Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Frame, Springs and Shocks -> Straighten
Straightening your Imperial's frame can only be done with unibody Imperials (1926-1966). It is really not a hard process but you will need some specialized equipment and the original specifications for your car. Because the process is somewhat involved, we recommend that you read a good repair manuals specifically covering frame repair. These manuals can be purchased at any technical college in your community and usually walk you through all steps of the process. Your local library is another good place to look for frame repair manuals.
You will also need specialized tools and a good resource is Blackhawk Automotive Tools (sold through The Tool Warehouse) - they sell either the a 4-ton kit or a 10-ton kit.
Another Tip On Frame Restoration (have it done by a professional shop):
Frame straightening is almost a science unto itself. I have seen it done and it is quite impressive to watch. The machine itself is a huge jig with holes along the sides and running diagonally. Into these holes, depending on the vehicle, pins are inserted. Then the vehicle is placed onto the machine and the pins line up with holes in the vehicles frame. High pressure jacks are hooked up to points on the frame and the frame is pulled and or pushed until all the pins line up.
No heat is used, it's all brute force. When all the pins line up with the frame, then the vehicle is removed and put on an alignment machine for the final adjustments. Of course the process isn't perfect. Try taking a paper clip, bend it up and then bend it back to the original shape. But it does bring it as close to original as to be acceptable.
The job is not all that expensive and it will save you down the road on tires and it will handle like new again.
This page last updated November 17, 2003. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club