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Old 12-07-2005, 01:17 AM
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OK, so I was at NACE, and

I was looking at all of the frame racks that were on display. I was feelling frustrated because the last time I contracted with a local shop to pull a fox body mustang convertible for me, it didn't come out that great. I was talking with one displayer about his floor model (that I particularly liked) and asked him what would become of it after the show. He said they had no plans for it, and if I would take it off of the showroom floor, he would make me a killer deal... so that's what happened... I bought it. Crazy... huh?

Anyway, now I need to learn how to use it. Does anyone have any suggestions? A good book.. for example, or some advice on a good selection of clamps would be appreciated. I also need a recommendation on where I can get the data and measuring setup that tell me how to pull a car.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:17 AM
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As far as learning to "pull a car", most body techs that i know have learned from classes put on by the machine manufacturers and "hands on". I don't know of any books on the subject, although I am sure there are some.

As for the clamps, there are alot of things you need to be able to use that machine correctly. You will need a lot of heavy chains and hooks. You will also need an anchoring system to anchor the vehicle to the machine. If it is a "unibody" vehicle, most of the time you would use "pinch weld" type clamps to hold it down. On "full frame" vehicles, like trucks and older vehicles, you may be able to get away with just chains and large wood blocks to hold it secure. Then to pull the vehicle for repair, you will need a variety of pulling clamps. There are clamps made by "MoClamp" for this purpose. You might do a search on that. It will show many companies that carry their clamps. They are not cheap, with most costing $100 and up each.

A word of caution. I have seen experienced body techs that didn't really know what they were doing, actually cause more damage to a vehicle by not knowing what they were doing on a frame machine. It is one thing to have a frame machine, and another to know how to use it properly. It is also a very dangerous thing to use, if not used properly.

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Old 12-07-2005, 07:07 AM
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Use a safety chain on all pull chains by simply hooking an additional chain to the floor or rack and the other end to the pull chain so it has slack and can easily move with the pull chain, this way if the pull chain breaks or the clamp slips it will only slap back as far as the safety chain will let it. I've seen people cover the pull chain with a welding blanket which is a joke, the welding blanket will do nothing but maybe cover your bloody body when you hit the floor. Stay to the side of any pulls and not behind the pull chain. Get yourself some measment data for the cars you work on and at least buy a good tram guage. A lazer, fixture, or computerized measuring system would be nice but definately isn't necessary. Reguardless of what you use to pull or measure with the damage needs to be pulled out in the same way and that's where experience comes in. Remember first in-last out. Take a class at a frame rack company if you can. Bob
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:43 PM
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If you ever seen a clamp let go that is under 10 tons of pressure, you will know you don't want to be anywhere near one if it does. Mitchell, motor, and another company (can't remember the name offhand, maybe one of the
frame machine manufacturers) all make frame dimension books and some have them on cd. Unless you can find the dimensions for the particular car you are doing somehow, I would try to find and undamaged car the same as yours and take measurements from it. The frame books are pretty pricey. I've only pulled one car in my life, probe medium front hit, when the other guy in the shop quit. Keep trying to take the course, but one year the local class didn't have enough students sign up to run it when a boss was going to send me, and second time I tried,dropped the course because I would lose my unemployment benefits (stupid workforce development) I was pretty confused when trying to pull the car, a lot of it is thinking about how it was hit and planning the pulls to reverse the order and direction of damage, sometimes making more then one pull at a time and taking frequent measurements along the way. I got it done, and things lined up right, but took me quite a while to do it. I believe blackhawk has a few day course to on structural and unibody measurement and pulling. May want to check on their site. You need a variety of chains and clamps, but where I use to work did pulling with only a tape measure and a tram gauge, but if you can pick up several different types of gauges it would be better.
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