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What is Frame Straightening?



A echnician using tools to straighten the frame of a car.

Straightening a car frame after an accident is a critical step in the collision repair process to ensure the vehicle's structural integrity and safety. Here are the general steps involved in frame straightening:


Assessment:

  • Thoroughly examine the extent of the damage to the frame. Use measuring systems and tools to identify areas that need correction.

  • Refer to the vehicle manufacturer's specifications and measurements to determine the correct alignment for the frame.

Securing the Vehicle:

  • Use a frame machine to secure the vehicle in place. The frame machine has hydraulic equipment that aids in pulling and straightening the frame.

  • Secure the vehicle to the frame machine using chains, clamps, or other suitable methods to prevent movement during the straightening process.

Measuring:

  • Utilize measuring systems, laser systems, or electronic measuring tools to assess the alignment of various points on the frame.

  • Compare the measurements to the manufacturer's specifications to identify areas that are out of alignment.

Pulling and Straightening:

  • Use hydraulic equipment on the frame machine to pull and straighten damaged areas of the frame.

  • Technicians may use chains, come-alongs, or hydraulic rams to apply controlled force to specific points on the frame.

  • Make gradual adjustments, checking measurements frequently to ensure accurate alignment.

Heat Induction:

  • In some cases, heat induction may be used to make the metal more pliable and aid in the straightening process.

  • Specialized equipment, such as induction heaters, can be used to heat specific areas of the frame.

Re-Measuring:

  • After making adjustments, re-measure the frame to ensure that it aligns with the manufacturer's specifications.

  • Make any necessary additional adjustments until the frame meets the required tolerances.

Welding and Reinforcement:

  • If there are structural components that cannot be straightened and need replacement, they may be cut out and new sections welded in.

  • Reinforce any repaired areas to ensure the strength and integrity of the frame.

Quality Control:

  • Conduct a final inspection to ensure that the frame is properly aligned and meets safety standards.

  • Verify that all repairs are in compliance with manufacturer specifications and industry standards.

It's crucial to note that frame straightening should be performed by trained and experienced professionals in an authorized auto body repair facility. Additionally, following the vehicle manufacturer's repair procedures is essential to maintain safety and performance standards. Find out more by talking to a Crash Daddy Technician today.



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