PDR Training - Large Dent Repair

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  • PDR Training - Large Dent Repair

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PDR Training

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Learn the step-by-step process in effectively repairing a large dent. This course contains a series of video tutorials that will teach you how to remove large dents on a vehicle.

PDR Training - Large Dent Repair

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In this video we take a close look at the damage and assess the various ways you could approach the repair, there are usually a few different options for most dents and a logical repair process to follow.  In this example, I start with the softer larger damage for a couple of reasons before moving on to the more complex distorted metal at the top of the dent. 

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In this video we start removing the dent, I start with a ‘wet pull’ which is a great skill to have for removing large damage quickly, it acts in a similar way to a ‘cold glue system’, because the glue is still tacky when it pulls, it moves more metal than if it had fully set.

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In this video we reassess the damage, and work out our next steps in the removal process. The main large soft dent has now been removed and we are left with the more complex damage in the ‘upper section of the door’. 

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Next step of this repair we are working on releasing some tension, I continue to try to pull out some more of the low section below the main crown, I have some success with this but did not draw out as much of it as I hoped, this means there is too much tension in the crown and its holding the low spot in, so I need to release some of the tension to allow the metal to flow again.

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This video shows how to remove the inner door panel trim, aka door card. It's always a good idea to look at the edges of any door card, for design purposes they do not make screws particularly obvious especially on modern cars so look all around the trim, look for courtesy lights, badges, speaker grilles, caps etc as often screws and fixings will be hidden behind these. Sometimes you can speak to the manufacturer's parts department and they will email you a diagram of the door card and fixings to give you an idea or alternatively there is every chance you will find a ‘how-to’ video on Youtube.

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Before I start to work on the remaining dent damage from the inside with my tools I need to open up the dent some more, I need to be able to get to the centre line of the low crease and often with deep or stretched damage it's hard to pick it out on the line board so opening up the dent does two things, it loosens or softens the metal around the crease and then also just slightly lifts the centre by drawing the metal either side outwards. 

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With the dent opened up it's clearer to see my low spots and the centre of the crease ie the lowest section. I begin by attempting another few pulls with my crease tabs, when these tabs pull they really can save time on pushing but I didn't get too much of it up with these on this occasion so switched back to tooling from the inside. 

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The upper door section was the most distorted and complex part of this repair so demands a lot of attention as well as patience, gently bringing up the lows and knocking down the highs, adjust and repeat, adjust and repeat. 

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As we progress with the upper door section I switch to my screw tip bar, I apply a lot of tape to the tip to give me the soft damper feel of a soft tool, but with the strength and leverage of my screw tip bar. This allows me to use less force in my pushing which then allows for more accuracy and reduces the chances of slipping but also helps not to tire myself out unnecessarily as these big repairs can take their toll on your body and if you, like me, dont always make time for the gym its easy to pick up injuries. 

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When you start learning PDR you will notice that your eyes probably get sore or tired, after a while as you get quicker at your repairs and your eyes learn to adjust. This blurry red eyed feeling does go away but once you get stuck into larger repairs like this you may notice your eyes can begin to get strained again, it's so important to take little breaks if you are feeling like this, do not burn yourself out.

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So as we come into the final stages of this repair we focus on finishing, so plenty of blending and picking out those micro lows and highs. The shape of the door is back and the impact damage has been reversed. This is where the true art of PDR is harnessed and the real reward discovered once you know you have fully repaired the damage and have a very happy customer! 

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About the teacher

Tom Lusted

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