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Ownership DIY Dent Removal: Save Big $$$ On Your Paintjob!

22:32  02 january  2018
22:32  02 january  2018 Source:   hotrod.com

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Use these 11 tips to take nasty dents out of your Mopar and save big bucks on your paintjob bill. Hot Rod Paint & Body. Quick and Easy Spot Weld Removal Using a Plasma Cutter.

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It's a well-known fact that a high-quality paintjob is expensive. Bodyshops invest a lot in their facilities, their tools, and their staff, and we're just talking about normal collision repair. Add the special needs for restoring vintage cars, and the cost of a paintjob multiplies. How expensive can it be? Getting out of paint jail for under five figures is a real accomplishment if you can pull it off.

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Instead, save yourself some of that hard-earned money and do it yourself . A safe way of trying to take out big dents on your car is by using several wooden dowels, a few screws, and a hot glue gun. How to Fix a Huge Dent in Your Car Without Ruining the Paint Job .

Research

Research

What's not well known is that most of the cost for a show-quality paintjob is not in the actual paint and materials, it's in the prep labor—specifically stuff like rust repair and fixing old collision damage. It turns out that much of this requires more patience than skill or money, and with a few inexpensive tools can be done at home. We previously covered the basics of hammer and dolly work in a previous story, but that alone may leave you short in areas that are hard to reach, or that have tight compound curves.

You could bypass these repairs by using new sheetmetal if it's available, but from a fit and authenticity standpoint, reusing the damaged original panels and repairing crunched corners and dents yourself with a stud welder and slide hammer makes more sense and saves dollars. Doing it the right way, however, is the key to actually saving money. For that, we turned to expert Geoff Gates, who operates one of the top muscle car restoration shops on the West Coast. His shop—Alloy Motors in Oakland, CA—specializes in Mopars, so we asked Geoff to show us the step-by-step procedure for removing dents with a stud welder and slide hammer using our 1968 Plymouth Valiant project as the subject.

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Geoff explains: "Sometimes you can't get to the back of a dent to hammer and dolly it out. Back in the day at my dad's shop, they'd drill holes, screw a slide hammer in, and pull it out. They'd leave the holes to help the body filler grab." Using this outdated technique on an important vintage restoration today though is the road to ruin. "I spend a ton of time fixing this type of work on my customers' cars, welding holes shut, and working the metal," says Gates. Thanks to modern technology, there is a better way.

A stud welder replaces the drilling of holes by welding a mild steel pin to the bodywork. The pin provides the slide hammer with a precise impact point for moving metal. A stud welder is a very inexpensive tool that you'll want to have if you're doing your own body work; you can get one from your local Harbor Freight dealer for as little as $99 (Chicago Electric model 61433). A good companion to that is Harbor Freight's 14-piece slide-hammer set (model 62959) for about $25. Even if you load up with a hammer and dolly set and a few boxes of studs, you're all in for under well $200.

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Removing a dent or ding yourself can be tricky without professional tools, but with a little DIY spirit, some How To: Get Out Car Dents & Dings Without Damaging Your Paint Job . I have big dent where I backed into my wife's car. It may be too much for your method, but it certainly is worth a try!

Use these 11 tips to take nasty dents out of your Mopar and save big bucks on your paintjob bill. You'll also have the satisfaction of doing it yourself!

002-slide-hammer-stud-welder-helmet.jpg© Geoff Gates 002-slide-hammer-stud-welder-helmet.jpg

Here are the tools we’ll be using: a pin welder (you can get a hobbyist one from Harbor freight and they work fine), slide hammer, 2-inch grinder, cut-off wheel, and for deeper pulls, you might use a MIG welder on the pins.

003-1968-plymouth-valiant-fender-grinding-paint.jpg© Geoff Gates 003-1968-plymouth-valiant-fender-grinding-paint.jpg

You need to get all the paint out of the dents so you can weld the pin to the bare metal. Use a 2-inch roll grinder with 80-grit abrasive.

004-stud-welder-plymouth-valiant-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 004-stud-welder-plymouth-valiant-fender.jpg

You want to weld the pin where the most tension is: deep into the dent. With a fresh pin loaded in the stud welder, push the tool all the way to the metal.

005-stud-welder-fender-1968-plymouth-valiant.jpg© Geoff Gates 005-stud-welder-fender-1968-plymouth-valiant.jpg

When you pull the trigger, you’ll get some sparks. Hold the trigger for a few beats; most of these tools have timers built in so you can just hold the trigger until the tool cuts off.

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First off you can see underneath the hood that there is a bigger dent that is out in the open. If you try the DIY Dent Removal method and it just didn't work out for you or your vehicle got hail damage and you just want the professionals to fix it for you, then give me a call here at Excel Dent Removal over

Can trying to fix the dents yourself on your vehicle actually cause more damage? If you're trying the DIY method of dent removal can you actually make the damage worse on your vehicle?

006-stud-welder-cooling-fender-plymouth-valiant.jpg© Geoff Gates 006-stud-welder-cooling-fender-plymouth-valiant.jpg

See that glow! The controlled electrical arc just welds the pin to the metal.

007-stud-welder-pin-fender-bodywork.jpg© Geoff Gates 007-stud-welder-pin-fender-bodywork.jpg

Here’s a close-up of the pin welded in. A little bit of heat gets into the metal, which will shrink it a bit, but that’s better than drilling a hole.

008-slide-hammer-dent-repair-plymouth-valiant-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 008-slide-hammer-dent-repair-plymouth-valiant-fender.jpg

Put the slide hammer on the pin and work the wheel on the end to lock it onto the pin.

009-slide-hammer-dent-pulling-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 009-slide-hammer-dent-pulling-fender.jpg

A couple of pulls back on the slide hammer while keeping an eye on the metal movement is all you need. You don’t need to wail on it, just tap, tap, tap like you would with a hammer and dolly.

010-slide-hammer-dent-removal-after.jpg© Geoff Gates 010-slide-hammer-dent-removal-after.jpg

The metal moved out, much closer to where it should be. Now we have to get rid of this pin that’s welded to the fender.

011-dent-removal-pin-cutoff-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 011-dent-removal-pin-cutoff-fender.jpg

Geoff just cuts them off close with a “cookie wheel” abrasive disc on a die grinder. Then he uses a 2-inch grinder to take off the rest.

012-mig-welding-body-work-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 012-mig-welding-body-work-fender.jpg

Occasionally, the pins pull out and leave a hole in the metal. No big deal. Just MIG weld that little hole shut.

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Well, in this dent removal video I will show you how we remove a door dent from a car using PDR. These dent removal tools and methods are designed to preserve the original factory paint finish of the car and avoid any additional damage to the surface of the car.

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013-mig-weld-tacks-filler-bodywork.jpg© Geoff Gates 013-mig-weld-tacks-filler-bodywork.jpg

Sometimes if Geoff can’t pull any further on a heavy tension area like this he’ll MIG some tack welds to fill the low spot with metal.

014-grinding-bodywork-fender.jpg© Geoff Gates 014-grinding-bodywork-fender.jpg

Then just grind the tack welds smooth. The less body filler, the better. You can’t do this in the middle of a big panel, but on an edge like this it works really well.

015-stud-pin-mig-weld-fender-bodywork.jpg© Geoff Gates 015-stud-pin-mig-weld-fender-bodywork.jpg

If you have a bigger dent in a high-tension area and the stud welder just can’t stick the pins well, don’t be afraid to MIG weld the pin to the metal.

016-dent-removal-fender-pin-stud-slide-hammer.jpg© Geoff Gates 016-dent-removal-fender-pin-stud-slide-hammer.jpg

Two tack welds on opposite sides of the pin is all it takes to get it to stick really well.

017-dent-removal-slide-hammer-corner.jpg© Geoff Gates 017-dent-removal-slide-hammer-corner.jpg

Pay attention to the angle of your pull. Look at the way the dent was made and pull it in reverse.

018-slide-hammer-dent-removal-1968-plymouth-valiant.jpg© Geoff Gates 018-slide-hammer-dent-removal-1968-plymouth-valiant.jpg

This dent required an extreme angle to pull. It was likely done by the corner of the bumper pinging the fender in a little accident.

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