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Lower front body apron replacement?
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zohami
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Joined: June 01, 2006
Posts: 123
Location: Kailua
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Lower front body apron replacement? Reply with quote

My family, my dog and my Doka were in a 4 car pileup on 12/2. Everybody's ok except the Doka. Traffic was backed up at Aloha Stadium for the UH game, everyone ahead of me stopped. I stopped. The car behind me stopped. The car behind them did NOT stop Shocked . My trailer hitch took the brunt of it, and my rear bumper is mangled, but there's no rear end body damage. The front end on these vehicles is respectably strong, protecting us very well, and the damage to the Doka was far less than the cars on both ends of our part of the pileup.
Anyway, I've sourced 2 new bumpers, a lower grill, a left front turn signal, and the body shop is telling me that they would rather replace the body metal on the front than try to sculpt in all the body lines in that area.
So, I've sourced a Vanagon whose owner will let me sawzall out the front end for free and take it to the body shop, which sounds really cool except I have no idea how much time I need to budget for a job like that.
Does anyone here have any experience hacking a front end off a Vanagon? Question
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r39o
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Joined: May 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We sawed up an empty van last year. If it is empty, it is snap. I don't know where the body shop wants you clip cut at, though. But you have to budget several hours. The cut across the floor could be critical depending on where the body shop wants to graft in. To just zing acros the floor is going to take you about 2 hours. If all you need to do is cut the A pilars for the top, that is about 15 miuntes each or less.

If the van has parts in it, that takes longer, because either you cut through them or remove them.

Don't go trying to cut exactly where they want to graft, because you should let them trim the part.

So ask the body shop where the want the clip done.

Add time to remove parts you don't need.

BTW: You might use a combination of drilling spot welds and cutting with the saw. In some place you may be better with a cutting torch. It just depends on the thickness.
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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tclark
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well this
http://www.californiavan.com/nose/

Took about 1 hrs after I got there to cut across the floor with a sawsal
2 blades 1 for each half, only hang up is the x-members
The a post took 10 mins each
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zohami
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info - sounds like I can get it done in a few hours.
tclark - how much did that nose weigh, roughly?
Here's the damage. Do you think a complete nose job is appropriate here?
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHAT? That all?????

Gripes, what a bunch of "Premadonnas." You can Spritznagel all of that in the front. New bumper and you are done. Cut panels? No, wrong....I don't thing so. Get a second opinion!
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"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!

1990 Multivan EJ 22, Rancho trans 0.82 4th, Small Car front AC, CLKs w/ 215/65-16, homemade big brakes 303mm, Konis, Recaros, etc....

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
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Alan Brase
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
WHAT? That all?????

Gripes, what a bunch of "Premadonnas." You can Spritznagel all of that in the front. New bumper and you are done. Cut panels? No, wrong....I don't thing so. Get a second opinion!

Well said. removing and replacing the panel will cause way more trauma to the structure than just pushing or pulling out the dents, then hammer and dolly work to finish. Find a better body man. A restoration shop. With panel replacement you will never be able to duplicate the factory's priming and metal prep treatment. Welding a new panel on will burn thru all that good stuff. I'd much rather have a less than perfect skin than a less than perfect situation under the skin.
Al
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Al Brase
Projects: 67 sunroof bug, 67 Porsche 912 Targa, 70 Westy
Dec 1955 Single Cab pickup WANT 15" BUS RIMS dated 8/55, thru 12/55
To New owners: 1969 doublecab, 1971 Dormobile
Vanagons:
80 P27 Westy JUL 1979, 3rd oldest known US
83 1.6TD Vanagon, 87 Wolfie Westy daily driver, swap meet home
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<Cut panels? No, wrong....I don't thing so. Get a second opinion!>>

Why not?
Oops--I forgot there is a lack of skilled labor here anymore---
Job it out to India or Mexico.


<<Well said. removing and replacing the panel will cause way more trauma to the structure than just pushing or pulling out the dents, then hammer and dolly work to finish.>>

It all depends on how bad the top of the lower grill section is rolled over.

It could be hammered, & then caved and paved.

<<Find a better bodyman. A restoration shop.>>

Tough act to locate anymore Al.
Not much interest in body and fender work anymore--
Button pushing has taken over all skilled trades lately.

<<With panel replacement you will never be able to duplicate the factory's priming and metal prep treatment. Welding a new panel on will burn thru all that good stuff. I'd much rather have a less than perfect skin than a less than perfect situation under the skin.>>

Al,
It depends on who's doing the work.
If a guy used a weld through primer on the butt welded area's it could be a bullet proof job.

Or---use a late model new millenium product--and it's used on all late model vehicles
3-M Body Panel adhesive.
It displaces moisture, and it would take 2 D-9's to pull the panels apart.

Good stuff, and I've used it a bunch---
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