You are from Indiana, what is commonly known as the rust belt, just what are they using for ice melt on the highways up there now?
I ask because it can be your problem, unless of course it has never and I mean never been driven in snow. that's rare because in the beginning these cars were driven in snow a lot when they were new, with the right snow tires they are actually quite good drivers as long as there is not to much snow on the road, they really don't have enough ground clearance to be good in deep snow, but do have the engine over the drive wheels just like all those FWD vehicles everyone is so happy with in the snow. me personally I hate them, FWD vehicles. They suck and throw even more crap onto the side of your car in winter than rear wheel drive cars. Because they are also your steering wheels and will throw even more crap on the sides of your car.
but to your problem, Weld it, and I am not just saying that because I am a welder. a good weld will hold much better than a few screws if it is done right. a bad weld will weaken the steel around the weld and make that the next place that's going to brake. always remove any covering on the steel to be welded, and make sure it is a good weld by a good welder, to thick a weld can be weak, to thin a weld can be weak, to hot a weld can weaken the surrounding metal.
just my 2 cents
Technology is great when it works,
and one big pain in the ass when it doesn't
Detroit iron rules all the rest are just toys.
[This message has been edited by 84fiero123 (edited 04-10-2014).]