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Old 02-24-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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Default Rear subframe is probably bent: Need some help

Backstory: The day after Christmas a semi-drunk and full-on retarded neighbor across the street got in a fight with his roommates and sped off... but not before hitting my 94 Miata square on the passenger side and pushing me up to the curb (it did snow, but still). His insurance picked up the bill after the police report was filed as a misdemeanor hit and run.

Initial looks: The door, rear fender, and front fender are a little bit banged up. Sourced a new door for 20 bucks, a fender for 120, and had the rear popped out, bondoed and primered for 425. Oh yeah, I also have a ton of positive camber on the driver side rear wheel. No bueno.

As it is now: On jackstands finishing an engine swap, but I haven't addressed the issues in the rear. I had it taken to a shop to get it aligned and they were only able to dial in -.75 degrees of camber on the rear left wheel on a stock suspension; the rear right had no problem dialing in -1.7 degrees. I still need to measure the geometry in the back to figure out what is wrong, but I'm fully expecting to have to put in a new subframe and I have a couple of sources for them...

Question time~~ I have a source for the rear subframe and associated control arms for about 60 dollars, but it's from a 91 IIRC. I know that the 1.6L cars don't have the same bracing as the 1.8s, but does the rear brace really add that much? Are the control arms compatible? I already know I have to keep my hubs for the "larger" 1.8L brakes, but I'm trying to see if I can nab it and replace all of the bushings while it is out of the car with the Energy Bushing kit in the rear.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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everything should swap, but like you said you lose the bracing points.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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Also if the subframe replacement wasn't in the original insurance payout, make sure you file a supplemental so they cover it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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you could alway weld some mounting tabs onto the subframe to add the ladder brace. you could also look into aftermarket bracing options for the earlier model cars....
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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The insurance totaled out the car, sorry if I wasn't clear on that; it's still early in the morning.

I'm building the car to be CSP Solo2 competitive and for HPDEs and I was just curious if I will be in a world of pain with an earlier subframe. I'll ask my local wrecker if he has a 1.8L one and just swap everything over.

...Not looking forward to doing the Energy Bushings
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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Maybe you just bent an A-Arm? that would be cheaper than a subframe it would seem.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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The prices locally for me are:

$60 for the whole rear subframe + a-arms + hubs off of a 91
$40 for just the subframe off of a low mileage 94
$15 for lower a-arms, $25 for uppers

Like I said earlier, I need to measure the side that is affected by the incident and figure out what was bent. When it was on the lift, I couldn't notice and bending of the a-arms and everything looked straight; therefore, I'm expecting something up top to be bent. Planning for the worst case scenario, haha.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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The bracing differences are very minimal. If there was a huge price difference I would do the 91 setup, but really we're talking like $60 difference here, so just go for the 94.
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