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Glue Pull Dent Removal

My little Dustbin suffered a parking garage bump from a much bigger SUV with a bumper above the level of mine - dunno who dunnit.  To pass the yearly road safety inspection, all crash damage must be repaired, but the law doesn't say anything about the quality of the repair...

Since I didn't want to spend money on an old clunker, I yanked the dent out with hot glue and dowel rods.  This works, because modern paint adheres extremely well to the metal.  It really doesn't come off easily.

There are many videos on Yootoob about no repaint hot glue dent pulling.  Everyone wants you to buy their fancy tools and special glue.  You don't really need any of that and prolly have everything you need in your tool box already.  I recommend watching a couple of those videos before you start, to give you some ideas.

I know how to do serious body work, I can weld anything that will melt and spray paint whatever needs paint, but where I live now, I don't have the tools - or the time.

A door is something you slam - therefore, if one would use Bondo to fill a door or hatch dent, then after a few months (if you are lucky) it may pop off and then you need to do it all over again.

Due to the two long creases in the hatch, I did not expect the dent pull to be a perfect job and just wanted it to look better - and pass the vehicle road worthy inspection.  I actually managed to pull most of the creases out with the big round dowels.  A shaped dowel would have done a better job of it though.

The dowel was a garden rake handle. I sawed a few pieces off one end and attached wire loops and then used the remainder as a lever, braced against a wood block and the bumper.  This method according to O'l Archimedes, could move the earth.  It worked a treat.

Pulling a dent this way, is a rather disconcerting experience, since the force is really huge and the dowel pops off with a loud bang.  A bottle of alcohol is needed to clean the panel and it helps to remove the glue.  You need a sharp nylon scraper (and a hair dryer on medium) to get the glue off the car.  You can to some degree control the strength of the pull, by how long you wait for the glue to cool.  If you wait too long, then you can pull little pieces of paint off, so don't!

Later, I also fixed two deep little door dings with a single pull each - I just put my knee against the car and yanked, but you need to be fairly strong, to pull a glue tab off without a big lever and in the middle of a car panel, you may not have a handy and strong fulcrum position for a wood block.

The pictures say it all:

Good enuff...  It could be improved with a sharp wooden pin and a mallet to drive the high spots back, but that will take many hours.

I just need some wax car polish to get the last of the glue off.

Lessons Learned
Dent pulling works best on rounded surfaces.  It is ideal for fixing a rounded fender bender.

Dent pulling may not be satisfactory on a flat panel, like a door - easier to push it out from the inside.  When a door gets banged in, the frame  usually also bends a bit.  The result is that when you pull/push the dent out, the panel may bong back and forth like an oil can.  If that happens, you need to stretch the door a little with a hydraulic press.  You may be able to fudge that by bending the edges of the door in a tiny little bit with a rubber mallet, to pull the panel tighter.

Be careful where and how you place a fulcrum for your pulling lever, or you may end up with a new dent.

Take it slow, work from the outside in and don't wait too long for the glue to go completely cold, since then it may adhere so strongly, that you pull little flakes of the paint off.  If you think the pull dowel is stuck too strongly, use a hair dryer on medium, to warm the panel up, or pour hot water over the work area.

You don't have to do it all at once.  If you are not damaging the paint, then you can work on the spot a little bit over multiple evenings, or weekends.

If you don't care too much, then it will look like my photos - much better, but a little bit wavy.  If I would paint the lower part of the hatch matt black, or stick a reflecting tape chevron on it to warn the next 1d10t, then one should not notice the wavy repair.

Have fun!



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