull characteristic such that it won't be a simple grip and pull, and must be done in a body shop, or done in stages....all meaning more $.....and that the car may never be correct again. It will be OK, but not correct, simply because of over-eager "fixing" by well-intentioned individuals who got in over their head.

This is one of those cases.

That's MY 2¢


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Looks to me like you have a bit of rust on that frame rail anyway.

This is not a fun fix and not cheap but, it can be fixed and you will need to get it fixed.

I had the same problem. I bought a new frame rail and had the old cut out and the new welded in by a pro.

By the way, I put mine on a flat bed to get it to the shop.

That looks very dangerous to be driving any further.

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Before I jump in I would like to see pictures of these same parts: the torsion fitting and frame rail from both the inside and the bottom as well as from the front. It is definitely repairable but, not drivable. Parked mine because of rust damage in the same area. By the way this is rust damage you uncovered by tagging the curb. The biggest factor being the doubler just behind the torsion fitting was never sealed coming out of the factory and collected water and rusted from the inside out. I know this does not look like a lucky thing to you but, you are lucky to have had this happen a this speed and not faster or in a worst condition.

I want to see the other pictures because I just finished the repairs on my car this past winter and have several pictures of how that was completed. I will write a tech article on it later but, will say that there are a lot of these cars with the same problem and need attention.

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Sorry to hear about the accident. I had a bettery explode and do the same thing to me. It just took a little longer to eat through the inner fenderwell/frame rail.

I've seen a temporary repair for this sort of thing. My frame rail was worse and I drove it for a few years despite the incredible slop. It is dangerous though and should be addressed.

The quick, temporary fix is to weld a piece of 1/4x 2" steel strap between the T/C housing and the center of the crossmember. (The part which spans underneath engine between the strut housings.) While this repair won't completely eliminate movement it will restrict movement and reduce the number of cycles it is exposed to. (Reduction in fatigue cycles) This will buy you some time to save for the repairs and get the frame rail. A proper repair requires that the engine come out. Might as well strip and repaint the engine compartment while it's all out.

You could probably have the part stretched back and some patch sheet welded in but this area on the Z's is usually rotted and needs replacing as a7dz mentioned. Such a patch repair could also buy a few years.

Here are some pics of mine. A large section of the innerfenderwell and battery tray needed to be replaced. The firewall metal was thinned out and needed to be replaced. My frame rail T/C area had collapsed and begun to fold. It whipped about at certain speeds. Things got to a point where I didn't feel safe so I took her off the road and replaced everything. The Z's feeling much better now. Yours will too.



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