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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
97 Taurus Wagon driven by teenage son over curb at high speed.

Looking for advice regarding next steps and replacement parts that I should change out.

1) Driver's side LCA bent badly. (passenger appears OK)
2) Engine still in mounts but looks like passenger side is 1 inch forward of driver's side. (This corresponds to Driver's side LCA being bent backward)
3) Fender liner pulled forward 12 inches from force of wheel/tire hitting it.
4) Both front tires blown.
5) Driver side wheel badly damaged.

I know that the LCA needs to be replaced. I'm guessing that the ball joints, tie rods and endlinks will need to be replaced too. By the time I throw in the wheel bearings and steering knuckle/hub, I might as well get a replacement assembly from a wrecking yard.

Only paid $2,100 for whole car 2 years ago. Don't need it to be perfect but safe. I get that it's impossible to diagnose on forums but looking for helpful advice.

No damage to people or property just car. (Divine intervention)
 

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Haha, that story sounds exactly like something I did last year. :lol2: It was rainy and I managed to get the car sideways at about 30mph and I hit a curb, I didn't get hurt and didn't hurt anyone, just the car. The car was a 2000 taurus sedan, and it took about $2,500 to get it all fixed. I'm pretty sure I bent the control arm and some parts of the subframe aswell. If you plan on fixing this yourself, I would at least have a mechanic scope it out and see what needs to be replaced. If the car has a lot of miles on it, it might be more worth it to sell it and try to get a new one. I didn't sell mine because it only had some 60k miles on it at the time, and after repairs it drives like new. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Miniwelnick, thanks for your story. In the end I'm certainly glad that nobody was hurt.

$2,500 would be out of the ballpark out of the gate. Unfortunately, I don't want to get into this project and find out that the axle damaged the transmission, the tie rods damage the steering gear, the geometry of the car is changed etc. etc. etc...

Unfortunately, I am thinking that it would be hard for a backyard mechanic to determine this without 1) experience or 2) Getting into it and seeing where the damage leads... (ie... getting experience)

I am trying to gather the collective experience of the forum before deciding how to proceed.

Thanks again for your story. It provides some perspective.
 

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I had a similar problem about a year ago when my wife hit a curb with the right front wheel of my 2000 at about 45mph. Thankfully I got out of the deal by just replacing the LCA. Talking to some of my engineer buddies in the auto world, it seems as though control arms are typically designed to be the weak link in a collision.

An easy way to check for frame or subframe damage though would be to measure the distance between the rear bolts of the front subframe and the front bolts of the rear subframe on both sides. I would also measure the distance from the front bolt of the front subframe on one side to the rear bolt of the front subframe on the other side, and vice versa. The measurements should be pretty close to identical from side to side, within a 1/4". If not, you've likely got some frame damage that's going to need a professional to fix.
 

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If the subframe is ok, then you are looking at around $600 in parts for both LCA, quick struts, ball joints, tie rod ends and wheel bearings from Rockauto.
If you get a used knuckle, don't count on the ball joints being any good. The wheel bearings might be ok.

Rockauto has great prices on parts, and if you are mechanically inclined replacing the entire front suspension is not that hard. The only special tools would be 32mm for the drive shaft and a torque wrench. Plus it would help teach your son a very important driving lesson.
The current 5% discount code is 64552913947594 and is good until Oct 2, 2011.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's what I was looking for.

MadScientist. Great tips on the measurements. That is exactly what I was looking for.

Crackhead. Good tip and current discount from RockAuto. I bought parts from there when I got the car 18 months ago. Did the tie rod ends, bearings, ball joints and the stabilizer link.

Thanks to all who commented. This is the type of collective learning and experience that I was looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Success!

A few knowledgeable friends, a trip to the junkyard, local autoparts store and some big persuasion tools (BFH and long crowbars/prytools) and we're back on the road.

Junkyard - LCA, 2 Wheels and Tires, Fender Liners - $52 (50% off sale That day)
Local Autoparts store - Inner and Outer tie ends, ball joint etc. $75
Alignment - FREE - Already had lifetime alignment on this car.

1 Case of Corona - $22

Other guys who know more than me --- Priceless

but I paid them anyway since they came to my house and to the junkyard with me.

A few creaks and squeeks that weren't there before but the car runs and handles well.
 

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Cake monster
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Success!

A few knowledgeable friends, a trip to the junkyard, local autoparts store and some big persuasion tools (BFH and long crowbars/prytools) and we're back on the road.

Junkyard - LCA, 2 Wheels and Tires, Fender Liners - $52 (50% off sale That day)
Local Autoparts store - Inner and Outer tie ends, ball joint etc. $75
Alignment - FREE - Already had lifetime alignment on this car.

1 Case of Corona - $22

Other guys who know more than me --- Priceless

but I paid them anyway since they came to my house and to the junkyard with me.

A few creaks and squeeks that weren't there before but the car runs and handles well.
Congrats!
 
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