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Old 11-07-2006, 03:00 PM
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unibody damage

Well I think I got in way over my head on this one.This guy calls me asking if I can weld a new core support in his 88 honda civic sedan.So I say let me come look at it.I get there and it appears theat the drivers side of the front end is way low,but its got a flat tire on that side so I let it go and tell him I can do it.So I get it into the shop and put it on jack stands,the drivers side is still low.So I put a level on the frame by the jack stands and its level,but the frame where the bumper mounts is 2 inches low.I tried putting a floor jack under the frame with the engine mounts removed and I can raise the unibody up past where it needs to be,but it comes back down when I remove the jack.

Would a shop with a frame rack be able to get it back into shape? The owner wants to remove the unibody from that side and weld in one from another car.Any ideas how I might get it back myself?
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Old 11-07-2006, 03:12 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Well, if you rear is level (and it needs to be to know if the front is level) your left frame rail is down. It is likely this is all in front of the tower, look at the rail there, is it buckled? There is also a good chance it is bent all the way back behind the tower (though not commonly) for that you need to see if the towers are level. It REALLY needs to be set up on a frame rack and pulled back into shape. Cutting off another front apron and welding it on this body may or may not put it in line. It REALLY needs to be pulled back into place on a frame rack. They will pull that rail up (if it is repairable) and then with all measurements in line give it back for you to weld the rad support in.

Do a LOT of cross measuring to ensure you are square. If this is a first time for this sort of thing, I HIGHYL recommend trialfitting ALL parts, fenders, hood, lights, and bumper PRIOR to welding. Just hold it in place with sheet metal screws until you KNOW it is where it needs to be.

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Old 11-07-2006, 03:15 PM
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The shock towers are level,but I'm not seeing any buckling in front of them.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:07 PM
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If the rail is low, you would need to chain it down behind where its bent then jack. Jacking alone really won't do much without anchoring and hammering where there is a buckle or kink in the rail. A shop with a frame machine should be able to do it, and they will have the correct measureing gauges and the frame dimension charts to check measurements. Or if they have better equiptment they can laser measure and have computer telling when measurements are within a few mm. and within factory specks. Doesn't sound like a big hit, but sometimes its better to bring to someone well equipted with proper training. Last thing you would need is liability issues.
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:05 PM
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That rail appearing to be low is only part of the problem. If you can measure it properly, you will find that it is back also. That can usually be guaranteed, unlsee something was dropped from above it, to cause the damage. To be repaired properly, it will need to be pulled in atleast 2 directions, forward and up. That is, if the thing is still straight forward. Otherwise, it will need to be pulled 3 ways. That is not something that most people are able to do at home. It will take a someone with a frame machine and measuring system, and the ability/knowledge to use it.

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Old 11-07-2006, 05:21 PM
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Not necessarily in over your head, but not equipped for the job. Get that thing straightened out on a frame machine, then put the core support in it. Note: it would have been better to straighten it out before it was cut up.
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