Cavalier frame rotted and broke - Nissan Frontier Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Cavalier frame rotted and broke

I just wanted to get some ideas from people about my problem. My fiancee was driving home last night when something suddenly went in her car and she almost lost control. She managed to get it off the road, call me, and I came to see what was wrong and pick her up. I didn't see anything obvious, so, I took it on the road. After only a couple feet, I could tell something was MAJORLY wrong, as it pulled hard to the right with a nasty grinding noise. Looked under the car, looked at the ball joints, steering linkage, etc, but didn't think to look at the subframe. Her cousin came to help us load it on his big trailer, and he happened to notice the problem. The subframe (the modular frame that bolts to the unibody and goes forward to the front control arm) was so rotted away that it broke and got shoved back, pushing the front passenger wheel into contact with the wheel well. I am so surprised by this, and is the last thing I could think of going wrong with a car. How could they have designed it this shoddily ? It is a 1997 cavalier with only 60,000 miles, but it has been sitting more than the average car, which is the reason for all the underbody rust, even though the body is in perfect condition. Has anybody had this problem before? Any ideas on cost? I will probably be bringing it to a local mechanic tonight for an estimate. I can also easily get some used parts from a local junkyard as well, as I suspect I may go that route.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 08:44 AM
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I would have to say...salty roads=totally rusted undercarriage
and probobly totalled when figuring the cost of repair. I can always tell a northern market Jaguar cause after a year or 2 the undercarriage and stainless exhaust system is rusted. Just one of the many reasons I love TEXAS...

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 08:51 AM
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wowsers good luck with a fix on that
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 09:30 AM
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i used to live in Syracuse NY and I can relate to the rust and the over salting of the roads. Unfortuntely i think you already know what the cost is going to be. Worth more than a 97 cavalier My advice is call the insurance company and total the car and get her another one. If and only if it can be fixed, highly doubtful, the frame will never be straight again and you will have alot of problems in the future. I would buy beaters for the winter and I would coat the underside with bedliner material and ran a 88 chevy Beretta for several years like that

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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I'm hoping it doesn't need to be 'totalled', simply because the frame section that rotted away I think is modular, as in it can be unbolted from the vehicle, and another one bolted in in its place. We will see when we take it to the garage though. I just thought somebody might have seen this happen before with cavaliers maybe, like it is a known problem? I know that rust is a problem in the northeast, but to have a frame totally rot away before the body? I've NEVER heard of that before. Thanks guys.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 10:11 AM
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Sure I've seen that up here plenty of times and you can be sure it's unrepairable. Oh, and pics would be cool!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Called a couple of shops, the first one said it was something he has seen before, and that it is repairable (but he doesn't have time to do it). Second shop said he hasn't really heard of it, but doesn't doubt its possible. He agreed with the diagnosis of the first shop and can take a look at it and probably repair it next week. The subframe will most definitely need to be replaced, and I can get that from a local junkyard. The question-mark comes when we look at the part of the unibody that the subframe bolts up to. If that is rotted away, then the damage is much more severe and will cost a LOT more (peeling away the carpet on the floor, lots of welding, etc), possibly more than the dumb car is worth. This subframe is the most important part of the front end; it holds up the motor as well as ALL the suspension pieces. So to make one of the most important parts of the vehicle that susceptable to rust, I am very disappointed in the design of this car, and trust me, I won't be going with another Cavalier again.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 10:59 AM
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Well If It Makes You Feel Better The First And Last New Car I Bought Was A Pos 82 Cavalier, Clutch At 12k, Bolts Backed Out Of Flywheel, Engine At 16k, 2rods Through The Block, Firsat Flat And Spare Tire Well Was Full Of Water And Spare Didnt Fit The Car, Engine Caught Fire At 30k, And Then X Wife Totalled On A Tree.....

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 11:41 AM
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Damn!!! Hope The Wifey Made It Out Ok But Sounds Like A Blessing The Tree Got In Her Way. That Damn Thing Needed To Die. That Car Is Worse Than A Boat. Over Time You Throw More $$ In'em Than They're Worth. Lol.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUTAL View Post
Well If It Makes You Feel Better The First And Last New Car I Bought Was A Pos 82 Cavalier, Clutch At 12k, Bolts Backed Out Of Flywheel, Engine At 16k, 2rods Through The Block, Firsat Flat And Spare Tire Well Was Full Of Water And Spare Didnt Fit The Car, Engine Caught Fire At 30k, And Then X Wife Totalled On A Tree.....
.

Holy crap!

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