In this video, I'm glue pulling a foot-long crease dent from the roof panel of the BMW. It's about a 12 inch crease, a bit of a curve to it but because it's a roof and limited access, I'm hoping to fully remove this dent with the glue pulling process. But no doubt, there'll be plenty of tapping around and lots of blending too.
Assessing The Crease Dent
Above we have our crease dent and as you can see it's towards the rear of the roof panel on the BMW. The deepest point is about here the dent itself starts just in front of it and just gradually curves down and gets lighter as it gets towards the rear of the roof panel back towards that rear screen.
We begin by assessing the dents in what we refer to as the customer view. Just using those natural reflections, you can see the distortion and the reflection of the house and the trees behind and then by comparison, setting it up with my line board, and just seeing how those lines distort.
The crease itself is about a foot long and it's kind of in three separate sections so a fairly light section towards the back this is the lightest part so the shallowest part of the dents itself and it's a fairly straight line and then a slight curve to the center section before getting to the deepest part of the dents and this was the main point of impact.
Now, the metal is not stretched but it certainly is quite a sharp dent particularly on that initial impact point. We're also now assessing the kind of the hidden damage or the area around it so we've got the obvious distortion that creates the line but at this time we're just looking for any kind of hidden damage anywhere there might be tension. So, there's crowns or perhaps a brace behind the panel and it could just cause us a bit of a problem through the repair.
So, it is really important in the initial stages to spend a bit of time assessing the damage and really looking across the whole panel.
Setting Up The Glue Tab
Now, the dent is kind of split up into three sections. We've got the main impact point, a fairly straight crease in the middle and in that light section that slightly curves towards the rear. I'm pretty much going to attack these dents in three separate areas.
Personally, I'm going to start with the worst part of the repair. There are a couple of reasons but one of them is that I want to get the worst of it done because by comparison the rest of it.
As you can see, I'm using the robo lifter from Keko along with the dead center crease tab.
I've cleaned the panel really well and I've got a fair amount of heat in between my pools just with a standard hair dryer just making sure I keep the panel quite warm.
If you've watched a few of my YouTube videos before, you will know I really get on well with this combination so the robo lifter with those lovely rubber feet and also the dead center tab and just gently starting to work out the metal. You can really get some good adhesion here and really focus your pulling energy on the crease itself.
Now, after a few good pulls, I've really managed to make some progress pretty quick. Just here you can see the lines pinched together on the right hand side of that initial crease that means my crease tab got to the lowest point with my lifter. I've been able to bring it up high. I can tell it's high by the way the lines are pinched together.
Now, from the top side I can spend a little bit of time with a tap down. Just using a standard Keko tap down and my hammer, I'm just gonna begin tapping down along that high crease where those lines pinched together. You can just pick out the metal starting to move and I'm starting to bring the lines back.
Letting this play out in real time, you can get an idea that it doesn't take very long for me to tap down this high spot but what it will do is watch that back in hyper speed so you can see what it does to the metal.
Now that I've tapped down the majority of that high, I'm going to repeat the process but this time on the other half of that dent. I've just set up my tab to the left now so I'm back to working on the crease section. This is always a good time to just kind of assess your lines as well so I move my head back and forth as I'm moving my line board. I've just switched to my reflector board. It's quite a bright day today so this works pretty well.
Just as before, I'm setting up my robo lifter and I begin by just gently squeezing the trigger. I just want to start to check the adhesion and just really work slowly here and start to bring out that repair. I'm not looking to pull the handle too tight and create a kind of a snap or too much of a pull as you've seen from some of my previous videos. It's very easy to lift the metal too high.
Here just taking a quick look, you can see I've pinched the metal up on the left hand side so again I’ve taken that low and I've begun to bring it up high. Once it's high from the top side, I can just tap that down to the lines read relatively true.
At this stage, I'm not looking to take out this part of the repair 100%. My goal is to get most of the metal moving most of the shape back into the panel and I'll do this across the entire repair and then spend some time at the end in the finishing stages just making sure I've got a really nice finish across the whole panel.
Now, whenever you're working on crease dents, especially if you're using a glue pull process, it's so important to get the centerline of that tab directly on the centerline of your crease. So later on, I'll share a little tip that really helps me read the dent and make sure I can get my tab directly onto the center.
Once again, just assessing the repair area, you can see we've got a couple of highs where those lines pinched together but still a little bit of a low. Overall, the area is coming up pretty clean so I'll just spend a moment tapping down some of those little high spots I've created before reassessing and moving on to the next section of this repair.
2nd Section Of The Damage
Moving on, I'm going to start to work on the second section of my repair. This is my tip for being able to read the center. If you move your line board at a slight 45 degree angle, you get this really nice zigzag that runs right through the middle of the repair.
So it's kind of like a zed or a lightning strike but this really makes it so much easier to be able to assess exactly where the center of that crease is so that I can line up my crease tab directly on the deepest part of the repair. That's going to give me a really nice symmetrical pull as I set up my lifter and begin to bring up the low.
I'm often asked when I'm glue pulling what the optimum time is to leave a tab. For me personally it's a little bit of trial and error there's so many different factors such as the brand of glue, the tab you're using, the temperature of the panel, and also the environment but also it depends what you're trying to do to the panel. Whether you're trying to gently lift the dent or whether you're wanting to get a really nice pull and kind of shock the panel so there are a few different factors.
Generally, with this sort of setup, I'm going for somewhere between 10 and 30 seconds.
Now, thankfully it's not too cold today and it's quite bright so it's kind of ideal working conditions.
Earlier, I told you that it's very easy to over pull the metal. As you can see, I have definitely pulled it a little bit more than I intended to. You really do get very good adhesion when you set up the lifter and the tabs correctly.
Whilst my intention was to bring the panel slightly high, I did not intend to bring it quite as high as I did here so you can really see where those lines pinch together. It's not too much of a problem and I can tap that down relatively quickly but I did definitely pull it a little bit more than I wanted to. So far I've now taken the second dent and I've split it in half so I’ve taken the right hand side and lifted it up and I’ve reduced that dent by about fifty percent.
Moving on, repeating that process on the left hand side of my dent and again, I've got my line board tilted at that 45 degree angle to give me that really nice zigzag so I can get the centerline.
After a few pulls and a bit of tap down work, I'm left with just a tiny little part of that crease. So I've reduced the size of my crease tab to match the size of my crease, and once again, carefully set up my lifter applying just a little bit of pressure.
You can see those lines begin to pinch together on either side of the feet. It's a slow gradual process but overall, the repair is coming out really well and most importantly, I'm keeping it nice and clean throughout the repair process.
Now that I've got the first stage and second stage of my repair to about 90%, I can come to the third stage and spend a little bit of time.
This is the longest part of the crease but it's also the shallowest so using a process that I've used throughout this repair, I'm going to basically use my lifter to continue on lifting up the center part and just keeping an eye on the panel as I start to move around.
At this point I'm just moving my line board across the roof panel really assessing the overall area but it's at this point where I spot some damage that I missed earlier. This is actually a high spot; it's a high crease or ridge that runs across the roof panel and it's caused by an internal bracing bar.
I've got the outer roof skin but on the inside there are the main structure points and then running across width ways across the roof panel you have some internal bracing. The initial impact pushed the skin down and that pressed against one of the internal brace bars which has in turn caused a slight high spot across the area.
But for now, I'm going to focus on my main repair but certainly towards the end of the repair I've got to come back and tackle that crease.
3rd Section Of The Damage
This time around I've used a lot less pressure. I've got a very slight pinch line which is ideal. This is the sort of level I wanted to bring the panel up to before just enough to bring that low slightly high which means I can see it from the top side and then begin to tap it down.
But also, just as before I move my line board around the whole area just kind of assessing for any of the kind of impact points, any other distortion or any crowns. Anywhere there might be a little bit of tension.
Switching my camera setup to the opposite side of the vehicle, I just want to show you my kind of working position overall.
I'm constantly moving around. I’m keeping my head down low with the panel. Again move my line board round, left and right just slight adjustments throughout the whole repair. Overall, the repair has come out really well. I'm making quick work of it and most importantly the repair is nice and clean. This is because I followed a set process.
Online PDR Training Platform
I teach this process over my dedicated training platform learnpdronline.com. We have here over 100 different videos teaching from the very basics right through to kind of medium and more complex repairs. We have different video series specifically on topics such as finishing, blending and access points.
We also have the members-only forum. This is a place where I can chat directly with my students. We can all ask questions and advice with the ultimate goal of getting a little bit better at paintless dent removal because the training is online and it's available 24/7 at your fingertips.
Whether you’re on your laptop, PC, iPad or smartphone, you can access the training anytime you need it just for a little bit of guidance helping you succeed with paintless dent removal.
But for now, let’s go back to the repair.
Repairing The Ridge
Let's take a look at these brace bars. Generally you have two or three across the midsection of the panel. You have some main structure points at the front and rear ultimately just giving a little bit of shape structure and strength to the roof panel itself. Because I'm short, I've got myself in an elevated position so whether this be on a side step on your toolbox or just on the sides of the car I put myself in an elevated position which really helps me get an overview or an aerial view of the repair.
Now, I've put my line board towards the rear of the car, I've got my head down a side at an angle really just assessing that pinch line and I'm just gently working across it left to right right to left with my tap down knocking down the high spot until all of those lines read through.
It's only this brace bar that has caused me a slight problem but it is definitely worth checking the whole roof panel like I didn't earlier just to make sure I've not missed any of the damage across the roof panel. The last thing you want is your customer to come out to check your repair and spot something that you've missed.
So, do take the time to really assess the panel.
As we draw towards the finishing stages of this repair, I'm going to finish out with a whole load of blending. I'm using my carbon fiber blending hammer. I get on really well with this hammer and I've got a couple of different screw tips in.
They are both blending tips fairly small domed and these are really good for whether you're doing the reaction blending or vibration blending both of which I teach within the Learn PDR Online training platform.
But I'm just working around the whole repair area using that kind of vibration that reverberates across the panel just making sure that the entire sheet of metal reads true and looks really good on those finishing stages.