A Challenging PDR Repair
I have this challenge now, it's a large dent on the lower section of a door and it's been hit quite hard. A deer ran into the side of this vehicle whilst a customer was driving. It’s quite a complex repair, but I am thankful that the paint is intact. It affected the frame in a couple of areas which really distorted that body line and the upper skin section.
Removing the Bulk of the Damage
I'm going to start with the worst hit area partly because I'm looking for a quick way to take the bulk of the damage out. I also think that's going to release a lot of tension and help me see what remains of the repair. Once we get rid of that big low, then I’ll be using these Gang Green tabs which I have placed below the body line. A few little taps to start moving the metal before giving it a good pull to bring out a big bulk of that repair.
I started the first 40 minutes to an hour of just glue pulling and replacing the tabs in the various different kinds of lower areas of the panel. I went through quite a few different varieties of tabs and these are the Gang Green ones from Black Plague. But I also went through some Keco ones and I like the Black Ice tabs as well. At this stage I'm kind of trying to reduce the overall damage trying to give me the bulk of the shape.
Drawing Up the Low Spot
So I can just start seeing what's left and working out where the tension is being held before getting onto the inside of the panel. I'm giving it quite a good pull here again just focus on those lows at this stage. So this is one of the main low and I've switched to quite a large overall tab and also going to use the Robo Lifter. This allows me a bit more of a controlled pull so I've got those rubber feet holding the panel steady either side. I'm really focusing on just drawing up the low spot right in the middle of where those two feet sit on the panel.
I switch through quite a few different tabs during the process as you'll see some tabs work in certain areas better than others. See what starts to give you a bit of a pull and start to move the metal and reduce as much low damage as I can. We can see the majority of the shape is back but we've got lots of work to do. There are lots of low spots, high spots distortion and a whole lot of tension.
Let The Metal Move
On the inside of the door we have a couple of access points. A Rubber Grommet here would give us large square drain holes in the bottom edge. I can get a variety of different brace tools without having to strip out the door to create access holes.
Before I start pushing I've got to release some of this tension with a little tap down in the hammer. I am focusing on every part of the panel repair that is high. So working on the crowns ridges by releasing the tension. It allows me to have more movement to make it easier to release the lows or bring up the lows whilst it's under pressure and whilst the panel is under tension. Looking on the reflection you can see the metal move in the reflection and you can see where those lines are pinched together.
I’m currently using this tool from BLE which is bendable but it's got a really nice blade tip on the end which goes right through that hole. It gives me the access to go above and below that line. It's always good to play around with the different bars so now still from BLE, the hockey stick style bar just gives me a bit more strength than the previous tool.
Find a Leverage Point
I get right behind the kind of low spots and find a nice leverage point to start working on the panel. Now I'm in a bit of an awkward position here as this was a bit of a last minute repair I didn't actually set out to do today. So i wasn't really prepared to do this today but whilst on site I wanted to help out and remove the damage as best I could.
I spent more time tapping down than either pushing or pulling. There's a whole lot of work in the tap down in relieving the tension to soften the metal. Also in terms of blending as well as the tap down process. Plenty of precise kinds of taps, I'm really working on the lower crowns where the tension is in the bottom.
Finishing & Blending
As we take a look you can see the shape is really starting to come back. Definitely there is still some distortion running across the bottom.So basically there's a whole lot of finishing to do and a whole load of blending. Probably for the next half an hour to 40 minutes I was just blending to get to a finish. Sometimes you just need to get your head in the right position as it's all about getting the reflection right and what reads right to you. I was in the right position to be able to see the distortion in the highs and lows while going across and cross-referencing the different techniques that I use.
Paintless Dent Removals requires going through the theory, the tools and the different techniques. Understanding when and where to use it requires thorough learning to achieve a high level of finish.
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