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RBM
Dodge Dakota
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6/09/2003
14:16:01

Subject: repair or replace bed side
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Some ahole hit me in a parking lot and left the scene. Minor damage around the fuel cap on the left bed and rear door on a 00 quad cab. Insurance guy wants to repair it all with bondo and said you should never cut the welds to repace a panel on the outside of the bed. Private shop (that i trust more) said the only way to do it right is to cut the whole panel off and replace it. Dealer says cutting factory welds (at the botom of the bed) ruins corrosion protection. Private guy says the dealer is full of ____ . What do you pro's think. Repair estimate without replacing the panel was $1500 and change.



jas01dakon
Dodge Dakota
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6/09/2003
14:25:54

RE: repair or replace bed side
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The less invasive you are the better. Your body shop guy prolly wants to do a concourse d'elegance resto (kudos to him because it's hard to find people who actually want to do it properly) but the insurance guys way is just as good.

I'd say, if you live anywhere where salt is used on the roads, don't go hacking up the sheet metal. If you live in the sun belt and don't have to worry about corrosion as much, get a new side.



pbxr
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6/09/2003
14:39:13

RE: repair or replace bed side
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If cutting panels ruins protection, than have them explain 60% of all truck bed reapirs. SOP for major bed damage is to replace the panel all together. YOu will probably have to fight your ins. on this. But demand factory replacement parts.

'01 Sport Auto 3.9, CC, 3923s, Intense Cold Intake, Dynomax SuperTurbo 17748, Wal-Mart special roll on bedliner, MOOG upper and lower ball joints

4 X Dak
Dodge Dakota
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6/09/2003
17:41:50

RE: repair or replace bed side
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It is a judgement call my Dak was hit in the left rear corner and buckled the panel at the top rear of the wheel opening, insurance had no problem with replacing the entire panel (truck was 6 months old at the time), but my long time body man talked me out of it, he showed me from a Dodge manual that there are hundreds of spot welds that would have to be seperated and rewelded, I knew I would have the truck long term and the chance or rust apearing helped to make my decision. He guarenteed the repair as long as I have the truck, 4 years and counting. Plus I was able to pocket the differnce by not replacing the panel.



slopehaed
Dodge Dakota
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6/09/2003
20:23:03

RE: repair or replace bed side
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your truck bed is coated in zinc to make it rust resistant. If your weld on it ANYWHERE you will literally suck all the zink surrounding the weld into the weld, making the weld weaker, and, the body has then lost ALL its rust protection in the area immediately around the weld. If you use a stainles steel filler rod the weld itself will be rust proof, but the area around the wels will still rust. Yes to all you that are doubtfull you can use stainless steel welding rod on carbon steel with no harmfull effects, except to your pocket as it is 2/3X the cost of carbon filler rod.



gg
Dodge Dakota
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6/10/2003
03:14:14

RE: repair or replace bed side
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my 2000 dak got new bed side when it was less then 6 months old i did it my self no rust yet drove around 2 weeks no bed while i did the work,



jas01dakon
Dodge Dakota
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6/10/2003
04:17:41

RE: repair or replace bed side
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Keep in mind, they don't just fill the dents with cheese (Bondo®) and sand it smooth and send you on your way. The bodyman will bring the panel out to almost where it should be except that the paint will be a mess and the surface will look nasty.

That's where the Bondo® comes in. It's just used to fill minor depressions in the sufrace of the sheet metal. It's far less work and just as good as cutting out a whole bedside for minor damage.

I bet if you scrape all the paint off of one of our trucks you would find areas that were cheesed up at the factory.



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