Today I'm working on this Mazda MX-5, you can see a dent which looks like Chuck Norris karate chop on the front wing. Actually the owner accidentally dropped a table on the edge of the wing panel.

A Sharp & Big Dent

So it's quite a big dent and it's very sharp, it’s creased and kind of stresses the metal. What makes it even more difficult is the way it goes across the natural kind of curve contours of the wing panel. So the front wing curves like this as the table has dropped against it, it's pushed in that complete kind of curve. It's going to take a lot of kind of strength, a lot of pressure to be able to bring that dent out. 

DoDa PDR Tool

What I'm really cautious about today is protecting the paint work. So because of the colour, this kind of metallic gold, it went to a body shop for a quote and they said they would replace the wings, but due to the metallic gold colour, they would need to blend the front door, blend the bonnet and potentially even blend the front bumper because that colour already looks slightly out from the front end.

Testing Out the DoDa

So really important to be able to take out this dent today without damaging the paint so we can do paint removal and avoid it. Go into a body shop for having even a new panel fitted or being kind of filled and painted. So I've got a couple of new tools to try today. I want to be testing out the DoDa which is available from TDN Tools. Brilliant bit of kit, never used it before. I'm excited to be able to use that and see if it's going to help me remove some of the tension and some of that kind of depth out of this dent.

So I start off by just releasing it in a one liner. I'm going to be leveraging off the tie for the majority of this repair. Now I can get access to most of the dents. It's a little bit to the top end where there's an inner frame, but it's just enough room to get in this tool. Now, for those that don't know, this is the DoDa. I've got a small extension and a tactical tip on it.

Release the Tension

Is it the right tool for this particular repair? Probably not, but I've just picked up a tool and I'm excited to use it. So I'm going to give it a go and just see if I can release some of the tension relatively quickly. I've got consistent heat, just the top of the shot. I've got my hairdryer set up making sure I keep that panel really nice and warm. And this is going to protect the paint. I'm so conscious of not damaging the paint here. We want to avoid a respray, especially when it's going to involve paint in pretty much half the car just to get the colour match.

I'm going nice and slow, just some gentle push just to see how the metal responds, I'm just going to speed up this next section and I can see how that metal moves. That was really good at moving metal off quite quickly, reducing a lot of the tension, but I've definitely left myself a big, nasty crease right in the middle. And you can see just here how tight that metal is, going the wrong way across the curve of the panel.

A Complex Repair

So it's quite a complex repair, just trying to release the tension and open up the dent. So I'm going to be using this tap down to open up the door. It's got that familiar leather tip on it. I'm just going to work across the whole panel and really try to soften up my repair. So I've developed it back to my double bend bar with a couple of extension pieces on the R4 tip and a red cherry cap. I'm just going to start pushing out alone on that bottom side of this crease, gradually working upwards towards the top of the dent.

I'm also going to try a little bit of glue  where I can get the DoDa into the top edge because of the inner frame. I'm just curious whether I can pull out some of the depth of it with some glue pulling techniques, some using Greensmith series, Crease Tabs with a Keco Robo Lifter, brilliant pieces of kit used together. And it does start to release some of the tension. But I definitely need to open up a lot more and soften up the damage.

Tapping Down

So I switched to my tactical ball tip on the end of the blender and hammer and just really worked around those crowns and just tried to release a little bit more tension. So after what was probably a good hour's worth of just tapping round to really soften the metal and open up the dent, it's not pretty and it's not clean, but it's definitely a lot more accessible and easier to start to get that metal to move. I've also changed the tip. I'm no longer using my R4 tip with a cherry cap and switching to this kind of hard plastic tip.

Sometimes those cherry caps are a little bit too easy to burst through and you can give yourself a nasty high spot with that metal tip. So I'm just going to continue the process of working on those low spots, following my crease line up towards the top. Tap down the tension and the highs I find along the way. 

Learn More!

So this repair took me hours to complete and I didn't get it 100 percent. But you can head over to Start training and Learning Paintless Dent Removal!

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