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Old 02-06-2006, 12:27 AM
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Fixing a dent (with pictures)

Hello everybody,

So I'm getting ready to dive into the world of body work with my 70 Nova. This dent is one of the major problems. It's roughly 12" long by 3" high by 1" deep, and located just under the major body line that runs the length of the car.







What's the best way to fix this dent? A friend told me the best way to pop it out would be to weld a stud onto it and pull it out using a slide hammer. Getting to it from the inside would be difficult since it's located right at the point where the back seat ends and the trunk begins. Anybody have any ideas?

Is this something that I can do at home or best left to a body shop?

Thanks.

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Old 02-06-2006, 12:58 AM
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I am not a body guy by any means, but....


I know its in a bad spot, but I would pop the back seat out and see if I could get a bar (flat bar, round rod, crow bar, tire iron??????) in there to pop at least part of it out. You might even be able to get something up in there from the trunk area.

I have used various bars in some tight places before.

Do you have a welder? After trying to pop as much as I could with a bar, I would go with the welder idea. I see no reason you can't get most of it out at home. Thats pretty minor in my opinion.

Now I will shut up and let the real body guys speak and tell you a better way (or the correct way).
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:17 AM
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Where's Milo?, he has a great set of pictures for just this.

MILOooooooooooooo, where are you?????????
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:32 AM
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Any pictures of the inside access? You may be able to pry a lot of the damage out to where it can be smoothed. You may have to get creative with setting up pivot points to pry from, make a soft paddle type end on a pry bar etc. Then figure out a way to press a dolly against the inner surface for your hammer and dolly work. Inner structures can be cut out and re-welded when you are finished for better tool access. That hard body line will help give the panel some resistance to work against.

Your choice of method will have a lot to do with how much filler you end up using. That dent could be done with no filler if you decide to put in the time.

John

Last edited by John Kelly; 02-06-2006 at 01:28 PM. Reason: ----
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:24 AM
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You know what I think? I think you are making the classic mistake of the newbe, you are not giving the dents respect they deserve. You don't have "A" dent, you have hundreds. Below the dent you are pointing out are many more in the photos. That one you are pointing out is only a "portion" of "A" dent that covers the whole quarter.

Most any car of that age is going to need work on every square inch, it just goes that way. Your Nova looks like that.

If you were to work on that dent you would get all flustered because as you worked it you will run into another, and another, and another. Where one ends, another begins. You have to give it the respect it deserves.

Yes, you can do this body work, but you need to take it one step at a time. Look for a dent on the car that is all by it's self. Fix that dent and then do another, there will be some like that on the car. By the time you get a little experiance and you read here and get a better understanding of what you are doing, you will be ready to tackle that quarter.

On that quarter and many other panels on the car, you will need to strip the whole panel and work it like it is one big dent. This does not mean you need to strip the whole car, but you could, one panel at a time. I will put a dollar on it that here is some rust at the bottom of that quarter as well, it is "one big dent".

Brian
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Old 02-06-2006, 10:08 AM
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Oh believe mere, there are more dents

This is the just biggest one (or the biggest portion) and I do plan on sanding the whole car. I thought I'd start with this one as it's the worst part. Thanks very much for the advice, it's just what I'm looking for.

I'll post pictures of the inside later tonight.
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:30 PM
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That area is accessable with a bar, there is about 1.5" of space between the outer skin and the rear firewall bracing. If the quarter glass is removed it can be accessed from the front and also through the trunk area from the rear. It takes two people to work these areas-one to bar the backside and the other to work the hammer or slapper on the outside. Go slowly with dull ended tools. Bob
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:44 AM
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Here is the situation from the inside trunk area.

Overall:


Close up, between the bracing and the panel:



Not much room to swing anything inside there to pop it out.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:55 AM
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"Not much room to swing anything inside there to pop it out"

I would not be looking for someplace to "swing" something. A long or possibly short, pry bar pushing is your best bet. You don't really want to knock it all out in one blow. You want to bring it out slowly and evenly, using something that has a smooth end, no sharp points. There is less chance of stretching and deforming it that way. The dent, althoug done in one accident, did not appear all at once. It went in slowly, although time is relative. Even if you hit something with a hammer, the dent is in stages, not all at once. Take them out the same way.

If you guys ever get a chance to watch someone do "Paintless dent removal" watch carefully. They will take a small dent and work it out slowly. You will first think, "why are they wasting their time? A small tap and it would be out." Then when they are done, it is gone. I always look at a dent, any size, that way.

There as alot of talk about "metal finishing", with out fillers. I do believe that someone with the talent and time, could repair that without fillers. I am not saying that that is the only way to go. You do want to get as much as you can out with out just filling it. Take your time, and learn as you go.

Good luck

Aaron
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:32 PM
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Great info Aaron, thanks a lot. I'll try it out this weekend and update you all on my progress.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:57 PM
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the 1st thing to do when preparing to remove dents is to figure out how the dent was formed then to remove it carefully
there are tons of tricks & options for this type of work some old 2x4s wooden wedges pry bars Etc. etc.
If you can reach up and touch the back side of a dent then you dont need to put any holes in it.


How about some more pictures standing looking straight at it level with it & take a few shots maybe 4 to 6 in a arch to see it better??

Thanks

R


R
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:18 PM
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The other alternative is buy a stud welder, about $300. I bought one for my Chevy Panel from Eastwood. The kit comes with the gun, studs, and a slide hammer, and some curvy wire that you can also weld to the metal and use a claw with (is an added purchase) with the slide hammer, or come along. Clean the surface to bare metal and you weld the studs or curvy wire to the surface and then pull out the dent. Less time hammering, especiially in places where you can't get behind the damaged area. The good thing about this system is that you can pull damaged to the surfaces of the undamaged area as if the damage was never there. Then you can prep the area with filler if needed, but it is a good investment, especially if you are working by yourself and have no help as I am, this works really great and less time spending to fix the dent.

The studs can be reused by twisting them off with a pair of vise-grips and you won't have to worry about punching holes in the metal the old fashion way.

I pulled a crease out of my drivers side cowl with the curvy wire. The wire is about 12" in length and my crease was about 14". I welded right in the crease and used a come along to pull it out, because if you have ever seen the inside of a 47-54 1st series trucks, you can't get on the inside of the cowl without cutting metal off. I pulled the metal back out even with the rest of the surface, that left me with little time and work to finish the area as it was before the damage.

Yeah, I actually got the Pro model which was around $400, but I plan on making it pay for itself!

Last edited by TheHarleyMan2; 02-07-2006 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:57 AM
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My buddy that has a body shop has this tool

http://www.eagledentremoval.com/

Which does studs & No studs for about the same price But the long prod part doesn't require studs & is very fast & easy to use.
Amazingly Fast!

R
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:24 AM
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One thing that works good for these areas is a square or rectangular shaped leg off of an old wood chair tapered to a wedge or any other shape that will work, oak is nice. A variety of legs with different shapes used for prying and slapping comes in real handy.
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Old 02-08-2006, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarleyMan2
I pulled a crease out of my drivers side cowl with the curvy wire. The wire is about 12" in length and my crease was about 14". I welded right in the crease and used a come along to pull it out
Do you know what type and gauge of wire you used? Sounds like a good idea for a dent I have.
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