After a couple of hours on youtube, watching all sorts of cars get straightened, I’ve now got a tiny bit more of an idea as to how to go about going this.
First step was to buy some thick walled steel.
The it was time to fire up the mill and let it machine out some plates that will be used to bolt this whole contraption together. It is going to be too big to store in the shed in one piece, and as I’m sure this won’t be the last time I bend it I want to be able to keep this thing. So the plan is to be able to unbolt it all, to store it as single lengths – it will make more sense later – I think.
Then its just a job of welding it all together, keeping it exactly square and level.
We then end up with something like this, now to get a car on top of it.
So, after having a chat to a fellow rally driver/panel beater I’ve got some clue as to how to go about this (I did say some, I apologize in advanced to all of the panel beaters out there who will probably be shaking their head if they ever read any of this!).
First task was to cut off all of the bits that are not going to be savable.
More has to come out still, but I need to pull the bottom of the A pillar back into place first, using what is left as a rough guide of where to stop. So the next job is to make a frame to mount the car to, and a pulling arm to pull things back out – I feel a YouTube training session coming on.
Stripped the car the weekend after the event, with the help of the family. I’m still too sore to do much, so I could not have done it without them – thanks!
And no, its not an optical illusion, it really is that bent in the front right. Parts are bent in, other bits are higher than they should be, other bits twisted. At a minimum the whole right front corner needs to be replaced.
I found a damaged shell cheap on Saturday, so went and picked that up too. It’s bent front left, so it no good as a complete shell, but a perfect donor for right side chassis rails.
I’ve been to a few panel beaters, the answers have ranged from ‘no way, start again’ to ‘yeah, maybe, but its not going to be cheap’. So the cheapest quote was still more than I can stomach, so I’m left with the options of give up, or have a crack myself…
Event two of the championship, started well, good pace without pushing too hard.
Photo courtesy of Allan Bird Photography
Into a left hander, than tightens late, we hit a slippery section that I wasn’t expecting and slid straight off.
The following photos courtesy of Pixel Print-cess
Looks ok from this side, but…
This is what was on the other side of the car.
So it was onto the trailer, event over. It doesn’t look too bad from these pictures, but the broken rim, broken brake caliper, snapped lower suspension arm, bent crossmember means that there is no way of fixing it today.
With the door ‘shut’ there is a 40mm gap between the car and the top of the window, so some important parts of the car have moved. Won’t know much more about how bad it is until we get it home and pull some it it apart.