OTC announces synthetic body tools for specialized aluminum repair in North America

OTC has released a set of synthetic body tools, designed especially for use on aluminum panels. In order to reduce weight and achieve higher fuel economy, many high-volume vehicles are using aluminum in body components. This creates a potential challenge and opportunity for collision repair shops to be prepared with the necessary tools and equipment for aluminum panel removal and replacement. Special hand tools made from synthetic material have great shock absorption qualities, greatly reducing the risk of marring, scratching or gouging panels.

A variety of drill bits, weld breakers, wedges, trim tools, finishing tools and general shaping/bumping tools will address most aluminum repairs. The tools are designed to break spot welds, remove trim pieces and reshape aluminum panels after a damaging event. Featuring 19 synthetic tools that are warranted for life and three super-hardened and tempered spot weld drill bits, the OTC line guarantees body shops can have a dedicated set of tools for aluminum panel removal and replacement.

“The proliferation of aluminum on vehicles is great for OEMs to meet government-mandated CAFE standards, but creates an interesting challenge for body shops– namely the tools they use daily,” said Dirk Skogerboe, OTC product manager. “Having a set of specialty hand tools dedicated to aluminum panel repair is a great step toward preventing galvanic corrosion and helps shops increase their ability to service aluminum-paneled vehicles as well as traditional steel.”

More than two dozen vehicle models on the road today contain aluminum panels. Light-duty trucks present a great opportunity for U.S. automotive companies to meet government CAFE standards. Body shops that have prepared their businesses to service vehicles with aluminum-specific tools are in the best position to capitalize on this business opportunity.

Lightweight aluminum has different principles of memory and cannot be treated like steel. These synthetic tools are an excellent alternative to steel tools, which can scratch, gouge and over-stretch aluminum. For smaller dents and dings, the synthetic tools can often perform a repair without the need to paint, saving time and money in a collision repair facility.

The full line of OTC aluminum body service tools is composed of:

-      2470 spot weld breaker

-      Spot-weld drill bits: P/N 2492 5-piece carbide spot weld drill bit set; P/N2489-8 single spot weld drill bit

-      Eight trim removal wedges: P/N 2479 30mm trim wedge; P/N 2480 60mm trim wedge; P/N 2487 combination wedge pry tool; P/N 2471 trim and bezel tool; P/N 2472 window molding and trim remover; P/N 2491 stepped lever wedge; P/N 2481 blind panel removal wedge; P/N 2490 universal hook

-      Three finishing hammers: P/N 2482 120mm x 30mm; P/N 2483 140mm x 40mm; P/N 2484 160mm x 40mm

-      Five bumping/shaping tools: P/N 2473 half-round bumping tool; P/N 2485 3-piece bumping tool set; P/N 2478 extended reach bumping tool; P/N 2475 round body anvil; P/N 2476 curved and flat dolly

-      Three straighteners: P/N 2474 heavy-duty profile straightening tool; P/N 2477 edge straightener; P/N 2488 pinch seam straightener

“Our synthetic body tools are a great option to consider when looking for tools to dedicate to servicing vehicles with advanced aluminum components. A tech can shape, form, pull dents and fix nearly any aluminum damage, and do so quickly with this line,” added Skogerboe.

First to market with Cornwell Tools, the OTC line is available now through Cornwell distribution. In August, the tools will be available through OTC’s traditional distribution methods.