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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guess it's time to order some vinyl "01"s for the door and a flag for the hardtop, 'cause i pulled a Duke boys move tonight.

I'm a firm believer that stupidity should be painful. Of course it'd be hypocritical to think I shouldn't get hurt on those off occasions, and I hate it when I get stung. Karma strikes hard when she decides to.

So it's Friday night, not a cloud in the sky, and i'm coming home from a drive on the FIRST night i've been able to drop the top and enjoy the moonlight since I bought the car. I exit the freeway, and pull 2 douchebag moves 2 lights in a row. The first one was honking at someone parked on a free right on red for a bunch of time after it turned green, and then darting through a questionable hole in traffic right after that. I get caught at two red lights, and zip outta both of 'em. I need to take a left at the next red, and jump into the turn lane right when i see it. Too bad it was a curbed left turn lane before the one I needed. It was headed by a median and I ran out of road. It was dark, i wasn't looking far enough ahead and I was going an appropriate speed to stop where I planned, not 50 yards sooner. (read: too fast.)

I saw 3 choices in front of me. Take the left, miss the corner, and head on the curb more likely than not. Go straight, head on the bump onto the median and crumple the clam/pop the airbags... or go back over the barrier to the right into the lane of traffic I needed. Snap decision... I went right and jumped the barrier. No "YEEEEHAW" for me, merely a "F********K!!!!" Right tire up the little triangular divider, left tire up the seam of the median, BANG! the car set back down and I was already steering left again to get the turn lane. Of course, i'm sure the people behind me who'd been witness to my douchebaggery laughed their asses off. I would in their shoes... anyway.

For illustrative purpose:



So yeah... pulled into the gas station, got out, looked... and the damage wasn't bad. No bent wheels, all my tires had air, slight damage to the chin protector. I got gas, drove home, and put the car in the air. So here's where I need your help.

My upper shock mounts look bent. The lateral load on landing must have tweaked them, but for all I know they're supposed to look like this. Can someone tell me if these have these twists in them normally? I don't recall what they looked like last time I had the wheels off, but I'm not certain they're supposed to look this way. I felt behind for the mounting point on the chassis, and it's still square so I'm hoping at worst I need to replace the upper shock mounts... but before I spend money, I wanted to bounce it off people who are more familiar with it than I am.

This is the Driver's side. Should it have this curve in it?


Here's the Passenger side.


Don't think this is right, but if it is, i'll go get it realigned ASAP!

Either way bent or not, I got lucky as hell and I know it. Just figures, the first time I really get to bond with the car on a nice night, i go and **** it up for myself. :-/ Nice cap to an overall rotten day at work, too. I was finally getting over it and then this. Brought it on myself though...

There's more pics of the underside of the car (Not a SCRATCH on the underside!) and the control arm mounting positions of all four corners at the following link: Picasa Web Albums - Matthew - General Lee

... including a random piece of pre-existing damage (not a mark or cleanspot on the control arm so it didn't happen tonight!) to the passenger rear. Wierd, huh? Think it got towed poorly at one point when the PO had it.

Anyhow, if you guys could check it out, tell me what you think, i'd appreciate it. The mounting point is square, the car still tracks properly, so there's no way in hell it's totalled but I figured this was the board that'd be most familiar with the subject matter.

Edit: I checked all the control arms as well, i saw no stress pinching, no disruptions of the grime on the arms, and no tweaking of the mounting point. I think they're okay, but i'm expecting to know for certain once I align the car, 'cause I don't have a way to check at home until the caster doesn't line up on the rack.
 

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My guess would be they're not suppose to look like that. Did you bottom out the suspension travel on your landing? Not sure how you could bend those brackets and not any parts of the control arms or anything else.
 

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Although it's next to impossible to see bent suspension parts (unless they're real bad), yes, you have some bendage...

 

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Also, I bent the control arm on my other car once. Took it for alignment and they supposedly aligned the car with no issues. It wasn't till I took it back to the dealer for the 3rd time complaining about a little drift to the left when they decided to raise the car on the lift and look. To there and my dismay, the left side wheel & suspension dropped like 4 more inches then the right side. That's when we knew I bent the control arm. All I did was tap the curb in the snow at like 8mph, but that was enough to bend it slightly. You would never know looking at it.
 

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It's nice to see someone take full responsibility and accounability for their actions.

The passeger side looks like it has a crack in it too. Could this be previous damage though?
 

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I'm not sure that the shock towers are damaged... at least in my Exige, the towers are not perfectly straight... I think they may be intentionally flanged outwards to accommodate the slightly larger track pack shocks...

I do think that the shock towers are replaceable (bolted on, not bonded)... so if they are bent they can be replaced
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's nice to see someone take full responsibility and accounability for their actions.

The passeger side looks like it has a crack in it too. Could this be previous damage though?
I don't see a crack. Where's the crack you mention?

Visual Echoes, thanks for the pic, that sums it up nicely. Wierd that yours don't appear to have the drilled notch mine do on one side.

MacDady, no idea if i did, but there's no marks on the wheelwell or the wheel itself to make me think that it bottomed out hard. Until proven otherwise, i'm going to say yes, but i don't see any evidence of it.

APK, Wierd, your pics do look totally different than VE's, almost like there's a shade more caster to the top mount for the shock. Wonder if there's a part number difference exige to elise.

Thanks for the help, everyone.
 

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I'm sorry, now that I look closer on a better monitor, I guess it's a notch....about half-way down on the left side. Sorry if I scared you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yep! ordered them Monday!

too bad my roommate's 335 is in my garage now, we're doing a diff swap on it.

... and too bad i'm leaving thursday. I won't be able to fix it until next week... but I already have the parts ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update!

Definately bent. Easy to swap, but whoever didn't tap the body and instead used nylocks behind the upright? I kill him! Gah!

Not nearly as bent as I thought though!



The passenger one was insteresting though, it'd balance itself, but the new one wouldn't... The shock bracket seemed bent pretty backwards.
 

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Update!

Definately bent. Easy to swap, but whoever didn't tap the body and instead used nylocks behind the upright? I kill him! Gah!

...
rotfl

Yeah, nylocks and washers... what a pain. I just changed mine when I swapped out the Bilsteins for Nitrons. Interesting that the design of the factory towers seems to have changed...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
One of mine didn't have a washer from the factory (driver's upper). Apparently the line workers found it enough of a pain in the ass to not do it either!

FWIW, the trick was some grey RTV (motoseal or some such) to stick the washer to the nut, then i could slide it in with my fingers.
 
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