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Old 07-08-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
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Exclamation Dents

How are dents removed from an airstream trailer? Can it be done by an autobody repair shop?
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Old 07-08-2006, 12:29 PM   #2
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Once aluminum is dented, it stretches the metal. It is almost impossible to straighten. Small dents, like some hail dents may pop out some over time. Large dents usually require some metal being replaced.
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Old 07-08-2006, 04:06 PM   #3
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some dents can be oulled out with a suction cup from your local auto parts house. I have had success with a few large ones disappearing after doing this.
If you can get behind the dent you can try a "body spoon tool"
available at Harbor Freight. They will not work on creased areas though, only smoother pushed in dents.
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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There are some body shops that advertise "paintless dent removal". Cars today are made of such thin steel you can often push dents out without filler or new paint.

Someone with the right tools who knows how to use them can push the dents out of your Airstream.

Depending on the dent it should be possible to remove it completely, or if the metal is gouged in the middle of the dent, to at least press out 80% or 90% of the dent.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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I have yet to see any Airstream with nearly any size dent repaired with the dentless process to the point where it could not be seen. In most cases the standard repairs are replacement of the alum panel or overlaying a new panel over the damaged on.

As has been pointed out, once alum is dented, it's actually stretched. Some minor hail and such over time with heat and cold cycles may soften of make some disappear, but the big ones never really go away...I've only seen degrees of better.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #6
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Dents

Steel dents are very different than dents in the aluminum used by Airstream.

I have "YET" in my 42 plus years with Airstream, ever to see a dent removed without remaining evidence, that can easily be seen.

Oil cans dents, in the aluminum used by Airstream, sometimes happens by itself, and disappear by itself, simply by temperature changes.

Once in a great while an "oil can dent" that has no creases, can be removed, by very carefully tapping the metal, in the right places.

Andy
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:13 PM   #7
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There is another thread with this same name with pictures of my Sovereign before and after some pretty ugly dents.http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381/dents-47253.html
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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I was successful with a few lessons from my dent wizard guy. I had was appeared as a crease on the right front panel and i just kept working with it and made it less noticeable. I can still see it but nothing like it was.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...ard-44373.html

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Old 01-09-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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These are all the pictures I could find of the dents before and the front after popping and pushing them out. This is an old trailer and not polished so there is discoloration showing on the aluminum; however, the dents are actually gone. Perhaps you could find some trace upon close inspection but the trailer didn't need new aluminum panels, just made sure to caulk all the seams to be safe. No leaks so far.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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"I have "YET" in my 42 plus years with Airstream, ever to see a dent removed without remaining evidence, that can easily be seen."

My 20 years of working in garages and body shops tells me this is true, with a few exceptions. However it is usually possible to smooth out most of the damage and make it much less noticable.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:01 PM   #11
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Thumbs up more roof dents removed

LOOTH,
I, like "JUEL" , had large dents in the front center segment of my AS. As that is an expensive piece of aluminum, I wante to repair it.

I removed the front end capfrom the inside , it was cracked and needed plastic welding anyway, and was able to get at the dents from there.

I made a roller out of 3 caster wheels and was able to roll out the dents going slowly and with a small amount of pressure. I used a long handle on the roller so the end of the handle was on thhe floor of the trailer. Holding the end of the hanle against my foot, I was able to control the up-ward pressure as I moved the roller thru the "arc" of the roof segment. This took out all but the small dents as you can see from these photos.

The small dents I removed with another roller. A regular PAINT roller with "NO - NAP" that I shortend to 3 " in length and it is on a solid frame. Because of the opening for the vent, I was able to use a "dolly" on the opposit side from the roller. Some times the roller is inside & sometimes outside.

In places I could not reach on both sides, I had a friend work one side while I was on the other. To be sure we were in the same places, we used a pair of magnets from old speakers, one inside & one outside. When the magnets allign, you are able to mark the spot and proceed with the roller & dolly.

Here some photos showing the dents and the first stage of removal along with the roller. I can not locate the photos of the finished roof but it is no where as bad as it was. If you are up on a ladder, yes , you can see them. But from ground level the roof looks ok. It will never take a high polish but I don't intend to pollish it to a mirror finnish anyway.
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