Ford Aluminum Body Repair

Did you know that aluminum is more expensive than steel, and has typically been used for high-end vehicles like the Acura NSX, BMW i8, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Jaguar XJ, Tesla Model S 60, and other luxury cars? In 2015, Ford began making the Ford F-150 with a primarily aluminum body. As the best-selling car in the United States, this signified a significant shift in automotive trends. We predict many American car brands will follow suit in the near future. How do you know you’re trusting your Ford to a great auto body shop? Are they Ford Aluminum Certified? We are! Here’s a few of the aluminum repair requirements put out by Ford to becoming certified. Ford Aluminum Body Repair

SHOPS MUST:

1. Have a work separation system that isolates aluminum vehicles from vehicles undergoing steel repairs – separation can be a separate room or curtain system

2. Have a designated set of hand/special tools specifically for aluminum vehicles to prevent from cross contamination with steel body vehicles. The inventory must contain all required hand tools per Ford F-150 Collision Repair Program

3. Utilize a 220v Pulse MIG welder specifically for aluminum vehicles

4. Utilize a dent extraction system specifically designed for aluminum that contains an aluminum stud welder, heat gun, pyrometer, aluminum hammers and dent extraction system

5. A specialized aluminum SPR (Self Piercing Rivet) gun approved by the Ford Paint and Body Technical Center – currently only the Chief, Henrob and Pro Spot SPR riveters are approved

6. An Immersion-Type, Wet Mix dust extraction system or pneumatic (air operated) vacuum system dedicated to aluminum dust – The system can be portable or centrally installed system

7. I-CAR® FOR06 – 2015 Ford F-150 Structural Repair Training Course

8. I-CAR® WCA03 – Aluminum GMA (MIG) Welding Certification

9. I-CAR® FO007E01 – 2018 Expedition & Navigator Aluminum Body Repair (2 technicians must complete – web-based)

 

For more generalized technical repair capability, here’s what Ford lists as their requirements for certification:

SHOPS MUST:

1. Meet I-CAR® Gold Class® or equivalent with proof of ongoing technical training (assessment required)

2. Subscribe to current OEM repair procedures and have the ability to provide documented proof of compliance

3. Utilize a frame rack or dedicated/universal fixture bench, with appropriate vehicle anchoring and pulling capabilities

4. Utilize an electronic three-dimensional vehicle measuring system

5. Maintain a current data subscription for the measuring system being utilized

6. Provide proof of technical training to operate the measuring system being utilized

7. Utilize an R134a refrigerant recovery/recycling system or proof of a qualified sublet provider

8. Have the ability to conduct and verify four-wheel alignment either in-house or through a sublet provider

9. Have the ability to remove, replace and reinstall steering and suspension components, as well as engine and drive train units

10. Have the ability to perform pre- and post-repair vehicle diagnostic scans and proof of calibrations

11. Have a spray booth with forced drying capabilities

12. Utilize an OEM approved refinishing system

13. Provide proof of product training for the refinishing system being utilized

14. Have an above ground lift with a lift capability of at least 7,000 lbs

15. Utilize pressure-feed, anti-corrosion compound and application equipment

16. Have a documented Quality Assurance/Quality Control system

As you can see, there is quite a lot that goes into being a certified Ford Aluminum Repair Shop. Trust the pros at Cline Collision Center for all of your aluminum repair needs. Schedule an appointment today!

How To Fix A Dent In Aluminum

In the past, aluminum body panels were only found on European vehicles. Now that there’s a large scale of aluminum on the Ford F-150, other car brands will likely take onto this new style as well. Unlike steel, that remembers its original position, aluminum does not. It needs to be reformed, which can take more time, but it is well worth the wait. To repair and pull the damaged area, the panel must be heated to 400°F to allow the metal to soften. Aluminum dissipates heat very quickly but can become permanently changed if heated past a certain point, and that point is approximately 750°F. The heated panel can now be pulled and while pulling the material it is being work hardened to set the new memory of the collision repair.

How To Fix A Dent In Aluminum

Repairing aluminum dents also requires a special tool set. This is a major reason in itself to only trust your vehicle to the experts of a certified aluminum body shop like Cline Collision Center. If a body shop uses the same tools on aluminum that they use on steel, they can cause further damage to the aluminum than when the vehicle first showed up at the shop. One mistake can damage the panel beyond repair. Trust the pros at Cline Collision Center. Don’t take it from us, here’s one of our 5-star customer reviews from Alicia G on yelp.

“There are many places in the area to take your car after an accident, I’m glad I took mine to the right place. Not only did Cline Collision Center make my car look brand new again, but Joe was professional and helpful throughout the process of my auto repairs. They sent me text messages containing the progress of my vehicle, and even encouraged me to come visit my car whenever I’d like. I hope I don’t need their services again anytime soon, but if I do I know I won’t be disappointed”!

Here’s another fabulous review from Katherine G. on Yelp:

“I can’t say enough about my experience at Cline! I did my homework beforehand by getting estimates from 3 other Santa Rosa shops, and Cline was the most personable and reasonable. The shop is clean, professional and welcoming Joe spent ample time with me and answered all of my questions and concerns. I felt like I was the most important customer on the docket! I was kept informed every step of the way, and when I picked up my car, it took my breath away! I highly recommend Cline Collision Center”.

Don’t wait! Give Cline Collision Center a call today to schedule an appointment . We’ll have your vehicle looking spectacular in no time, with our professional and certified aluminum body repair technicians.