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.
Repairing a damaged frame on today's vehicle designs requires more accurate dimensioning and newer repair techniques than ever before. The "old oak tree repairs" have been gone for years. With the birth of the unibody came three-dimensional measuring systems and fixtures, which replaced tape measures, tram gauges and centerline gauges. Now as we fine-tune our facilities to improve our efficiency and work quality, we move into the age of computerized dimensioning.
Replacing a door skin? If you are a shop owner, does that process bring fear to you? On the contrary, this process should be a fast, profitable repair. There are a couple of techniques and some special tools that can be used to speed up the process, but let's first look at the estimating process.
Recently, an insurance carrier asked me to make suggestions as to how they might improve cycle time at some of their repair partner shops. My belief is that the cardinal rule for improving cycle time is that complete estimates need to be written up front, and not loaded with supplements on the back end. In other words, the vehicle needs to be torn down at the start of the process and a very detailed estimate written.
A few years ago, ultraviolet (UV) cure primer-surfacers were introduced to the collision industry. These products use UV light to initiate cross-linking of molecules in specially formulated primer-surfacers. The coatings fully cure in about two minutes. An Advantage Online article "UV-Cured Primer-Surfacers" was published in March of 2002 about using these products.
Traditionally, all information in vehicles traveled along wire paths from one point to another whereas in today's vehicles, some information is being sent using light signals contained in fiber-optic cables. This article will discuss where fiber-optic cables are used on a vehicle, and what repairs are possible.
Rear and side view mirrors at one time were the only assistance that a vehicle offered a driver trying to back into a parking space. Today, several vehicle models are equipped with a type of parking assist system that not only helps when parking, but when backing up for any reason. Some parking assist systems also help drivers when moving forward. Parking assist systems are often standard on station wagons and SUVs and are usually optional on sedans.
The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is a safety feature that is currently being installed in several new model vehicles at the direction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
What's a HUD? Head-Up Display (HUD) units project information from the instrument panel to the front of the windshield so the driver can maintain focus on the road. The projected image usually appears to hover over the hood of the vehicle, a distance close to where the driver is already focused. This might be why this accessory is offered not only as a "high-tech" gadget, but also a safety feature.
Last year, I was hired by Holmes Body Shop, a large Los Angeles-area chain, to set up training and quality control procedures for the company. About a week into the job, I inspected a vehicle that had new front end structural parts installed with plug welds. Though I couldn't determine their exact structural integrity, the plug welds visibly ranged from good to poor. While the technician prepared to redo the welds at my suggestion, I observed his welding techniques while performing some practice plug welds.
One hundred years ago, vehicles were built without consideration for noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) control, or occupant protection. These vehicles were designed for function alone, which was primarily to transport people and goods from one place to another. As vehicles evolved through the years, they were built with more attention to creature comforts and accommodated the passengers by increasing occupant crash protection and reducing NVH.
What's in an interior rearview mirror? You name it because it may be there! Because of its optimal location, the rearview mirror has become a centerpiece for modern day electronic devices.
Question: Which is cheaper - an airline ticket from Los Angeles to New York with a weekend stay at Five Star hotel including two front row seats to a Broadway Hit play or a gallon of epoxy primer and hardener? If you chose the first scenario you are correct, but if you look at the plane flight alone, it is cheaper than a gallon of epoxy primer.
Have you as a collision shop repairer recently been asked to change the paint time on a panel by an insurance company representative - a time that is different from that listed by the information providers? The answer, I think most of you will agree, is yes.
When vehicle makers began using electronics to control certain functions, it led to vehicles being equipped with on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems to monitor and diagnose problems. Computer-controlled systems are found on every vehicle built today.