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Each day, as you prepare to evaluate and repair structurally damaged vehicles, you and your team must ask many questions:
- Should I repair the damaged area or replace it?
- Should I section this part or replace it with a complete piece?
- Does my technician know where the weld locations are?
- Do my technicians have factory engineered measuring references available to them?
- Do we have the most current information available on this procedure?
To ensure a successful outcome, you must address these issues by taking a proactive approach prior to production. This will allow you and your team to prepare an accurate repair plan, minimize additional add-on repairs and expedite the repair process. Here’s an example of a manufacturer’s sectioning procedure for a 2007 Ford F-150 4WD-2WD pickup truck.
NOTE: Ford Motor Company does not approve or recognize structural repair procedures using anything but genuine Ford parts.
Structural repairs (frames, rails, aprons and body panels) carried out using other than Ford Motor Company parts have not been tested. In addition, structural equivalence and corrosion protection cannot be assured. Returning a vehicle to pre-accident condition can only be assured if repair procedures are carried out by skilled technicians using genuine Ford Motor Company parts and approved methods. Structural repair component procedures approved by Ford using genuine parts have been validated through testing by Ford Motor Company engineers. Should alternative structural repair procedures and/or parts be used, repairers should be aware of the potential liability they incur.
NOTE: Corrosion protection needs to be restored whenever it’s necessary to sand or grind through painted surfaces or E-coat, or when bare metal repairs are made.
NOTE: Observe prescribed welding procedures when carrying out repairs to the frame assembly.
Always refer to ALLDATA for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials and removal and installation procedures.
Always refer to Ford for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information.
CAUTION: Read and follow all of the instructions from the manufacturer’s line of painting materials, equipment and protective gear.
WARNING: Invisible ultraviolet and infrared rays emitted in welding can injure unprotected eyes and skin. Always use protection such as a welder’s helmet with dark-colored filter lenses of the correct density. Electric welding will produce intense radiation; therefore, filter plate lenses of the deepest shade providing adequate visibility are recommended. It’s strongly recommended that persons working in the weld area wear flash safety goggles. They should also wear protective clothing. Failure to follow these instructions may result in serious personal injury.
WARNING: Frame rail crush zones absorb crash energy during a collision and must be replaced if damaged. Straighten damaged frame rails to correct frame dimensions prior to frame member sectioning. Failure to follow these instructions may adversely affect frame rail performance and result in serious personal injury to vehicle occupants.
CAUTION: This vehicle is a full-frame vehicle that was designed with energy-absorbing features in the front frame horns to manage crash energy. This section of the frame must not be straightened if any holes or surfaces show evidence of collapse or buckling. If any evidence of damage exists behind the first cross member in terms of buckling or cracking, the front frame section from the weld seam joint located just behind the transmission cross member should be replaced. Failure to follow these instructions may affect the collision energy management of the vehicle.
CAUTION: The correct service replacement frame stub kit must be installed on this vehicle. The gross weight rating (GVWR) determines which frame replacement kit must be installed. Light duty frame replacement components are required for 6,001- to 8,000-lb. GVWR vehicles. Heavy duty service replacement components are required for 801 to 8,500 GVWR vehicles. Failure to follow these instructions may affect the collision energy management of the vehicle.
- Low temperature anti-corrosion coating PM-12-A
- Motorcraft metal surface cleaner ZC-21
- Motorcraft metal surface prep ZC-31
- Weld wire ER70s-3 or equivalent
- Frame rail replacement kit – 5D059 LH/5D058 RH (#1) (Figure 1)
- Frame assembly – 5005 (#2) (Figure 1)
- Special tools: MIG welder
NOTE: All body alignment measurements are carried out with the vehicle detrimmed. Measurements are made metal to metal, on center unless otherwise specified. Measure the vehicle to determine if the body requires straightening and alignment.
• Remove the front bumper.
• Unbolt and remove the front bumper reinforcing beam.
• Unbolt the front end sheet metal (FESM) body mount bolts.
• Raise the body if required.
• Locate the vertical wells of the front frame horn to center rail.
• Using a plasma cutter, reciprocating saw or cut off wheel, remove the damaged front frame horn section.Do not cut directly along the weld line. Leave enough material on the front side of the weld line to allow the edge to be ground back exactly to the line. This is necessary to make sure of correct fit between the frame and the replacement frame section.
• Grind off the excess welding material that remains in front of the weld line on the existing frame. Remove the remaining piece (ring-like) of the front frame horn from inside the mid-rail. (Figure 2).
• Using a wire brush or sandpaper, remove the E-coat from the outer surfaces of the replacement service section within approximately 15mm (0.59 in.) of the repair joint. Using a wire brush, remove any foreign material from the frame within approximately 15mm (0.59 in.) of the repair joint.
• NOTE: The front frame rail replacement section is tapered at the ends to fit into the frame. (Figure 3). NOTE: The frame rail service component must be located to maintain the original factory dimensions. Install the replacement front frame horn section inside the center rail of the frame. Support the replacement service section in position. Check that the FESM body mount bracket lines up with the sheet metal hole for the body mount.
• Make sure the repair joint and surrounding repair area have attained a temperature of a minimum 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) before carrying out the weld
• Tack weld at the four corners onto the frame and recheck fit and alignment. (Figure 4).
• Lower the body onto the frame and recheck fit and alignment, then raise it.
• Weld the joint completely, if fit and alignment are correct, using a metal inert gas (MIG) welding machine capable of producing a minimum of 200 amps. Use the 0.9 to 0.1mm (0.035 to 0.045 in.) ER70S-3 or equivalent weld wire that’s compatible with SAE 1010 steel.
• Dress weld as necessary.
• Use a dye penetrate to determine if any cracks or large voids exist in the weld joint. If cracks or other defects exist, grind out the defect and repair until the weld is free of defects.
• Clean the repair area with metal surface prep and apply anti-corrosion coating to the affected areas of the frame and service replacement section.
• Reinstall components removed during disassembly. Make sure all fasteners are tightened to the correct specification.
Writer Dan Espersen is the ALLDATA CollisionConnectSM Program Manager. Espersen is I-Car Platinum Certified, a Gold Pin Member of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and holds an AA Degree in Automotive Technology. He has 15 years of experience in the collision industry and 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.
© 2007 ALLDATA LLC. All rights reserved. All technical information, images and specifications are from the ALL-DATA Product. ALLDATA is a registered trademark of ALLDATA LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective holders. Ford, F-150 and Motorcraft are registered trademarks of the Ford Motor Company and are being used solely for reference and application purposes.