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Old 11-11-2008, 08:01 AM   #1
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1970 25' Tradewind
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Dent Questions

My '70 TW has lots o' dents. Most are small in the forward lower areas, mostly from highway debris, they look like they could be easily dollied out. But there are a few large up top in the rear and a pretty severe crease on the right from amidships forward through the entry door and fridge access (see my gallery). I really don't want to touch the interior, it's all original and in VGC.

Has anyone had any luck with suction cup dent pullers?

Any way to fix that crease without pulling cabinetry and interior skin?
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:56 AM   #2
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I just looked at your pictures and the only way to fix those panels along the right side is to replace the panels. I have replaced all of those panels on this thread

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f381...nte-26902.html

Kip
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:32 AM   #3
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That is crease is such a close call narrowly escaped I'd *almost* be happy to leave it.. The back corner can be rolled out somewhat but it will show something happened there..

Aluminum is so soft there is no returning to a flat surface - once it has stretched there will always be a concave or convex quotient plus tool marks appearance wise. One can return a dent to a approximate prior appearance but if there is adjoining perfect plane panels it will stand out brightly.

The crease is there for good unless you swap out the 2024 aluminum sheet - however you can use heat and cold to contract some of the stretch so the furrows width and depth so overall from afar it isn't so noticeable... I used dry ice and a heat gun, but know dry ice reacts with the aluminum surface something akin to sanding it with 400grit sandpaper.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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I tried cheapo suction cups from Harbor Freight. Not much luck. Ding King or Pops a Dent worked better. You can also use the butt end of 2x2 lumber scraps with a hot glue gun to pull out dents. I've pulled out my front end dents quite a bit this way, but the only way I see to completely get rid of them is to take off the inside skin or replace the panel. I plan to put on some stainless rock guards to cover them up.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
I tried cheapo suction cups from Harbor Freight. Not much luck. Ding King or Pops a Dent worked better. You can also use the butt end of 2x2 lumber scraps with a hot glue gun to pull out dents. I've pulled out my front end dents quite a bit this way, but the only way I see to completely get rid of them is to take off the inside skin or replace the panel. I plan to put on some stainless rock guards to cover them up.
Thanks for the hot glue and 2x2 tip. I shall try that. This place is a font of knowledge! Adios, John
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:22 PM   #6
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1970 25' Tradewind
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Thanks for the advice. To be honest, I got the TW in trade for a house painting. Until I saw all the beautifully restored Airstreams here I was going to leave it and use it, since the few dings and dents, and the non-operable refirgerator and AC unit were the only things wrong with it.

But as these little things add up, and considering that I already have not one but TWO floating moneypits, I think I'll just replace the fridge, clean the old furnace and water heater, pull what dents I can, give her a good polishing this Spring and leave it at that. Not discouraged, just being realistic.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:40 PM   #7
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Great plan.. enjoy your airstream!
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