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Old 08-13-2008, 11:59 PM   #1
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A little help from the dent wizard!

I work at a car dealer and believe it or not all those used cars out there on the lot came in originally with several dents and dings. As long as the paint is not broken we have this guy come around and take out the dents. Its amazing. We pay him a bunch of money and he is done in minutes?! I havent had our airstream for even one week yet and im already taking her apart. Im replacing the hull liner carpet so i thought if I could get behind the inner panel i might be able to remove the dent or crease on the right front. So i asked the "Dent Wizard" for some tips and if i might be able to borrow a few tools. Surprisingly he agreed and spend a few minutes teaching me a few tricks. The result was amazing.. he would have taken about 5 minutes but i spent two hours taping and looking and checking it out from each angle. The trick is light taps with the rubber end in a circular motion. The outer skin took its original shape again. Its not perfect and im sure if there is someone out there well schooled in this area he will see a bit of a wave but im pleased. I guess my point is that its all about the tools.. a little hammer and plastic punch. Tools of the professionals. My wife said that i should have taken a picture of the before or people will think im just making it up.. True. but she saw it. So if a novice can do it dont be afraid!

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...atid=newimages

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...atid=newimages

http://www.airforums.com/photos/show...atid=favorites

Cheers! Vinnie
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:07 AM   #2
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Wow! Good job. I couldn't see where the dent was. How big was it?
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:12 AM   #3
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Thanks. It was a crease from the upper corner near the center window on the right front panel leading down to the protection panel. I have no idea how it was done. I am the second owner and at first i thought it was due to stress on the panel but it must have been something that made contact. It was about 12 inches long and about 2 inches wide as it traveled downwards.

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:15 AM   #4
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I had a small dent in the side of my truck (my bad) and had it removed by Dent Busters. It took them about two hours and cost me around $100 to fix it. You can't find where the dent was. I was very impressed with the repair.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:19 AM   #5
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Hi Richard,

Its been tough on the body shops. This used to be a major income stream for them and now with todays flexible paints and thin panels these guys are making a killing. We took in a mercedes and it had dings all the way around. he worked on it most of the day and charged us 800.00 dollars. A screamin deal for us and now the car was sellable. I thought if he could do it in five minutes i can take all night if im patient!

Glad they were able to get your truck taken care of..

Vin
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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After working in body shops and garages for 20 years I totally agree this is possible.

Take your time and don't force anything. Ponder the dent and try to figure out how it was put in, then push it out in the reverse order to the way it was put in.

Start from the outside of the dent and work your way around in a spiral or concentric circle, working the damage out slowly.

Have heard that sometimes a dent will pop out by itself if you chill it with dry ice but have not tried this myself.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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For the more advanced students it is possible to shrink metal by heating and tapping. Heat the middle of the stretched area to make it bulge more, then flatten it down with careful hammer and dolly work. It will not be possible to remove the dent entirely. But when the metal cools it will flatten right out.
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Glad to hear this. It was stated on another thread this was impossible with aluminum, but I didn't believe that. Here is proof. A dent stretches metal and repairing means shrinking the metal back to it's original shape. What works for steel should work for other metals. Vinnie, you may be a natural for this; seems like magic to me.

I assume you have to have access to the rear of the dent. Otherwise, dry ice is worth a try. You can get dry ice for free when you buy ice cream at a supermarket—go home, fix the dent (if this really works, and wear gloves), then celebrate with ice cream.

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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Wow, Vinnie, that is a great job. There is no way I could have seen the dent in the picture. I am planning to take off the inner panels of my trailer soon. I would sure like to fix all of the small dings at that point. Does anyone have any idea about where to get these type of tools? I would be great to have my vintage tube looking perfect for personal pride and, yes, bragging rights.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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rock guard repair?

I have a bunch of small dings in my rock guards on the front of my trailer, nothing on the body thank goodness. I was planning on just bashing them out from the back after putting them on a very flat surface. Anybody else have a better idea?
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:14 PM   #11
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The dent guys use a florescent light that shines against the surface they are trying to repair. I didnt have this when i worked on this crease. What i did have was full access behind the dent. I could feel the crease and just worked like previously mentioned in an earlier post from the outside inwards. In the right light i can see the whole dent from top to bottom but you have to be looking for it. I was going to keep at it but thought that i was just going to screw it up if i did. My method was to open the front window and look outside at the crease while i was tapping from the inside. Im not sure how you would be able to see the outside on dents in other locations? Im sure whatever you do you could always make it look better. Good luck!

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:31 PM   #12
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I've tried a heat gun and dry ice, tried heat and spray chewing gum remover freeze spray - note the dry ice will react with aluminum and acts like 400-grit sandpaper after 10 or 20 minutes rubbing. All in all I relaxed the 'visual' depth to the dings or pushed in aluminum but it was not a cure...
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:58 AM   #13
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"My method was to open the front window and look outside at the crease while i was tapping from the inside. Im not sure how you would be able to see the outside on dents in other locations?"

You could use a big mirror or even a video camera.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:54 AM   #14
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Have you tried pops-a-dent? This is a kit I got online somewhere that removed some minor dents in my Mercedes. It consists of a hot glue gun, some glue, some "stems" (which are plastic discs of varying diameters attached to a metal screw), and a "handle".

To fix a dent, you heat up the glue, apply it to a disc, press the disc into the dent, put the handle over the stem, and slowly tighten the screw, which pulls up on the dent and pops it out.

I was pretty impressed, especially because it didn't do anything to the clear coat.
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