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Old 03-13-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
PaceThis
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Default Z06 Aluminum Frame Repair Procedures?

Hi all,

I have a 2008 Z06 that took a light hit in the rear. At a minimum, it will need a new rear cross support, though the rear rails may be shifted slightly, it'll have to be measured to see exactly.

Does anyone know the repair guidelines for this frame as it's aluminum? Can rails be "pulled" to a minor spec if needed (and assuming no kinks or bends anywhere in them)?

Any info on the aluminum frame repair is desired. I'm not asking for opinions on repairing the vehicle, it's very light damage and will be repaired. Just wondering if the rails are slightly out of alignment if they have to be replaced, or can be pulled to spec.

TIA,
Josh
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
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If I'm not mistaken, the frame repair procedure is outlined in the GM service manuals. Unfortunately, I'm not near my manuals at this moment to verify.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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You need special welding equipment and a special welding room to do aluminum. Very few body shops are aluminum qualified these days.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
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I saw the video of the Z06 frame being built......no special "room" needed to weld a rear cross bar on, but you do need someone competent with aluminum.

If it really was a light hit, I bet the frame rails are fine. The inner tunnel, as well as the rear subframe, do a great job of strengthening the rails, although the rear connector is easy to "squash", or at least bend the outer arms forward.

If it does happen to be bent, I'd have them pulled if it is just minor. Sleeving and welding an entire frame section in place is just asking for problems. Once the rear bar is off, bending each side should be easy for a frame machine. Whether or not heat should be applied is the question, and as above I'd suggest checking the repair manual.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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Hi Josh:

Do not heat or bend aluminum! It is brittle and will crack. A towing company bent
the frame on my Z06 and I went through this extensively with the insurance company. (They bought me a new Z06)
Check http://www.goodwrench.com/gmgoodwren...=Corvette_(Z06)
It's a pain but you cannot heat and bend like steel. It's cut and replace.
Good luck.
Stace
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:45 AM   #6
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While I agree with Stacy on Aluminum not bending and pulling well, I found this below in the manual on a rear frame rail end replacement. It also showed the butt replacement method using a sleeve insert and welding the new section on. Look at this from the manual Z06 rear end replacement procedure:


Caution: Refer to Approved Equipment for Collision Repair Caution in Cautions and Notices.
1. Disable the SIR system. Refer to SIR Disabling and Enabling.
2. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Refer to Battery Negative Cable Disconnection and Connection.
3. Remove all related panels and components.
4. Remove the rear impact bar. Refer to Rear Bumper Impact Bar Replacement.
5. Note the location and remove the sealers and anti-corrosion materials from the repair area. Refer to Anti-Corrosion Treatment and Repair.
6. Repair as much of the damage as possible to the factory specifications.
7. Use J 42058 to secure the vehicle if pulling and straightening are required.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra4B View Post
You need special welding equipment and a special welding room to do aluminum. Very few body shops are aluminum qualified these days.
Why would you need a special room?
I've been welding aluminum for 25 years in my plain ole' shop.
I think that most body shops aren't set up for welding aluminum because 98% of cars are steel not aluminum frames.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipmtim View Post
Why would you need a special room?
I've been welding aluminum for 25 years in my plain ole' shop.
I think that most body shops aren't set up for welding aluminum because 98% of cars are steel not aluminum frames.
You need to have a seperate area and equipment to weld aluminum so that you don't contaminate the welds. Jaguars still use lots of aluminum and finding places to get them fixed properly is getting harder and harder. In our area (a big populated area) only one body shop gets all the Jag work.
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:19 PM   #9
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Most aluminum is not brittle at all, but I do not know what type the frame is made of. If that is the case however, then if the frame is already bent, then it is already likely cracked, and will require sleeving.

if it was my car, I'd still try and pull the frame before cutting it in half and sleeving it. I certainly wouldn't sleeve my frame if the incident really is as minor as it souns.

When the C5 first came out, everyone said the hydroformed steel frame could not be pulled......

I agree that the hardest part of ANY welding is prep and cleaning.....so yes you need the right equipment and clean parts, but not some sort of "clean room" as I thought you meant.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:47 PM   #10
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good question, I don't know of any other car that uses an alum frame? a bunch use it for unibody and the euro stuff gets a lot of box tubing????
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:49 PM   #11
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audi a8 uses alum frame
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:59 PM   #12
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I have bought salvaged corvettes and still will, but i must tell you first HAND you gotta find a PROFESSIONAL WELDER AND FAB MAN, if not you will make a mess. Good Luck.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:44 AM   #13
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Vipers, some of the range rovers, there is a few dump trucks and heavy equipment going to Alumium.

Randy
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaceThis View Post
Hi all,

I have a 2008 Z06 that took a light hit in the rear. At a minimum, it will need a new rear cross support, though the rear rails may be shifted slightly, it'll have to be measured to see exactly.

Does anyone know the repair guidelines for this frame as it's aluminum? Can rails be "pulled" to a minor spec if needed (and assuming no kinks or bends anywhere in them)?

Any info on the aluminum frame repair is desired. I'm not asking for opinions on repairing the vehicle, it's very light damage and will be repaired. Just wondering if the rails are slightly out of alignment if they have to be replaced, or can be pulled to spec.

TIA,
Josh

Hi Josh, I was wondering if you can share your experiences with the frame repair work?
Was the frame actually bent? did require welding, etc?

thank you for any useful info, I am in the same position you were.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:30 AM   #15
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Jag type X cars are all aluminum, use one of thier approved repair shops.

As always, proper preperation is key to a good repair.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:57 AM   #16
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Aluminum in its pure form is not strong enough for use in structural parts. Other elements such as copper, magnesium and zinc are mixed with aluminum to alloy it, thus making it stronger. Alloyed aluminum is grouped into two categories: heat-treatable and non-heat-treatable. The heat-treatable group includes: 2000 series (alloyed with copper) used often for body panels; 6000 series (alloyed with magnesium), also used for body panels; and 7000 series (alloyed with both zinc and magnesium, making it very strong), used for applications such as bumper reinforcements.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #17
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Good information!
Any idea which category our frame is in?
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:45 PM   #18
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More than likely Grade 6061-T6 as this Grade is for structural applications, The highist strength alloys are 7075-0 and 7075-T6 these are used primarily for aircraft, 7075 Grades do not have good welding properties
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:43 PM   #19
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The Dana made aluminum frame is~

274 lbs.

2. Rails: are AA6063-T5 (4MM) and weight 77 lbs each

3. Extrusions: are AA6063-T5, T6 + AA6061-T6 (21 of 'em.)

4. Sheet stampings: AA5745-O

5. Castings: A356-T6 (8 of 'em.)

Also:

The front cross member is MAG. It's type is AE44

All this info (and tons more) is found in the FAQ section for Z06's right here in this forum!
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mp3plc View Post
Hi Josh, I was wondering if you can share your experiences with the frame repair work?
Was the frame actually bent? did require welding, etc?

thank you for any useful info, I am in the same position you were.
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/foru...s-or-more.html
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:19 PM
 
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