Fender bender



I checked topic about bent frame and since I am gonna unbend it on my car I hear and read a lot of things like “your car never be the same” what does it exactly mean?


Are YOU going to unbend it…or have it professionally done??

If YOU’RE going to unbend it…then yes…it’ll NEVER be the same again. A good professional with the right equipment can straighten out a frame to within fractions of an inch. The problem is finding a good bodyman with the correct equipment. Here in NH I only know of 2…There are probably many more…But I know of 10-20 bodyshops…and only 2 have the equipment to straighten out a frame correctly.


I am in Pittsburgh, PA somebody recommended me one shop…I don’t really have a choice now and I still don’t know how much it is gonna run for ($$) … I am planning to keep this car, so I was just wondering what do they mean never same…is it gonna be worth or smth??


It means that unless it is done correctly, by a professional, your tires will wear unevenly for a start and, depending on how badly it was bent and how well the job is done, can affect the car’s handling. There are also questions, when work is done to correct significant damage, whether or not the work will make the car ultimately as safe as it was before (crumple zones that no longer crumple quite right).


It means you may experience trouble down the road, and weakened structural integrity of the car. One personal experience was a transmission that started leaking 12oo miles later, re repaired a couple of times under warranty but finally traded it in, and told by the trans shop it was because things did not line up right.


Call your insurance company and ask them who they recommend. They can tell you who has the frame stretcher.


see my car new and has been totaled recently with liability insurance on it and I still owe fat check to the dealer…so I didn’t report it yet…I am thinking if I should report it at all to my insurance company. so I am trying to fix it on my own


I wrote a long reply explaining what happens in a collision, especially one as bad as you claim, but the site crashed around the time I hit ‘Submit’. So here’s a short version.

A collision hard enough the bend the frame will translate a ripple effect through every panel in the car. Even if a good shop pulls the frame back into a safe alignment, it cannot get it perfect. You’ll have endless tire alignment problems. Especially in this car with very limited to no factory adjustments for camber and caster. And, you’ll hear new and very annoying creaks, squeaks, and rattles due to spot welds through the car that have been stressed or broken due to the collision. Many of these cannot be seen or inspected because of the way the panels are finally assembled when the car was built. And these are things people complain about after a professional repair.

Your talking at doing a very economical DIY repair. These problems will only be worse. I’ve done a bunch of DIY collision repair, mostly all cosmetic. I draw the line at frame damage. If frame damage has occurred, I walk away. It will never be ‘right’ again.


i see what you are saying… well how about I founf same Galant like mine only 2005 (mine is 2007) on junk yard, that car is all done from the back (mine is from front)… if frame on that car perfect, meaning not damaged is it possible to switch frames?? or I should find car exactly same year as mine?
I just owe to much for that car I can’t give up, but I don’t want none of those endless alignments=( I love this car


It’s time for some clarification.

The responses so far have used the term “frame” when it really isn’t exactly accurate in the case of this car. Some cars (Ford Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis, most full-size SUVs) are true “body on frame” designs.

By contrast, FWD sedans, like the Galant, use unitized construction, meaning that there is actually no separate frame. There is a reinforced floorpan which is welded to the structural components surrounding the passenger compartment, and together this unitized structure provides strength. There may be a sub-frame holding the engine and front suspension, but there is not a conventional frame that goes from the front bumper to the rear bumper.

When a body shop tells you that they are going to stretch the car’s frame, what they mean is that they are going to attempt to stretch the car’s chassis/floorpan so that it meets the original measurements/dimensions. As was already mentioned, the car’s structural integrity will likely be compromised by this procedure. Yes, it may look like new but it will likely have strange tire wear patterns, unorthodox handling, and would be unlikely to give you the same protection in a collision as the car did originally.

So–no, you cannot swap frames, simply because your car does not have one. Essentially, the chassis/floorpan has been welded to so many other parts of the car that they are inseparable unless the car was totally disassembled by use of a pneumatic chisel. The cost would likely be several times the cost of a new car.

Personally, I would not want to own a car that had its unitized structure tortured back into its original dimensions. Others may differ, as is their right.


Have you hhad a body shop look at this yet? Based on the follow up post you wrote, it may be possible for a shop to repair it. It’s impossible to guess the extent of the damage from here.

If the damage extends to the A pillars, you can pretty much forget about it ever being right again. Frame straightening machines are basically huge tables with hydraulic actuators, chains, and precision measuring equipment built in. After disassembling much of the chassis, they force the body back to within specification of its original dimensions. But it’s a brute force unbending, it’s limited in what it can do, and stressed metal can never be unstressed. If you crush a coffee can you cannot uncrush it.

Having said that, if the damage is not as bad as we’ve envisioned, a “clip” might be possible. That’s where a piece of another car is clipped off and welded to your car to replace your bad section. It isn’t cheap, however.

Have a body shop look at it. See what they say and post back.


body shop looked at it…it’s expensive no doubt, they didn’t look under the car yet so they assuming at the moment that bending possible but may run up to $1000 so at this point my question if that’s possible for me to buy same crushed car but with OK “frame” and just switch it over for better perfomance and oh, as well I need parts like light, bumper, hood ect. so my thought is that it just may b cheaper to buy same car and combime 2 in one…
I am just trying to find a cheaper way so I wont spend $7000 on repairs …I owe $12000 to the dealer still…and I am trying to keep car


As VDC said, changing the frame is not possible. In days of old cars were built by mounting a body and chassis parts onto a full frame. Your car was designed to mount the chassis and drivetrain parts directly to the body structure. The body IS the frame.

If the body shop has assessed it and said it can be straightened, then they’ve determined the damage to be minor enough that their straightening machine can force it back to shape again. $1000 really isn’t much at all, so I’m left to suspect that the unibody isn’t tweaked too far out. Unfortunately, there’s no way around having them do it. You cannot unbend parts at home. You need serious hydraulic equipment.

Did they quote you $7000 for the entire job?

Unfortunately there is no way you can win on this. Your only choices are to pay the $7000 and get it fixed or scrap it and get something cheaper than $7000. Either way, you still need to pay off the $12,000.


“at this point my question if that’s possible for me to buy same crushed car but with OK “frame” and just switch it over for better perfomance”

Did you read the very detailed response (above) that I posted at 10:49 this morning?
NO, you cannot do what you propose to do.


sorry I am just confused , I am trying to talk to the body shop at the same time who tells me that it is possible to strip it and sit it on new “frame” or whatever that base that holds wheels called so as the dealership, they said same thing that I can do it… Everybody here says I can’t, I just don’t know to whom else to turn before I spend last that I have left=( it is 2007 car
there must be something I can do or I am so ready to kill my husband for that crush


It’s possible that they’re using terminology that in being passed on to us out of context and with variations is being misconstrued by us.

The bottom line comes out the same. Your choices are to get it fixed by them for $7000 or scrap it and buy something else. Either way, you still owe the original $12000 too.


Here’s the deal, if you still owe “fat check to the dealer” whatever that means, and say you only had liability on it, just about every car payment plan in the country will have a clause in it that “you must keep the car insured for damage” and that you must repair any damage. To protect themselves against people who drop their insurance, they carry and overall policy that kicks in for anyone not having insurance. So the car is most likely insured and it needs to be reported to whoever holds the contract on it and their insurance. The downside is that they will charge you for the very expensive premiums for this high risk insurance so that it would have been much much cheaper to insure the car in the first place.

I know times are tough and so on but I’ve never had a car old or new not fully insured in 45 years whether I was working or not. Its just something you have to do and you’ll never get the frame straight yourself.


What part of the car is bent, precisely? Photos would help.

“It will never be the same” means two different things. Either the wheels will never be able to be properly aligned again and the car will drive funny and you’ll get uneven tire wear; or even if it IS repaired such that it drives straight, it will not be as safe as it was in a subsequent accident. The stress on the metal has damaged it irreparably, the welds from replacement panels will never be as strong as the metal was originally…and even if they’re STRONGER that could cause the car to crumple in ways the engineers didn’t forsee.

The alignment problems will only happen if the parts of the frame where the suspension mounts, or the frame of the car in between where the front and rear suspensions mount to the car is damaged.

The safety problems can exist to some extent even if the damage is completely fore or aft of the wheels.


Did he say “frame” or “subframe”?

A subframe is a part that holds together things like steering and suspension components. It is replaceable.

On a unibody (AKA unit body, AKA monocoque) car (every modern car except the Grand Marquis/Crown Victoria/Towncar, and most trucks) you cannot replace the frame. The frame is every part of the body except the front fenders, doors, hood, bumpers, and sometimes the roof. To do so means swapping every other part from one car to another, and with rare exceptions, you need a donor car to do that, you can’t buy a separate frame (there are unibodies available for old Mustangs and Camaros, but that’s an exception).

You’re not going to get a conclusive answer without either a very detailed description of the accident and the damage, or photos of the damage.

Oh, and this is not a fender bender. This is serious damage.


I will post my pic asap. here is car but 2005 that looks a lot like mine in damage (except that I have only front damage back is OK) well only wheel is bended 45 deg under car) so that bended part that holds wheel is to be major problem