This Sketchy Dodge Charger Hellcat Frame Job Is the Year’s Most Dangerous ‘Repair’
We have questions and concerns.
The year 2020 isn't off to the greatest start, and if you're reading this, things are about to get just a tad more depressing and a lot more questionable. That's because you're about to witness the legendary idiocy of the world's jankiest frame repair on a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat—which is hands down the most dangerous fix we've ever seen.
The Hellcat in question can be seen raised on a two-post lift for service in a video we found on the Moparian Facebook page. Presumably, this Charger was in the shop for a reason that becomes wildly apparent just 10 seconds into the video.
For those of you who haven't been under a car (no shame in that), someone appears to have crashed the Charger, completely mangle its front subframe (or crossmember), which is one of the assemblies that support the engine, and then try to cover it the whole thing up in the nuttiest way we've ever seen. So rather than replace the subframe with an appropriate part and in the appropriate manner, the owner of this Charger welded in random, rusted sections of boxed steel using only the finest of Krazy Glue, seemingly with no regard for symmetry or, more importantly, structural integrity and safety. Perhaps it's no surprise that the crappy weld job has since sheared off.
For reference, here's what this Charger's subframe should look like.
As for why someone would make such a half-assed repair to this, the most desirable of Chargers, a local used car dealer who got an up-close look at the car in a Georgia-area tow-and-recovery yard auction, told The Drive that he was tempted to buy and flip the Yellow Jacket 2018 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat until he looked at it more closely, and discovered "some alarming hidden flaws."
"The first thing I noticed was the VIN in the window looked 'replaced,' and it didn't match the VIN under the hood on the passenger strut brace," the dealer told The Drive. "The other thing was the subframe had been cut out and poorly welded back, so I figured one or two things happened: Either it was wrecked and rebuilt, or it was stolen... Anyways, I didn't want it anymore, but I stayed until it sold, and someone local bought it for $30,000."
A repair such as this might be excusable if you needed to limp your Smart ForTwo home halfway through the Gambler 500, but on a car that retailed in the upper five figures, it just doesn't fly—especially when you consider that replacement subframes can be found online for less than $600. Then again, the kind of crash that would've done that kind of damage probably did a whole lot more damage to other parts of the car, meaning there may be a lot more repair work just as janky that we can't see from a 23-second video. With that in mind, $30,000 starts to sound a little steep—so here's hoping the owner can recoup some of that money by parting out its 707-horsepower, supercharged V8 for use in a Toyota Prius down the road.
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