Designed to be repair-friendly from the ground up.
What’s the best way to help technicians repair a vehicle to original specs? A good start is by engineering the design to facilitate easy repair, like the 2016 Ford F150.
For example, repairing the apron tube does not require removing the instrument panel to access the spot welds. “You can remove all the fasteners separately from the outside of the vehicle,” says Gerry Bonanni, senior engineer, paint and body repair at Ford Motor Company. “That saves three to four hours, on top of the six hours you save by not having to remove the instrument panel.”
Gauge a repair plan
And every service part that Ford puts into the F150 is accompanied by an instruction sheet which details all the rivets, glue patterns and everything a technician requires to repair the vehicle properly.
“You can gauge a repair plan from that instruction sheet, which comes packaged with any part that needs to be installed with rivets and/or adhesives, and are also available in English and French, free of charge, at motorcraft.com or the i-car.com website,” says Bonanni. “There are 52 instruction sheets that can help techs repair the vehicle.
Bonanni notes that many aspects of the F150 were designed from the beginning with repairers in mind. “These instruction sheets call out repairs in detail, providing repairers with a unique step-by-step repair process to help them restore the vehicle to proper working order.”
Another example of the F-150’s uniquely repair-friendly process is the B-pillar reinforcement, which can be replaced without removing the roofskin or going too far into the side of the vehicle.
“We have a lot of sectioning options on the vehicle,” notes Bonanni. “You can section the upper reinforcement in the upper A-pillar area. In the steel truck, that was a DP780 part and could not be sectioned. But on the aluminum truck, that can be sectioned directly over the B-pillar, which can save the vehicle.”
Exterior skin may be sectioned as to technician judgement in a repair plan. The instruction sheets offer suggestions, possible cutlines, and everything required to repair the vehicle properly.
Diagrams on the instruction sheets illustrate the exact placement of the rivets and Ford approved adhesives in the repair. There are six categories for the instruction sheets, which cover the Regular Cab, Super Cab and Crew Cab versions of the truck.
The upcoming 2017 Super Duty will also have a similar repair strategy.
“It was important to convey to repairers that the aluminum repair procedures approved for the F150 are similar to steel repair procedures, just with different techniques,” notes Bonanni. “The instruction sheets, which provide more than the usual repair information, help technicians lay out their overall repair strategy out front.”
Regular communications vehicles such as OnTarget spotlight various repairs like body panel sectioning guidelines, front door skin panel removal, and specialized aluminum tools.
Bonanni suggests checking out the repair sheets listed on i-car.com as well as motorcraft.com.
“Take a look and think about what you might require if there’s a repair coming up in your shop.”
Watch the video took at the CCIF show for more information: