Lower Control Arm to yoke connection SNAFU

Nothing better than having the kids home for the holidays… trying to do an emergency stop he locks the brakes and learns the physics lesson that light vehicles skate even on dry pavement (you guys pining for 50 mph GEMs don’t ignore this.) turns hard right hits the curb with right front wheel and dumps it on the left side.

Thankfully both he and the GF belted in were unhurt. Can’t say same for GEM. See the images.

The force sheared one of the two bolts holding lower control arm to yoke, pulled the outer CV joint apart, broke the right mud guard and pushed tire through the body pan. Dumping it on side tore off left mirror.

They were able to right the cart but had to wait for a flatbed tow to bring home. @Inwo green LiFePO cells survived and surprisingly my DIY mounting held. I think two bricks need their tension bands replaced but seem to charge fine.

Wondering if any of you have had similar damage and what other damage to look for?

Will fiberglass cloth work to repair body pan?

Not a project on my calendar but driving “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride” is always a thrill, and warm weather will be here again soon.

Damn, our '02’s are like almost twins now…

My longback (eL) sustained a bit of damage in that area some time back due to the vertical version of what yours went through. Snapped a driveshaft, shattered a hub, control arm crash into the pavement, etc. Actually did the same as your son did once, but that was in a BMW.

Check the steering tie rods for bending, the ends for movement that doesn’t feel “broken”, make sure the rack & pinion move smoothly.

Take a look at the RH shock tower to see if it got shoved back. That control arm is so overbuilt on the old ones that it’s probably fine, but there is always a chance that the box tubing front end that it’s mounted to got tweaked.

Examine the hub closely. I’ve found out the hard way it doesn’t take much to crack those aluminum castings.

And, the brakes, but again, those NEVA disc retrofits are almost as overbuilt as the control arm. Not sure what vehicles they found them on, but they probably weigh 2-3x more than these gems.

For the pan, I’m not a fiberglass guy, but I’d probably go with a chopped strand mat underneath and maybe a pass of cloth tape on top. The fibers in the mat run random directions and it will hold a good deal of epoxy. It basically forms it’s own multiple layers. Ugly as sh!t but strong.

If you need any parts, LMK, there’s a decent chance I going to dismantle my '02 in the next week or two because I need the parking spot back for the eM. The frame, suspension, etc, all that crap would likely have gone for scrap.

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Thanks @jrjava! It does have the NEV disc brakes, they are pretty heavy duty for the GEM. I remember a post earlier about broken hubs too.

Will examine it closely, of course rain in forecast this week.

I could use a RT front mud guard (green piece on edge of body between frame and hood) as well as the mount for driver’s side mirror (glass is fine, ball socket popped and tore up mount).

A half shaft for sure too. Where are you based?

Will keep you updated.

Should be able to hook you up on most if not all of those parts. There is one person ahead of you for pick of parts, but I’m not sure if they need (or want) anything, or what it might be.

1.) Mud guard - All of the body panels & trim are in rough shape. I’ll have to look tomorrow if you’re going to get lucky or not. BTW, this one is red w/ white.

2.) LH mirror mount - should no problem

  1. Half-shaft - I have one original and one replacement. Both in decent shape as I recall. One has tear in the boot. So should be dooable.

I’m up by Sacramento. IIRC, you’re in LA, right?

Great, yes in LA.

I’d go for the new half shaft, hopefully its boot isn’t torn, but I can replace if it is.

We played a bit with it this morning and the left hub (side it rolled over on) definitely seems broken, it’s from NEV, do you have one of those?

I can also probably save my green mud guard so don’t worry about it, especially if yours are not in good condition (we only have 1680 miles on it.)

Appreciate your help, as at your place rain has arrived in LA so not much work happening here as I don’t have a covered garage open.

Let me know once you have sorted parts.


I’ll check on the hub tonight. I might actually have a spare.

The mirror mount is no problem.

Good you can save yours as the mud guard on the RH side is cracked all the way across. If you want it to practice fiberglass and filler putty on. I can toss it in the box gratis. Most of the fiberglass on this one is junk, so anyone who wants it gets it for shipping costs.

The replacement half shaft that I bought and didn’t install has the torn boot. I might have saved the busted one, I’ll have to look. If I did, I can pull the boots off it.

Super, will DM you my address.