Celette equipment ensures a smooth, predictable outcome for a profitable repair and a safe vehicle

True Story – The Tech Support Call

A few years back, a shop with a new Celette bench called about the fit of the new Honda CRV on the bench. They had the motor out and were replacing the left side rail.

The shop had only used the bench a couple of times on some lightly damaged Porsches.

On the phone, the shop technician stated the hit came from the left side moving towards the right. The left rail was obviously damaged and needed to be replaced. The right rail was lightly damaged at the reinforcement mounting point. The issue the shop was having was that the right upper rail, strut tower and firewall all showed off (over and back) according to the fixtures.

With all the years of experience combined in the shop and a Porsche certified repair facility, they did not believe the right side upper rail, strut tower and firewall were off. There were no signs of distortion, no broken or stretched seam sealer. The technician felt that if he pulled it according to the fixtures, there would be nowhere for the metal to move and it would create some buckles and damage in what he felt had no damage.

The Tech Support Visit

I drove over to the shop to inspect the vehicle on the Celette Bench. After carefully checking the set up and confirming everything was correct, I explained to the shop that the frame equipment they used prior to Celette for their entire careers had such a large tolerance of error that is was incapable of revealing all the damage.

There would now be a learning curve and re-education of “seeing” what is damaged. With Celette, they would now be capable of finding all the damage in a vehicle and it would not hide behind suspension, or in bends and shapes of the vehicle and they would be able to find movement throughout the vehicle they had never seen before.

I asked them to proceed with pulling the right side firewall, strut tower and upper rail. They were hesitant but proceeded. I told them to believe in the fixtures (picture Yoda).

As the technician pulled each step he could see the movement in the vehicle and how the damage was visually hiding. The shop was very impressed that all the body panels, lights and bumper fit perfectly. The alignment was spot on. These are all things they had issues with on prior frame racks. Every time I see the technician now he says, “Just believe in the fixtures.”

TECH TIP: 

Auto body technicians expect to see obvious deformations and buckles to show where a vehicle needs structural repairs.  Hidden damage can cost additional repair time, ill-fitting parts and reduce profitability in the repair job.  A complete repair plan from the start with Celette equipment ensures a smooth, predictable outcome for a profitable repair and a safe vehicle.

Article by Art Williams, Robaina Industries dba Eurocar-Bench Systems, auto body collision repair technician, CELETTE, TECNA, FAN Fronius and RI equipment technical support, training and sales.