Desperately need help


#1

I wrecked the front passenger side of my car. I then found out my insurance was lapsed (long story). I’ve always had insurance and it was a large communication error with terrible timing. The car isn’t paid off yet and I have no choice but to fix it. I cannot afford a professional mechanic to fix it. My boyfriend and his friends, a combination of basic mechanics and Ironworkers, are going to attempt it. We have ordered many of the parts from rock auto and a few were found at the junkyard. But I can’t find the name of this part to purchase it anywhere. They call it the strut mount, but it is a large part welded to the frame that holds the strut. I am trying to attach a picture unsuccessfully. Please bear with me. I have tried identifying the item on parts.com and I have tried every Google search I could think of. This is my last hope.

Please and thank you.


#2

And your question is . . . . . . ?


#3

This is the portion I need to know the name of.


#4

A strut mount is a small part and it’s part of the strut itself. It’s unclear to me what part you’re referring to.

If you mean the area at the top of the strut where the strut itself is bolted to then that is referred to as a strut tower. If the strut tower is mangled that means some serious damage and is likely something a pro body shop would have to handle. It’s also $$$$$.


#5

That part is called the bulkhead.

You’re going to need to get that section of the bulkhead from the same vehicle as yours from a junkyard. Cut out the damaged section, and weld in the replacement section.

Tester


#6

Strut tower, inner fender panel or inner bulkhead. Different folks use different names. There is a couple of ways you can go here depending on the extent of the damage. The portion of the strut tower that bent is supposed to do that in a crash.

The strut connection itself (where the top of the spring and strut attach) doesn’t look bent but compare the measurement from the other side - distance to the firewall. If the strut hasn’t moved you may be able to cut away just the front part of the panel and weld in a new piece. Check with the dealer to find out if a repair piece is available for the bent part or buy the entire panel and trim the front half off a wrecked car and weld it in. I suggest rosette (or plug) welds.

Show this to your friends helping and if they don’t understand this or can’t weld, seek professional help! You WILL need welding and careful measuring to do this right. This is NOT a job for rank amateurs!


#7

well they are ironworkers…

get your guys to grab their oxy acetylene torch and head to the junkyard…


#8

Agree that’s some nasty damage. Agree a dealer or body shop would be able to identify the sheet metal available and order it-or the junk yard. Your guys though are in for a project.

One thing though that you might consider is that if you have a bank loan which it sounds like you do if its not paid off, you are required to keep it insured. But they carry a policy to protect themselves in cases like this and their insurance would kick in to cover the loss. The problem is that they will back charge you for the premiums that will be very expensive but maybe not as bad as trying to fix it yourself. I’d proceed on that cautiously but it is an option to explore.


#9

For the nomenclatures, see mustangman’s post.

And yeah, this’ll take welding. You won’t find the individual body piece on the market, because they’re not sold that way. The problem is that unless whoever does the work REALLY knows what they’re doing, and preferably has an alignment table, there are extremely likely to be serious chassis alignment issues once the new piece is welded in. Normally when a piece of sheetmetal is cut off and a new one welded in, framework has to be tacked to the sheetmetal to hold the parts from moving around or they’ll never align properly again. In addition, sheetmetal distorts and contorts when welded. A good welder will tack the parts together and them weld in short spaced welds to help mitigate this, but it’ll take a good welder. In body parts you can often get away with it because slight misalignment doesn’t affect vehicle operation, but in your case you’re talking about something that does, and also something that will be subject to serious stresses. In your case whoever is trying to weld the new piece in has nothing to properly align it to, and absolutely must know how to weld properly… I’d also put gusset plates in.

Having said that, I’m having a hard time ascertaining from the photos whether it’s the actual tower that needs replacing. In the first photo I see the top of the strut, and it appears to be mounted in the tower. It may be that the structural piece between the tower and the radiator support area is what really needs replacing. That’ll still take someone who knows what they’re doing, and it’ll still need to help support mechanical components, but alignment might not be quite as critical.

Excellent photos and description, by the way. I wish everybody would make the effort.


#10

Well, all yards in the big city nix cutting off parts. It unbolts or nada. Maybe out in the sticks some yards will do it.


#11

New panels aren’t expensive. It will be a waste of time searching for a good used fender apron and fender extension.


#12

The second pic appeared after I posted. From the looks of that strut tower this is going to take much more than a few guys with hammers out in the driveway.
Once cobbled together more than likely it’s going to have to be placed on a frame machine in a well equipped body shop.


#13

if your guys are class A steel fabricators they can likely do the job.

if they are steel erectors…, maybe.

erectors are usually termed "ironworkers’ but some folks call fabricators "ironworkers’ too


#14

It sounds like you’ve got some good help there. But one bit of caution. The fact that your insurance lapsed is unfortunate, but it isn’t in itself a sufficient reason to attempt to effect a repair. I mean if the repair isn’t something you’d do if you had insurance. It might not be a cost effective thing to do. What I’m saying is that you might be $$$ ahead by taking the car to a recyclers yard (for which you’d get a little money), then buying a non-wrecked car. Be sure to take a look at what’s available on the used car market in your area, and run the numbers before deciding.


#15

George.

The OP doesn’t own the vehicle. The party that provided the loan for the vehicle owns the vehicle.

Doing what you suggested would be a breach of contract.

Besides, can you afford two car payments?

Tester


#16

Insurance co would have totaled car. Crushed shock tower? Can a determined mechanic with lots of time and money fix it? Probably.


#17

@aliciavet2016

It would help me to know how the car was hit or what it hit, at what approximate angle.
The pictures show details of the most severe damage, but not an overall view of what went on here. Did it “submarine” under something? Do you have a wider-angle view or photo from before parts were removed?

Also, what is the make, model, and model-year?

Just a though, but I have auto salvage yards in my neck of the woods that make used cars out of scrapped (totaled) cars. Usually a car is totaled because it cost more for a professional body shop to repair it than it’s worth.

However, these salvage yards have the advantage of having used parts or other cars more readily available and often have much lower labor costs. I’d see if you have such a yard in your area and see if they’d do some or all of the needed repair work. Many/Most/all have a tow truck or flatbed truck , too.

CSA


#18

It just looked to me that the shock tower itself was not damaged, just the crumpled sheet metal for mounting the fender. Kinda hard to tell. Of course if the shock tower needs replacing, that’s a major issue. Still like I said, financed cars are never without insurance. The bank sees to that just for these circumstances.


#19

“It just looked to me that the shock tower itself was not damaged, just the crumpled sheet metal for mounting the fender. Kinda hard to tell.”

Bing, you could be right, but it is kinda hard to tell, exactly, especially from those little zoomed in photos. That’s why I asked for a wider angle photo (particularly one with no parts removed) and info as to the nature of the collision. We need to see where the impact was focused and distributed.

We haven’t had any additional info for a while.
CSA


#20

When the second picture is clicked it rotates to the upright position. From that angle the shock tower looks whacked to me.

If that’s the case it’s going to involve some serious work unless someone just cobbles it together and the car rolls down the road like a sand crab at the beach; sideways.