Sub frame problem - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 15:23 Thread Starter
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Sub frame problem

Hey! First post is sadly a bad one

So i had bought a '93 Turbo for a really good price that is mechanically sound and runs. The only real problem is the control arm mount was ripped off the sub frame due to an accident on the highway (he said he fell asleep but thats what they all say lol). My friends and I all had the same idea in that it can possibly be welded back on from the studs if we remove the radiator and make some space, but I asked my sister (who works at a shop) if it can be done that way and she said I'd have to get a new sub frame. I'm hoping thats not the case but I thought I'd get the experts opinions on the matter.

Picture 1: The control arm mount. The studs came with it. It looks it was very stressed and it either needs to be bent back into place or just replaced

Picture 2: Where it would have mounted to, pretty clean rip if you ask me lol.

Picture 3: Better pic of the 2nd one, in HD

The MR2 has always been a dream car for me, I absolutely love everything about it. If there is ANYTHING I can do to fix this please let me know!
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File Type: jpg IMG_1757.jpg (82.9 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1758.jpg (113.9 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1759.jpg (123.0 KB, 76 views)
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 15:55
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As the 'subframe' is part of the chassis in the SW20 you can't just replace it. I've got a mate with a similar problem but he's yet to get it fixed properly. A family friend tried to do him a favor by bird poop welding the captive nuts back in. They cracked and rusted as they were not protected. You almost need to cut the section out, weld the nuts back in and then weld the section back to the chassis with extra reinforcing around the area cut out. But that does seem like it could fail. I'm not a welder or have any experience doing work like this. It's just a suggestion to put forward to someone who does know a bit more.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 16:04
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First off, welcome to the Mr2oc & congratulations on your recent purchase. '93t's are hard to find.

Let's define terms. You titled thread "Sub frame problem". The only sub frame on the car is in the rear. Your problem is with the Front strut bar mount. They were upgraded for 93, and are unfortunately no longer available new (i bought some of the last ones for my 91 a few yrs back). Can't tell from pic if it's too damaged to use, if it is you may be able to locate some used ones or find some 91's (much more common) and the corresponding 91 strut bars, you would need to change out both sides, turbo & n/a ones are the same.

As GDII said, your big problem is that the threaded inserts for the mount were pulled out of the lower radiator support, which is part of the car's unibody. Not sure what sort of shop your sister works at, but it appears to be fixable by the right professional.

Hope this helps, the board's search function is your friend as long as you're inputting the correct terms.

Last edited by tas011; May 5th, 2019 at 16:08.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 16:10 Thread Starter
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That's what we were thinking. if we cut the section out, weld the studs in place, reinforce and it *Should* be golden. I will definitely consult some really good shops in the area and see what they think about that. Bu that does seem like its the way to go. I'll definitely be updating you along the way, thank you so much!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 16:15 Thread Starter
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She works at a pretty decent shop, not sure if they can do this type of work but I can ask. I'll disassemble the front end and see if the mount as been pulled. I know I can find the strut mounts around my area but they'll be pricey for sure. Thanks for correcting me as well, I wasn't sure what really call this part as I am not fully familiar with the car yet. But I'll try my best to find the correct parts and hopefully it'll be on the road very soon. Thank you so much!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old May 5th, 2019, 22:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tas011 View Post
Your problem is with the Front strut bar mount. They were upgraded for 93, and are unfortunately no longer available new (i bought some of the last ones for my 91 a few yrs back). Can't tell from pic if it's too damaged to use, if it is you may be able to locate some used ones or find some 91's (much more common) and the corresponding 91 strut bars, you would need to change out both sides, turbo & n/a ones are the same.
Interesting, I didn't know that. Just to be clear with the various interchangeable terminology, can you get a picture up or circle on a diagram the bracket in question? I have a hard time orienting myself in the attached photos without actually looking at my own car
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2019, 03:36
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Sure can be repaired. Just need to find a decent panel shop who can use a MIG. No different from the ripped nuts from chassis rail holding the sway bar mounts. Seen plenty of those fixed to a high standard.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 01:49 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rocket3004 View Post
Interesting, I didn't know that. Just to be clear with the various interchangeable terminology, can you get a picture up or circle on a diagram the bracket in question? I have a hard time orienting myself in the attached photos without actually looking at my own car
I was able to get some more pictures and a short video. I tried to get as much of it as I could and I think I got some good ones, here they are

video; youtu.be/CtFoARQy7Ww
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File Type: jpg IMG_1786 (1).jpg (78.2 KB, 35 views)
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 16:17
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Maybe it can be less invasive to what I was thinking. You just need to make sure it all ends up at the same level as before otherwise it will mess with the wheel alignment.
Like benckj said, a decent MIG welder could get these back in place.

I'm not sure about the rules around getting things like this repaired but here in New Zealand we need repair certificates. I know you'd want it done properly anyway but even if it can be done well by someone you may know or a shop it might need documents to go with it. I know the USA have different rules for different states when it comes to cars.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2019, 22:43 Thread Starter
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Maybe it can be less invasive to what I was thinking. You just need to make sure it all ends up at the same level as before otherwise it will mess with the wheel alignment.
Like benckj said, a decent MIG welder could get these back in place.

I'm not sure about the rules around getting things like this repaired but here in New Zealand we need repair certificates. I know you'd want it done properly anyway but even if it can be done well by someone you may know or a shop it might need documents to go with it. I know the USA have different rules for different states when it comes to cars.
I asked my manager (I work at a Chevy dealership) if he knew anyone that could do this type of job and he said himself actually, hes got 13 years of experience and he gave me a pretty good insight of the type of work that needs to be done and he'd even do it himself!

He said the best way is going to be creating a steel bracket, and puddle welding. I didn't fully understand the process he explained, but i got a pretty good idea of what will be happening.

He'd start by drilling 3 holes around the 2 holes; heres my terrible diagram
+ = drilled hole, {} = ripped stud
___________________________

+ {} + {} +
___________________________

Then create a bracket on the inside of the support, and drilling cut-outs for the studs, and getting that welded into place

creating another bracket on the outside, cutting room for the studs, puddling, then welding the entire bracket onto the support.

It'll act as like a big washer, and will definitely be stronger than factory. my explanation was terrible of the process but I hope you get the general idea

Last edited by oerr; May 7th, 2019 at 23:50.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 17:27
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^^^^^^^
Sounds like your manager is da man.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old May 8th, 2019, 23:15
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That's pretty much what I'd do except make the inside bracket U shape in order to add strength and port weld the sides. I did this method when repairing the chassis sway bar mounts as I had stress cracks showing.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2019, 03:31
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Your torque arm bracket has four bolt holes, 2 on the frame rail and two on the cross member. Are the ones on the frame rail OK?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old May 21st, 2019, 13:50
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Bro...from what I'm looking at...this is an easy fix! With or without a welder.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2019, 15:45
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Bro...from what I'm looking at...this is an easy fix! With or without a welder.
How would you fix it without a welder?
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2019, 16:41
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My thoughts exactly ^^.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2019, 02:49
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Generally with a captive nut pullout, you cut an access door in from the side big enough to get in there and remove the old nuts, make a reinforcement plate with new nuts welded to it, drop the plate inside maybe with a couple of holes drilled through it to plug weld, bolt up the bracket temporarily to confirm position, weld it in place, then weld back the side piece you cut out. Clean up the patch weld bead with a flap disc or grinding disc, zinc rich epoxy primer and color coat. Stronger than new and looks like you were never there.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2019, 18:02 Thread Starter
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Long over due update. Nothing but bad news.

its been a since I updated, and sadly, no good news. My manager talked to the owner of the place and he said that he cant do the weld, its a liability if it even goes on the lift here. I fully understand that. I went to a couple more shops and I found one that would be willing to do it, and for a decent price. But, when I went to drop it off, he said that they cant do it until the unibody is dealt with. they had a machine for it, but they didn't have the measurements to accurately bent it back.

Then I went to another one, and they had even worse news. the unibody is damaged pretty bad, so to explain it grab a piece of paper. Grab it with both hands in the middle, and twist. the front portion of the car looked pretty close to that. the drivers side is normal, and the passenger side is bent upward.

I knew the unibody was bent, but not bent like this. i've been to around 15 shops and they all said hell no. but I think I know where im going wrong. I've been going to big shops with other branches. I need to look for performance places, maybe they'd be willing.

So i updated this thread to ask for help. I'm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota area and willing to take where ever I can. The car is gonna get a full roll cage, and maybe even a full tube chassis. I love this thing too much

If any of you guys know of someone, or a place that would be willing, i'll sign paperwork if i need to just to get it fixed.

Last edited by oerr; October 9th, 2019 at 18:05. Reason: my spelling is worse than a 3rd grader lol
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