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Old 08-26-2015, 06:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Basic dent pulling/filler work

What's up guys, I posted a thread asking if anyone wants some auto body DIY's, and I've been taking pictures at work of some jobs I thought were somewhat useful to people wanting to fix dings/dents/shopping cart creases in sheet metal, etc.

This was all done on a 2014 Nissan Altima which appears to have been hit by some sort of cart thing, I have no clue lol customers don't tell us that.

Anyways, here goes. I didn't get any pictures before I scuffed off the paint so I'm sorry for that. I'll remember next time

First off, I used the angle grinder with a scotch brite roloc disk on it to remove any paint on the damage, and about 2 inches all around the damage to get to bare metal.

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Once you have all the paint removed, we are ready to weld on some studs with the stud gun.

ALWAYS remove the positive terminal on the battery when welding anything on your car, I expect people to know this but it doesn't hurt to have a reminder.

I welded the studs a little over an inch away from each other, it's about as close as you can get them with this stud gun.


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Here's the studs welded on the upper dent. I placed them right at the deepest part of the crease in the metal since it was a shallow dent.


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And here's the lower dent. This one was kinda strange, it had a ripple to it so I put the studs at the bottom of each ripple.


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Next, we grab the slide hammer. Mine slides over the stud and tightens on it when you turn the handle clockwise. Just be sure not to twist the stud when you tighten it or you can twist it right off and potentially put a hole in your panel if the stud was welded on there pretty good.


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I like to use little taps with the slide hammer, just a few at a time. Check your progression by sliding your hand flat against the panel in between the studs. You're making sure you didn't pull out too far, but that's fixable.

Once you get your metal to as flat as you can get it (but not TOO far out or you'll just have to tap it back down again) It's time to cut the studs off.

Last edited by del_samuel; 08-26-2015 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Grab a pair of side cutters and cut the studs as close as you can to the head.


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Now we're gonna want to grind off those studs. Be careful not to gouge the metal. Just grind the stud so that it's flush.


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This is what I used to grind the studs. It's a 60 grit roloc disk on my angle grinder.


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Once you're all ground down, I usually take my scotch brite roloc to the spots I just ground so that I can get the metal nice and smooth. This step isn't necessary, but it gives you a nice clean surface to sand.

To get the filler to adhere, You need some sort of mechanical adhesion. The fillers I use at work require 180 grit surface prep to adhere properly and reduce shrinking. When you sand the work area, you want to "feather edge" the areas where the paint layers are showing as they transition to bare metal.


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Here's a close up (kinda) showing the feather edge.



Alright! Now we can start with filler. A lot of people have their own way with fillers, this is just my way of applying it and doesn't have to be followed to a T. It's just filler lol.

I don't think there's a set rule on hardener to filler ratio except for percentagess (which are impossible to measure) so I go by this; I put a line of hardener about the radius of my puddle of filler. I put a little extra this time since it was cooler than usual today.


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When mixing, I like to take the edge of my spreader and slice the filler and hardener back and forth like your'e scribbling on a piece of paper. This gets the filler/hardener somewhat mixed very quickly without the introduction of air bubbles. Then you start to spread the mixture on the mixing board, picking it up and flipping it, then spreading it out again. I'm sure you can find a video on YouTube if you're confused. Just make sure it's thoroughly mixed before you start to spread the filler.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Could also put a protector on the battery
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice work! thanks for doing these!
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay now it's time to spread.

Most people will tell you to spread the filler in the direction of the damage. Since my metal work was pretty flat, I didn't need to do this.

NOTE: The maximum depth for filler is 1/16th of an inch, so make sure your metal work is within 1/16th of an inch. Too much filler and it can crack or shrink over time, and I'm sure we've all seen cars like this.

Here's the top dent with one coat of filler.



And the bottom one.



Now, go do something for 20 minutes or so. Come back and check to see if the filler is dry. If it's still tacky, walk away again.

Once dry, we can start sanding. I always start on my base coat with 80 grit on a sanding block. DON'T sand filler with a DA or you will get waves. Be sure to keep the block flat against the panel, and change direction every 5 or 6 strokes.

Once done sanding to a uniform surface, it should look something like this.





Now you see that spot of bare metal on the first picture? That's a high spot. There's a much more prominent one on the lower dent as you can see.




Don't worry, we can get rid of these. My weapon of choice is an old screwdriver and a body hammer.



Take your screwdriver and put the tip in the peak of the high spot and lightly tap it until your high spots are gone. Move across the high spot to evenly drop it down.

Okay, once your high spots are gone, it's time for top coat. I like to use Evercoat Metal Glaze, but any glazing/top coat putty works.




Spread the same way you did with the first coat, making sure to cover the whole first coat.



Once your top coat is dry, I like to hit it with some 80 grit initially to knock down the filler. Then, switch to 180 grit to get the surface perfectly flat.

Once you think it's good to go, check it again. And then again. If it's where you think it's good, grab some 320 grit on a long block and take out any 180 sand scratches. You should have a perfectly smooth finish and of you weren't looking at the panel, you'd say there was no repair work done.

And that's it! Off to primer and paint. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I'm no expert but I love to teach and help people out.

This is my first DIY ever so bare with me, I promise they'll get better!
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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these are the noobs I enjoy. just like bogus, this guy seems to be worth his weight
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Old 08-27-2015, 06:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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these are the noobs I enjoy. just like bogus, this guy seems to be worth his weight
At first I thought that was sarcasm and then the comparison to bogus made me feel better
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice job smoothing that out. This is a great DIY.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a really good DIY. I've got a guy who owns a body shop down the street that has been teaching me how to pull the dents out. The worst one I had was when a brick fell between the top of my door and my sunroof on my GSR. Thankfully a slide hammer took that right out. Then a TAD bit of bondo and primer did the trick.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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wow, this is some advanced level stuff. I'd be way too afraid to start welding sticks to my cars panels D:
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Should have followed it through to color sand and polish.

Advanced? No its about as basic as body work gets.

Good documentation keep it going
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Should have followed it through to color sand and polish.

Advanced? No its about as basic as body work gets.

Good documentation keep it going
for someone not in the industry it's pretty damn advanced.

basic would be using one of those glue-based PDR kits to me
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Im telling you its basic. What it comes down to is skill. I have none for that job lol thats why im the mechanic. Ive watched bodymen work with bondo, filler, marglass... And i cant reproduce the technique. Pulling the dent is the easy part to me im horrible with filler. Especially working with it in 100deg weather where i live. The stud gun is real easy tacks right onto the body nothing to be afraid of.

Do you work with frame machines? I think the most valuable diy would be replacing a radiator core support. With some frame squaring. Its a pretty straight forward process but most wouldnt know where to begin.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Do you work with frame machines? I think the most valuable diy would be replacing a radiator core support. With some frame squaring. Its a pretty straight forward process but most wouldnt know where to begin.
Yes I do. It's rare that I get a job where I don't just replace the core support rather than straightening the old one, but if I get a job like that I'll take pictures and do a write up.

Thanks for the compliments guys!
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Good work there buddy!
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