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A look at the latest updates on bonding

Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 06:00
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An old saying declares that “doing the right thing never goes out of style.” The issue here is determining what the right thing is. If you interviewed every shop in the country and asked if they always do the right thing when it comes to repairs, certainly a hundred percent would say they do. Yet, findings from an I-CAR report just a few years ago indicate that over half the industry doesn’t stay up to date with training, instead getting by with previous education, hoping that it will prepare them to fully restore new model vehicles to pre-accident condition.

These hopes simply aren’t enough to prepare shops to handle the repair instructions and recommendations that are often updated from one model year to the next—sometimes during the year. No where is this truer than with bonding.

Modern vehicles use full range of bonds from welds to rivets and adhesives. How these bonds are applied can vary greatly from one vehicle or application to the next. If your shop isn’t aware of updates, it risks creating bonds that not only won’t hold up during the life of the vehicle but could prevent critical safety systems from performing as they should during another accident.

(Photo courtesy of GM Media) With OEMs making greater use of HSS and other alternative materials, it’s more important than ever to create the bonds specified in manufacturer repair instructions.

The following repair steps and guidelines, submitted directly from General Motors, serve as reminders of (1) the sophisticated steps necessary to make bonds for today’s vehicles, in this case rivets on a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, and (2) how recent OEM recommendations on bonding products can make a noticeable difference on a repair. Review both and consider how your shop is adapting to the latest directions and guidelines for bonding.

Rivet roundup

Refer to the following repair procedure provided by GM, taking special notice of where, when and how rivets are used. Also note the need to turn to other GM repair procedures during this work to ensure the job is performed correctly.

Removal Procedure

Before beginning, refer to the following GM documents:

  • Approved Equipment for Collision Repair Warning
  • Collision Sectioning Warning
  • Glass and Sheet Metal Handling Warning

Note: The that the front end is constructed from high strength low alloy steel. Refer to GM’s High Strength Low Alloy Steel procedure.

  1. Disable the SIR system. See GM’s SIR Disabling and Enabling procedure.
  2. Disconnect the battery negative cable. See GM’s Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection procedure.
  3. Remove all related panels and components.
  4. Remove both front fender bracket. See GM’s Front Fender Bracket Replacement procedure.
  5. Remove both front fender rear bracket. See GM’s Front Fender Rear Bracket Replacement procedure.
  6. Remove the sealers and anti-corrosion materials from the repair area as necessary. See GM’s Anti- Corrosion Treatment and Repair procedure.
  7. Perform a rough cut through the inner and outer rails in line with the center of gauge hole. Note: All cuts must be square to the surface.
  8. Remove the front-end section from the vehicle.
  9. Remove front compartment side rail bracket – rear right. See GM’s Front Compartment Side Rail Bracket Replacement – Rear procedure.
  10. Remove front compartment side rail bracket – rear left. See GM’s Resistance Spot Welded Full Panel Replacement procedure. Note: Do not damage or cut attaching panels and reinforcements.
  11. Remove all spot welds from the outer side rail.
  12. Apply heat to release adhesive from the outer side rail sectioning.
  13. Remove outer rail sections from the vehicle. Note: Do not damage or cut attaching panels and reinforcements.
  14. Remove all spot welds from outer side rail reinforcement.
  15. Apply heat to release adhesive from the outer siderail reinforcement.
  16. Remove the outer rail reinforcement. Note: Do not damage or cut attaching panels and reinforcements.

Note: Drive side rear bulkhead will remain on vehicle while passenger side rear bulkhead will be replaced with the new front end. Note: All cuts are square to surface.

  1. Cut the inner side rail at the appropriate location.

Note: Do not damage or cut attaching panels and reinforcements.

Note: All cuts must be square to the surface.

Note: The drive side rear bulkhead will remain on vehicle while passenger side rear bulkhead will be replaced with the new front end.

(Photo courtesy of GM Media) The OEM steps for repairing front-end damage to a new Chevrolet Silverado are an effective reminder of how repairing bonds is detailed work that changes with each new model year.
  1. Cut the inner siderail at the appropriate location.
  2. Remove inner rail sections from the vehicle.
  3. Remove remaining adhesive from vehicle.
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