D. Front End Repair
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2000 Miata LS
Front End Repair
Repair work is underway. First the lower cross member had to be removed. This is the same process used earlier of drilling the welds and popping them loose with a wood chisel. Notice I had to cut the cross member to relieve the tension. Then I removed the piece on the driver's side.
Then the passenger side attachment was removed.
Next the driver's side hold down hook bracket was removed.
It is time for some measuring. The passenger side rail is 2" higher than the driver's side rail. Both rails are pushed toward the driver's side but I will have to pull a string reference down the center line to see how much.
Straightening this crinkled rail end will take a lot of finesse. First I separated the welds to let the metal move.
Use wood for a tool? Heck yea! This 2x4 was used for several tasks. It supported plates and crowbars while I hammered and bent the metal. I used some cheap hammers and dollies to help straighten the flat sections after the large dents were hammered out.
Notice the crowbar. I was having a hard time holding the dolly inside the box so I used the crowbar as a dolly. It worked well. I got almost all of the dents out and straightened the end that was severely bent.
While I was hammering downward, the structure needed support. The block and a jack took care of that.
Then I cut the 2x4 into several pieces to fit inside the box so I could work the rail side.
The piece of steel next to the wood block acted as a pseudo dolly. It worked to get the larger dents moved, but I had to use the hand dollies and the crowbar to work them down further.
It is getting close to straight now!
This is the final result. I think that will work.
Tomorrow I will find some square steel tubing and see if I can move the rails back to their normal position. Thanks Tom for the suggestion. I will wait until moving the rails back into position before spot welding everything back together.