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Old 08-30-2015, 10:49 AM   #11
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

For anyone really interested in this topic there are literally thousands of fantastic slow-motion videos of cars being driven into barriers at various angles and degrees of overlap, being hit from the side by a weighted sled (car analog) by insurance companies and the NHTSA. Then there are thousands of others by special interests groups who were curious to show how a 'solid' older car stood up against a modern, 'weak' unibody car, what it looks like to drive a small sedan into a concrete block at 100 mph, how smart the "Smart' car is and so on.

A bit of research will probably change how you look at cars and what you take into account when choosing one.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:55 PM   #12
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

The E-series crumple zone only work when the energy applied is straight-on. Anything other than straight-on, the frame will just fold to the side.

FWIW - the '99-04 F-series pickups don't have any frame crumple zone at all! They leaf springs wouldn't accommodate it.

The CDC has a lot of good info about Ambulance crashes, which are predominantly E-series based. For being an old design, it still protects the front occupants pretty well, and that's the crux of the CDC studies. Why do the rear occupants fare so much worse? New ambulances are starting to see some of the changes recommended, the big one simply being seating position. It's very possible that rear-loading ambulances will be a thing of the past soon. Side-loading ambulances will allow paramedics to maintain a forward or rearward seating position. It's also why I won't consider a new camper unless it has enough forward-facing seats.

PS - if you look at this off-set crash, the crumple zone wasn't even touched! The body did all of the attenuating instead.But still everybody in the Ambulance only received minor injuries, the worst ones being the passengers in the back and it was due to unsecured equipment.
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Old 08-30-2015, 06:03 PM   #13
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

Carringb,

good point about the unsecured equipment, be it camping gear, your dog, a fire extinguisher, bicycle, wine bottle or anything else of reasonable size and mass.

The other unfortunate corollary to our vans being higher than most cars, especially those that are lifted and/or 4WD is that in most accidents the bumper and crumple zones of both vehicles play hardly any role. The vans are so much higher that they actually override the safety areas of most cars and will often hit the passenger shell directly. This can have gruesome consequences for the car passengers. I believe some States limit the bumper height of lifted vehicles to avoid just this though not in NM.

Not sure how you'd overcome this if you wanted an off-road capable van. Height adjustable suspension maybe or height adjustable bumpers? Bit OT, sorry.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:24 PM   #14
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by witoke
Not sure how you'd overcome this if you wanted an off-road capable van. Height adjustable suspension maybe or height adjustable bumpers? Bit OT, sorry.
Ford had to add "blocker beams" to the 4WD SuperDuty pickups for this very reason. Basically, an extra lower structure behind the air dam.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:07 PM   #15
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

I thought that I would show how the crumple zones worked in my van. Here is my 92 E150 after the mayhem. This is the result of a stuck accelerator pedal and speeding at 120 kph or 75 mph into the back of a Honda Accord at a stop light. Scarred the living S**T out of me! Fortunately no one was hurt seriously. I only had 3 bruises. The 4 occupants of the Honda were all treated and released from the hospital a few hours later with just bumps and scrapes. There was nothing left of the Honda. You know what a car looks like after it has gone through the crusher, the Honda looked worse. The entire accident total was 2 cars, 2 lamp posts, 3 small trees, 20 feet of fence and the corner of a garage. That is where the van finely came to rest. The second car was a collector car in the garage that was damaged when everything on the wall fell on it from the van crashing into it.

About 2 weeks later the body shop had me come down to look at the van after they had it on the straightening rack. The owner said in all his years he had never seen a vehicle do so much damage and come out so straight. The frame was completely straight and only deflected up 5 degrees at the crumple zone. As a result the insurance company repaired it to the tune of $30K in 1998. You may ask why they chose to repair rather than replace, well to replace it new would have cost $85-95k. I kept it till 2006 when I got my current van.

Anyway my point is that I really don't think the crumple zones in vans do much at all. It is just a big vehicle that does a lot of damage. I feel that the Honda took the brunt of the forces for both vehicles. Had I hit something else I don't think the results would have been as good and I may not have been here today.







I have to say that I do not want to drive anything other than a Ford E-Series van. It just sucks they discontinued them.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:04 PM   #16
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

Yowza, that's some serious damage for your insurance company not to call it totaled. I slid off the road in a car years ago, hit a tree, had way less damage than that and they called it totaled, but I think the tow yard and insurance adjuster were in cahoots, they gave me practically nothing for the car, then the yard took half for tow and "storage", BS, but I was young and dumb.......and they knew it too. Glad you walked away from that.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:46 AM   #17
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by depark
As a result the insurance company repaired it to the tune of $30K in 1998. You may ask why they chose to repair rather than replace, well to replace it new would have cost $85-95k. I kept it till 2006 when I got my current van.

I have to say that I do not want to drive anything other than a Ford E-Series van. It just sucks they discontinued them.
Cheers
Darryl
What would have contributed to that high a replacement cost DePark---was was different or significant about that van?

Adding DePark's encounter with the smaller unit-body car and all bodies surviving with thankfully relatively minor injuries shows the effectiveness the numerous and different types of crumple zones work, or are intended to work anyway. By comparison the E-Series van is probably 1/3 larger in volume and heavier than the Honda, struck it at 75 mph which is one helluva impact.

Insurance wise I'm driving a 2000 E250 formally a wheel chair transport van complete with side door lift and properly installed raised roof (integrated structure above original roof.) It was totaled due a crash that sent it off a paved road into a ditch significantly damaging much of the front suspension. Having spent a lot of time under it for routine maintenance I see no signs of damage to the frame or body at all.

Given its age and mileage at the time it was enough to warrant being a total loss, the van sold to a salvage yard. At the time it had 190K miles was maybe 8 years old. Sadly no photos of the before/after---it came to me as a forth owner of record.

I've put another 75K miles on it since 2008, all front suspension not replaced from the crash has been completely rebuilt down to axle pivot and radius arm bushings. There have never been issues with effecting a in-spec alignment. In many ways its still a better van than my 2003 that just recently hit 211K miles, new-to-me in May of 2012.

Diverging a bit all this is just saying GOOD collision repairs can and do "restore" some vehicles to a fully functional and reliable after-crash life.

DePark glad you and the Honda's occupants weren't injured---I'm sure that did scare you S*hitless!
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:07 PM   #18
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Re: Do front hitches compromise crumple zone (Ford)?

Quote:
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What would have contributed to that high a replacement cost DePark---was was different or significant about that van?
Basically it was due to the electronic driving controls I had in the van. The gas and brake were controlled with a joystick and electronic servo mounted to the gas and brake pedals. It was a pretty slick system at the time (or so I thought). It was the underlying problem with the stuck throttle.

I think an explanation is needed before I get the question "How is that"? The day before the accident, I had my brother-in-law take the van into the stereo shop for some work to the wiring. They weren't happy with the mess under the dash so they wanted to correct that. That night he brought the van back to me and it sat till the next morning. Apparently he has a lighter foot than I do. The next day I get in and take off. No problem at first. I drive about 20 minutes in city traffic. Everything is just fine. Now this is where everything goes to crap! Turning right onto the road with traffic coming so I hit it! Get up to speed no problem, traffic now not an issue, go to maintain my speed, OH S**T! STILL ACCELERATING! Try the brakes, NOTHING! Next thought, put it into neutral. Well as part of the electronics package the transmission was shifted and controlled by, you guessed it, a electronic actuator and button. So I go to shift it and before I can hit the button I glance up and see cars stopping for a red light ahead. Dam! Now I'm SC***ED! Let the mayhem commence.

I said underlying problem. When the stereo shop was working under the dash, they removed a panel that had all the modules for the driving system mounted to it. When they they did not reattach the panel properly so it was just resting on the servo cam. The panel was just the right size to perfectly fit in behind the cam only when you were under hard acceleration. That same cam operated the brakes when it moved in the opposite direction. It was physically prevented from moving so no brakes at all.

That's it. I drove the van for a few more years with the electronics but when they were needing to be replaced I went with mechanical ones. A much safer option IMO. This is what my van looked like when I sold it in 2006. It had 120k km on it.

Sorry for the diversion OP, now back to crumple zones.

Cheers
Darryl



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