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Car Needs New Paint? Find Auto Body Services Here

If you're like me, you drive your car everywhere. But after 15 years of reliable services, dents and rust now cover my car's hood, trunk and doors. I don't want to sell my car and buy a new one, so I decided to take it to an auto body and paint shop. Not only did the shop repair the dents and remove the rust, the technicians repainted it. If your car or truck looks less than stellar, take it to an auto body shop for repairs. My blog shows you where to look for the best auto body services and how to even perform your own repairs at home. Don't sell your car. Give it a makeover instead.



Car Needs New Paint? Find Auto Body Services Here

What Is A Hydraulic Frame Machine And How Do Body Shops Use Them?

by Edgar Wagner

Modern body repair can involve many sophisticated high-tech processes, but there's still a lot of brute force involved. If your car suffered structural damage in an accident, a frame machine is one of the specialized tools that a body shop may use to conduct repairs. This heavy-duty but relatively simple piece of equipment is crucial for getting your car back into shape.

Frame Machines Explained

Frame machines are an essential item in many auto body shops. The most straightforward frame machine provides a location to park and tie down a vehicle and several movable hydraulic towers. Technicians can move each tower into a different position around the car, allowing them to align the pullers with areas requiring attention.

The purpose of the frame machine is to straighten out critical structural elements. Body shops don't use frame machines to pull on body panels, such as your fenders or hood, but to grab underlying frame components. Unlike a conventional ladder-style frame structure, unibody vehicles have numerous structural elements that an accident can knock out of shape.

Each tower on the frame machine includes a powerful hydraulic pump that allows technicians to attach chains to frame rails, pillars, or other structural elements on the vehicle. The pumps then pull on the chains, dragging these components back into proper alignment. This approach usually requires technicians to work the metal manually and isn't appropriate if the damage is too severe.

Getting It Right

Of course, pulling on random parts of your car won't restore it to its factory specifications. While frame machines use low-tech, brute force to pull metal back into shape, auto body shops pair them with high-tech measuring systems. These systems typically use lasers to check the position of targets at specific spots on the car's body.

Using these laser measurement systems, technicians can determine exactly how far out of alignment each component may be. Additionally, they can see how far they need to pull to move structural elements back into position. Most of these systems use detailed measurements provided by manufacturers and collision repair database companies, ensuring a high level of accuracy.

Restoring your car's structure is a critical part of any body repair. Any misalignment in the underlying frame (whether unibody or conventional) can cause numerous problems, including part misalignments, poor drivability, and severe wear on tires and suspension components. The combination of high-tech measuring and low-tech force allows auto body repair shops to get your car back into perfect shape again.