Front end crunch

strichzwei

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
40
Location
austin
Well, I guess it was bound to happen eventually.....the daughter crunched the front end, thankfully no one was hurt.

The TJ runs and drives fine. I am mechanically inclined and will fix this myself, that said I am new to jeeps. The jeep actually got hooked under the bumper of a Lexus RX350, we had to let the air out of the jeep front tires, stand on the bumper and raise the Lexus with some dolly jacks., fire department helped ;)!

It does not appear there is anything structural that happened, in fact it appears that a new right fender, grill, bumper and bits should get it looking straight again, could that be? It appears fender and grill just bolt on. Am I missing something?

I am looking for some advice here on how to go about this and would prefer to leave it stock........ I am thinking about trying to find a used black fender and grill, is that overly optimistic or hopeless? If so, I guess next best would order new parts and have them painted. Are the aftermarket body parts of decent quality?

Has someone gone through something similar recently and can offer advice?

Thanks in advance,

Scott

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TLT1964

New Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2021
Messages
24
Location
Ohio
If you look closely at my profile picture you will see that I have similar (though not as bad) dents to my driver's side front fender and grille. I plan to remove the grille and straighten it on the floor, using some 1" x 2" pieces of wood as a form. I'll beat out as much of the fender as I can while on the jeep, but I'll have to take the fender off because the panel in front of the driver's door also has a small kink in it. Maybe a piece of flat bar with bolt holes and a come along to pull that out? I'm also open to suggestions. I bought a nylon teardrop hammer and a rubber mallet for the job, but I also have a body hammer/dolly set.
 

AndyG

Official Jeep Pervert
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
13,604
Location
Alabama
Fixable

Flat fenders might solve the hard to find Rubi flare issue.
 

LONGJP2

TJ Expert
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
3,129
Location
Illinois
You should be able to straighten the fender flare with a heat gun.
After unbolting it from the fender of course.
 
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Vtx531

TJ Addict
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
1,477
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
How did the towhook get tweaked like that??

Aftermarket replacement fenders are not that great. I would look for used parts if they are available where you live. I can't find fenders that are rust free up here so I got aftermarket and they had some issues. I did an extensive thread with photos of the aftermarket fenders if you can find it.
 
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TurboTJ

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
Walnut Creek, CA
Looks like it's only got one bolt and it just twisted out of alignment. Or maybe the second bolt sheared off.

It must have taken a pretty big hit to do that. I wonder if the frame stub there and the cross tube are bent. It looks like the bumper is bent enough to at least hit the cross tube. Another thing….. we‘ve seen multiple instances here of a Jeep stopping suddenly while the motor kept going resulting in broken motor mount bosses on the engine block. I would be checking those.
 
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strichzwei

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
40
Location
austin
It must have taken a pretty big hit to do that. I wonder if the frame stub there and the cross tube are bent. It looks like the bumper is bent enough to at least hit the cross tube. Another thing….. we‘ve seen multiple instances here of a Jeep stopping suddenly while the motor kept going resulting in broken motor mount bosses on the engine block. I would be checking those.
all looks straight.
 

BlueC

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
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1,796
Location
NC
all looks straight.

I'd bet the front of the frame is tweaked. Not bad, but enough that holes won't line up. A quick check and pull at a good frame shop will fix it, but you will need your replacement parts on hand.
 
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Old_Crow

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 16, 2021
Messages
388
Location
Quartzsite, AZ
I see two bolts in each of the hooks...

Actually, you're right. Got off my tablet and onto a computer where I could blow it up enough to actually see it with my old eyes. Still, the whole hook is twisted in relation to the bumper and compared to the other side. One of those bolts is sheared, or the frame horn underneath the bumper is bent to one side.
 

hear

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
1,687
Location
Prosper, TX
I have at least 1 black grille, possibly 2. I don't have plans to drive to Austin any time soon, however.
 

Mike_H

Buzz, buzz goes the driveshaft
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Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,861
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
It must have taken a pretty big hit to do that. I wonder if the frame stub there and the cross tube are bent. It looks like the bumper is bent enough to at least hit the cross tube. Another thing….. we‘ve seen multiple instances here of a Jeep stopping suddenly while the motor kept going resulting in broken motor mount bosses on the engine block. I would be checking those.

I don’t think it takes much of a hit to tweak the front end of our Jeeps. Mine was in a minor accident before I got it and I never realized it until I swapped my tub and noticed the hood didn’t line up right. Going back through pictures from before the tub swap, I noticed the hood was not aligned there either.

I dropped some diagonal measurements on the floor and my corner to corner is off by about an inch from the grill shell to the tub side of the fenders.
 

TJBUD

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Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Texas
I have the stock bumper and tow hooks from my 98 (new bumper & Winch installed). near Austin. send me a private message if you still need those. TJBUD