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Seat well crushed. Options

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Old 10-29-2018, 12:05 PM
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Default Seat well crushed. Options

So at long last I have my car back on the road. I took it to the store today and went to put my purchase in the trunk only to discover that the trunk is destroyed. It looks like one of the mechanics I brought it to recently put a jack/lift under the back end and wound up crushing the rear seat well up. So now the trunk area where the third row normally folds down in to is all bowed up, across the width of the car. I don't know if this is even something that can be fixed. Can I hit this with a hammer? Is there some other way to access it? I'm devastated by this most recent issue and am almost 100% sure I won't be able to get anyone to take responsibility for it, so I'm on my own.
 
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Old 10-29-2018, 12:58 PM
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Thinking maybe I'd start with a 2x4 and a few hundred pounds of plate weights...
 
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Old 10-29-2018, 07:05 PM
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I would suggest a 4X4 and a large hammer. Something close to a one handed sledge hammer to try and knock it back down to flat.
The 4X4 would bend less than the 2X4, so you could lay it down on the bulge and hit the center to try and knock out the whole dent.
 
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by BiliTheAxe View Post
I would suggest a 4X4 and a large hammer. Something close to a one handed sledge hammer to try and knock it back down to flat.
The 4X4 would bend less than the 2X4, so you could lay it down on the bulge and hit the center to try and knock out the whole dent.
Thanks for the suggestion. The more I look at it, the more this doesn't seem like it would work . While it's not thick metal, it did likely take about 1000-2000lbs of force to crush it like that. And it runs the width of the trunk. I'm not sure if I gave a good enough description of the damage without adding a picture. I don't think I have the strength to swing a hammer, even a two handed sledge, to press it down evenly across the width of the seat well. I'm currently waiting to hear from AAA who's investigating the issue. I spoke with the mechanic and they said they never lifted the car. But the tow truck operator couldn't get it off the flatbed (the rear emergency brake had rusted the wheels in a locked position). I know they have various lifts for repositioning cars, and I'm wondering if he did it trying to pull the car off the flatbed. I don't know, and don't really expect the inquiry to go anywhere, but I'm not going to mess with it until I get an answer, just in case.

In the likely event that this falls through I was thinking maybe I'd get a body and fender set from Harbor Freight. It has a number of rounded heads with large surface areas that I think I might be able to use to knock it down and flatten it out a little at a time. If that fails, my current plan B would be to stack a number of 4x4's cut to the width of the trunk, then try to use a loader or forklift to press down on it. I don't know anyone in my area with that equipment, but I bet I could get access to one in the near future. That sounds the most risky as I'd be worried about just pushing it out of the car. The underside does have a rust issue. Last resort would be to see if I could find an affordable replacement from a junkyard. I have no idea what that R&R would look like, and I might just have to live with the damage. Either way, as always I will update as I go.
 
  #5  
Old 10-30-2018, 12:08 PM
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One possible solution: A length of screwed rod, about 1/2" diameter and a couple of nuts (shown in red on my simple drawing). A length of channel iron (shown in blue) long enough to fit inside the seat well. Another length of channel iron long enough to go across the two frame rails under the car. Drill a hole in the centre of the raised area of the seat well. Insert the screwed rod through the channel iron in the seat well, through the hole that you drilled then through the channel iron underneath the car. Start tightening the nuts and the bowed area should flatten.

 
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
One possible solution: A length of screwed rod, about 1/2" diameter and a couple of nuts (shown in red on my simple drawing). A length of channel iron (shown in blue) long enough to fit inside the seat well. Another length of channel iron long enough to go across the two frame rails under the car. Drill a hole in the centre of the raised area of the seat well. Insert the screwed rod through the channel iron in the seat well, through the hole that you drilled then through the channel iron underneath the car. Start tightening the nuts and the bowed area should flatten.
Wow, that's a GREAT suggestion. I suppose filling a few holes after the fact would be a small price to pay to get that working. I have a new plan B. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this out. I see no reason why this wouldn't work to get it back down, and then just finish it with a few hammer taps to even it out. Thanks you.
 
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rcreagh View Post
Wow, that's a GREAT suggestion. I suppose filling a few holes after the fact would be a small price to pay to get that working. I have a new plan B. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this out. I see no reason why this wouldn't work to get it back down, and then just finish it with a few hammer taps to even it out. Thanks you.
I'd be interested to know if this works for you. Keep us posted on the result.
 
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