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Any panel beaters here? Opinions on this please! - Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


Any panel beaters here? Opinions on this please!


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Hi all!

So sometimes my Facebook feed churns out stuff that I actually find interesting and relevant - as opposed to pictures of someone's latest spawn, vacation, targeted product ads or charged political diatribe debating the merits of liberal democracy.

Some dudes in (I assume China) going by the names Mechanic Steve and Mechanic Chris put up these fascinating videos of wrecked cars that they erm..."rectify" by pulling the panels straight, cutting out sections, grafting on new ones, repainting etc. They seem to do it all.

Here's a case in point:

As an engineer, I can't help but ask myself to what degree are repaired vehicles like this safe afterward. The discussion on Facebook is infantile at best, and I suspect many if not most are simply opining out of their arses. 

So, qualified panel beaters and vehicle repairers, what say ye? (other than HOLY S##T WELDING WITHOUT EYE PROTECTION!) 

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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I've seen similar done at banger races, but they usually end up just as bad or worse 10 mins later 

Hi all! So sometimes my Facebook feed churns out stuff that I actually find interesting and relevant - as opposed to pictures of someone's latest spawn, vacation, targeted product ads or charged

My brother was a panel-beater, and I spent many an hour watching. On a positive note at least these guys are pulling the car into shape before removing panels, too many people make the mistake of tryi

Wow! 
Clearly skilled guys even without safety assessments or understanding!

I enjoyed the watch but can’t help feel metal is never as strong once already bent, in my industry we X-ray every weld on structure and pipes and failure rates are high through micro cracking and inclusions. 
Dave :) 

Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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My brother was a panel-beater, and I spent many an hour watching. On a positive note at least these guys are pulling the car into shape before removing panels, too many people make the mistake of trying to straighten the remnants after having removed the worst panels. Spot welds are fine in a production environment, where the consistency is very precise. Plug welds as they did there are OK but you rely on each having a decent bond with the metal, for an MOT test it certainly used to be and I believe still is a requirement that any repair panels & sections are welded on using a continuous seam if the original panel was welded in place (different for whole replacement panels where plug welds etc are OK) on . That way any deviation in weld penetration is compensated by the extra weld, and any weakness in the section joined to is compensated for also. So, that's something I didn't like for their repair, although unless you look closely plug welds with seam sealer will look more original and so unsuspecting buyers may think it's never been damaged. So, they may well be using Nissan-approved repair techniques, and ones that would pass an MOT test in the UK, but if adjacent panels are now weaker than pre-crash, I'd prefer continuous weld to help add compensating strength in.

Metal when deformed cold, and then re-shaped is not as strong as it was prior to to the deformation. A lot of the absorption of impact is based on the straight panels taking a certain amount of energy to crumple them, but those very slightly deformed panels (such as the crush sections) are not the original shape and a bit of filler isn't going to do anything but hide those variations, so when hit again the panel can be deformed with less energy, meaning the crush sections don't do the job as well as intended.

 

Despite my dislike of some of their work, I'm loathed to slate it. My brother recently had a minor car park fender-bender with a Chinese-made MG thing, Vs his Ford. Both were 4x4 style (I think the MG may have been 2 wheel drive) He was shocked at the side of the MG being virtually destroyed yet his Ford had damage to the plastic bumper and superficial paint damage on the body. So, if as @Vanya thinks these are being repaired in China, I'm nor sure which I'd prefer to be in (or should that be hate slightly less being in ), a repaired but somewhat weakened Nissan or a never-damaged Chinese-made comparable size vehicle such as MG. Frying pan or fire, hard to choose.

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