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Thread: Does this make sense or is the author being uncooperative?

  1. Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Does this make sense or is the author being uncooperative?

    The following is intended to provide our customer with the information needed to make a well informed decision surrounding outer panel or door skin replacement.

    1.First, consider your mechanic's gut feeling. He is the one making the repair and knows best from personal experience if a particular job can be completed successfully or not. We are experts at outer panel replacement and have made hundreds of outer panel replacements over the course of our careers. Some panels lend themselves to replacement better than others. Some are more complicated than others. It is the mechanic who must meet the customer's expectations. There must be a common ground or mutual understanding between mechanic and customer of what can be accomplished and what to expect. There must be room for error when it comes to hand work and fabrication. If there is room for error then an outer door skin replacement may be considered. But if very exact standards are to be held then perhaps a skin replacement should avoided. Those standards may be dictated by the vehicle manufacturer, the design of the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle or the owner's expectation.

    2.The outer skin may appear simple enough to skin and the door shell may appear to not have any damage, however, one must consider the fact that simply removing an outer skin will cause significant damage to the door shell. To remove the outer panel the door skin is ground off all around the edges of the panel, the remaining flange is then chiseled and ground. This distorts the shell and mounting areas which results in a poor quality fit once the door is reinstalled on the car. The fit can often times but not always be corrected. And never without additional fit and alignment procedures which results in additional labor costs. The door must always be pre-hung on the car and adjusted at least once if not several times to obtain the best fit. Often times body filler must be used to fill in imperfections that result.

    3.The adhesive and factory welds are destroyed when the outer skin is removed. The e-coat corrosion resistant primers and coatings are destroyed. The galvanizing and any metal treatments are also destroyed. These coatings must be restored just as the factory applied them or premature corrosion will result. Installing a door skin in the repair field is in no way comparable with the way a door skin is assembled at the factory and will never perform as well as a factory replacement door.

    4.If the door shell is compromised in anyway there is reason to replace the entire door shell and avoid door skin replacement. This might include, but is not limited to, a compromised intrusion beam or other inner structure. Impacted inner components may damage the door shell. Damage to any area including intrusion beams, hinge mounts or latch mounts may not be obvious or even visible with the naked eye. Use the general rule to error on the side of occupant safety.

    5.It is not possible to provide a door skin replacement while maintaining the factory corrosion or rust through guarantee. If rust were to occur on the door shell or outer panel and the customer returned the car to the dealer for warranty repair it will be denied due to the outer panel replacement.

    6.It is uncommon to find a damaged door that has already been repaired using an outer door skin replacement. If the door that existed the instant prior to damage wasn't previously skinned then the customer should be entitled to a complete door replacement and not one that has undergone a skin replacement.

    7.Replacing only the outer skin does not make the customer whole in term of like kind quality repairs or replacement.

    8.Ask yourself who it is that makes the decisions. Just because a particular part is available or is less expensive does not make it the item that should be used in providing a proper repair. A outer door panel or skin is a cost effective and viable repair alternative however, it is not always the proper repair alternative in each and every case. Such a repair has certain risks as described above. In addition there is also the risk of the aftermarket adhesives or fillers failing and or that the repair may not perform exactly as the manufacturer intended. With vehicles being built stronger and lighter the structural integrity of a vehicle must always be considered. Even the slightest weakness can have detrimental consequences if the vehicle is involved in a subsequent collision. Whom ever it is that dictates the repair method, is ultimately responsible for the performance of those repairs over the life of the vehicle and the possible out come and damages if failure or poor performance were to occur. Can you trust your insurance company to make those kinds of decisions or should you trust the advise of your repair expert? The mechanic should be making decisions and providing advise that yields the highest quality repair possible given a particular set of circumstances. An insurance company will always make decisions based upon the bottom line costs involved and make every attempt to limit its exposure in terms of expense and cost to the company. Remember, it is the owner of the vehicle that makes the final decisions as to how his car repaired.

    9.Consider both collision related and repair related diminished value. An outer door skin or panel replacement will have visible differences surrounding the hem flange and seam sealer application in comparison to adjacent panels. This difference in appearance will often result in diminished resale value. Please be advised that our shop can not be responsible for repair related diminished value if an outer panel replacement is ordered. You make all the final decisions we only follow your instructions and can only perform exactly what you authorize.

    Diminished value is an amount of money the party and his insurance company, who is responsible for your damages, may be liable for in addition to your repair or replacement costs. Diminished value is generally related to the fact a car was damaged in some sort of collision. However, diminished value can result from improper repairs. It is the amount or difference between what your damaged car, repaired or not is worth compared to a car that has no damage. Remember every insurance company reports to Carfax and when you go to trade or sell your car after it has been damaged it will be worth less than the same identical car that has no damage report. Be assured that if your car shows up on a Carfax or other report it will be inspected more closely than one that does not. There is a formula in use by some insurance company's that roughly calculates what diminished value might be. However, that amount can never be calculated exactly unless the vehicle is sold and the actual difference in sale proceeds determined. In reality the person responsible for the damages should pay you for your losses at the time of sale.

    The insurance company will always make statements that make them seem as if they are in charge of how your car is repaired. They want to appear as if they are the repair experts. But, when pressured enough they will always pass ultimate repair responsibility off on to the real repair expert, the shop doing the repair. In other words, if the insurance company pays to repair it the wrong way up front, in the end when there is a problem with the improper repair they will always say they don't repair cars, shops repair cars... and the shop being the expert should have made proper repairs. And, that the claimant should have sought proper reimbursement for shop charges related to the proper repair from the insurance company.

  2. Join Date
    Jan 2009


    No one is going to bother to read all that. Even people finding themselves making life and death choices want the professional to give them the bottom line. Too much justification for ones position makes for doubt.. there's no need for me to go on, I'm right.
    ************************************************** *************
    When some company wants to change my estimate, I tell them there are over four million damaged vehicles I won't repair this year, I'm not going to lose sleep over one more.

  3. Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Pelham, Al.

    FWIW, and please note I'm not a great lover of skinning doors, I called Richard Hixenbaugh of Collision Claims associates and his opinion is when a VIN label is installed on the door he feels its' better to keep the VIN (from a DV perspective) and skin the door. This assumes a proper repair of course.

    Opinions about Richard's opinion?

  4. Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Quote Originally Posted by Truman View Post
    FWIW, and please note I'm not a great lover of skinning doors, I called Richard Hixenbaugh of Collision Claims associates and his opinion is when a VIN label is installed on the door he feels its' better to keep the VIN (from a DV perspective) and skin the door. This assumes a proper repair of course.

    Opinions about Richard's opinion?
    I would go with a new shell and replacement VIN label... I've "skinned" plenty of doors over the last three decades, but have decided "just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you should."
    Collision repair... so easy even a monkey can do it... and some do!

  5. Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Well.. up here in the Rust Belt a door skin just doesn't last as well as an New OE shell.

    So I don't skin doors..!
    That's my 2 worth for now. ( maybe a couple ) ---- Fred, ---- fredkolesar@verizon.net

  6. Join Date
    Jan 2009

    There is no way to duplicate the factory process when skinning a door period. To do it for what insurers want to pay is impossible.

    I have had to us all the knowledge I posses to avoid this type of repair LOL.

    How can you instal the new outer panel with adhesive, peen it over and instal it and check it before the bonding adhesive sets? Nearly impossible and I have found that you can move the skin on the shell up to 6mm. Most modern cars with weld on hinges or zero adjustment hinges rely on the panel being exactly in position to fit properly. Never an OE standard repair period.

    "If Discussions with one's enemies could be worthwhile banks would invite robbers and burglers to their association meetings to discuss security"
    Jim Lynas

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