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I thought I'd bring up the topic of safe unibody structural repairs given the amount of unibody work structural repair /replacement that is pretty much the norm on our cars. Many undertake this type of work without really understanding how important it is to do the repair correctly & in accordance with the most up to date repair procedures. I understand that lots of us like the challenge of doing our own repairs derive satisfaction from a job well done BUT it's just not as simple as cutting a piece out & welding a new piece in. As I said before there's plenty of cars out there that have had floors, frame rails, radiator supports, trunk floors replaced..alot done by diy guys & alot done by shops..Most when inspected would probably not pass as being done correctly retaining the structural integrity of the vehicle,the unibody specs measurements & corrosion protection. You need to be very careful when buying ANY CAR that's had this type of work done..As a shop owner for many years I've seen first hand how bad this problem is...This isn't a new thing it's been going on for a long long time in the restoration hobby & used car / new car collision repair




Thanks for posting Q.


1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
Good info Scott. I made this a sticky.

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My Mustangs:
71 M-code Mach 1, Medium Blue/White Sport, 4R70W, 3L50, Factory Ram Air.
72 Q-code Mach 1, Pewter/Black Sport, 4-spd, 3L25.
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05 Convertible, Legend Lime/Tan/Tan, future classic??
Thanks for posting Q... I sent this thread to my email address so I can watch the video tonight!

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Great info. and more should take note of what is being done in their car repairs.
I myself was a tooling engineer in the automotive world for over 30 years. When a car is first produced they have very strict standards for all the steel used in the build, strength, (tensile, yield, elongation) and unless Ford has put their mark on the REPO part that they agree it is made to their engineering requirements you can expect less than OEM parts. I see some of the parts from Taiwan and China that you can bend with your fingers that I know cannot be equal to OEM. They just fill the void that the rust left. Yes the car is probably in better shape than with nothing but carpet for a floor but it will not be as designed.
I hear horror stories of how people struggle to get their car back together because the doors, trunk, fenders and hood do not fit after the floor, torque box and rocker repair. They cut sections out of doors to get the clearance right again or do the same to a quarter panel. It is very difficult to put a car back together in your garage without a fixture to hold it and the proper measurements from locator holes.
Like they are saying you can do the work yourself cut some corners but it will be in the back of your mind if you did a good enough job. Check around there are great shops that are just set up to do the floors, frame rails and trunks on our collector cars. Yes they do charge a healthy rate and if you have every tried it yourself you know why.
Like I have said before when I start on a car it goes to the frame shop and is checked to see that everything is where the factory designed it. It never is and after they pull and take the twist out and get everything right the I work on the car. The panels fit much better and the dimensions are right. If you have ever jacked your mustang up by using the front cross member and lifter the whole front end you probably have bent the structure especially with the rust that time brings. You can crack your windshield by doing this also. Just normal driving over time bends them and they need to be corrected.
I got tooooo wound up again just wish everyone would be safer doing their repairs.
Theres so many poorly repaired cars on the road today it boggles the mind..
Given the internet age & some shop owners who finally opened their mouth decided to stand up to the insurance company's, consumers are finally becoming more aware of how important it truly is and how the insurance company's and UNQUALIFIED repair shops are screwing them jeopardizing their safety ..I've seen plenty of shops never even set a car up for measuring nor even have the equipment to do so..Yet they keep churning out STRUCTURAL REPAIRS..It's a huge problem that I could on for days about..The big problem I see is the liability for the diy hobbyist guy like lots of us who repairs a car in his garage /home (structural repair ) enjoys the car then sells it at some point ....I was having a talk with my lawyer friend about this..It's interesting because say he sells the car..Guy buys it takes his family for ice cream has an accident a passenger is killed or maimed BECAUSE OF A POOR STRUCTURAL REPAIR lets say a floor pan replacement done by the diy'er..The question then becomes is he liable? Depends on the paper work & disclosure given at the time of sale..A shop doing the work would defiantly be liable no if's & or buts..Your going to see a lot of lawsuits in the coming years against shops & diyers for poor repairs on all levels that's my prediction..

Scott, as always, you're knowledge and wisdom shared is infallible.

However, these videos are about ready to make me throw up. Besides the fact that there is more fake drama in here than a Lifetime soap opera, I do not agree entirely with the explanations for some of the vehicles presented - it seems as if the wreck examples get less screen time than their owners' reactions.

While I agree entirely that the floorpan and full framerail on the van should have been replaced, the argument that the stamped steel floorpan is structural member significant enough to warrant complete failure in an accident is ridiculous. The rails and crossmembers below that floorpan give the unibody its structural strength, as do the rockers - and though we are shown the unibody framerail and poor repair (which they refer to as the rocker), the floorpan is given more time and emphasis as being a point of failure.

At most, that floorpan acts as a webbing that may prevent the framerails from buckling upwards or downwards in a crash. If a side impact is strong enough to breach the rocker panel and crossmembers, that floorpan is going to crumble like a tin can, whether it's been damaged in the past or not. Without the pan welded to the crossmembers below it, the lateral rigidity of that pan is very limited (obviously). Yes, a properly intact floorpan is going to have a certain benefit over the original, but it's not the sole thing holding that car together - as any ignorant member of the general public would be led to believe by watching this video.

On the other hand, when we are finally shown the framerail, there is very little emphasis put towards the wrinkled area which should have been repaired, and, given a future side or rear impact, will definitely factor in as a significant weak spot - and given a simple explanation, anyone can be made to understand that without employing low-key scare tactics.

The "incorrect / correct" images (with exception to the bare weld) are terrible too. If it weren't for the sloppy seam sealer, nobody could have guessed what was "incorrect" at first glance - and the wrinkled area of the framerail is almost cropped out entirely in the shots. Did anyone actually explain the concept of this video to the video production team?

Yes, the pan and framerails must be replaced entirely to be a PROPER repair - that I don't question. But I don't agree with the presentation.

The Lexus was a much better case study, even though the video was claustrophobic. The shots don't establish what part of the car you are looking at.


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Since your a professional producer I bet you would have done the videos much better..Are they loaded with drama? Of course they are, BUT the whole Idea is to inform the consumer make them THINK..MAKE THEM AWARE..I thought they accomplish that quite well...Me & You aren't the target audience. The Mom with 3 kids could a give a rats ass how the damage shown is presented. WHAT she does care about is that her mini van that just was repaired had the srs system reset calibrated as per the oem's tech sheets & that the proper repair was done in accordance with manufacturers specs..When I worked for BMW I totally revamped a dealer body shop that WASN'T doing work the correct way,That entailed training..certification..procuring tech bulletins for recommend repair procedures from the factory (they do have them) & even firing a few techs who couldn't adapt to the new way of doing things..I insisted that cars be repaired as per the tech sheets..If it said 30 welds it got 30 welds..I felt good I had piece of mind knowing that when the customer left the shop I could be confident that the car was going to perform as it was designed to in a accident. I respect your opinion thoughts on the matter & you may think you know about unibodys, structure, metals,& repair but you really don't know as much as the people who manufacturer the car nor do you really grasp the situation till you go for some training (I-car) & you see some videos tests of how a hack repair performs vs a proper repair. https://www.i-car.com/index.shtml
My whole point in this post was to make people aware of how important it is to do a STRUCTURAL UNIBODY REPAIR properly even on our cars and if buying one that had any structure replaced make sure that it's been done correctly.

very good and informational Q
thanks for sharing

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Heres an interesting video..

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