Proper repair planning helps to ensure that you are as efficient as possible when repairing your customer’s vehicle. By planning weld-on body components ahead of time, you can answer questions before you get started that wouldn’t normally arise until later on in the repair process. Some of these questions could be: What type of steel will you be working with? What strength rating does that steel have? Are there repair limitations? Is it repairable at all? Can it be sectioned?
Let’s answer these questions as if we are blueprinting a repair for a 2016 Toyota Corolla. Blueprinting is the term for the process of assessing all of the damage to your customer’s vehicle before repairs have begun. For our scenario, let’s say there is side impact damage to the left front door, the b-pillar and the left rear door.
The doors will need to be removed and disassembled and the b-pillar de-trimmed for a more thorough damage assessment. Is there any damage to the intrusion beams? If so, then the doors will need to be replaced. Is there b-pillar damage to the reinforcement 590 MPa High Strength Steel? It is important to note that there are no approved repair procedures for 590 MPa occupant cabin reinforcements. Even a slight deformation can compromise the strength and integrity of these components in a subsequent collision. Both of these important Toyota collision repair positions are reinforced in Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #161 Collision Damage Repair Precautions.
Sectioning specifications may be available for occupant cabin steel rated less than 590 MPa. Some of these reinforcements are laser-welded blanks, which combine higher strength steel with 440 MPa in order to help provide occupant protection in a collision, and a less complicated replacement option. The only way to know these precautions and procedures for sure is to study the vehicle-specific ‘Structural Outline’ along with the ‘Component Replacement’ specifications, which provide that type of detail. Bulletins, component replacement specifications, approved welding and sectioning locations and steel strength ratings can all be found in vehicle-specific Collision Damage Repair Manuals on the Toyota Technical Information System (TIS).
In the modern age of vehicle design, proper planning can be the determining factor for a safe and proper collision repair. Make sure you take the time in the planning stage of your repair to ensure that there are no surprises down the road.