Land Rover Discovery Owners & Service Manuals

Land Rover Discovery: Accident Damage and Diagnosis

General notes

  • Exact diagnosis of the extent of the damage enables proper repair planning.
  • All body repairs must be carried out in accordance with the guidelines in this Body Repair Manual.
  • The stability and strength properties of the body must be taken into account during body repairs. The body has exact defined deformation patterns that must not be affected by any repair work.
  • For instance, the crumple zones absorb the bulk of the impact energy. If any unprofessional repair techniques or methods are used in these areas then this can pose a fundamental threat to vehicle safety.

Hidden damage

As well as looking at external indicators like flaked off paint, it is vital to check for hidden body damage or deformation that is not visible from the outside. Large attached parts like bumpers and inner fenders often need to be removed to allow accurate assessment of damage to underlying body parts.

Gap dimensions

Gap dimensions offer another alternative for diagnosis by visual inspection.

If any changes or misaligned edges are apparent, then this usually indicates that the dimensions of the affected part are incorrect.

Changes in gap dimension

Accident damage and diagnosis

  1. Gap too wide
  2. Gap too small

IMPACT EFFECTS ON THE BODY

NOTE:

Vehicle components like drive shafts and trailer attachments transfer forces. If a vehicle is subjected to a rear impact then all connected body parts and mechanical components (e.g. transmission mountings) should be thoroughly checked. Electronic components should be checked to ensure that they still operate correctly.

Furthermore it is possible to deduce the overall extent of damage from the direction and magnitude of the impact forces. This does however require extensive body-specific knowledge.

If, for instance, an impact occurs at the front left-hand side member, then the right-hand side member is usually also affected as a result of the rigid body-shell design (crossmember). Often the length of this side member will not have changed, but because of the rigid body-shell design it may have moved from its original position (often only by a very small amount). If any visual deviations are present this can usually be detected by checking the gap dimensions between door and fender or by checking for changes in dimension.

In the case of more severe impacts, the front part of the body cannot absorb all of the impact energy, and the passenger cell is also deformed.

Here the impact energy is transferred via the side member to the A-pillar (see diagram). This results in deformations in the area of the roof and the door rocker panel.

The body reacts quite differently to side impacts where there is hardly any crumple zone. As the passenger cell is extremely stable, there are comparatively few local deformations at the site of the impact. However, the impact forces are transferred to the entire vehicle floor, which often results in so-called "banana damage", where the vehicle is bent into a banana shape.

Impact energy is transferred via the side member to the A-pillar

NOTE:

Damage exaggerated for clarity.

Accident damage and diagnosis

  1. Deformation area - roof rail
  2. Deformation area - roof
  3. Deformation area - door rocker panel

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