How Wrecked Car Frames are Straightened

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Car frames are straightened after a wreck using an automotive frame machine and hydraulic ram to reverse the impact of the crash; learn how to do it in this free auto-repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to: Car Repair
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Lyndon again. We are in Lou Eller's Cadillac Frame Department. Have you ever wondered how they get those massive crashes back on the road, how they get the frame straight? Well this is it right here. The automotive frame machine. It works as an enormous platform, and it has two towers that along with a hydrolic ram run chains and clamps to your body and by pushing this foot pedal down here you can bring this damage back out slowly. And as we've discussed in previous videos, you are trying to reverse the inertia that came into the body from the collision. So you are not able to replace these panels until you get the back into the position that they are suppose to be. We'll bring everything back the way we are suppose to be, then you can put your new panels on which will be our next video. But for now it is very important that this vehicle be clamped down, won't move when you are making the pulls. They have these brackets and clamps that mount here on the pinch wells on the vehicle that hold it in place. You have four of them around the vehicle and they are holding this extremely tight. And once you have it on the bench and have it mounted, you put your clamps, you can make multi-directional pulls. You have two towers so you can pull to the right, you can also pull upwards at the same time. So it gives you a lot of versatility. Once this is brought out and you've got it in shape, you want to check your measurements. Now the best piece of frame equipment is a simple tape measurer because in using a tape measurer you can measure distances, you can measure heights, you can measure as I've mentioned in the first video, cross-diagonals to see how far off you are. A very important measurement is from your wheel base, from center of wheel to center of wheel and that tells you if there is any distortion in your drive train. Without one of these the car wouldn't go straight down the road.

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