So this door dent seriously kicked my butt. I massively underestimated the extent of this damage. By the time I was finished repairing it, my arms hurt, my eyes were sore and I was topping up my own cup of tea with my tears. Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration. However, I did underestimate the extent of this damage and it definitely tested my patience as a PDR technician. So I've taken some of the highlights from the full online tutorial that's available at L. P. O. And I've condensed it down into a shorter 25-minute video for you guys here. I really hope you enjoy the video most of all. I hope you're able to learn from it.
Check Access Points
So whenever I take on larger and more complex repairs, the first thing I do is check my access points. Now I intend to start this repair with glue polling techniques and also a lot of tap down work. But when it comes to its finishing stages, it's important for me to know that whether I can get my bar to the particular parts of the panel that's gonna allow me a nice clean finish. So at the moment I'm not trying to repair the dents, I'm just trying to see where the tip of my tool gets me to with this sweeping fashion. I can see that I've got good access to the lower door skin all the way up to the body line.
Now as I start to drag that tool slightly higher above the body line, I start to get some resistance. So often this is a sound pad or it's a reinforcer or some kind of internal brace. Now I can tell that there is an internal brace across the top section of this door, commonly referred to as being double skinned. So using my hook bar, I'm gonna see if I can get any higher up the repair by slipping the tip between the outer skin and the internal brace. I can get higher but I still can't get to the very top section. So I know that when it comes to the finishing stages I can get a tool to most of the repair but I do need to be a little bit careful working on that top section, knowing I've got very limited access to be able to get tools in and help me with my finish.
Using a Line Board
So now we take a look at it with the line board. Now, whenever you're using a line board to assess complex damage like this, it does get a bit messy and a little bit hard to read in. Very simple terms, where those lines pinched together is where the metal is high. So this is tension often referred to as crowns and where the lines are wider apart is usually indicating our low spot. So we can see this damage as a whole lot of tension. It's affected the entire door skin. So even down at the bottom section, I can see we've got a secondary crown towards the bottom half of the skin itself.
So the first thing I want to do with a damage like this is start to release some of that tension. I need to get some of that high metal from the areas above and below the body line and direct it and draw it into the low. So I'm gonna do this by using glue pool technique and I set up my crease tab right across the body line. But it's important to know I'm not trying to lift out the dent at this method. All I am trying to do is release the tension from the high areas above and below the body line itself. I've set the tab on the line because that is also the deepest part of this repair.
Using the K-Bar
Now using the K. Bar, I'm gonna simultaneously tap down the tension in the highest whilst applying just a little bit of gentle pulling pressure into my low spot. And what I'm trying to do there is replace some of that displaced metal. So that initial impact on the body line pushed some of the metal up above the body line and some of it down below. So along with releasing a tension. I want to try and direct some of that excess metal back into that low area where it belongs.
Different Tap Down Techniques
So I can already see the dent movement. I can see some of the tension and some of it's being released. So whilst I'm tapping down some of that high tension, I use a number of different tap down techniques. So my art for tip on the end of my blending hammer. Crow carb tapped down with that lever tip and also the rubber ball on the end of the hammer as well. I'm just trying to soften up the metal and allow it to move.
The Damage Is Starting To Move
So now that some of that damage is just starting to move. I've taken out some of the tension from the crowns and that big high spot at the top, you've got the main body line that runs through. But now that the dents a bit reduced, it's kind of like an impact point here. So the worst of the damage is right up on the sharp but you can possibly just see it here in that reflection. There's like a crease that runs through. Now that's above the body line. So my body lines here and the crease runs through here.
So that's probably the initial impact point above the body line that's taken in kind of this whole area. So we're just gradually reducing the depth by releasing attention. The body line is not too sharp, so it should be fairly straightforward to restore. But what I'm gonna do now is just try and another global on this kind of upper section of the dent perhaps from this angle you can see a slight crease line in that shadow.
So I'm gonna try and put a tab onto it. Some pulling power, see if we can bring out some more of that depth, it might still be a little bit too tight, so it might be a bit more tapping before it releases, but I'll continue just seeing what I can pull out.
So this main dent area now it's kind of was pretty messy as you can see, but it's split into two dents. So one of my pools was quite successful in pulling up a bit in the middle, but it did give me a high spot bang in the middle of my dent, which is always just makes it a little bit tougher. but at least the metal started to move.
So now I've got a split dent, this one is fairly round and a little bit soft, so there's not that much tension around, it's still a couple of kind of shoulders. And then this one is more defined and there's more of a crease. So you can see here that little bit there. So that's the next thing I'm gonna do now this is rock solid. So I have got a bit of tension in the top section here and the shoulder of the dent as it curves around here, so the main depth of it's all coming out and I have to be a little bit conscious not to make too many dents at the top end because above here I can't really get to with my bar, but I do need to continue suffering up the metal. Now the really sharp nasty high that really stood out at the beginning has been tapped down massively. It's a big improvement on that. The sunlight is good and bad as you can see great when I get to like like this, but any kind of shadows and it all disappears.
So again in this light you can see it perhaps a little bit better. This is my kind of crease dent. So this was the outer edge of the original dent and I pulled it in the middle and kind of split the dent with the K-Bar so it's given me two separate dents to really kind of work on effectively, it's the outer edges of the main initial repair. I've just split in the middle. Not intentionally, but it's part of that process and lifting up the crease that ran through.
So as I split the dent into two, I'm gonna treat this as two separate dents. The one on the right hand side was a crease dent. So I'm gonna tackle this with a crease tap. I've got the tab lined up on the lowest point of that crease and I'm using my lifter Now I'm gonna turn the feet inwards on this which makes a narrower gap and that directs more of my pulling force into a tighter area. And you can see as I pull a few times the metal does start to move and then with the second dent.
The one that was rounder. I'm using a smooth series square tab and again with that similar position on my lifter to help me draw some of that metal out.
Now I'm going to start working the areas that I can with a tool tip from the inside, so I'm using the shorter version of my hockey stick style door bar and I've applied a little bit of tape onto the end that creates a bit of a damper to make it easy to move a lot of metal without pitting a lot of small high spots in.
As we zoom in and look at those reflections, you can see the lines starting to move. So the glue reduced some of that low and I want to finish it off and get it a bit more of it out of the pushing techniques from the bars from behind. So as that reflected lines are pinching together, that's the tip of my tour moving some of that better.
Underestimating The Tap Down Work
So it's often quite easy to underestimate the importance of your tap down work, but I definitely spent a lot longer in the tap down stage of this repair than I did with any kind of blue pulling or pushing from the inside.
Being able to identify the tension is one thing and then you need to be able to release it and direct the excess metal back into the low area where it needs to be. And now it's starting to take shape, I'm gonna start working on restoring this body line.
So you'll probably notice I've switched to my double bend bar. This is great for being able to work on the body lines. The bar doesn't bend, it's really strong and I'm able to apply a lot of pressure to really help me start pushing on that bodyline.
And as we take a closer look, once again, you'll see the reflected lines moving. So that kind of zigzag through the middle is the bodyline itself. And as you see those lines pinching together, that is my tool tip on the inside of that body line, pushing up the remaining the lows and helping to get that body line back in shape.
Now these bits right at the top, I can't get two of my bar because I've got sort of brace on the inside. So the top section of his double skinned embraced. So I can't get to these low spots with my bar really frustrating. So I'm gonna try and do a bit more to see if I can bring it high and tap it down. We've got a slight high here as well, ridge, which I think is part of the bar where it's bonded on. So hopefully we can glue pull a bit more otherwise I may try heating up the glue of the brace and seeing if I can cut through with a hook tool.
Smaller Tabs and Slide Hammer
So now that my low spots are smaller, I'm gonna use smaller tabs to help me lift them and this time I'm using my slide hammer to help me pull out those lows. I do this three or four times and it does start to lift up some of the remaining lows.
But now I'm switching back to more tap down work so often when the lows start to become stubborn and don't really want to be lifted out. It's usually an indication that there is still some tension in a high that needs to be knocked down to allow that metal to flow in towards the low area to allow you to be able to lift the low and now that I've released a little bit more of that tension I can pick out a few more of the lows with my hook bar.
So now just a really quick assessment in the natural light or what I refer to as the customer view you can see the panel is really starting to take shape. However, there is still a lot of work to do. I've got some tension below the line in that door skin, a low spot on the line itself and also some micro highs micro lows in the upper section of the door. So I've still got quite a lot of finishing work to do on this repair but unfortunately I'm just starting to run out of daylight hours.
Run Out Of Daylight Hours
So it got a little bit dark still working in the winter here getting used to the daylight hours but it does mean I've got a use for my limitant. I'm so close there with them now with the dent but I'm gonna pick this up another day when I've got some better light just from the finishing side of it. So close but just run out of time and I wanna get it right job's worth doing and all that. So I'm gonna pick this up another day and just finish up some of those little minors imperfections.
Picking Up This Repair Again
Okay, so I'm picking up this repair again from your point of view. It's of course just a few seconds from my point of view, it's been three days. So I ran out of daylight hours to really make really make a good uh as good as I could on this repair, so I wanted to spend a little bit more time doing it.
So thankful because it's one of my neighbors cars, I just asked if I could pick it up in a few days time and carry on to his surprise because he looked at it and said it looks amazing. I can't see anything wrong with it. But obviously we know a little bit different as pediatrics. Now the camera picks up more than the human eye, so whilst it does look pretty good without the camera and just a natural reflection. Obviously here going back with my very tight lines on my board, we can pick up some of the detail.
So now that I'm looking at this with some fresh eyes despite me looking a bit bleary eyed and tired. I've got a couple of different ways you can approach this so I struggled before with the brace being right in the middle of this kind of Pixley part of the repair. I've heated up. I'm going to heat up the bracing that glue and just sort of cut my hook but underneath, cut into the blue and just try and really get some effort to pull it up behind the brace to help me tweak out some of these tiny little micro lows, but also there's another access point which I overlooked before which gets me to just above the brace.
So I'm gonna set up quickly and show you that now. and it's, it's on a lot of vehicles so it's kind of a hidden access point to really kind of look out for. But I'll show you that little point on the camera now and then I'll show you with a tool set up and show you the reach on it. But just whilst I'm going through the sort of close up looking at my line board, I just want to kind of reiterate the difference between moving your line board back so I'll switch the camera and and see if I can get it to pick up to bear with me.
Okay, so here we go, just looking down the board, looking down the shape of the panel, it's pretty straight. Obviously you've got a couple of little kind of micro dots micro little lows and stuff in here, but it looks pretty straight as in, there's no real obvious high sort of crowns tension points moving my board right back and then bring in my panel here, you can probably just pick up here, right through the middle of my repair.
The midsection looks slightly high, so going backwards and forwards, but it is difficult to get it to pick up, but there's a kind of high section running right through the middle, so it appears that the sections either side of it are low, but by spending a bit of time tapping down some of this high, it's gonna push the metal outwards into my low spots, so you can possibly pick it up here right through the middle.
Now whilst there is lots of tiny little lows there is a general kind of high through right through the middle, so these areas here and here look ever so slightly low. So I'm going to do two things. One tap down some of this to push out the metal this way, but also using my bar. Just get in and lift up some of the lows as well. So a little bit of tapping that down, a little bit of lifting these up as kind of big areas, get the shape back and then I can really sort of get close to some of these kind of little micro details. I don't think I'm gonna get it 100% but I can certainly work a little bit more than it currently is.
Small Access Point Challenge
And whilst we're looking at the panel just here is my other access point so it's not much room but I can get a tool in there which slips me down to this point and then my brace bar that runs through is roughly here. So by putting a tool through this hole and bringing it down to here, I can reach kind of this section of the door I can't get through to here.
So I've still got a bit of a challenge. But by using a small sort of brace tool or pick, I can get into the top section to help me tap out some of these tiny little bits at the top or push out some of the bits at the top and then again using my hook bar to come in underneath the brace to really pick out some of these little micro lows.
And this is it just takes a lot of patients to be honest. Whether I could have got the repair clean. I'm not sure I had to tap it so hard to get rid of that horrible tension line we had at the beginning. So it's inevitable. I was going to put some sort of texture into the panel but I'm just gonna spend another half an hour to an hour just picking out some of those little lows and tapping in that area.
Few Different Tools
So there's a few different tools that can fit in. This tiny little white, I can get it through that gap just about get it to the top part of the repair there that was a bit too thick. And then this one as well you have to be very careful with this as I start pushing in the tool itself, pushes the outer panel, so if you're not, if you just focus on that bit, you could easily put a high spot in this area here.
So as I'm putting that you're reading it through, I'm sort of pushing it away so that I'm not marking the inside of the panel, but I can just about get that tip to the top area the repair as well and this one gives me a bit more strength then the thin little brace tool, but this one gets me a little bit further into the picks into the low spots. So I'm just up here at the moment.
Reset Your Mind And Your Eyes
Now of course in the middle of repair it's not always easy to take a three day break and I don't recommend it. I'm not charging anymore for doing it. I consider it my fault that I run out of time, it takes a bit longer doing the videos when I'm doing the repair and also still at this time of year fighting the daylight hours as to when it gets dark.
But I picked up again. But even just with taking 20 minutes half hour break, if you're doing a big repair like this, just go reset your mind your eyes for 30 minutes, go and have a cup of tea and come back because with the fresh mindset I'm not tired out, I'm happy to just crack on and really focus on those fine details I've got fresh eyes and I've spotted the extra little access hole with that weather strip molding is just kind of got a kind of fresh approach, new vigor to go and do the repair. So when you can do, just take 5, 10 minute break away from big repairs just to kind of help reset your mindset and focus but that's it. I'm gonna crack on and finish this repair.
The Importance Of Having A Break
So I'll probably spend the next half an hour to an hour just working on the micro details in the finishing stages. But as I say, it's important to just stop, have a break, enjoy your cup of tea before cracking on cheers.
Light Flat And Polish
So whenever you're working a repair like this, it's kind of inevitable that you're gonna have some texture in the panel. This makes it really difficult to pick out the micro lows and highs. So I'm gonna give this a light flat and Polish. I'm using 2000 paper very lightly and then a cutting compound Polish to bring it back up again. Now that gives me a really nice clean, bright reflection. So now I can see that I've got five or six little low spots that still need to be picked out. But before I polished it, it was really difficult to see exactly what areas were still high and what areas were low.
So having a nice clean and bright reflection just helps me see the damage that I'm trying to fix, which ultimately is going to give me a cleaner, nicer repair finish. They can just see me picking out the lows where those lines are pinching together. I've got my tool behind and I'm just working the remaining low spots.
Hope That You Found This Helpful
So I really hope that you found this video helpful in terms of how I approached damage like this and also some of those key stages that happen during the repair process. Now I'm putting a lot of information in this video. So do go back and watch it a few times to pick out some of the highlights. Now as I said, this is just a shortened down version, the full tutorial, which is available within the Learned PDR training along with advice tutorials courses and of course the members only forum that gives you full access to me and the other students to be able to discuss repair types of methods, tools and techniques.
Now, just to be clear, I did not get this repair 100% perfect. There is still a little bit of distortion and a slight ripple through the door skin itself. Now I've managed to save the door, I've also saved my customer from an expensive body shop repair or ensuring to claim and most importantly he is over the moon of the repair that I've done so all in all. I'm pleased with the repair how it's come out and hopefully you've enjoyed the video too. So that's it from me today. Take care and I'll see you in the next one.