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Discussion Starter #1
My 97 Cougar was totaled last year. It was a frontal impact with a left turning driver.

I bought the car from the insurance company (for a measly 175 bucks or so).

The bumper cover, hood, passenger fender, steel bumper, core support, and bumper absorbers (accordion shaped end of the frame) are what I need to replace. I don't think it got tweaked any part past the frame horns, the passenger door doesn't close 100% correctly, but the fender was pushed back into it and someone yanked it open to get my daughter out.

I had been trying to find locally and in the pull your own parts places the correct color (opal pearl tri coat), but even with it being a popular color, every one I found was a front end collision.

So they got in a 97 Cougar (I was looking for any year 94 or newer, Cougar or Thunderbird) with a nice looking front end, in green (repainted at some point as well).

I am not sure how much, or where to cut off the front of the "frame" and the other side panels with the according design so they compress.

I figured I could use a spot weld drill bit (http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-double-sided-rotary-spot-weld-cutter-95343.html) to get the core support unattached to the side panel, and the spot welds for the panel under the air filter (it is crinkled).

Anyone repair anything like this, and can tell me the best place to cut the frame to have enough for someone to weld it? I am trying to do this on the cheap, I have the fender, hood, bumper cover, grille, radiator already, and need the whole frame from right behind the core support.






Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
Untitled by dabangsta, on Flickr
 

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That is repairable, but the first thing that needs to be done is to have the frame pulled back close to the original dimensions then start the replacing process otherwise it will never be straight. Also I wouldn't suggest harbor freight bits. Use blair or dewalt I can get you the part numbers If you like. Good luck!
 

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That car definitely needs to go on a frame machine before you cut anything off the donor car. Even though you can't see it directly, the frame rails are not where they are supposed to be, and you need to find out where they moved, and by how much, since that will tell you whether you can section them right behind the rad support, or if you will have to go back further.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I need to get it to a place with a frame machine. I did diagonal tape measure at the top corners and it close, as in the difference could be that I didn't have a straight shot. No way to do that on the bottom.

I might have to make it mobile again, and find four like tires and wheels. I started stealing parts for my 97 Mark VIII but stopped figuring if I continue, the car will never see the road again. If I needed the transmission and the engine from it, I would then junk it, even though it is my favorite car by far, that I have owned.
 

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A tape measure isn't accurate enough. If you want a more accurate measurement, get yourself a tram gauge and try that out. I will tell you that I fixed a hit on my lemons car that didn't look anywhere near that bad, and I still had a buckled frame rail behind the rad support that required sectioning the rail. Just looking at these pics, I would almost guarantee you'll need to at least section the right rail, and possibly the left as well. The right upper rail bothers me too because it is lower than the fender at the front, but doesn't look to be visibly bent itself, which means that likely the lower rail is pushed down from the impact, and is pulling the upper rail down as well. It definitely can be fixed, but that is not the kind of job that can be done in your back yard. That car is seriously hurt. My advice would be to find a complete donor car, preferably with a blown motor or hit in the back, and bring both cars to a shop and tell them to do all the frame work, then you can do other miscellaneous stuff like replacing the rad support, fender, hood, paint prep, etc. to save money.
 
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