Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

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Kwillo89
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Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 2:07 am

Sorry if this has been asked before, did a search and came up with zip.
Just purchased an Isuzu dmax with steel tray and the tray does not sit level with the body. The rear end is raised a bit more than the front and the tray sits level with the ground. I have absolutely no experience working on cars so if I wanted to have it parallel with the body (the rear suspension will be dropped in future) is it just a matter of fitting some rubber or steel plates where it's mounted?
Forgive such a basic question.
Cheers guys.
Last edited by Kwillo89 on August 20th, 2014, 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 20th, 2014, 11:28 am

Got any pics you can post up?? How is the tray not sitting level with the body?!

Almost all 4WD vehicles, & especially utes, are designed with the rear suspension slightly higher than the front to keep the steering geometry in the right/safe range, and the tray is usually secured directly to the chassis so the back of the tray should be a little higher than the front.... anything up to 60-70mm can be within spec. If you make the tray sit parallel to the ground, rather than the chassis, you'll find it a lot harder to keep stuff on it, and I'd guess the only way to do it without stuffing around with the suspension & steering geometry & specs thru lifts etc, would be to use wedges between the chassis rails & the tray, & that'd introduce a fairly significant weakness in securing it to the chassis, & unless you work out how to hold it forwards very well, make it more likely that the whole tray might slide off under normal driving loads, let alone if you ever get it on a steep hill.... :eek:

Setting the vehicle up so the bum end is lower than the front will mean that not only are your lights possum spotting, especially if you ever put anything on the tray, but also the steering will be compromised, quite possibly unroadworthy, & the suspension would need a lot of tweaking to make it work anywhere near properly on road or off... altho it might be able to be set to work in a straight line on a drag strip... but even then, the 'ideal' design is to have the rear higher at rest but the suspension set up so that as you accelerate the vehicle 'squats' & transfers the load onto the rear wheels to enhance traction. Dropping the bum end at rest will likely mean you lose a fair bit of that down force & therefore traction, altho it might make for a good wheelie... :whyme:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Kwillo89
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 12:49 pm

I was a little unclear. The rear suspension IS raised and the nose of the car does point down. It's the tray the is level with the ground thus not running parallel to the body. This is what I want to fix.
I'll post a pic soon.

Kwillo89
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 1:51 pm

Just looks a little weird to me.
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Peter Aawen
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 20th, 2014, 2:42 pm

Yep, does look a little weird.... it might pay to get a chassis mob or at least a panel beater to look at it; it looks like there is something wrong there!! And unless the tray mounts are really stuffed, I doubt that it's something wrong with that/them, I'd rather think that it's something wrong with the chassis!! :eek:

Did you buy it privately or from a dealer??
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Kwillo89
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 3:23 pm

I bought it from a dealer, now you're getting me worried...
I did have a pre vehicle inspection from reputable mob, surely they would have picked up something wrong with the chassis? I do believer it has had a bit of weight in the back though.
Any panel beater?

mydmax
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Re: Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by mydmax » August 20th, 2014, 4:08 pm

Kwillo89
A square on picture in line with the tray and cab and not the front wheel area will show if the cab and tray are vertically parallel with each other.
I suspect it is a V shape.
Is your vehicle a 3050mm wheelbase or a 3200mm wheel base? Ie dual cab fitted with a tray or a dual cab chassis model.

Unless the tray has been altered it seems as though your chassis is bent from weight in the rear of the tray.
Has it carried a slide on camper?

Have a look around the front mounting immediately behind the cab and see if there is any stress stretch marks around the chassis to tray bracket.
Usually the tray will be parallel with a line taken along under the chassis where the doors are. ie it runs flat along there for a while.
If purchased recently it would seem the seller has knowingly sold it like that.

A line from under the cab on another vehicle ie done with a laser level to the rear, can be compared with yours chassis.

Maybe check here from this imaginary line and compare to others.
If it is bent then the REPUTABLE MOB were not and are incompetent.
.
Chassis Check.jpg
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Kwillo89
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Re: Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 5:18 pm

Cheers mydmax.
Wheelbase is 3200mm. Hasn't had a camper on the back but I've been told they used to transport a fair amount of machinery.
There doesn't look to be any stress there at all. I'll try and use the imaginary line measurement.
It was sold to me by a dealer, will the 3 months warranty cover this?
If you were to do a search on the best 4x4 workshop in perth you would find he name of my reputable mob....
Here's another pic.
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Peter Aawen
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 20th, 2014, 5:32 pm

Is the gap between the front of headboard on the front of the tray just behind the cabin & the cabin itself the same at the top as it is at the bottom?? If that distance is significantly wider at the top without any taper in the cabin rear wall to account for it, then it is pretty likely that your chassis has drooped a little at the back, probably where mydmax pointed it out, but at least somewhere fairly close behind the front hanger for the leaf spring pack & above/in front of the axle itself... If they had air bag helpers fitted between the axle & the chassis, it's probably going to be where they mounted to the chassis if anywhere!!

If you bought it from a dealer then you should tell them now, altho you might need to get a chassis specialist to do the measurements to prove it.... I think I would be doing that anyway, just for the peace of mind it'd give me!!

Hope it's not something that you can't get sorted, but it does look like it's a tad bent.... :(
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Kwillo89
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Joined: June 29th, 2014, 11:28 pm
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 6:50 pm

Thanks Peter.
Really appreciate he advice, all this stuff is new to me. I'm unsure about if they had airbags. Sounds like my first port of call is getting it inspected by a chassis specialist and calling the dealer.
The dealer wasn't the best guy to deal with (I was certainly happy driving out that yard). Is is fixable? Or am I up a real bad creek without a paddle?

Not the introduction I was looking for into 4x4ing :(

mydmax
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by mydmax » August 20th, 2014, 7:44 pm

kwillo89
With the side on view I can see it is the 3200mm chassis. As far as I can see the bottom of the chassis under the doors is parallel with the door line trim, but the tail piece of the chassis appears to be slightly pointing down.

The inspection mob may have an insurance policy to cover their errors in their work. Worth checking out and also the dealer should not have sold it to you without notifying you of that situation.
To do so is an offence in consumer law, and a failure of the motor traders act. He is therefore liable, because it is a fault which would reasonably be expected to be seen (as you have) and therefore it is their responsibility to make good.
Give him the opportunity to supply an alternate vehicle which is all kosher.
You buy in good faith and on that assumption you are covered.
Fair Trading in your state should be consulted as they deal with people who fail to check properly or sell with prior knowledge of, and fail to notify the consumer/buyer of the vehicles true status/condition.

You have noticed it, but they are the experts in their field (presumably) so they should find it where you may not find such things. No excuses on that one.

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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 20th, 2014, 8:49 pm

Whether it's fixable or not depends very much on where it is & how badly it is bent, as well as how much it will cost to fix it!! Some 'little' bends are readily fixable & only take the addition of some bracing 'fish plates' etc to make it extremely unlikely to happen again, but that sort of repair often simply moves the stress point further down the line & creates more issues elsewhere. That's why you need to get a chassis specialist to look at it. Where are you located?? (never hurts to put your location in the appropriate field in your user profile, see My Profile up the top right by your username, it doesn't hafta be a street address, just your State/region will help) If you tell us that, someone might know of a good place nearby. ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Kwillo89
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Posts: 17
Joined: June 29th, 2014, 11:28 pm
Location: Perth

Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Kwillo89 » August 20th, 2014, 10:00 pm

I'm in the Myaree area of Perth.
Changed my profile as well. Any suggestions would be great.
Out of interest, can the car be written off for this? Would would happen then?

Peter Aawen
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 21st, 2014, 3:26 pm

Yes, a vehicle can be written off for that sort of bend in the chassis, altho depending on what your state laws say, it may be classed as repairable.

If it's bent like that due to an accident, most insurance companies would probably write it off on the cost of repair basis anyway!! They hafta return the vehicle to the condition it'd be in if it hadn't had a prang or whatever did the damage, and that would probably mean replacing the chassis with a new or at least a similarly aged chassis, and that wouldn't be cheap... generally it'd be cheaper to buy a new vehicle for you. But Ins Co's don't generally do that, they tend to just pay you out so you go away, then they auction off the vehicle to recover whatever money they can (cos once they pay you out, unless you've arranged otherwise, they own the wreck!!) And that's where you (or any other buyer) can be caught out if you don't do your pre-purchase homework carefully!! Some states don't automatically write off that sort of damage, so Dodgy Dave or one of his mates buys the wreck for stuff all, cleans it up to make it look good, then flogs it off to an unsuspecting member of the public. The Motor Dealers Assoc &/or Business Affairs or whatever your local Consumer mob are tend to sort out Dealers who try to do this sort of stuff, so it's not often something that Dealers get involved in, buuut, you never know! Dealers generally need to be especially careful about selling roadworthy vehicles too, or at least telling you if it's not roadworthy...

I'd be talking to your States Dealer Assoc or whoever/whatever you have over there, are you a member of the NRMA or whatever they have in WA (old age makes your forgettory kick into overdrive at the worst moments!! :( ) If you are, talk to their legal department & see what redress you have. If you haven't had the vehicle long, I'd guess the dealer would want to give you your money back pretty damn quick in order to avoid the hit his rep will take if it gets out that he's selling dodgy vehicles, ESPECIALLY if it's been written off at any time & someone's tarted it up to sell on. But again, you never know. And if he's sold it to you as a roadworthy vehicle, you may also have redress thru the Motor Registry if it ISN'T roadworthy, altho that can be a bit difficult to show....

It sounds like it's Get Legal Advice time, & then talk to either your State's Motoring Assoc, the Motor Registry, the Motor Dealer's Assoc, &/or Business Affairs & anyone else who you think might be able to help...

Good Luck!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

100reasons
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Re: Levelling Steel Tray - Is my chassis bent?

Unread post by 100reasons » August 25th, 2014, 2:31 am

Hey kwillo,
Take your ute to a panel beaters that have electronic chassis measuring equipment and have your chassis measured. Ask for a printout of the measurements.
That will identify if the chassis is bent and where it is bent.
It may cost a couple hundred bucks but then you will know the problem.
If there are no visible kinks in the rails the chassis can be straightened without heat as the chassis is high strength steel.
There is a few panel shops in Myaree, Oconnor and bibra lake one of them should be able to help you..

Cheers
Mark

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