My wheel is bent due to a collision. Two different mechanics gave two different solutions. The cheaper is to straighten out the rear beam. The more expensive is to replace it. What would be the danger or straightening the current beam? I think it would take some extreme pressure to make it break while I’m driving.
Please do not cheap out over safety. You’re life and others in the vehicle are worth more than saving a few bucks. The problem is, once bent, it is weaker than standard. It takes extreme pressure to re-bend it back into shape, but no guaranties that the beam is just as safe. Replacing it is the safest option. Plus, it is hard to ensure the beam is properly aligned with a re-bend. A new one would restore proper alignment.
I’m just trying to assess the risk. What would be the worst case scenario of straightening the beam?
One of the mechanics keeps telling me it is not a big deal, so I want to know just how big of a deal it could be.
Depending on what acr it is, you should be able to find a good used one at a wrecking yard. Makde sure the car was wrecked in FRONT. I would not attempt to repair a bent beam. You will need new bushings most likely when installing a new or used beam.
Your wheel is bent and you are talking about a rear beam. Do you mean the bead of the rim or the rear suspension crossmember?
If you are talking of the bead of the rim then replace the rim. Your tech will not straighten it, no ifs, ands or butts.
Are we talking about a suspension piece such as FORD Twin I Beam front suspension.Is this a IRS vehicle? what kind of vehicle?
it is a chevy cavelier 99, the suspension crossmember sounds right (the long bar connecting the wheels). i’m sorry, i did not mean that the wheel is bent - the wheel is TILTED. The car was hit on the drivers side rear. thanks for all your replies so far.
The beam is straightened, hopefully, on a frame bending machine. This will apply steady, even pressure to correct the beam. Beating or pounding the beam straight will weaken the beam even more. The problem is that the steel has been stretched, and now needs to be reshaped. The point where the steel stretched is going to be weaker. In extreme cases, there are small cracks where the steel buckled. What can happen? The cracks grow as the car is used, and breaks when you least expect it.
When I was in school, a Toyota van was hit similar to yours. It was RWD, and the wheel was bent, but the axle was deemed safe. 6 months later, the axle snapped, the wheel flew off, and the van, traveling at 60 MPH, lost control and flipped, killing 2. We were shown the broken axle pieces, and you can see where the axle was cracked and had corrosion from the first accident. The rest of the break was corrosion free.
I only mention this, because a lot of people don’t consider the safety factor. I would insist on a replacement beam, because this one has been structurally compromised. I would be much happier with a junkyard replacement than stick with this one.