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Chevrolet Silverado 6 ways to simplify collision repair

repair Silverado Chevrolet outer technicians
ZTSG 12/05/2022 Truck 119
As automakers continue to build lighter vehicles, collision repair issues are a factor. Lighter vehicles have better fuel economy and can still maintain their safety, but if the fenders are bent, can...

As automakers continue to build lighter vehicles, collision repair issues are a factor. Lighter vehicles have better fuel economy and can still maintain their safety, but if the fenders are bent, can these materials be easily repaired?Chevrolet Silverado 6 ways to simplify collision repair

As structural materials become more advanced for the future automobile, will they be cost effective at the body shop?

General Motors tackled this concern with the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado. The truck’s engineers incorporated several features assisting collision repair technicians should they see a next generation Silverado in their shop.

“When we design trucks, we don’t only consider what features our consumers demand from a full-size truck,” says Mark Szlachta, a GM Serviceability Design Engineer. “We also approach the process with our technician hat on.”

Here are 6 ways the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado lends itself to a more streamlined collision repair process.

Front Frame Rail Section

Structural Front Fenders

Bond-On Body Panel Procedures

Pre-prepared Roof Panels

One-Piece Body Side Outers

Flexible Bed Repair Options

Front Frame Rail SectionChevrolet Silverado 6 ways to simplify collision repair

Because of the way Silverado’s front frame rails are engineered, minor impacts don’t necessarily equate to substantial repair bills. Depending on the severity of the impact, technicians may be able to repair a leading section of the truck’s frame instead of replacing the entire chassis.

If so, the damaged section can be cleanly cut away at a specific location, and a new service section – shipped fully assembled – can be welded in place.

Structural Front Fenders

On many passenger vehicles, unbolting a damaged front fender removes only the outer skin, leaving behind additional structure welded to the cab. If that structure is damaged, technicians then need to drill out welds in order to remove the panel.

On the Silverado, the front fenders incorporate both outer sheet metal and the supporting inner structure, allowing simple unbolting of the entire assembly.

The Structural Front Fender design was key for Chevrolet when creating a truck that could be repaired easily in the body shop.

Bond-On Body Panel Procedures

When it comes to replacing non-structural body panels, including outer roof panels or outer door panels, technicians can use an ultra-strong structural adhesive to bond the panels onto the vehicle. This helps avoid welding and possible corrosion issues later while speeding the repair.

Pre-prepared Roof Panels

Technicians can get replacement panels that essentially plug-and-play, thanks to pre-installed studs and pre-drilled holes for accessories.

Damage on site can happen at random, hence the need to repair the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado easily and efficiently. The quicker the truck is out of the body shop, the sooner it is back on the job.Chevrolet Silverado 6 ways to simplify collision repair

One-Piece Body Side Outers

If damage occurs to the outer panels of the cab, technicians can order a complete body side outer, shipped as a single, complete assembly, allowing technicians to cut out and replace only the damaged area instead of the entire assembly.

“Our goal is to only have weld seams where we absolutely need them,” Szlachta said.

Flexible Bed Repair Options

If the Silverado’s pickup bed or outer bedside should ever be significantly damaged, owners won’t necessarily need to purchase an new pickup box.

Depending on the damage, the outer bedside or the bedside assembly can be replaced from the bed floor out.

The simplicity for technicians in the body repair process will ultimately be passed onto the customer.

It’s one of the biggest benefits of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado.

“We wanted to engineer a truck that is straightforward and cost-effective to repair,” Szlachta said.

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Special thanks: Tom Wilkinson – Silverado Truck Manager Photo: Chevrolet About Chevrolet: Chevrolet was founded in 1911 and is one of the world’s largest automobile companies. Do business in more than 115 countries. From the rugged Silverado to the iconic Corvette, performance, fuel efficiency, technology and safety remain the cornerstones of the brand. Chevrolet lives in Detroit, Michigan under the name of General Motors.