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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Sad day for me especially. Wrecked the car a while back in December; let it sit for a long time after I got my first opinion on the damage. Fixed a few things, replaced some sheared bolts and a dented oil pan, plus tie rods as well. I finally nutted it up to try and get it aligned, but the first opinion I got was the same as the second.

I have a bent engine cradle, which is causing my FR tire to have some positive camber ( this is the side of the car that impacted first in the ditch). They also said my caster is off in the front along with a RR bent knuckle assembly and the toe in the RR is off. They could not align it until further restoration of the car (I have the allignemt sheet with all the specs, will post when I make it home tonight). I’m kind of at a loss because I love this car and the frame shop I went to after said that you have to replace the engine cradle completely and no telling what else is wrong. I am an avid DIY and have been doing all my own work on the car. I have done all spark plugs (yes even the three under the intake plenum), engine gaskets, installed afternarket down pipe, gutted precats, done the oil pan removal and reseal, replaced starter, bled the brakes, rebuilt the calipers, and replace front hub assembly’s / rear inner and outer wheel bearings as well. My dad was a professional mechanic for a long time and I grasped a descent amount about cars while he was around. He is the reason (bought it for my college grad present) I have this car and he just passed in late March, so I really wanted to make this thing a monster in his memory. I’ve put alot of time into it already and just want to see what options I have.

- Pull the Engine myself and replace the cradle (need adivice on how hard this could be) will have brothers help/he’s still worthless lmao
- Take it to my mechanic to do the work of replacing cradle (too broke for that shit)
- Buy a Roller and just transfer over the Drive Train (Dunno how much a descent roller would be)
- Cut my losses and get rid of my biggest memory of my dad (absolutely do not want to)

All and any advice would be very helpfully guys, thanks!
 

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^ +2

Reach out to Aaron Chandler on the FB 3s groups or you can try him here (he seems to be more active on facebook these days). If he doesn't have a clean roller himself he may be able to point you to one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
^ +2

Reach out to Aaron Chandler on the FB 3s groups or you can try him here (he seems to be more active on facebook these days). If he doesn't have a clean roller himself he may be able to point you to one.
What’s the going rate for a roller around or over 100k miles?
 

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Engine cradle? You mean the front subframe/crossmember? It's not that hard to replace and I think it's worth to try to fix it, also it's the same for all the years and models, you don't need to remove the engine, just undo the rear engine bolt. If there is still something wrong after that well.. a new roller can be a an option lol..
 

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Engine cradle? You mean the front subframe/crossmember? It's not that hard to replace and I think it's worth to try to fix it, also it's the same for all the years and models, you don't need to remove the engine, just undo the rear engine bolt. If there is still something wrong after that well.. a new roller can be a an option lol..

If the subframe and cross members are bent, I figure there’s more underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Engine cradle? You mean the front subframe/crossmember? It's not that hard to replace and I think it's worth to try to fix it, also it's the same for all the years and models, you don't need to remove the engine, just undo the rear engine bolt. If there is still something wrong after that well.. a new roller can be a an option lol..
The engine cradle is bent. Here are some pics
My bumper picture you can see from right to left the gap between my hood and bumper gets smaller. The impact was on that side where the cradle is bent. My RF tire has positive camber it’s bent so bad LMAO
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Engine cradle? You mean the front subframe/crossmember? It's not that hard to replace and I think it's worth to try to fix it, also it's the same for all the years and models, you don't need to remove the engine, just undo the rear engine bolt. If there is still something wrong after that well.. a new roller can be a an option lol..
The subframe crossmember that goes under the Tranny was as bent a little bit as well.

If the subframe and cross members are bent, I figure there’s more underneath.
 

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my understanding is that if the four engine braces metal are bent/tweaked (i view it as a rectangular box), those parts can be replaced as Albert0 said.
But if the car/unibody, that the four engine braces attaches, to are (also) bent/tweaked, then you need a new "roller".
again, that is my understanding, but i could be wrong.
my guess, by looking at the photo, is that the car/unibody is bent.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
my understanding is that if the four engine braces metal are bent/tweaked (i view it as a rectangular box), those parts can be replaced as Albert0 said.
But if the car/unibody, that the four engine braces attaches, to are (also) bent/tweaked, then you need a new "roller".
again, that is my understanding, but i could be wrong.
my guess, by looking at the photo, is that the car/unibody is bent.
So the engine brace is not apart of the engine cradle/subframe?
 

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That's the cradle, and it gets bolted to the unibody, but if its bent yeah you can't fix it, I helped a friend to replace all that stuff, there was only one problem, one of the threads / studs was separated from the unibody, the one that holds the lower control arm, the car wouldn't align and it will track to the side, it was fixed by opening a hole and welding that piece. Unibody was straight and the engine braces were bent, after replacing those (including the subframe/crossmember) and welding the car was perfectly fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12


That's the cradle, and it gets bolted to the unibody, but if its bent yeah you can't fix it, I helped a friend to replace all that stuff, there was only one problem, one of the threads / studs was separated from the unibody, the one that holds the lower control arm, the car wouldn't align and it will track to the side, it was fixed by opening a hole and welding that piece. Unibody was straight and the engine braces were bent, after replacing those (including the subframe/crossmember) and welding the car was perfectly fine.
So two questions about this:
How do you know if your unibody is bent or twisted?
Second if it isn’t, how hard is the job to replace the cradle?
 

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thanks Albert0! that's a photo of the four engine braces I was referring to.

for reference, the bottom of the picture is the front brace of the car where the front engine mount attaches.

on my car, i took out both side braces over the winter and sanded/painted them. I was going to sand/paint the front but I didn't feel like unbolting the front engine mount.

to know if any of the four braces are twisted, you'd have to know the measurements of a "straight car" between all those mounting points.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks Albert0! that's a photo of the four engine braces I was referring to.

for reference, the bottom of the picture is the front brace of the car where the front engine mount attaches.

on my car, i took out both side braces over the winter and sanded/painted them. I was going to sand/paint the front but I didn't feel like unbolting the front engine mount.

to know if any of the four braces are twisted, you'd have to know the measurements of a "straight car" between all those mounting points.
Hmmmmm ok thank you for the reference point! So the cradle is actually at the back of the engine? If that front piece is bent could I just try to get new cross members and the front piece, then take it back in to see if it wil allign?
 

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Hmmmmm ok thank you for the reference point! So the cradle is actually at the back of the engine? If that front piece is bent could I just try to get new cross members and the front piece, then take it back in to see if it wil allign?
The control arms bolt exclusively to the rear cradle... If you have damage to the other three pieces, that's secondary, and will not effect the alignment.

I'd get all four pieces from a straight car and bolt them in... If they don't line up with your body structure, start looking for a roller.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmmmm ok thank you for the reference point! So the cradle is actually at the back of the engine? If that front piece is bent could I just try to get new cross members and the front piece, then take it back in to see if it wil allign?
The control arms bolt exclusively to the rear cradle... If you have damage to the other three pieces, that's secondary, and will not effect the alignment.

I'd get all four pieces from a straight car and bolt them in... If they don't line up with your body structure, start looking for a roller.
Can you drop the all four pieces without pulling your motor? I want to try and just do all the labor myself on replacing the cradle and other 3 pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
FYI throwback to 2010:

https://www.3si.org/forum/f12/engine-cradle-489840/

He needed a cradle, unibody was warped but straightened.
Thanks man! In response to your other reply, I took it to a repair and collision shop with a frame straightener and they heard me say bent cradle and said just replace it. Then said to put it on their rack it’s $200 and it would be $85 an hour from there on out. But they wouldn’t even put it on the rack because it has a bent cradle... can I take it somewhere else to see if the unibody is warped with the bent cradle still on the car?
 
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