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Thread: Rear end hit, can i fix this?

  1. #1
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    Default Rear end hit, can i fix this?

    Gentlemen,

    Decades long reader of this forum, in fact you guys taught me to paint in the early 2000s. Since then I've painted several vehicles and did some simple body work.
    Nice to see this forum still going strong. I remember Phil V and Henry giving me a crash course on blending, color sanding, and a few weld in structual pieces. I've got another project i thought would be easy for me to do but looks more difficult once i got a closer look. Bought a salvage 2020 Subaru outback with a rear hit. At first glance i figured i could pound out everything and get it back in shape. I don't think so anymore.

    20211026_152634.jpg

    Not worried about the tail gate, i will either find another one or attempt to fix it. My biggest concern is pulling the left rear back into place. The rear frame rail is bent along with the spare tire floor pan. The tail panel looks like it needs replacing to (i've purchased a tail panel already). I will post a few pics and tell me what you think. Not afraid to take this to a body shop to have it fixed but i want to try and fix it myself. I have a 10 ton portable pull with pulling ram. The bumper renforcment was removed and the new one bolts right up so i'm thinking no left to right damage, and no quarter panel damage. Anyways... without making this post a long read, heres some pics and see what you think.

    20211014_151520.jpg

    Inside left floor pan with the wrinkle
    20211014_151501.jpg

    This is the right side rear frame rail, no damge here

    20211013_081333.jpg

    left frame rail, heres the damage, rail looks to be 18 to 24 long, bumper renforcement bolts up to this. i'm guessing the left side needs to be pulled an inch, no more than 2 inches. Not the best picture, but thats what it looks like.

    20211013_082013.jpg

    The shock towers are fine, i'm hoping to atleast pound out the spare tire pan and not have to replace it, but tell me what you think.
    Thanks

    Barry

  2. #2
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    Do you have a way to anchor the car for pulling and a way to grab the part to be pulled? Measuring can also be part of the process in order that everything goes back where it belongs. If you take it to a shop be sure that they have the proper equipment.

  3. #3
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    Hi Len,

    The "pull" part of this job will be the part of this job i have no experience and it will be real "backyard" stuff" with two large trees for anchors. As mentioned i have a 10 ton porta power with pulling ram and will have to purchase some sort of pulling clamp at the end of the vehicle. All other work needed to be done i should be able to complete. I have the proper tools and basic know how... meaning i have a working knowledge of what needs to be done but no expert at anything.

    As for pulling this, i've take lots of measurements everywhere and in my amateur opinion this is a straight pull back (no side to side or up or down pull needed) The rear tailgate actually looks very good when closed gap wise. The vehicle has hooks welded to the front frame underneath (being a Subaru) so front chain up will be easy. I need to secure some type of pulling clamp for the back. I guess my main question is "can i pull this with the porta power once anchored down" or am i just dreaming thinking i can fix this myself. Its a one sided pull on the left, absolutely no damage on the right side. I live in the country a very rural area. I'm sure there's a few body shops around that can pull this, but not alot to chose from. For me, I want to try and fix this myself for the experience, But... if you guys think there's no way i can do this i will check with the body shops.
    Thanks
    Barry

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Hi Len,

    The "pull" part of this job will be the part of this job i have no experience and it will be real "backyard" stuff" with two large trees for anchors. As mentioned i have a 10 ton porta power with pulling ram and will have to purchase some sort of pulling clamp at the end of the vehicle. All other work needed to be done i should be able to complete. I have the proper tools and basic know how... meaning i have a working knowledge of what needs to be done but no expert at anything.

    As for pulling this, i've take lots of measurements everywhere and in my amateur opinion this is a straight pull back (no side to side or up or down pull needed) The rear tailgate actually looks very good when closed gap wise. The vehicle has hooks welded to the front frame underneath (being a Subaru) so front chain up will be easy. I need to secure some type of pulling clamp for the back. I guess my main question is "can i pull this with the porta power once anchored down" or am i just dreaming thinking i can fix this myself. Its a one sided pull on the left, absolutely no damage on the right side. I live in the country a very rural area. I'm sure there's a few body shops around that can pull this, but not alot to chose from. For me, I want to try and fix this myself for the experience, But... if you guys think there's no way i can do this i will check with the body shops.
    Thanks
    Barry
    We all started doing these types of repairs with no experience by either watching someone else do it or winging it ourselves. There are different types of clamps available, you just need to see what type you need. The clamp link below may help but I don't list them all so if you see one you like let me know and I'll get you a price. The ones shown are professional clamps and most are over $100.


  5. #5
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    Len,

    Looking at the pulling clamps, I'm just assuming i would cut a little bit of the tail panel away to get the clamp on the frame rail (pic below)
    The frame rail itself is about 1 3/4 to 2 inches wide so the clamp cant be very wide, maybe something like the dyna mo jr.
    Do they make a clamp that fits inside the frame rail for pulling?
    I will trust your judgement for which clamp i need to get the job done.
    Also i was thinking of drilling a hole where the red dot is and put a backing plate on the back side to pull out the bottom wrinkle in the floor pan.

    20211014_151514_LI.jpg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Len,

    Looking at the pulling clamps, I'm just assuming i would cut a little bit of the tail panel away to get the clamp on the frame rail (pic below)
    The frame rail itself is about 1 3/4 to 2 inches wide so the clamp cant be very wide, maybe something like the dyna mo jr.
    Do they make a clamp that fits inside the frame rail for pulling?
    I will trust your judgement for which clamp i need to get the job done.
    Also i was thinking of drilling a hole where the red dot is and put a backing plate on the back side to pull out the bottom wrinkle in the floor pan.

    20211014_151514_LI.jpg
    Yes, you would need to remove any metal that would get in the way of the pulling then you would probably replace it with new metal.

  7. #7
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    Did you go to the Subaru website and look at the parts breakdown? You can order the body pieces that are damaged more than you can fix. I donít have a frame rack but I do some totals like you have. I find that I can pull single pieces easily but two or three pieces welded together are very difficult to pull. I block the car with my skid steer and pull with a clamp like Len showed. If the dents go across two or more panels like you show I cut the spot welds and pull them or remove the part completely and straighten the panel with a hammer against heavy metal, that spare tire well for example. I would recommend replacing those two frame rail tops. They are a little over $300 each but then you would have correct dimensions for the other panels that are big and relatively flat so you can make them fit together. Have you got a spot weld cutter? You will need that. When I pull against the skid steer I canít get enough power with a pull back hydraulic set up. I put a chain on the skid steer bucket and a clamp on the sheet metal. I do my pulls with a chain binder. I can get 22000# of pull on a ratchet binder with 100# on the handle. I need to watch the clamp because the sheetmetal will rip at the clamp with full pressure. Itís slow but I donít want to invest in a big pulling system. Last year I told my wife Iím quitting repairing cars, Iím getting too old for this stuff, then I got three more cars in the next 12 months.

    Bob K

  8. #8
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    Hi Bob

    Good info, thanks. Its my first go around replacing parts like this. Yes I've been to the Subaru site and checked things out, I ordered the tail panel already. I'm hoping to leave the tire well in place and pull/hammer it out, if not i will see how big of a job it is to replace it. I do have most the tools, spot cutters/small welder/ spot cutter knives etc...you mention replacing 2 top frame rails, just the left one is bad, maybe your seeing something I'm not. I was hoping i could remove the left one and get it back in shape but probably best to replace it. I've got no experience pulling anything so i am way out of my comfort zone with this project. I'm two or three weeks away from attempting this, not gonna be a fast rebuild. I have a tendency to think, then think some more before anything gets done. More questions to follow.

    Barry

  9. #9
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    Sorry, you're right. That dent I saw on the right on closer inspection looks like a factory crumple zone. It looks good to me now. I usually stick with GM cars. My only Forester work was rust replacement 15 years ago so I donít remember much about that car.

    Bob K

  10. #10
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    In that picture that shows the metal creased you may find it hard to straighten. If it is behind the rear suspension and only holding the bumper bracket then I make a cut right down the center of the creases and that makes it easier to pull and you can fold the bent part back by welding studs or bolts and prying it into shape. Stick a heavy bar in from the back to act as a dolly or even as a wedge to pry the dent out. I bought a $50 pinch bar a few years ago and now I find many spots to use it. Itís 5í long and I don't have near enough strength to bend it. I keep several 3Ēx1/2Ē by 6Ē long flat bar pieces around to use as a fulcrum when working inside box shaped areas.

    Bob K

  11. #11
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    First thing you need to do is take the car to reputable frame repair shop or a reputable body shop with frame rack. Don't unbolt anything other than the bumper cover (leave the reinforcement intact. Do NOT cut anything or remove anything else. In this case the frame shop is your best friend.

    You say it's a salvage vehicle. There is a reason why the insurance company totalled that car. Big $$ to repair it right.

    Having said that it is still repairable but it HAS to go to a frame shop first. A ten ton porta power will NOT pull that frame rail and anchoring it between two tree's is just going to cause more damage. I have close to 50 years professional body work experience and I wouldn't attempt repairing that car without it going to a frame shop first.

  12. #12
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    Default Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    20211013_082013.jpg

    The shock towers are fine, i'm hoping to atleast pound out the spare tire pan and not have to replace it, but tell me what you think.
    Thanks

    Barry
    There is always a YES to repairing anything, however...

    First off, GODZILLA could not pull folds in the metal like in the pic above.

    Your 10 ton porta power will pull more simple things that I really don't see on this car.

    We had a 3 TOWER - 10 ton each Frame Machine and the placement of chains and MO CLAMPS made it all work. Hard for you to duplicate that ability.

    CUTTING: DO NOT CUT first. We always made a pull on what we intended to cut or drill out and change. If the area behind what you need to change is pushed back as well (and it is) bringing that part of the unit pulled to accept the new part is a must.

    Can YOU do it? I don't know what your qualifications are or what equipment you have available. I think like Phil says, get it to a shop (preferably one you know and can deal with). They can better guage what you're up against, make some pulls and leave the finishing to you but at least get things in order for you to change parts, hammer SMALL dents left in the tire well and so on.

    SHOP YOU KNOW: I emphasize that cuz you don't wanna be like the guy who brings his own "steak to a restaurant and asks the chef to cook it for him" - if you follow and you want an estimate (range) and TIME NEEDED to completion.

    We have another member here who we suggested he bring his car to a frame shop then he could finish. LAST we heard, he took the car to the shop MONTHS AGO. Try not to star in THAT movie and keep us posted. And remember:

    There's NOTHING we can't do!

    Henry

  13. #13
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    Hello Phil V and Henry,
    And thanks for the info, not being back here for a few years its good to know you guys are still here. Hope everyone is well. I've always gotten information here i could trust, I value your opinions. I haven't done anything to the vehicle yet except swap out the bumper reinforcement.

    20211105_094913.jpg

    The new reinforcement bolts right up and it looks level, not that it means much but its encouraging.
    20211105_091752.jpg

    I will stop there and talk or take it to a frame shop to see what they have to say. It will be a couple weeks before i can get it to town. As mentioned, I'm in a pretty rural area, not a lot to choose from in a 100 mile radius. I have already ordered/received some of the parts, tail panel and the lower frame rail. I will keep you posted.


    Barry

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Hello Phil V and Henry,
    And thanks for the info, not being back here for a few years its good to know you guys are still here. Hope everyone is well. I've always gotten information here i could trust, I value your opinions. I haven't done anything to the vehicle yet except swap out the bumper reinforcement.

    20211105_094913.jpg

    The new reinforcement bolts right up and it looks level, not that it means much but its encouraging.
    20211105_091752.jpg

    I will stop there and talk or take it to a frame shop to see what they have to say. It will be a couple weeks before i can get it to town. As mentioned, I'm in a pretty rural area, not a lot to choose from in a 100 mile radius. I have already ordered/received some of the parts, tail panel and the lower frame rail. I will keep you posted.


    Barry
    When you take the car to the frame shop include the damaged bumper reinforcement. They may want to use that to augment the pulling process.

    There is an old standby saying in body shops that say "the damage has to come out the same way it went in". In other words reverse the sequence of the damage. I think you'll be amazed by how much damage is "ironed out" on the frame machine.

    I'm surprised there is no quarter panel damage. Usually when a frame rail buckles damage will be visible in the corresponding quarter panel.

  15. #15
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    Phil,
    As mentioned, the quarter panel has no damage. The door gap near the fender well is slightly less than what it is on the other side. Door opens/closes/ and seals smoothly.

    20211106_110642.jpg

    Don't know if its just me or what, but the pictures make that lower frame wrinkle and trunk area look way worse than what your actually looking at. When looking at in person the lower frame rail wrinkle looks tiny. After looking at the pics here, i did a double take under the car, the wrinkle looks minimal, not half as bad as what the pics show... same with the trunk. Maybe just my inexperience, maybe optics... who knows.

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