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Bent Frame . . . Long Term Problems??

 
Old 01-14-2009, 09:42 PM
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Default Bent Frame . . . Long Term Problems??

I have a 2007 F150 Lariat that was my baby. I ordered it specifically with all the options I wanted (pretty much everything) and took great care of it. I was going up a hill on the expressway the other day, hit a patch of ice, spun out, and nailed the guardrail on the front passenger side probably going at least 50-55 MPH. I bounced off, the back passenger side hit the guardrail and then launched me back across all 4 lanes. Miraculously I made it across without hitting any other cars. At first, I was thinking maybe things weren't so bad but my front end was really bad. The front end is caved in pretty bad at the bumper level. It looked like the truck was "bleeding" in the snow, bright red everywhere. Transmission fluid maybe? Note even sure.

Anyways, had it towed to the dealership where I bought it. I went to sign the insurance paperwork to get the repairs started. I was told that they'll probably need 3-4 weeks to repair and that the frame was bent and they'll need to replace the frame! I'll admit I don't know squat about body repair of vehicles, but that sounds pretty darn major to me. I mean the whole truck is built on top of that frame.

So, my question is whether my truck is ever really going to be the same? Do they actually "replace" the frame? Or do they somehow straighten it? The body shop guy assured me they'll get it fixed up right, but I'm concerned I'm going to be stuck with a problem vehicle. Any advice/insight would be appreciated.

thanks!
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:11 PM
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They hook it up to a machine that pulls it straight using laser sighting and chains. I had a Celica that had a bent frame (although it was a unit-body) that was just fine after straightening. I would take it to a second body shop after the one that fixes it gets done with it just to make sure and get a second opinion about it being straight. Worst case scenario is that it cant be pulled completely straight and you will never be able to get an accurate wheel alignment.
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:00 AM
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I'm not sure about frame straightening possibility. Celica doesn't have a frame in it's general meaning, and the floor metal is not that tough as frame is. My guess is that they will really replace the frame.
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Old 01-15-2009, 05:47 AM
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if it's tweaked too bad then they will save the labor and change the frame...junk yard maybe... but it'll mean new body bushings ect.....that would be the better fix, rather than mending the frame,
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:08 PM
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After the repairs, an alignment shop will be able to tell you if it will hold or not. I would not sign off on anything until it was aligned and you know for sure. Good luck, gary.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll confirm that they are replacing (rather than just straightening) the frame and I think I'll also go to an alignment shop as suggested when it is finished? Would it make sense for the dealer (also doing the repairs) to run any alignment tests or would it be better to get an independent analysis?
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:32 PM
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I have done a few frame swaps for our body shop at work, its really not as bad as it sounds. As long as there is a quality tech doing it. I strive to do everything so you would never know i was even there IE.. wiring clips retainers ect..
once you take off the bed and cab which is only a few bolts then its just a matter of pulling the eng and trans as an assy, then the front and rear ends get swapped over and its on to reassy. It sounds like alot but I would much rather have a new frame than a straightened one, and I would ask but I can't believe they would let it go with out doing an alignment.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tettnanger View Post
Thanks for the replies. I think I'll confirm that they are replacing (rather than just straightening) the frame and I think I'll also go to an alignment shop as suggested when it is finished? Would it make sense for the dealer (also doing the repairs) to run any alignment tests or would it be better to get an independent analysis?
have everything done in the same place. You are wasting time by having the body shop do one repair and an alignment across town. The dealership will do a better job aligning than the grease monkies at tire kingdom.

Dont kid yourself though....even if they replace the frame section, it will still spend a decent amount of time on the puller to make sure everything is within spec.

My car has been on the unibody machine more than once, its a time consuming process. If you want to be cheap with the repair, you will pay in the long term, tires will drag, body panels will not be even, it will make noise. Do it right the first time and dont look back.
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