A few weeks ago my car was swallowed by a sinkhole, see post here
. The damage was pretty extensive including two completely destroyed rims, a damaged front control arm, a sheared rear trailing arm and a bent rear subframe. Basically, it was enough damage to total the car. However, I have put lots of work into the car over the past year and the motor is in good shape, so I decided to buy the car back and do the work myself. I had gotten my feet wet a few weeks earlier replacing the front CV axle and wheel bearing, see post here
. So I had some confidence to do the job.
The one thing I told myself I'd need if I were going to undertake this job is some good tools. So the first thing I did was go to Sears and get myself a complete mechanic's tool set. I then debated getting an air compressor and some air tools but I realized that all I really needed was an impact gun. So I picked up an electric 8amp impact gun from Sears and it did the trick.
I spent about 5-6 days replacing the rear subframe, trailing arm, strut and other things. This was easily the largest job I've ever done on a vehicle and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy (relatively speaking) the job was with the right tools.
I ended up picking up some used WRX rims and tires and picked up the subframe and suspension parts from a junkyard so that kept my costs low. All of the specialty tools I needed like an axle puller, ball joint separator, 32mm socket, breaker bar, and torque wrench were rented from Auto Zone. The Auto Zone tool rental policy is really helpful if you've never used it before.
The only really difficult part of the build was physically dropping and raising the subframe which I did using ropes tied to the subframe. Other than that I didn't really have any issues. I got everything back together and took it to an alignment shop but unfortunately it turned out that the front strut was bent as well. So after replacing the strut (and strut mount), I got it back to the alignment shop and it aligned perfectly! So I think I can chalk this one up as a win.
Below is the write-up of the subframe drop along with the gallery of images. PM/reply with comments or questions.
Link to the full write-up
Link to the image gallery