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Old 12-24-2005, 12:04 PM
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dents in side of truck

i started the post on stud welders .here are pictures of my dents i want to work on
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:15 PM
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Can't you get in behind those panels?

Looks like you should be able to by removing the interior panels. That is a Suburban, isn't it?
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Old 12-24-2005, 03:09 PM
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Let me be the first to suggest a stud welder...just kidding.

There are several articles about dent repair that I recommend, one by me, one by Ron Covell, and one by Wray Schelin. I'm sure they will help. Here is Wray's:

Here is Ron's:

If you are interested in mine, contact me through a PM as it could be construed as advertising to post it here.

Check out: in the forums for posts by Martin SR. Tons of good reading. You are lucky to be learning at a time when the internet is here. Learning by yourself is tough going, but most of what you learn will be self taught based on a few snippets of information from here and there that click for you as you do the work....

I agree with Poncho62, you should be able to get behind those areas. If necessary, you can always cut out inner structures to reach a hidden area, and weld them back in when you are done. You could also cut out the damaged metal and fix it on the bench, then weld it back in place. Not a very good solution because of all the welding, but sometimes a decent can choose an easy place to make your cuts and welds, and it is a lot easier to straighten out metal on the bench than on the car.

Try to start from the outside of a dent and carefully work your way in to the middle. For a rookie, after bumping the dents out with a dolly from behind, hold a flat dolly on the outside and hitting from the inside with a wide smooth hammer face will get you off to a good start on all those dents. Don't be afraid to hit the metal a lot. Hope this helps.

I've always like those old Suburbans.


Last edited by John Kelly; 12-24-2005 at 03:13 PM. Reason: -----
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Old 12-24-2005, 03:23 PM
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Although it may be difficult to reach both sides at the same time, for one person. I would try to straighten as much as possible with a helper. I believe that most, if not all of that damage can be reached from the inside. I would try knocking out the damage as much as you can from inside using a body hammer or slapper and dollies. That damage should repair fairly easily, with a little patience. The metal on those older trucks is pretty thick and strong, specially in the curved areas. If you try to use a stud gun on it, you will have a battle on your hands.

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Old 12-24-2005, 03:57 PM
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I agree with the others, bumping them out from the backside would be the best method to go about fixing them. With proper metal working techniques you should need very little filler. Glancing at your pics I don't see any ridges or creases, bodylines that would make them too difficult, as areas like that or on the edge of a panel make things tougher, as they make the metal more difficult to work and try to hold the metal from being easily bumped out. Remember the rule is first in last out, so start working the edge of the dent out working your way to the middle. Then have a helper keep pressure on the back side of the dent as you work off dolly and lighty hammer around the very edge of the dent to finish off the straightening. Stud welders are great tools, but for a dent like those it will work better straightening by knocking out from the backside, and use the stud welder if it is needed for any finese straightening.
Check out: in the forums for posts by Martin SR.
Why go to another board when the "world famous", okay maybe not to that extent, Brian is right here, and visits often.
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Old 12-24-2005, 11:39 PM
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As the others have mentioned the very first thing you need to do is see how far you can go to getting behind those panels. As I remember those trucks have a bolt in trim panel on the sides don't they? If I am not mistaken, you remove them (get the proper very large phillips head screw driver or driver for your ratchet) and there is a ton of access. If not, as John said, you should be able to cut an access hole. I have completly removed interior panels by drilling out the spot welds and then simply welding them back in when finished with the outside. It sounds wild to cut out panels causing a bunch of work to do other work, but it works out in the end. You may even be able to get in there thru the tail lamp, but start pulling the interior out of that thing and see were you are.

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Old 12-25-2005, 04:50 AM
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My first thought would be to get that body line where it belongs. If you are using a stud gun you can grab a row of studs right on the line and with a come along hold it while you work the lighter stuff around it. If you get that line in place the rest will want to follow with little taps and bumps. Then a pin here and there ... There is a lot of streached metal there so it's ok to let those pins really get hot. Have a wet rag nearby and quench them one at a time as you go ,it will help shrink some at the same time.
Don't grind everything off yet though. just a inch strip at first along that line so you can get a row of studs on there first.

It would sure be a plus if you can get behind there but could be done from the outside too..

If you try to get it all the way without the ability to shrink you may end up with a over streached oil canning mess.

So leave a little for filler to handle ..


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Last edited by milo; 12-25-2005 at 06:18 AM.
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