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Old 03-20-2019, 04:00 PM   #1
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Knowledgeable opinions on repair/painting?

I went out yesterday to my E350 RB to an 18í gash in my rear passenger side panel. The gash can be popped out but, unfortunately, it left an inch-round sized spot of no paint, bare to metal; and flaking at the edges. The shop I trust here said I could get it popped out (by someone else) and then keep applying white touch up. Apparently, no reputable shop will paint that area because it wonít match. He says they have to isolate the entire panel (of course, the biggest on the van), removing the big window, etc. will wind up in the $1500-2000 range, which my insurance co.will pay for minus the $250 deductible. Work is guaranteed, national company, etc. etc. No penalty to my premium.

Hereís my question: does anyone foresee problems with... anything? Like if they have to actually remove the panel from the van to repair and Replace it where it meets the raingutter? Iím probably being too protective but the van is in pristine condition and I want to keep it that way. Leaks etc would freak me out. Photo below shows right rear panel pre-gash, which ends right in front of the backlight lens. Coulda been worse, I guess.

Any thoughts? I need to decide this week. Iím having an Aluminess ladder put up on that side very soon.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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An 18' gash is pretty long (sorry, couldn't resist).


Are we supposed to see it in the attached pic? If not, where on the body is it? If near the lower edge of the body, consider priming it, painting it, and shooting the entire 8"-10" of the lower body with contrasting, spray-on bedliner.




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Old 03-20-2019, 04:22 PM   #3
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I had the entire drivers side repainted because a neighbor kid thought it would be fun to shoot a bb gun and pepper the entire side and blow out the big window. I don't have any issues with the paint and any reputable shop will guaranty their work.

You might not run into this issue since you will be reinstalling the same glass, but the window that was used to replace the busted one didn't sit against the opening well and you could see daylight around the frame. The second one they used was better but that was the only issue I encountered. It was Ford glass too.
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:20 PM   #4
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Which will bother you more- a panel that doesn't match or a giant gouge? For $250 I would pick the one you prefer.
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Old 03-20-2019, 06:41 PM   #5
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Consider: Have the area in question fixed, then conceal it with a useful accessory, (not sure how much space you're dealing with) something like this from Front Runner could do the trick
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:30 PM   #6
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Thanks all. I think I'm going to trust the process and have them do the entire panel. For $250 at least I won't be out a ton of money. Hopefully everything gets put back where it belongs and no leaks or anything will occur.

Herb, I did consider blacking the area out and, if it were about a foot lower, I'd do it. But the ding is right up to the bottom of the brake light lens, too much LineX for me. And, LOL, yes, the gash really isn't 18 feet.

Twoxentrix, the accessory concealment idea is a good one! Too bad I'm installing an Aluminess ladder right there next week. Maybe I'll take a look at that for another location, tho.

Mikracer, I'll watch out for glass issues. Gee, I wish somebody would invent a swing-out version of this glass.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer View Post
You might not run into this issue since you will be reinstalling the same glass, but the window that was used to replace the busted one didn't sit against the opening well and you could see daylight around the frame. The second one they used was better but that was the only issue I encountered. It was Ford glass too.
I'm currently in the auto/truck glass biz and a former body shop owner--might be able to help a bit here even if its after you've already made a decision.

If there was a photo of the damage that would be exceptionally helpful---like BroncoHauler I don't see any damage in the posted photo. None the less if I assume correctly there is no metal torn, the "gash" simply an indentation of sorts? Paint scraped away? If so there is absolutely no need to remove anything other than the glass. In fact most good body shops detest removing a welded panel and would rather prefer working the existing panel back close to the original profile before any body filler is used to restore that profile.

Use of body filler should be at an absolute minimum with a catalyzed fiberglass resin used over top of the re-worked metal. This material goes by the name "duraglass" which once upon a time was a brand name but is used these days generically. Its much more durable and intended to be used in "thicker" layers than normal body filler---plus its waterproof as it clings to the metal whereas body filler typically is not.

Only after that layer is worked would the usual body filler be used to bring about a perfectly smooth and shaped final profile just before finish color is applied. Done correctly this is a perfectly acceptable process.

Removing the glass and tail light assembly before repairs begin and re-installed only after final paint is also acceptable and highly advised. If Ford factory glass doesn't fit then that falls upon the installer who has not done their job correctly. After market glass might have fitment issues but even VGC salvage yard glass with the Ford logo imprinted should fit an unaltered body opening flawlessly. The installer does make a huge difference here.

I hope this helps just a bit but having a photo or two would be very useful.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:40 AM   #8
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Some pics of the damage

JWA, thanks for that informative reply. As you can probably tell, my main concern was whether the expensive ďcureí was going to be worse than the problem.

Hereís some pics to show the damage. Iím thinking Iíll let them have at it and hopefully itíll look like new. Iíll have another convo with the manager about removing anything but glass. Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:53 AM   #9
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It hurts, and handle it any way you want, but I would leave the dent as-is, have it primed and painted so it doesn't rust, and call it a battle scar.




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Old 03-23-2019, 07:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
JWA, thanks for that informative reply. As you can probably tell, my main concern was whether the expensive “cure’ was going to be worse than the problem.

Here’s some pics to show the damage. I’m thinking I’ll let them have at it and hopefully it’ll look like new. I’ll have another convo with the manager about removing anything but glass. Thanks!
Okay so the additional photos help tremendously. There's absolutely no reason to remove anything other than the tail light assembly for the repair. Once the repair is completed proper masking of the body and even the glass will produce better than acceptable results. A qualified body shop would effect the repair, spot finish the repair via blending the final color onto the existing panel before clear-coating the entire panel. The glass doesn't need to be removed for this repair.

That sort of repair where various contours are present is a bit more complex than many might imagine, assuming the metal would be "worked" before body filler applied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
It hurts, and handle it any way you want, but I would leave the dent as-is, have it primed and painted so it doesn't rust, and call it a battle scar.

Herb
Honestly this is the way I'd go too unless you're so concerned about the appearance---obviously Herb and I aren't. That won't rust for a long long time, any that does form would be on the surface only and not prone to drastically rust so significantly to cause expensive damage.

You could use some Ford color matching touch up brush on paint if that'd make you feel better about preventing future rust.

IF there's an upside to that line of thinking it would come when selling the van to a new owner. You could point it out, they making their own choice whether to fix it or leave it as you might. A repair COULD be detected and cause suspicions there was more extensive damage than reported making them skittish. Seeing what was damaged is the better route than explaining it away.

IF you go that route take a lot of photos for future use, removing the tail light assembly and photographing what's seen inside that cavity.

This is your choice so do what's best for you at the moment.

HTH
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