Advice on bent rocker / straightening door pillar

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:30 pm
Hi, long-time welder, first time auto body repairer here. Found this site on google, hoping to get a little advice. I recently picked up an '01 Ford Ranger extended cab (with the half-doors) that had slid into a light pole wrecking the passenger door. Runs and drives great, no frame damage. I want to make it a farm truck (ie, no highways or public roads, low speeds) and I was hoping I could just throw a replacement door on but the impact which pushed the rocker inwards and upwards also appears to have twisted the front door pillar just enough that a replacement door won't close. The damage to the pillar isn't visible to my eye and the front door and the partial rear door each close well individually but when you try to close them both the door area is about now about 3/8" tighter than it should be, more than I can adjust for on the hinges.

I have a few questions about this would love some advice. Please keep in mind my aim here is just to get the door to close so that it will seal, not to make a complete repair. I don't care how it looks.

1- What would be the correct way to do this? I'm assuming that I need to push or pull the door pillar forwards slightly and rotate it outwards slightly. Straightening metal is familiar territory but sheet metal is not and I'm having a hard time figuring out where I have enough structure to pull on or push against to move the pillar as a unit rather than just deforming one spot. Would I push against the hinge mounts? I have thought about using a forklift as a deadman to back up a hydraulic jack and a piece of steel stock against the pillar to distribute the load, seems like if I can just jack against the pillar it might move enough.

2- Presumably I'm going to need to remove the rocker before trying to straighten the pillar? I don't really care about it being damaged and since it's bent inwards it doesn't interfere with the door closing but I guess if I leave it there I'm going to be fighting to bend the rocker as well as the pillar. I've never done this before, is it as simple as drilling out the spot welds and popping the piece off or are there tricks I should know? I'm guessing it's glued as well as spot welded?

Any advice is helpful! Thanks in advance.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:35 pm
You gonna need to remove the door and I would use a Stud welder to weld pins on and use those to make several Pulls with, while Tapping with a Hammer to straiten.

Or you can take it to Body shop to make the Pulls, and Yes Rocker should be replaced but like You said you just want a safe Farm truck.

I make pulls by chaining Car to Floor then pulling with a Cherry Picker.
Works for an Old Redneck like me.

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Dennis Barnett
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:47 pm
Thanks, that's helpful. Rather than welding studs I was thinking I could make a couple of 1/4" steel pick points which bolt on in place of the hinges and pull from them. One thing that I can picture for straightening this damage would be to bolt those pick points on and anchor the truck then pull on the pillar with a comealong forwards and slightly outwards. We've got two forklifts at the shop which I can use as dead weight to pull from. See my very rough sketch attached.

The other thing that makes sense to me would be to put a portapower in the door opening and try to jack it back out. This would be much easier to rig than pulling. But my concern is that instead of jacking the front pillar back into place I would end up bowing the back pillar and make things worse. Attaching a pic of what I have to work with on the rear side of the door opening. Is this strong enough to jack against if I made a plate to distribute the load?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:39 pm
Pulling, without the luxury of a frame rack, can be interesting at times. You need to think the whole thing through, where and how the force is to be applied and how you will anchor, then how the force will transfer. For example, on that ute you're pulling the door frame, which is part of the body, but anchoring via the tow bar which is attached to the chassis. So the force will transfer through the body to chassis mounts. Are they strong enough?

Personally, I don't like those hand winches - I think that they're dangerous when used under anything but light tension. My preference is to solidly anchor and use chains and hydraulics, which are much stronger and more controllable. That said, sometimes you have to work with what you have.

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Anchoring at the other end:
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Making plates to bolt on to the hinge mounts is the better idea, IMHO. Consider whether it's feasible to use a second anchoring point, on the body, to spread the anchoring load.
Chris



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:57 pm
NFT5
I like that Mount plate in the floor! I will have to make some of those.
I also drilled holes all around Were I do pulls and have inserts in the concrete that I bolt chains down to the floor. But will make mount similar to yours.

As you said Hydraulics make it nice But I have to use what I have.
What is that Hydraulic puller?

Calderp
Just remember The metal wants too move back to its original state, Its much better to make MANY Light pulls in different directions than One or two big ones.
What I mean is its likely the metal will move a whole bunch real easy and then Stop!
Its stops because the Bends or dents have locked the metal and that locked part needs to be unlocked by a different pull in another direction or Hammer and dolly work before the metal will move more in direction you want.

I suggest a Book Called "Metal Bumping" It describes the process much better than I can.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:59 pm
Doright wrote:What is that Hydraulic puller?


I have a portapower kit but all the hydraulic cylinders in that push, rather than pull. That unit pulls and is just super handy. Bought on Ebay, link here for similar unit. There are cheaper ones but with fixed chain hooks or lower capacity. It just connects to the pump from the kit.

If you like those floor brackets, you'll love the wall mount one. :happy:

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Chris



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:31 am
Ya That looks Spooky There don't know if I would Pull very Hard on that one lol
It would be my luck that I would be making a new Door way into the shop.

I found a Short Pull ram once for my Porta power but ended up passing on it it had a short pull like 6-8 inches, Would like to find one with a Little more pulling length.
My Porta power unit seals went bad and I need to send it out to get fixed any way.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:00 pm
You don't have to make floor anchors; just buy floor pots. People who have been on this site for years don't seem to look into the professional industry for specialized products. Act as if you owned a shop and it becomes easier.



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:03 pm
ScottB wrote:You don't have to make floor anchors; just buy floor pots. People who have been on this site for years don't seem to look into the professional industry for specialized products. Act as if you owned a shop and it becomes easier.


ScottB
Your back and again with nothing more than more criticism for others because they are not PROFESSIONALS or are are not using The latest and greatest tools equipment or Procedures as provided by industry standard or ICAR professionals in the field.
I suggest you re-read the name of the web sight "Autobody101" which in itself means beginner or just learning the Basics You should be Glad we don't condone the use of Slide hammers and sheet metal screws then caving and paving.

I have shopped for Floor Pots before and found that they were relatively inexpensive myself at $30 bucks each, I only needed about a dozen or so. 12 x 30 = $360 plus shipping $400 big deal. Not every one has that to blow on a single one or two time project!
https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/champ- ... 11538.aspx

But at same time I also saw the Cement floor inserts that I decided to try $5 Bucks each and have used and they work great for what I am doing "Light Pulls".
Now If your going to be doing serious Pulls or doing this sort of heavy frame work regularly yes By all means put in the Pots they are by far superior and much easier to use. Or better yet Buy a True frame machine! only about $7500-$20,000 used depending on model and its ability's and any extra tooling such as I.E. Mo Clamps, hooks etc..

The inserts I am using I wouldn't and don't trust for serious hardcore pulls they are very likely to pull right out of the floor damaging the floor. if I ever tried a seriously hard pull.
I never personally intended to do any serious frame straitening with them nor do I condone anyone should try.
Personally If I had a serious frame pull I would be sending the car to a Professional frame shop to insure it was done right, and I have in the Past! I can handle the small stuff though. Seriously like many other home repair guy's here like myself we know are limits and know when to hand the job over to a Pro with the right equipment and knowledge.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:53 pm
Dennis,
It's simply a comment.
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