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Old 03-26-2014, 06:11 AM   #1
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What are my options?

We recently had the local RV dealer install the air force stay in play tow plates on our 10th anniversary. The plate came with two sets of instructions, one for a regular Wrangler, the other for the 10th anniversary edition. The RV dealer did not follow the instructions, and now we have an extra hole in our frame, and the plate is not level putting additional pressure on our front tires. We contacted the blue ox, and sent them several pictures. They confirmed the plate was installed incorrectly. They gave us detailed instructions on how to correct it, which we are providing to the RV dealer. They pointed out that if the RV dealer drills additional holes and does not follow the instructions, it could compromise the structural integrity of the front portion of the frame. If this happens, does anyone know what my options are? My understanding is that the jeep is a single piece frame, so damaging the structural integrity of the front would essentially ruined the entire vehicle. Does anyone know if this is true and what my options would be? They also forgot to install the safety cables, but that is another story altogether. I am not looking for advice on how to correct the base plate, just wondering what my options would be if they actually compromise the structural integrity of the jeeps frame.

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:39 AM   #2
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Detailed pictures would be helpful.

If they really screwed up to the point of structural issues....you may want to ask them what they are going to do about it. You may want to get your insurance company involved.

I foresee a long battle.

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Old 03-26-2014, 06:44 AM   #3
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Thank you, we sent over 25 pictures to blue ox, tried to load them on here from my phone unsuccessfully. Thanks for the tip on getting insurance involved. According to blue ox, they can still repair it, but it is tricky. If they mess up a second time, that is what I am concerned about. Just really nervous.
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:52 AM   #4
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Really doesn't sound like a good situation.

I'd definitely get insurance involved, which will in turn, get the RV dealers insurance involved. It may be for nothing as they could possibly fix their screw up, but better to have them "in the know" sooner than later.

I'd keep records of every conversation you have with the RV dealer (phone calls, emails, face to face visits, etc.) just so you are covered.

I'm assuming this RV dealer has insurance that would cover the work done on your JK?
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:56 AM   #5
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Great advice, I will contact my insurance agent today. The RV dealer is an authorized blue ox dealer and has insurance. Blue ox also said that this should be covered under their warranty clause for labor as well.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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How large are the holes that you fear may cause the issue? Its not so much the hole that causes the "stress" on the frame but the drilling. While its probably not what you want to do to your nice jeep, you can always tap it and put a bolt in the hole. This will act as if the hole was never there as far as structural integrity is concerned.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
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Great advice, I will contact my insurance agent today. The RV dealer is an authorized blue ox dealer and has insurance. Blue ox also said that this should be covered under their warranty clause for labor as well.
Sounds good.

The last thing you want to have to do is pay any kind of deductible to cover their screw up. If Blue Ox "authorized" them, then I'd imagine they have some sort of liability in this whole thing too...no?

Good luck and keep us informed!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:05 AM   #8
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They are roughly the size of a large bolt that holds the plate in place. The concern is that they want to drill another bolthole just below it and a third to the side of it. This would create three bolt holes less than a quarter inch from one another.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:23 AM   #9
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They are roughly the size of a large bolt that holds the plate in place. The concern is that they want to drill another bolthole just below it and a third to the side of it. This would create three bolt holes less than a quarter inch from one another.
Yeah ... I understand the concern for sure. I did not realize how close they were together. I agree that insurance is going to be the best way to go with this, had it been a older vehicle I would just put bolts in them and not worry about it. Good luck man
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:18 AM   #10
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Lawsuit?
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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Why can't they remove it, patch the area, and then re-install?
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:15 AM   #12
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That would worry me too. Swiss cheese in a high stress area doesn't sound comforting.

Welding a steel plate over the existing holes before drilling new ones might be the safest option.

Lawsuit would be pointless unless you've suffered extensive damages not covered by an insurance policy.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:54 AM   #13
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Thank you for the ideas. I have sent the pictures over to our insurance adjuster. I will talk with them about patching the holes and reinstalling along with putting a plate over it before drilling. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #14
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How large are the holes that you fear may cause the issue? Its not so much the hole that causes the "stress" on the frame but the drilling. While its probably not what you want to do to your nice jeep, you can always tap it and put a bolt in the hole. This will act as if the hole was never there as far as structural integrity is concerned.

As long as the hole is round (yea, no pics, but I assume its a round hole) and not near an edge, it should not compromise the structural integrity.

Race car people drill holes all the time, to reduce weight in a part.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:53 PM   #15
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I couldn't get a picture of the holes behind the base plate because the face plate is covering them. This should give you an idea of what we are looking at, at least from the side.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #16
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Just heard back from blue ox, as long as the installer follows the exact directions for the correction, we should be fine. Taking it in Monday, keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:09 PM   #17
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I agree get the new/unused holes filled/plugged. It could be worse if this was further back on the frame, it's in front of most everything suspension wise.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #18
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I couldn't get a picture of the holes behind the base plate because the face plate is covering them. This should give you an idea of what we are looking at, at least from the side.
Yeah man as long as they bolt those up you'll be a-okay with nothing to worry about. Keep us posted!
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #19
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I'm not sure I would trust the same a$$ clown to do the fix correctly. Hopefully you can watch him do the work to verify it was done correctly. Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #20
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i can't see what the problem is.

i installed the same base plate on my 2014 jkur x

frame before install, and base plate during install



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Old 03-29-2014, 01:01 PM   #21
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Personally I would not drill additional holes in the frame.

I would request that Blue Ox send blank plates to the dealer and that they locate those plates correctly and then back drill the holes from the frame to the new blank plates. If the edge margin is not adequate on the plates, then the plates should be made with excess to allow for the required edge margins.

But then what the hell do I know, I'm only an engineer.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:59 PM   #22
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again, i see nothing wrong with the install of the base plate other than the safety cables not there.

i took a pic of mine, a comparison side by side shows no difference except i removed the warning sticker and gave the whole thing a shot of satin black paint.

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Old 03-31-2014, 07:08 PM   #23
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again, i see nothing wrong with the install of the base plate other than the safety cables not there. i took a pic of mine, a comparison side by side shows no difference except i removed the warning sticker and gave the whole thing a shot of satin black paint.
yours looks really good and level. The issue with ours is that it slow down dramatically putting additional pressure on the tires when being towed.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:12 PM   #24
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Well, they were able to get it level. When I inspected it, I found out how they did it. It doesn't appear they followed the correction instructions we got from blue ox, instead, they ground the heads off of the bolts that run through my bumper into my skid plate. The bolt heads are now flush with the washer. So it is level, and they did put the safety cables on. Is there a risk to having the bolt heads ground down flush with the washer? I couldn't get a picture because there is not enough space to get a shot of what I am talking about.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:35 PM   #25
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They are roughly the size of a large bolt that holds the plate in place. The concern is that they want to drill another bolthole just below it and a third to the side of it. This would create three bolt holes less than a quarter inch from one another.
Nope, no way, I would not even begin to accept this. In fact, your Jeep just plummeted in value because the tech failed to follow instructions. You will be required to disclose this frame integrity damage if you ever decide to sell the vehicle. Take the company to school or you our going to loose $$$.

I would stop all work, take photos and consult an attorney. They failed to follow instructions...pretty cut and dry.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:08 PM   #26
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Nope, no way, I would not even begin to accept this. In fact, your Jeep just plummeted in value because the tech failed to follow instructions. You will be required to disclose this frame integrity damage if you ever decide to sell the vehicle. Take the company to school or you our going to loose $$$. I would stop all work, take photos and consult an attorney. They failed to follow instructions...pretty cut and dry. FWIW.
they conducted the fixed today, but did not follow the correction instructions. They ground the heads off of the bolts that connect my bumper to my skid plate. But it is now level and has the safety cables attached. They did not drill the additional holes thank God! I am concerned about the bolts being flush with the washer though. We are sending the additional pictures to blue ox in the morning and will post here as soon as I can. I am not sure, but I am guessing if you grind the bolt heads so they are flush with the washer, that would weaken their strength. Is that correct?
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:34 PM   #27
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It sounds like this tip is too late for you, but as the owner of an insurance agency I always advise people to start claims only if they are positive there will be a payout in their favor. Obviously there are exceptions to that rule but generally it's a good one to follow.

The problem with beginning a claim is that it becomes a claim on your record as soon as it's opened. Most carriers (95% probably) count a $0 claim the same as a real claim in auto insurance and use the reasoning that they started spending money on the claim as soon as it was called in. It sucks, but it's how things generally work.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:44 PM   #28
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It sounds like this tip is too late for you, but as the owner of an insurance agency I always advise people to start claims only if they are positive there will be a payout in their favor. Obviously there are exceptions to that rule but generally it's a good one to follow. The problem with beginning a claim is that it becomes a claim on your record as soon as it's opened. Most carriers (95% probably) count a $0 claim the same as a real claim in auto insurance and use the reasoning that they started spending money on the claim as soon as it was called in. It sucks, but it's how things generally work.
all tips are good ones. We haven't filed a claim at this point, just had our insurance company take a look at the pictures. He is a pretty good guy and said we should not open a claim just yet. He advised us to hold onto all communication records and ask a Jeep dealer
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:49 PM   #29
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all tips are good ones. We haven't filed a claim at this point, just had our insurance company take a look at the pictures. He is a pretty good guy and said we should not open a claim just yet. He advised us to hold onto all communication records and ask a Jeep dealer
Glad to hear it! Sounds like you got some good help.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:50 PM   #30
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yours looks really good and level. The issue with ours is that it slow down dramatically putting additional pressure on the tires when being towed.
I looked at the pictures again. It looks like yours is installed slightly lower than ours. That would have been perfect. The problem is when they put the base plate in, it is so tight against one of the bolts that it angles the whole baseplate down. They corrected this by grinding the bolts instead of grinding the base plate or installing it lowered to begin with. Maybe not a big deal, but I do not want anything to impact the structure or risk safety.

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