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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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thin sheet metal?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 B&K

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 01:04 PM

Our new 2009 Outback Wagon got its first dent in a most unexpected way: I closed the door and it didn't close completely. Since I had clicked the automatic doorlock before closing it and had my hands full, I didn't use the key to open and reclose the door. I just bumped the door closed with my hip - as I have done hundreds of times before in 40 years of driving.

Next day, I noticed a nice round indentation, right at hip height. No paint chip to indicate that someone had opened a door into the car, plus I'd been careful about where I'd parked anyway. Could only have been from my hip.

I was blown away. They sure aren't making them like they used to, are they? Is the sheetmetal thinner these days? Fortunately the Dent Pro guy was able to remove most of the damage done by my hip bump, except for the part too close to the edge of the door where there's two layers of metal welded together.

Moral: don't close new cars' doors with your hip.

#2 ericem

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 01:06 PM

Wow, how hard did you hit the door with your hip? Must have been like insane g's.

#3 B&K

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 02:39 PM

Nope, no harder than usual to fully close a half-latched door. I guess I don't have enough padding on my hips to protect the new thinner sheet metal...something I should be glad for. ;-)

Cars are so airtight nowadays that they require a goodly push to close them, even using your hand on the handle instead of your hip.


The reason for the hip bump was to make sure that the door was actually locked. In many cars, if a door doesn't close all the way, bumping it closed UNLOCKS the latch mechanism. Apparently with the new subaru, the door stays locked even if you don't get it all the way closed.

But does the dome light stay on? That's something I need to check, now that I know I wouldn't need to bump the door closed for security reasons. Will the battery run down if I just leave it half-latched?

Edited by B&K, 06 September 2009 - 02:52 PM.


#4 EVOthis

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 03:22 PM

I guess it all depends on how sensitive that switch is for the light on the dash to tell you the doors are open and the switch for the overhead light..IF you leave it half latched..yeah..god forbid you get a good rain...MORAL: don't leave the door half latched..lol

#5 B&K

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:47 PM

Guess I need to just slam it hard the first time, so it overcomes the air pressure and closes fully. So hard adapting to a new car - the old suby was 22 years old...things have changed a bit since it was made.

#6 Subaru_dude

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:57 PM

I did the same thing to a '78 chevy pickup. I think it has more to do with the shape of the door than the sheetmetal itself.

#7 grossgary

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 07:19 PM

I did the same thing to a '78 chevy pickup. I think it has more to do with the shape of the door than the sheetmetal itself.


i would think how and where you hit will make a huge difference too. also impacts are bad.

#8 Olnick

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 08:26 PM

i would think how and where you hit will make a huge difference too. also impacts are bad.



Proper hip technique is to hit near the trailing edge of the door where all the seams and flanges make the panel stronger!

#9 OB99W

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 06:43 AM

So hard adapting to a new car - the old suby was 22 years old...things have changed a bit since it was made.

In another 22 years there might not be any sheet metal to get dented at all -- just a force field, and the illusion via holographic projection of body panels. Then you'll be able to select a different ''skin'' if you don't like the factory-default one. Insurance companies will deny any claims attributed to force field failure. ;)

#10 B&K

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 01:10 PM

Proper hip technique is to hit near the trailing edge of the door where all the seams and flanges make the panel stronger!


Actually, DON'T bump it near either edge of any door.

The double layers of metal and welds make it impossible to get out the dent you might make. If I had bumped nearer the center of the door, the Dent Pro guy could have completely eliminated the indentation. But he can't get his tools into that last 1/2 inch of space near the edge....

#11 jtb74168621

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 09:00 AM

I have an 08 Forester (44,000) and I have to agree that the metal is thin. I have a few door dings and it's sickening. I wouldn't advise using your hip anytime. I watched my wife do this to our (then new) 95 GMC pickup from a distance where she couldn't hear Noooooooo!

I am very partial to several Pontiac Fieros I've owned. That fiberglass and plastic body held up to door dings and such.

I think it would really be cool if Subaru built a Forester with a body like the Fiero and included a diesel engine!

#12 ericem

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:44 PM

I have an 08 Forester (44,000) and I have to agree that the metal is thin. I have a few door dings and it's sickening. I wouldn't advise using your hip anytime. I watched my wife do this to our (then new) 95 GMC pickup from a distance where she couldn't hear Noooooooo!

I am very partial to several Pontiac Fieros I've owned. That fiberglass and plastic body held up to door dings and such.

I think it would really be cool if Subaru built a Forester with a body like the Fiero and included a diesel engine!


Just not extremely unreliable and catching on fire numerous times like my fathers fiero, but ill admit! No rust or dings :lol:

#13 B&K

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 02:16 PM

The rubber nose cone on the old Camaro/Firebird was a nice touch, too, when your sibling backed into your car in the driveway! Bounced right off, without any major body damage.

#14 valvestem

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:24 PM

The rubber nose cone on the old Camaro/Firebird was a nice touch, too, when your sibling backed into your car in the driveway! Bounced right off, without any major body damage.


Some of the Pontiac GTO's had the rubber nose too. A buddy had one that had been bumped into, and it needed a special primer to adhere to the rubber, before painting for the repair.

I caved in the driver's door of a 1984 Toyota Tercel with my hip when it did not close all the way. I used a $2.00 window suction cup to pull most of it back out, it did leave a small crease near the upper section though. I have noticed how 'seemingly' thin the metal is in the Forester doors, they are very light and close easily. Sometimes so easy, I open them up again and reclose them thinking they weren't closed tight. But I learned my lesson that day years ago, no more hip thrusts!:)

#15 B&K

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:29 AM

I have noticed how 'seemingly' thin the metal is in the Forester doors, they are very light and close easily. Sometimes so easy, I open them up again and reclose them thinking they weren't closed tight. But I learned my lesson that day years ago, no more hip thrusts!:)


I find that the new Outback is so tight that even though the doors are light, they don't close all the way without a good push. Air pressure keeps them from closing easily.

I also learned my lesson. And get it reinforced every time the light reflects off the remainder of the dent I made with my hip...




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