Panel Beating repairs include many processes including, straightening chassis rails and frames, removing and re-welding panels, fixing dents, correct part fit & function and other repairs that are completed prior to paint refinishing. Panel beaters are responsible for ensuring that the shape, fit, function and specifications match that of a vehicle fresh off the factory assembly line.
Step 1 – Determining the damage
Our Panel Beaters and Estimators work together to determine the extent of the vehicle damage and the appropriate method of repairs, always following the manufacturer’s guidelines and the industry bodies recommended repair procedures, ensuring all vehicles are repaired using the correct, current repair process.
Step 2 – Preparing for repairs
Our panel beaters start by stripping the vehicle’s components and parts which are stored in our store room. The damaged area will be further analysed and if required, the vehicle will be moved to our re-aligning bench and prepared for alignment.
Step 3 – Aligning the Body and Chassis
With larger, heavier damage it is likely that the body or chassis of the vehicle will no longer be within the manufacturer’s specification. Our panel beaters use our chassis straightening system with its measuring tools to professionally measure and realign the body and chassis of the vehicle. It accurately measures to within a millimetre so you can rest assured your vehicle will be back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specification. Once alignment is within specification the damaged panels are replaced or repaired depending on the severity and complexity of the damage.
Step 4 – Replacing Panels
Repairs that require replacement panels can be either welded, bonded or bolted in place. Bolted panels are easily unbolted and a new panel bolted in place ensuring correct fit, gaps and function whereas welded or bonded panels require the old welds or bonding to be removed so the panel can be cut or removed from the vehicle. When completed the panel beater will trial fit the part and prepare the adjoining surfaces for welding or bonding of the new panel/s. Using an inverter spot welder the new panel is professionally welded in place in the same manner as on the assembly line. Bonded panel replacement follows much of the welded panel process except an OEM specific bonding agent is used instead of welding. Many new cars use bonded repair methods in their OEM recommended repair procedures as the safest method of repairing the vehicle.
Step 5 – Repairing Panels
Our skilled panel beaters repair panels using panel beating techniques and tools such as a hammer and dolly to mould the panel back into factory shape. This process takes considerable skill and time to ensure the results are perfect. Certain metals require special attention and new high strength steels have rules and regulations covering how they can be repaired. Our panel beaters take this into account and carefully reshape and align the panels. Once they are happy with the resulting surface they will apply a fine filler if the surface requires any further finishing which once dried is sanded back bringing the surface to a more detailed and smoother finish. Larger body components like floors are chassis rails will have any OEM finishes applied like body sound deadening matting and anti-chip coatings.
Finalising the repair
When our panel beater has fixed the damage to the vehicle according to their job instruction sheet they will complete any further dis-assembly required, collect all parts that require paint refinishing and move the vehicle to the Paint Department.