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chesley

Need advice...My 71 240z hit a pole 22 years ago.

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    Hello, the "drunken" ex-wife of the previous owner of my z wrecked into a solid pole of some sort about 22 years ago. It was cheaply semi-fixed and repainted shortly there after. The Front end is leaning downward on the left hand side. The tube within the chassis is slightly bent. I need to know, Can I fix it. Doesn't have to be perfect, just straight. Car runs great, has about 100,000 original miles was sitting for 21 years in an airport hanger, hardly any rust. Car drives straight, just need to change tie rod bushings.All Ive done to it is change the wheels and carburetor configuration to a Holley 390cfm 4160. See the attached pics. Any help would be greatly appreciated

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    Edited by chesley
    Adding info to Title

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    Chelsey

    Sure it can be fixed. Just takes time and money. This is a job for a frame shop that has to bend the body back into shape and get the correct stock dimensions. Then the bent frame rail and other bent parts have to be replaced and/or re-enforced. I'de take it in for an estimate, then you can decide if its worth it. It will not be cheap.

    And you will likely find other surprises in the form of rust and decay that's being hiding and getting worse since the accident, not to mention all the other usual places Z's rust that will be uncovered. Better you know the facts now than later. Safety first.

    Jim

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    Mine just got straightened out. A pickup backed into the front left in a parking lot in the '80s as well. On mine, the damage was in front of the radiator plate and didn't drive into the frame rail. Its all fixed now

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chelsey

    Sure it can be fixed. Just takes time and money. This is a job for a frame shop that has to bend the body back into shape and get the correct stock dimensions. Then the bent frame rail and other bent parts have to be replaced and/or re-enforced. I'de take it in for an estimate, then you can decide if its worth it. It will not be cheap.

    And you will likely find other surprises in the form of rust and decay that's being hiding and getting worse since the accident, not to mention all the other usual places Z's rust that will be uncovered. Better you know the facts now than later. Safety first.

    Jim

    Hello Jim Thanks for the quick responce....First of all im not offended but you read my name wrong, everyone seems to read my name incorrectly. It is Chesley....not Chelsey .It is the name I was born with.

    I understand I could pay to fix it if i had money....but I am broke and in a hole in beginning my life. I am a musician singer/songwriter, and a computer dude.I love my z its the first for me to own, it was given to me by my mothers boyfreind.....he is disabled now and runs an automotive electrical service repairing starters, alternators, lights elect. windows etc. I work for him mostly cause he gave me a 240z ;), without pay.... just a few bucks here and there.

    I want to fix it on my own cheaply and temporarly till i get on my feet. I have an idea that if i drive up do a dead man (oilfield terms for a large 6 foot screw pole in the ground)and chain up to it in front of the bent tube rail, then place a very strong jack under the utmost front of the rail and try to jack up the crookedness out of it . Does this sound plain stupid or could i possibly get an even somewhat straight front end out of it this way?

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    Chesley:

    My apologies. Just a keyboard slip. I've been correcting people with a "K" vs a "C" in my last name ever since I could talk. Its even worse when getting wrong makes it involves a gender swap. My bad.

    What I am concerned with is safety. The car is weak now, bending it again will make it weaker in my opinion, due to age induced rust and fatigue since the accident. I say leave it alone.

    The only cheap way to improve strength is weld steel over that frame rail.

    Take care

    Jim

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    GreenZZZ happy to hear yours is fixed, did it cost you much? Or did you do the repairs yourself? Even though my z has been wrecked and is non-symmetrical to oncoming traffic. I still love the car. It may be years before I can afford to even have a body shop look at it. Growing up poor in an unstable family sucks.....makes it really hard to be successful, especially when you cant get to school as a kid missing out on 4 years due to living too far away for a bus to pick you up and having an illegal uninsured , unregistered vehicle with old inspection and tags, LOL. I just want my car to look straight and pretty from all angles.

    Again, the performance and handling is excellent, the front end does not affect it. It is a cosmetic issue, I don't want to do much to it until i fix this.........but there is much that i want to do. I feel held back by the front end.

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    Chesley:

    My apologies. Just a keyboard slip. I've been correcting people with a "K" vs a "C" in my last name ever since I could talk. Its even worse when getting wrong makes it involves a gender swap. My bad.

    What I am concerned with is safety. The car is weak now, bending it again will make it weaker in my opinion, due to age induced rust and fatigue since the accident. I say leave it alone.

    The only cheap way to improve strength is weld steel over that frame rail.

    Take care

    Jim

    Thank you Jim, No apologies necessary :)... I will put some thought into that, and will learn to weld. It may be my only option till i can have someone professionally repair it.

    P.S. I am still open for any other advice anyone may have, you guys are very supportive and this is an awesome site. Thanks

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    A slightly different opinion.

    Yes, it is bent. Yes, it would look better if it wasn't bent.

    But, I don't think you need to do anything about it. I think the bend is far enough forward that it isn't a problem from a chassis and handling perspective as all the suspension pickup points are behind the bend so they are not affected.

    If it is bent down, I doubt you can get any homemade setup to bend it back up. You would need someone with a frame rack to straighten frame.

    On the other hand, maybe you can see if the local vocational school would be willing to straighten it out for free in exchange for having the students work on it.

    Whatever you end up doing, enjoy the car.

    Al

    PS. I just reread your idea to straighten the rail. Technically what you are suggesting is correct. It could work. But I don't see how you would get a chain around the frame rail without making a hole in the fender.

    Even if you did, I would be concerned that the chain causes more damage from denting the top and that it wouldn't bend straight up.

    Edited by 240Z-Fan
    Added PS

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    GreenZZZ happy to hear yours is fixed, did it cost you much? Or did you do the repairs yourself?

    Both sides straightened out with the fenders and hood for $1200. You might be able to find less expensive body guy in Odessa than Austin. The hood and left fender was replaced in the 80's, but was bent to fit the nose which was bent downward, so fixing those parts was dealt with at the same time.

    Looking at my car and yours, the hit on my car was a bit diagonal and the energy went down the bumper to the right side and that is probably why the energy didn't go down the frame rail. I bet yours was it more front to back and that is why it got your frame rail behind the radiator.

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