Recently we officially ended the Hardcore Knight project without ever really addressing the paint job. Since it is the first thing you notice on this car, it bears some attention.
The flat black from Kustom Shop’s Hot Rod Flatz collection was used to finish off this project. What’s great about this collection of paints is that it has that old school rat rod feel, but with a durable paint system. This whole flat paint look came from the days when guys would hot rod their rides, but never got past the primer stage when it came to paint. It may have been due to lack of funds, but more likely, since it was in the early days of hot rodding, speed was king and fancy paint jobs came second to horsepower.
Blueprinting is a term often heard in the collision repair industry. Blueprinting means different things to different people, but blueprinting really is establishing a standard operating procedure (SOP) that allows for the discovery of all the damages before repairs begin.
There has been a longstanding recommendation to apply epoxy primer, as well as anti-corrosion compound, on the inside of rails and pillars and rocker panels as a last step for structural repairs.
Beginning with the 2009 model year Ford F-150, the cab body mount bolts are secured with a cage nut. The cage nut is held in position inside a cage nut retainer that is attached to the inside of a floor crossmember.
Hot air welders have been around for a number of years and used mostly in bumper remanufacturing facilities. A hot air welder works by passing compressed air over a heating element and heating the air to around 345ºC (650ºF) to melt the base plastic and filler rod/ribbon together. This type of welder does not use a flat shoe or feeder tube-type tip. A V-groove is cut into the part, the rod is laid into the V-groove, and the two are melted together. Whenever using this type of welder, it is important to have airflow over the element at all times no matter if it is preheating, welding, or cooling.
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A nitrogen hot air welder uses compressed nitrogen gas to eliminate oxygen from the weld area. The nitrogen acts as a shielding gas and allows for a contaminant-free weld with less smoke, which creates a stronger weld (see Figure 1). This type of welder can also switch to compressed air so that when preheating, or cooling down the heating element, it does not waste the nitrogen.
A fusion weld is made when the welding rod and plastic melt and mix together. This type of weld can only be done on thermoplastics. Thermoplastics, such as polypropylene/thermo plastic polyolefin (PP/TPO), which is used to make most bumper covers today, work very well with this type of welder.
When making collision repairs to the 2012 Ford Focus, be aware that the vehicle may be equipped with an active grille shutter system. This motorized system is located in front of the radiator, which places it in a vulnerable position during front-end collisions.
Unless specifically recommended by the vehicle maker, parts with a tensile strength over 600 MPa should only be replaced at factory seams. This is just one of the “best practices” identified at a Repairability Summit hosted by I-CAR earlier this year.
I-CAR has been emphasizing the importance of three-dimensional measuring since its founding in 1979, but is it really required to repair a vehicle? After all, three-dimensional measuring systems are considerably more expensive compared to the much more affordable tape measure or tram gauge (see Figure 1).
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A Real Life Experience
Recently, our friend Sam (not his real name, but his story is), found himself having to get estimates for his collision damaged car. The first collision repair facility was chosen, and the vehicle was brought in for an estimate.
During the estimating process, Sam asked what type of three-dimensional measuring system the facility used. The estimator promptly replied “none.” Interesting. The car didn’t look structurally damaged, I’m sure the estimator was wondering why Sam even cared.
So, it was on to the next repair facility. While talking to the estimator, Sam inquired again, “What type of three-dimensional measuring do you use?”
In a too familiar response, the estimator replied, “We don’t really have one.”
The next stop was the last repair facility scheduled to write an estimate. Sam watches the estimate being written and asks the question, but this time, the answer is different, “We have a computerized measuring system.”
The quest was over. Sam knows who’s going to be repairing his vehicle.
If you were asked for a short description for anti-corrosion compound, the material that is sprayed onto the backside of panels and inside rails after repairs, it is likely that “thin film” and “fine mist” would not be included in the wording. However, that is exactly the description given to a new type of anti-corrosion compound now available that uses what is collectively called thin-film technology.
Keystone Automotive Industries and Transwheel Corp., subsidiaries of LKQ Corp., said a recent series of tests confirmed their wheel reconditioning technologies. All of the wheels tested met or exceeded the SAE J2530 and SAE J175 Technical Standards for dynamic radial and dynamic cornering fatigue, and impact testing.
Keystone and Transwheel employ Independent Test Services (ITS) to monitor their wheel reconditioning capabilities. The reconditioned wheels of Keystone and Transwheel are analyzed by ITS under conditions that are more extreme than those specified by SAE International. All three fatigue and impact tests are performed on each wheel, and at double the required rotation levels for the dynamic cornering fatigue test. Frequent testing enables the subsidiaries of LKQ to ensure their production processes meet or exceed the industry's technical standards.
"We stand behind the quality of our wheel reconditioning program," stated Jim Devlin, vice president of manufacturing for LKQ Corp. "We want installers and auto insurers to feel confident that they are using the highest quality wheels to repair their customers' vehicles. Our wheels are reconditioned using production processes validated to meet SAE's demanding testing requirements."
SAE Technical Standards serve as the fundamental and comprehensive set of common design requirements for the wheel manufacturing industry. Independent Test Services (www.wheeltest.com) has been providing testing services to Transwheel since 2000.
Chilton, part of Cengage Learning and an established leader in reference sources for automotive professionals and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) automotive enthusiasts, today announced that its professional automotive repair information system, ChiltonPRO, now includes videos and animations that demonstrate system operation, repair techniques and safety precautions to improve and simplify vehicle repair and maintenance jobs.
Photo documentation and the process for sorting, storing and managing photos for insurers as well as documenting pre-existing damage and other conditions before and during a repair can be a very frustrating and time-consuming process. As Autobody News talked with shop owners and managers about the productivity tools they found most helpful in their business several mentioned, with excitement and enthusiasm, a company called ClaimTools™, which has very recently been acquired by Mitchell International.
New data released March 19 indicates automakers continue to innovate with greater use of aluminum to boost fuel economy, cut emissions and improve safety.
A new study by Ducker Worldwide, commissioned by The Aluminum Association, Inc., confirms that in North America the use of automotive aluminum is at an all-time high, averaging 8.6 percent of vehicle curb weight in 2009 calendar year vehicles, up from just 2 percent in 1970 and 5.1 percent in 1990. Additionally, the integration of aluminum in cars and light trucks is projected to be nearly 11 percent of curb weight by 2020.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a recall involving Honda’s 2008 model year Element. Although the recall includes only 241 vehicles, Honda is advising all 2008 Element owners to stop driving their vehicles until they can be inspected by a Honda dealer. The recall is due to a potentially faulty weld on the front bushing bracket of the left trailing arm of the rear suspension. If the weld fails, it could cause the release of the lower wheel hub, causing loss of control and the possibility of a crash. The NHTSA failed to mention if any crashes have been linked to the defect.
Stationary glass, especially the windshield, is part of the vehicle structure. It contributes to the strength of the roof and pillars, and helps keep occupants from exiting the vehicle during a collision. Completely shattered glass or cracks where the glass was struck are examples of easily identifiable glass damage. However, the overall structural integrity of a stationary glass assembly may be adversely affected when exposed to excessive heat from a vehicle fire. This type of damage may not be recognized as easily.