Sunday, 30 April 2006 17:00

Collision repairs on the 2005-06 Scion tC

Written by I-CAR Advantage Online
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Scion, an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corporation, has three models available for 2006, the xB, xA, and tC. Scion is its own distinct line with the sophisticated vehicle construction technology that is associated with Toyota (see Figure 1). 

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Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Figure 3 

High-Strength Steel (HSS)

Parts of the body and structure, including the hood, doors, front rails, and inner door aperture, are made of high-strength steel (see Figure 2). The heating recommendation for Scion vehicles is the same as for Toyota vehicles. Heat is not recommended on "body structural panels" because it will reduce the strength and corrosion-resistant properties of the metal.

If cold straightening and cold stress relieving do not remove the damage, the part should be replaced. This information can also be found in Toyota Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #143 and #89.

Ultra-High-Strength Steel (UHSS)

Bumper reinforcements and door intrusion beams on the Scion tC are made of UHSS. The UHSS that is used is a thinner gauge than the mild steel. When UHSS is heated, Toyota/Scion has found that the tensile strength is changed and it becomes more brittle and susceptible to cracking. Therefore, Toyota/Scion warns against heating, straightening, or stretching during repairs. If parts made of UHSS are damaged, they should be replaced to help maintain their impact energy-absorption capacity.

When replacing the bumper reinforcement, coatings and spacers are used to help prevent corrosion and should be duplicated during repairs. Damaged fasteners should be replaced and torqued to specification. Information on bumper reinforcements can also be found in Toyota Collision Pros, Winter 2004. To replace a damaged door intrusion beam, the entire door shell assembly should be replaced.

Welding recommendations

This steel vehicle was constructed using welded joints from the factory. Both GMAW (MIG) and squeeze-type resistance spot welding are recommended for replacement panel attachment. Follow welding specifications for specific panels being replaced. Before welding, paint and/or primer coatings should be removed from the weld zones on both parts and weld-through primer applied. Replacement plug weld hole recommendations range from 5-10 mm, depending on metal thickness. Visual and destructive tests should be performed on both weld types to confirm weld quality and strength.

Part replacement procedures

Similar to many Toyota vehicles, the collision repair manual for the tC has an extensive list of individual procedures for full part replacement. Some parts include the rear rails (which do not extend under the passenger seats), several crossmembers throughout the vehicle, inner quarter panel pieces, the rear body panel, door skins, aprons with and without the strut towers, and either individual parts or the complete radiator core support assembly.

Sectioning procedures and recommendations are also included. Some parts that have sectioning procedures include the A-pillars, the rear floor in three different locations, outer quarter panels and reinforcements, and the rear rails. Sectioning joints are made using the cut-and-join method for an open butt joint.


The roof of the Scion tC is made of steel with the exception of an unusually large amount of glass that makes up the Panorama moonroof (see Figure 3). There are two separate sections of glass separated by a small section of steel. The front panel has a power slide/tilt feature. Fit and finish is crucial for these glass pieces.

The body repair manual contains upper body measurements for the windshield, hatchback, door, and sliding roof openings. The service manual contains information on removal, installation, and troubleshooting the moonroof sections.


Restraint system

Air bag locations on the Scion tC, besides the standard driver and passenger, include an air bag in the driver knee bolster, and optional front side and full-side curtain air bags on each side.

Parts that must be replaced following deployment are as follows.

With a front air bag deployment: steering wheel pad (horn button assembly); passenger air bag assembly; instrument panel lower air bag assembly (driver knee air bag); air bag sensor assembly center; air bag front sensors (left and/or right); all seat belt pretensioners; and any damaged restraint system part.

With a side air bag deployment: front seat air bag assembly (driver or passenger); side air bag sensors; and any damaged restraint system part.

With a curtain shield air bag deployment: the deployed curtain shield air bag assembly; air bag rear sensors (left or right); and any damaged restraint system part.

Parts that must be inspected and replaced if damaged are as follows.

With a front air bag deployment: spiral cable; steering wheel; instrument panel; wiring harness and connector; air bag seat position sensor; seat belts; and any restraint system part or wiring identified by diagnostic check.

With a side or curtain shield air bag deployment: seat cover; seat frame; wiring harness and connector; air bag seat position sensor; seat belts; and any restraint system part or wiring identified by diagnostic check

It should also be noted that Toyota/Scion recommends against any repairs to SRS wire harnesses or connectors, and air bag and seat covers.

Plastic parts

The front and rear bumper covers are made of a plastic that Toyota calls Toyota Super Olefine Polymer (TSOP). Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) PA003-02 covers specific recommendations for refinishing replacement bumper covers to achieve an acceptable finish.

Bolt-on exterior panels

Scion has an area in the body repair manual that addresses fit standards for bolt-on exterior panels such as the door, hood, and hatch. The gap recommendations are per edge of the panel. For example, the hood has a recommendation of 4.3 mm at the leading edge in the center, 5.1 mm near the headlamp, and 3.4 mm at the hinge. Torque specifications are also given for these parts.

Collision repair information

Repair, replacement, and sectioning procedures for the Scion tC are available in the body repair information on the Technical Information System on the Toyota/Scion web site at Other features of the body repair information include gap specifications for the bolted-on panels, repairing bumper covers, and passive restraint information.

This Advantage Online article first appeared in the I-CAR e-newsletter, which is published and distributed free of charge. I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, is a not-for-profit international training organization that researches and develops quality technical education programs related to collision repair. To learn more about I-CAR, and to subscribe to the free e-newsletter, visit or contact I-CAR Marketing Communications Specialist Brandon Eckenrode at


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