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2003 Lexus IS300
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently, had an unfortunate incident with my car. The driver's front wheel bottomed out and the tire hit the rail behind the fender. Now the hood has a .75-inch gap now between the fender on the driver's side. The repair shop assessed the wheel got pushed up into the shock tower and it's bent on the front driver's side. The repair shop suggests I take it to a body shop to get the frame pulled.

Has anyone experienced this type of damage to their car?
Has anyone had their frame pulled?
What is involved and roughly how much does it cost?
If so, is it worth doing it?

I really love this car. Aside, from this issue, the car is still in great condition inside and out. I really don't want to get rid of it. That's why I'm asking for your advice. Thank you.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Hood
Car Wheel Land vehicle Tire Cloud
Cloud Automotive tire Hood Sky Automotive lighting
Cloud Water Hood Automotive lighting Sky
 

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2002 is300
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Once a unibody frame is damaged it will never be the same. That being said you could probably have it pulled out and some body work and you'll never notice. Really need some pictures to get an idea of the damged and what has moved. Anything is fixable for a price.
 

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Seems to me like frame straightening is a black art. I've never had it done but over the years I've heard myriad anecdotes that some shops are hacks that do a terrible job - and other shops are magicians.

If you love the car and it's otherwise in great shape, I'd definitely shop around for a frame straightening shop that makes you believe they can get it right.
 

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Seems to me like frame straightening is a black art. I've never had it done but over the years I've heard myriad anecdotes that some shops are hacks that do a terrible job - and other shops are magicians.

If you love the car and it's otherwise in great shape, I'd definitely shop around for a frame straightening shop that makes you believe they can get it right.
Theres alot of things to it. Its become alot better now that we have machines that can read overall distoration throughout the frame not just localized. Some of the poor work is just eye balled and guessed. There are actual measurments you can get to see how far things have shifted. Modern frames can be sectioned and replaced. If OP frame rail is bent you can have it replaced without needing a frame machine as long as the points where the frame attach are all good. Be careful getting things pulled out. Just because it looks good doesnt mean its been pulled out the right amount. A inproperly fixed frame can cause many issues like trhe vechile no longer being straight and causing crabbing. Being near the suspension if it isnt really close you can have alignment issues. Most of it can be corrected out but if its not close it may not drive straight. I dont mean to scare you just make sure wherever you take it is very knowledgeable and knows what they are doing so your car comes out nice.
 

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Mr. Roo
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I've never heard of this happening before. What sort of springs/shocks are those? how old are they (how long have you had them, how many miles). Looks like the wheel got messed up too. How's the alignment? What about if you measure the distance between the ground and the top of the wheel arch? If everything still is somehow straight enough except for the hood, maybe you can adjust the hood bump stop lower and let that be it.
 

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2003 Lexus IS300
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@TobiasSing Koni Yellow/Eibach Sportline.They're fairly new. Only a couple of years max. Yes, the wheel is bent too. The alignment was off. The hood appears to be fine, it's the fender and the shock tower frame portion that isn't. It sits .75 inches lower on the driver's side. I'm not sure if I can adjust the hood. I'm using gas hood struts.
 

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Try some other critical measurements if you can, avoiding the knuckle, off the strut tower to the lower arm mount, for example. 0.75" is quite a a bit, you would notice some crumpling in the support structure closer to the firewall under the fender if it's damaged.

The repair in my photos turned out alright; she doesn't know what she hit (or couldn't tell me), but the "box" frame member didn't seem damaged and a donor was available, so i went for it. It's not perfect, but anyone looking closely from the front would know as the headlight area was a little off afterward. I shared only to show that it can be done, especially if the main frame member isn't tweaked, which I doubt would be the case given the situation you described.
 

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I'll also add, though I think it's unlikely in this case, that the top part of the steering knuckle is relatively weak: worth inspecting it for bend, and the upper control arm too.

I just saw your photos; looks like that same member is what's bent (versus the frame box member). The red circled spot weld has torn and the one just behind it is going, and the area circled in yellow is definitely crumpled. That's a gnarly bump you took. I'd take the fender off and get a closer look: you might be able to smack it back close with a sledge or so if you want to avoid shop costs (heck, they might do this same thing anyway...).
Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Vehicle door


I added some more photos to the linked album, from another vehicle that shows where the stock spot welds are and how things align; mind that the outer support is a little bent along the edges but is otherwise unmolested (compare to the first set of the repair, which is not). The top is basically flat from the firewall until the front of the wheel well where it then begins to arch down. Hopefully this helps you out; I'm guessing the open gusset circled in red, and the spot welds circled in yellow in this image are crumpled and torn, which would likely require more than a sledge can solve:
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive design


Unrelated ... What flavor are these upper arms? The ball joint boot looks nice.
 

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2003 Lexus IS300
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@reklipz Honestly, I don't know what brand. i believe they were already in the car. Today we installed a new knuckle and ball joint. It significantly brought the front wheel out of that stance lean. LOL Visited an auto body shop to get some advice on the frame damage. Guy measured areas of the car. it was found the shock tower was pushed .25 inches inwards. The good news is that nothing else seems to be out of whack so the auto shop guy said pulling the control arm to bring the wheel forward and pulling the tower should fix it. Can't be 100% sure until the car is on a rack and examined. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the damaged parts. We are holding off replacing the front and rear control arms until we can get the frame pulled. Drives better than before, but it still sits super low. I get some steering shake because both the left front and rear wheels are dented, but the car doesn't seem to pull now. That's it for now until I hear from the auto body shop. They are pretty booked up now, I'm waiting for a space of time to become available.
 

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2003 Lexus IS300
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a side-by-side comparison of how low the car sits on the driver's side...
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Motor vehicle

Car Wheel Vehicle Tire Automotive tire


On another note, bent wheels are being repaired and front stock springs are being swapped in to raise the front up until I can get the frame pulled. Hella scraping all over the place, I don't know how you stance guys do it LOL.

BTW, if you are local to the Bay Area, I'm looking for a driver's side GGP front fender. HMU 🤙
 
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