Daily Archives: August 23, 2012

One quarter please

Almost four weeks ago this Ford Escape was dragged into the shop, severely wounded in a collision with a interstate center wall. It was pretty badly mangled, but it could be saved, so off it went to the car chiropractor to have its bones straightened. We finally got it back yesterday after having the left side quarter panel replaced. We spent almost the entire day yesterday grinding down welds to smooth up where the new quarter panel was grafted onto the car.

In the first picture you can see body filler on both sides of the rear glass. That is where the new quarter panel, the white part, was mated to the car, which is a sliver color. After grinding down the welds we smoothed the area where the graft was performed with filler to smooth and fill the repair.

The second picture shows the area around the back hatch where the two pieces were joined. In both the first and second pictures Chris can be seen sanding away on the rear door area, smoothing out the filler.

In the third photo you can see how the wizards on the frame machine were able to tease and tug the car back into alignment. Before the repair the entire left corner of the car was caved in.

Pictures four and five show the car after all the welds were the quarter panel was melded into the car have been filled with body filler and sanded smooth.

Body filler is a near miracle product for work of this type. If there were no such thing as body filler, or in the olden days, “lead”, there would be no way to repair this car. The damage was just too severe. But by using body filler to fill and smooth the join where the new quarter panel was welded on, the car can be saved. While it might not be pretty right now, after a coat of paint you will never know anything had happened to the car.

The rest of the photos, numbers 6-11, show the car after we primed and seam sealed it. The primer protects the repair from the elements and provides a surface that the paint can get it’s teeth into for adhesion. The gray areas are the primer.

Seam sealer works like calk for cars, filling cracks and crevices so that moisture can’t get into areas and start rust. We use it on every major repair to make the car as rust proof after the repair as it was before. The seam sealer looks like light blue caulk, or maybe toothpaste, in the corners and edges.

Now that the car has been primed … top & bottom, inside & out, it is ready to paint. But that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. The car has come a long way from where it started, but Rome wasn’t built in a day … and getting this car fixed won’t be done in a day either.

It cleaned up nice

This Maxima bumper had been mauled by countless bug strikes until the bugs had etched and marred the paint. Try as you might, once your paint get to that point you need something a little strong than soap and water, something to get that the stubborn bug jerky off the paint. Something like … sandpaper.

After sanding down and smoothing the bumper we repainted it and, as you can see in these two photos, it looks like new again. No more stubborn bug splatters, no more road rash and no more chips.

When it won’t fall off, you wash it off. But when you can’t wash it off … that’s when you paint it off.

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