Auto body repair & detailing/Center door pillar

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Question
Hi Dave, I had the misfortune of being in the path of a vehicle that slid into the intersection and crushed the rear passenger door of my 2004 Chev Avalanche.

The collision slightly damaged the front passenger door as well which restricted it from opening as well.

At first glance the damage did not look to be that extensive and i thought i would simply be able to replace the door along with some repairs to the roccer panel. Unfortunately the pillar that the rear door hinges are attached to, has been twisted, which is also the reason that the front door has popped open and is unable to latch again.

My question is as follows: Is there any simple way that i can straighten the pillar without the use of a body shop? I know there are some used doors around, how difficult is it to replace the rear door?

Answer
Hi Ron!....In regards to straightening the center or "B"  pillar back into alignment, unfortunately, you would need an anchoring system to tie the vehicle down to the floor, a set of clamps to grab onto the pillar, chains, and a pull tower to make the required pulls to get the pillar back within factory specs. Even more challenging, is the fact that you mentioned that the pillar seems to be twisted. Depending on the severity of the twist, and how far the pillar is pushed in, it might need to be replaced completely, or sectioned in. All pillars, whether it is an A, B, or C pillar, are structural components, and are comprised of an inner, an outer, and anywhere from 1 to 3 center reinforcements.

My suggestion, is to give your local Autobody shop a call, and ask them if they would be willing to realign the pillar back to factory specs, and/or replace/section it in if needed. If they agree, you would need to supply 2 new doors so they can test fit them, to ensure the gaps are correct, the body lines line up, the latches operate on both detents, and the weatherstrips seal properly.

As for replacing a door, this is relatively a simple procedure. All you need to do, is to pull out the wiring boot from the pillar, and unplug the connector, as almost all late model vehicles today have this type of connector. Next, unbolt the door check strap if so equipped, then finally unbolt the hing bolts on the door.

Hope this helps out....If there is anything else I can help you out with, please drop me another line anytime....Thanks....Dave.  

Auto body repair & detailing

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Dave Norgardt

Expertise

Absolutely anything autobody related... Frame repair, suspension, alignment, panel replacement, panel repair, fiberglass, plastic repair, paint, air bags, etc.....

Experience

Over 30 years in related areas. 25 years in HEAVY frame repair, suspension, and alignment procedures. As well as panel replacement and repairs, etc.....

Education/Credentials
Journeyman Autobody Technician with Red Seal/Interprovincial certification from N.A.I.T. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Top Achiever award second year, also from N.A.I.T. Also have Platinum status from I-Car Canada...Also have Journeyman Partsman Certificate, Lethbridge, Alberta...

Awards and Honors
Second Year Top Achiever from N.A.I.T.Edmonton

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