New LS owner… already wrecked her!

Olaf

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Hey so I just got a 2003 Ls about a week ago. Yesterday, while driving like an idiot, in the rain, I hydroplaned and hit the front right wheel against a curb at at least ten to twenty miles an hour.

The wheel got crunched back into the body and now sits at least a few inches back behind where it used to. It didn’t seem like it was terrible, but it was dark, so I parked it and bravely ran away. Today I gotta go deal with it.

So, a couple of questions… 1 what have I broken or really badly bent? 2 am I going to be able to fix this by the side of the road?

It all could have been much worse, the bodywork doesn’t seem very damaged if at all, and everyone was fine. I’ll get some pictures up when I’m able to get there in a few hours. But I thought I’d start this thread, because it’s better than sleeping.
 

joegr

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To me, that is not enough information to begin to answer question #1. How about some pictures, including under the car?
As for question #2, that's very unlikely.
 

112 LS

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Reading this post took me back in time to 2003 when I basically did the same thing.

If your wheel looks like mine did, then you snapped your lower control arm. Not a side of the road kind of fix, but definitely something that can be done in your driveway with the right tools on hand.

i10803.jpg
 

Olaf

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ok, just went back over there to get some pics and look around.
Here’s what I do know:
1 the wheel is not quite round anymore.
2 the v-shaped thing at the top seems a little bit bent
3 the long arm that goes down from there is so curvy already that it’s hard to tell
4 the big curvy arm at the bottom is definitely out of place and probably bent
5 the pipe-looking one seems ok, but it’s already bendy so it’s hard to tell if it’s more bent.

I will figure out picture uploading soon, but here’s a quick video.

GoPro Splice
 

AmsterDutch

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Hey so I just got a 2003 Ls about a week ago. Yesterday, while driving like an idiot, in the rain, I hydroplaned and hit the front right wheel against a curb at at least ten to twenty miles an hour.

The wheel got crunched back into the body and now sits at least a few inches back behind where it used to. It didn’t seem like it was terrible, but it was dark, so I parked it and bravely ran away. Today I gotta go deal with it.

So, a couple of questions… 1 what have I broken or really badly bent? 2 am I going to be able to fix this by the side of the road?

It all could have been much worse, the bodywork doesn’t seem very damaged if at all, and everyone was fine. I’ll get some pictures up when I’m able to get there in a few hours. But I thought I’d start this thread, because it’s better than sleeping.
Just a guess until I see pics but CV joint, wheel/Rim/ Hub assembly, knuckle/Ball joint, upper control arm, and lower control arm and if this All needs to be replaced going with Motorcraft you’re spending at least $1500
 

Olaf

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Ok, so it turns out that to upload photos, you press the upload photos button.
 

joegr

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Maybe it's the angle of the pictures, but the knuckle doesn't look right to me. While the upper and lower control arms don't look bad, I would definitely replace them. (It's not fun at when a bushing in the lower control arm fails.) If not new parts, then at least some from the junkyard. You also need the end link for the sway bar, go ahead and replace the one on the other side too. The rim and the tire need to be replaced too, and you probably should replace the shock or shock/spring assembly.

Look up the parts that I mention above so that you can better identify the parts in your pictures.
 

Olaf

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Joe, thanks so much for your help identifying the parts. I’m going to have to work tomorrow, but I can go to the junkyard the next day.

It looks like I’ll be getting a rim and tire, the lower and upper control arms, the knuckle, and the sway bar.

Seems like some of these are replaced from new anyway for performance reasons. Does it make a difference to replace the whole armature vs the bushing? (Asking for the drivers side)

I’ve been looking into these on rock auto and it seems like there’s a big difference in prices, but they all look alike. Is there a big deference beteeen acdelco, mevotech and motorcraft?
 

joegr

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Yes, aftermarket quality can be pretty bad on some of those.
You need the sway bar end links, not the sway bar.
Don't forget the coil on shock assembly (aka "strut" even though it isn't). I am guessing that it is bent slightly now.

Note that you can't get good shocks new anymore.

By the way, it is essential that you do not reuse the Nyloc nuts. You must get new ones.
 
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Olaf

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Are there any aftermarket oem quality parts? Is that Motorcraft? They always seem the most expensive.

Gotcha on the end links. Replace both. What else should I be replacing on the drivers side?

The shock and spring really didn’t seem to have been affected. Now that I understand how the thing works I want to take a second look, so I’ll go over after work tomorrow. I’ll pay closer attention to that. I’m concerned that the frame may have been bent, should I be?

Are the Nyloc nuts all the nuts or just specific ones?

Thanks again for the info
 

Olaf

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No stress, Amsterdutch, your list helped me start identifying these parts and understanding what I’m looking to do. I appreciate anyone’s attempts at help.
 

AmsterDutch

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No stress, Amsterdutch, your list helped me start identifying these parts and understanding what I’m looking to do. I appreciate anyone’s attempts at help.
After looking at the pics which are top notch by the way....I would be Leary of keeping the lower control arm just because if the wheel shifted back it might have a slight bend and as far as the knuckle/Spindle these are aluminum and bend like straw if it’s bent it will effect your Caliper and rotor so I wouldn’t risk it Hub assembly is cheap and why not replace it if you can afford it always nice having new bearings end link is trashed as Joe said and until you take both upper and lower control arms off and really look at them for damage you’ll never know ...look on eBay for some southern state used shock absorbers MotorCraft only all the other cheap shock absorbers are garbage on this High performance machine...keep us posted
 

Andrizzle

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Both the lower and upper control arms are bent. And like joe said, get the swaybar endlinks. BTW if you are near home, you can probably limp it back, it looks like it will probably rub on the inner wheel well liner, but I bet you could make it.
 

Olaf

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Thanks for the info guys. The car is less than a mile from home. I would like to limp it home but the wheel is just pressing too far back into the well to go more than a few feet. I removed the plastic cowl but it still rubs. Do you think replacing the lca there would let me get it home? I’ll look to see if I can find someone to tow it to my house and not charge a fortune. I’d rather spend money on parts.
 

AmsterDutch

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Thanks for the info guys. The car is less than a mile from home. I would like to limp it home but the wheel is just pressing too far back into the well to go more than a few feet. I removed the plastic cowl but it still rubs. Do you think replacing the lca there would let me get it home? I’ll look to see if I can find someone to tow it to my house and not charge a fortune. I’d rather spend money on parts.
A tow shouldn’t cost more than $30 dollars if any towing company charges more there full of crap
 

AmsterDutch

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Thanks for the info guys. The car is less than a mile from home. I would like to limp it home but the wheel is just pressing too far back into the well to go more than a few feet. I removed the plastic cowl but it still rubs. Do you think replacing the lca there would let me get it home? I’ll look to see if I can find someone to tow it to my house and not charge a fortune. I’d rather spend money on parts.
Yes the lower and upper arms are both shot ...What I meant was sometimes when you look at them mounted on a car looks can be deceiving
 

Olaf

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Ok. So here’s the plan.

Tow her home.
Go to the junkyard for the knuckle and a good rim/tire. Also maybe a shock/spring assembly.

Order a motorcraft:
Upper control arm
Lower control arm
Sway bar end links

Also a ball joint and wheel hub because might as well.

Does that sound like a plan? Anything I’m missing? Do I need to do the drivers side ball joint, wheel hub, and control arms too — seems like common advice is to do both sides at once.
 

GreyWisent

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These images make my heart hurt.
Both the lower and upper control arms are bent.
Can the aluminum control arms (top and bottom) actually bend or would they snap? Also, when bending an arm of a triangle, you'd have to elongate another, which is not possible here. I think it's more likely that the bushing broke or the bolts holding the control arms snapped. Either way, I think those arm-to-frame bolts should be replaced on service, right?

Ok. So here’s the plan.

Tow her home.
Go to the junkyard for the knuckle and a good rim/tire. Also maybe a shock/spring assembly.

Order a motorcraft:
Upper control arm
Lower control arm
Sway bar end links

Also a ball joint and wheel hub because might as well.

Does that sound like a plan? Anything I’m missing? Do I need to do the drivers side ball joint, wheel hub, and control arms too — seems like common advice is to do both sides at once.
I would add arm-to-frame bolts to that list.

Lower ball joint comes with the knuckle. Upper comes with the upper control arm. It's not recommended that you press them in/out of aluminum parts as they might snap; not sure if people here have done it or not, like they did with bushings. Either way, a aftermarket lower ball joints are available on their own, but not vice versa (i.e. far as I know, you can't get a knuckle or upper control arm without a joint).
 

joegr

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...Are the Nyloc nuts all the nuts or just specific ones?...

All the suspension nuts will be Nyloc.

...Also a ball joint and wheel hub because might as well...

As was indicated, the upper comes with the upper control arm, and the lower comes with the knuckle. Few people seem to know how to press them into the aluminum parts anyway.

Of course, you will need a four wheel alignment ASAP. You might want to have a look at the rear first. I'll bet you need new rear toe links. Might as well take care of that before the alignment.
 

GreyWisent

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All the suspension nuts will be Nyloc.
Same goes with any elliptical "torque prevailing" nuts - keep an eye out for those, since they're not always as obvious as nyloc. I think the OEM sway bar links have those - can't be sure, but that's what a dealer gave me.

Do are most of the other suspension locknuts nyloc or elliptical?
From pictures, it looks like none of these Motorcraft suspension parts come with the nuts. Is there a part list somewhere?
 

112 LS

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You might want to have a look at the rear first. I'll bet you need new rear toe links. Might as well take care of that before the alignment.

Yup to this. Alignment shop wouldn't even perform the work on my LS without replacing the rear toe links. They wanted $600 to do this work whilst using Moog parts, I told them to go spit and bought motocraft. Easy job as long as you can cut them out yourself!
 
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