Bent the Frame

jonharis

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So, I've delayed writing this post for sometime until I found some more info about the outcome. In March, I bent the frame of my truck while driving on unmaintained roads in Utah. The route was washed out from a recent storm and there was no definition to the drop off. My truck dropped 2-3 feet at 35+ mph. At the time I was towing my Adrenalin and a witness stated that it went into the air and then came down very hard. Basically the weight of the trailer (~2200lbs, completely full with water propane and 15 gallons of extra gas) augured into the hitch which was mounted to the Slee bumper, which was mounted to the frame. Testament to Slee's product and the Adrenalin, both went away without so much as a minor bend or ding! The truck was not so lucky. The frame creased just behind the bump stop for the rear axle as pictured. I did not know this had happened until after I got home and crawled under the truck. I honestly thought that the Slee bumper had just shifted in the mounting bolts.

Note the angle difference in the rear bumper. Some shot's show it better than others.


Here are some shots of the two frame rails.






OK At this point the damage is easily quantifiable. THe 100 series frame can not have heat applied while pulling and the bend is on a weld and severe enough that it can't really be pulled out. Let's start the tally.

New Frame: $6500 OEM Toyota.
R&R: 36 Hours
Micelaneous: 8 Hours
Re Paint Quarters (Wings Hit the Quarters): $300
Re Powdercoat Bumper (exhaust blistered PC) ?

My initial estimate is for $13,000. Going to the same shop that did my last repair. I trust them and they know how demanding I am. I know they will make it right.


Now for the less quantifiable parts. The Body got tweaked in the incident and now door/window gaps are not aligning. The body shop has no clue what to estimate for this and neither do some of my claims adjuster friends. Might be $1K or $10K. The later makes it a total but how do we deal with that once the truck is already in two pieces? These are the questions... I've been told that shops will sometimes not total a truck so they can get the work and then end up with a job costing enough to total. I hope this is not the case but we will see.






Now for some bad news. The shop ordered a frame from a depot in California which is in stock. (there are two frames in the country right now). It was supposed to be here in 6-10 days. Two days ago the order got canceled by Toyota and the shop had to reorder or something. Not the lead time (still from CA mind you) is 6-8 weeks! Something is not right here. If any of you parts managers are listening who can help a guy out please, please PM me. I would like to hear if anything can be done to improve this. Apparently our local Toyota dealer ordered the frame and my experience with/opinion of them is less than stellar.

So that's where we are now. I'll post pics and pricing of the project over the course for future people to reference. I'm thinking of having my frame strengthened by a local frame guru after this and have already drastically changed my driving with the trailer.

:steer:
 

bluecruiser

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You ran that frame to ground....as an eye witness of this event, there was a lot of force involved, A LOT.
 
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I've been told that shops will sometimes not total a truck so they can get the work and then end up with a job costing enough to total.
This is what happened to me. The shop initially quoted an amount just under totalling. Then once they had it in their shop, the added an addendum and 3 weeks later the insurance company claimed it was totalled.

It's a lot of work to swap everything to a new truck. But in this case, it's probably worth it to find a new truck and start swapping everything and baselining. If they go the frame replacement, body fixing route, it'll surely be totalled part way through. I can't imagine that much labor not hitting against the totalling limit.

Because these seem to be worth so much as salvage, the threshold for totalling seems to be suspiciously low. An $8000 repair estimate totalled my $16,000 100.

Does your insurer know about this incident yet?

I'd long suspected that the Slee bumpers might be too strong. Meaning that the frame will bend before the sliders or bumpers do, turning smaller impacts into totalling events. Has anyone looked into reinforcing and plating parts of the frame?

Best of luck Jon.
 

TrekboxX

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Holy smokes Batman! It's a shame, you have a beautiful rig. I'm sure you've thought of it, but wouldn't it be cheaper to transfer your parts to a new rig? Then you could mod that one for arctic truck tires! Good ad for the camper, anyways...
 

Tapage

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that's impressive .. I never thought about that happening to any cruiser ..
 
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Klaus,

Here is my suggestion regarding reinforcing the frame.

First, it's always possible, whether it's economical or not is a different story. Here's generally how you *might* approach reinforcing the frame.

You've got two resource routes to reinforce the frame.

1) Find the specialty companies that armor vehicles. They will have access to the specialty manufacturers who can create plates/bars of composite metal that you could attach to the frame like a splint to reinforce it from events like these. This will be the cheapest and probably the best option. They will be able to bring the right metal to the table, but the challenge will be finding a design. That gets $$ quick.

2) Reach out to a vehicle manufacturer in the MRAP/Hummer space. I would start with AM General in Indiana(?) and here's why: They are starving for business and might entertain the idea just to have ANY other customer AND they have the engineering talent to understand precisely how to BEST reinforce the frame.

It would be completely pointless to attempt this with something that is ineffective, so I think previous experience and access to the RIGHT composite metal are critical issues.

AMG is operating at about 25% of their capacity now that the military has moved on from the Humvee, they are barely staying above water.

There is a very significant likelihood that one, if not all, of the MRAP companies has addressed this problem on other vehicles and the challenge really is as simple as finding a Land Cruiser specific design. In fact, I'm pretty much convinced that's the case.

The problem is engineering costs. The steel/composite metals are in abundance right now with military work slowing, but making only ONE of anything is expensive. If you could sell them on a prototype that could be sold to others they will listen more intently.


The design cost is the entire issue...
 
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Wow, that must have been quite a drop. Just another testament to the durability of the vehicles. My Ford probably would have lost all 4 tires and flipped.

Bad deal, hope you can find a replacement or good luck fixing that one.
 

2000UZJ

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I wonder if that area of the frame was weakened from the previous impact. IIRC they straightened it. I'm no expert on frames, however I would think a frame that is bend, and straightened would not be as strong as one that has not.

That is a lot of force out on a frame when something like that happens. I have several dents and gouges in my frame. I find the metal a little soft.
 

jonharis

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Find another 100: The truck is not totaled (not yet). and the resale would be significantly reduced. My deductable is $500 and my rate will only go up moderately as I have a ticket that just dropped. Total cost over two years should be $1500-$2000. If anyone wan't to buy my truck as it sits feel free to give me an offer but I don't see anyone giving what it was worth pre-crash. The truck is worth about $20K right now sans upgrades and Even I see it being hard to reach the threshold for total with the body tweak. Note there is no visible damage to the body. We washed and polished it and looked it over inch by inch with well trained eyes. There are no ripples or creases.

Am I missing something?

I wonder if that area of the frame was weakened from the previous impact. IIRC they straightened it. I'm no expert on frames, however I would think a frame that is bend, and straightened would not be as strong as one that has not.

That is a lot of force out on a frame when something like that happens. I have several dents and gouges in my frame. I find the metal a little soft.
Believe me, I have the same question, but there is no way to proove it. The repair was done with a certification that it was all to speck. That sheet of paper is the law of the land and It would be very hard to prove otherwise. I talked to at least half a dozen industry people about it and they all said there's no chance unless I have photo evidence or something. When I looked over the truck after the last repair everything looked great to me.

Yeah, I'm impressed..you ought be working in Toyota product development!
Toyota, Please feel free to PM me. :D
 
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Trunk Monkey

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Wow, that is some crazy damage. Is this the same truck that got rear ended? You're going to be looking for new insurance pretty soon. I'm amazed at 2-3 feet and 35mph you didn't pop some airbags.

A 100 frame is very strong. Any LC frame is. And it wasn't the Slee bumper, if he'd been towing with normal frame mounted receiver, same thing could happened. The energy goes somewhere and in this case it look to be about where the crumple zones are.

NADA is 18-20k. With the frame, labor, and other misc. I can't imagine it won't get totalled.

Buy it back for salvage and enjoy. Glad you're okay, that could have been real ugly.
 
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wow, sorry to hear that. Looks like one for the books.... I say total it out , then buy it back and then cut the back off , make a ut out of it.
 

jonharis

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Wow, that is some crazy damage. Is this the same truck that got rear ended? You're going to be looking for new insurance pretty soon. I'm amazed at 2-3 feet and 35mph you didn't pop some airbags.

A 100 frame is very strong. Any LC frame is. And it wasn't the Slee bumper, if he'd been towing with normal frame mounted receiver, same thing could happened. The energy goes somewhere and in this case it look to be about where the crumple zones are.

NADA is 18-20k. With the frame, labor, and other misc. I can't imagine it won't get totalled.

Buy it back for salvage and enjoy. Glad you're okay, that could have been real ugly.
You nailed it.

Regarding the drop. It was sandy at the bottom which helped and didn't feel like the initial impact was bad. But when the trailer can over it was a huge jolt. The problem is that the shop might "buy" the work and make the total bill just under a total. Which as we already discussed happens a lot. What would really suck would be to have the truck in two pieces and then have it total. Not sure where things would go from there. Regardless, if they fix it, I'll have a nice new 0 mile frame to play with for hopefully a long time to come. (FWIW this is the first at fault accident I've ever had. Knock on rare Japanese hardwood)
 

TrekboxX

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You have good insurance if they're covering you ramping your 100 off a 3 foot ledge pulling a camper!

As far as beefing up the frame- seems a bit overkill. Cheaper to just buy another 100 if the rare and unfortunate ever happens, imo. Let's be honest, there are far better vehicles to build for running Baja.
 

jonharis

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The best insurance. I say time and time again. Don't price shop for insurance. State Farm. That's all you need to know. OEM parts and no questions asked coverage for aftermarket. The other driver in the other accident I posted was also SF insured and did very well with his claim.
 
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