How to: Car Repair : How Wrecked Car Frames are Straightened
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How to: Car Repair : How Wrecked Car Frames are Straightened

August 26, 2019


Hi, this is Lyndon again. We are in Lou Eller’s
Cadillac Frame Department. Have you ever wondered how they get those massive crashes back on
the road, how they get the frame straight? Well this is it right here. The automotive
frame machine. It works as an enormous platform, and it has two towers that along with a hydrolic
ram run chains and clamps to your body and by pushing this foot pedal down here you can
bring this damage back out slowly. And as we’ve discussed in previous videos, you are
trying to reverse the inertia that came into the body from the collision. So you are not
able to replace these panels until you get the back into the position that they are suppose
to be. We’ll bring everything back the way we are suppose to be, then you can put your
new panels on which will be our next video. But for now it is very important that this
vehicle be clamped down, won’t move when you are making the pulls. They have these brackets
and clamps that mount here on the pinch wells on the vehicle that hold it in place. You
have four of them around the vehicle and they are holding this extremely tight. And once
you have it on the bench and have it mounted, you put your clamps, you can make multi-directional
pulls. You have two towers so you can pull to the right, you can also pull upwards at
the same time. So it gives you a lot of versatility. Once this is brought out and you’ve got it
in shape, you want to check your measurements. Now the best piece of frame equipment is a
simple tape measurer because in using a tape measurer you can measure distances, you can
measure heights, you can measure as I’ve mentioned in the first video, cross-diagonals to see
how far off you are. A very important measurement is from your wheel base, from center of wheel
to center of wheel and that tells you if there is any distortion in your drive train. Without
one of these the car wouldn’t go straight down the road.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. my dads focus just got totalled. would the re-straightening leave effects like un reliability and leaning to one side cus i really like the car and the insurance would cover it and i dont want a used car and we currently dont have money, even with insurance money to buy new

  2. you shouldn't repair a car that has been that totaled because if you crash again it wont be anywhere near as strong as it was originally

  3. @Cargo1273 Cars are typically a total loss if it takes more than seventy five percent of its value in monetary funds to repair the car. A car may have a bent frame rail, but if is monetarily feasible to repair such said vehicle, then repaired it should be. Why should anyone scrap a good car that can be adequately repaired and if makes dollars and cents to do such a thing. Dumb ass. You are stupid.

  4. @Cargo1273 I don't know where you learned that but it's wrong. There are several ways to do this. 1 is to pull out the frame rails and repair as this video is showing. The second option, which is more commonly used on a unibody car is to replace the rail if it can't be repaired or to buy a new rail and cut out, or section in shop terms, the area that you need and weld it in place of the damgaed area. The 3rd option is to replace the frame altogether, usually on a truck or large suv.

  5. @YouSpamTard Our van was declared totaled because of the hole for the left side of the rear bumper in the frame rail had been torn out by the impact. The cost of replacing that frame rail put it over the 75%. It would have been not totaled if the insurance company would pay for repairing that rail but no they said they could get sued for doing it that way. I guess insurance companies do lose lawsuits once in a blue moon. I would think they pay for the best lawyers and weasle out of claims.

  6. @Cargo1273 Our van was declared totaled because of the mounting hole for the rear bumper on the left side was torn out by the impact. Replacing the frame rail was the only way the insurance company would do it and they didn't want to pay for it vs welding the hole and re drilling it out.

  7. @tomcatdcn It depends if the metal is cracked or not, usually I don't think you would have to worry unless you crash it repeatedly in the same spot.

  8. Hundreds to thousands, depends on the damage… normally if the cost exceeds a thousand dollars, or the value of the car the insurance company will total the car and write you a check.

    Frame damage is the worst damage to get, caused by fire or impact it can destroy the car's structural integrity that protects you in the event of a crash. Sometimes it's just not worth fixing.

  9. I straightened a frame on accident with a flatbed when loading it.. actually wound up driving the car because of that instead of scraping it.

  10. In this video the chassis appeared intact, the frame can be fixed, from what i see in the video the vehicle is salvageable. i know because i have done this kind of work.

  11. I found this video by searching "Fixing Center Pillar" . Too bad this has nothing to do with that VERY hard repair.

  12. Expert Village needs to hire some experts on making videos.  Inadequate presentation of information that is outdated and wrong, awful video and sound quality.

  13. Its a decent video but he didnt finish it.this type of video should be at least 10minutes long to give good detail.

  14. Expert Village uh, a tape measure? How about the measuring system sitting underneath the vehicle. Probably not even used by their "quality body / frame men".

  15. If the frame was bent the insurance company would total the vehicle anyways there would be no point in trying to fix it

  16. Not enough body mechanics have proper I-Car training in repair procedures in North America. Cars are butchered and high-strength steels are rendered useless by improper heating and pulling creating weak points.

  17. once the frame is bent, the car is shit, it will never be the same no matter how much you tape measure, you don't know the headaches i've endured trying to align a car that had a front end collision and the frame was "straightened"

  18. Autobody instructor here and everyone should know, frames and unitized bodies can be straightened easily and correctly but like with most things, their are correct procedures and processes to do it. With a proper frame staightener and devices, any frame can be put back to factory specs, like it never happened. I've done it 100's of times but knowledge is critical and you don't do it by hooking the car to a tree and measure with a tape measure.

  19. OK. Some pretty harsh comments. In my defense, I had no control over the editing. This was filmed as almost one long sequence, and was cut by Expert Village where ever they saw fit. I did discuss advance measuring techniques, but it was cut out. FYI, I did not receive any money for this video. Any measuring system is only as good as the technican using it. I have seen frames ruined even when jigs were used! I also have seen metal men move from one shop to another with great frequency. Also for FYI, I have managed several body shops, and seen thousands of repairs, both good and bad. If you polled all of the body shops in America, you will find that only a small percentage has advance measuring systems. Technology is great if you can afford it, but only if the person using it has sufficent skill! To make issues worse, there are very few schools turnng out highly skilled bodymen! But I admit, if I had control over the video, it would have been very different! God Bless You All!

    P.S. I'm down to 215lbs now. Thought you would like o know!

  20. +expertvillage Why is a tape measure used and not a tram gauge? A tape measure is completely useless for the dimensional accuracy this requires.

  21. my car is pulling to the left  side, and the mechanic showed me that it is a frame problem. how much it cost to fix it ?

  22. 3 dimensional measuring ONLY. Machine is fine as long as the tech knows how to use it. Without a good measuring system (and someone who knows how to use it)  the cars are not PROPERLY repaired. Would a real carpenter build a home without a level, tape measure and/or (in todays world) some sort of laser. Without a good foundation you have nothing.

  23. i used this same machine. nothing makes you more nervous than the groans pulling. oh and the snapping chains.

  24. Once a frame is bent (depending on how severe) it will never ever be back 100% original factor specs. Depending on the technician, you might can get close. But there is no such thing as reverse-entropy

  25. And its never the same again gaps are never right the way it drives or the strength NO CAR SHOULD EVER HAVE THIS DONE THE REASON THE BUILD IN CRUMPLE ZONES ARE TO ABSORB IT AND HENDNAND WHEN THEY DO THE METAL FATIGUES

  26. Hai-ya!!!! Samurai hack tool… safety of that vehicle is forever compromised and should not be back on the road.

  27. Isn't the frame still structurally comprimised? Don't most people take pieces of another car's frame and weld it onto theirs? I understand the point of tension would be at the weld but, even then that is better then an aluminum can that was bent and rebent….

  28. Just so everyone knows & doesn’t get stuck in same dilemma; most Insurance does NOT automatically include rentals anymore. You have to ask for it to be added to policy
    Curious, say you were turning corner, @ about 10 mph, took too sharp, & hit drivers front w/my drivers front. Took out all fiberglass/plastic on my 17 Tacoma,(drivers side). Does anyone know if a front/drivers side repair normally take this long? And, at 10 mph, would frame possibly need to be fixed?
    Guy told us it’d be possibly 3 wks & they’ve had my truck nearly 2 mths. Guy tells me to call every fri, & then he tells me it’ll be another week, at least! Very, very frustrated w/this supposed ‘best in county’ auto repair!
    Hubby works 1,100 mi away & truck is my only transportation. If I had other transportation, & known it would take so long, I probably wouldn’t be so irritated? Haven’t had wreck in over 20 yrs & don’t remember that much about what’s involved, nor time to fix. Sry for rant.
    Thanks for any info. Greatly appreciated.

  29. Guys, for unibody structures if you watch Sam g's videos you would see that he drills out the spot welds for frame pieces that are really bent and then he welds on new aftermarket frame pieces. For example the radiator support or the frame pieces for the trunk. You guys think that they're just bending out severely bent frame pieces but they're not. That's not how it works

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