Help! What To Do With These GIGANTIC Dents!?
I have 2 really big dents to deal with. There is one on the Passenger's side door, and one on the trunk of my 34' Chevy. I'm beginning to think that my only option for the door is to fill the entire dent with bondo, which I really don't want to do, but the dent is like 1.5' by 1', and it's about 2" deep. And, well, for the trunk, I really have no clue what to do. The entire thing is bashed to hell.
What do you think I should do? I have included some pics.
Don't fill a dent that deep with bondo. It will crack, and probably fall out one day while you're trucking down the road.
Take some time with a body hammer and dolly and pound the dents out as much as possible. When you get the surface smooth enough that 1/8 inch of bondo will do the job you're there. In any case don't go over 1/4 inch thick with bondo, it's just not made for filling such deep depressions.
That will work for the door, but the pictures do the trunk justice. The whole bottom of it is rolled up, and it's really bad on the right side of the trunk.
I was thinking of just buying a new trunk all-together, but it's pretty hard to find one, and whenever I do, they are just way too expensive for me.
Go take a look at rlackey's journal and see what a mess of a roof he fixed with hammer and dolly.
take your time and it will come back to shape. try to remove a dent the way it happened. i actually will lay a door on the floor and use my weight to push a large dent out, just remember if you get carried away with a hammer and dolly you will stretch the metal. you don't have to hit it very hard. good luck.
Sometimes on large depressed areas a suction cup can actually help.
Sometimes they do work.
On areas that I can't get behind I use a stud gun and weld studs to
the panel to pull with, afterwards they are just ground off.
now , back in the day................
how goes the inderweed?
Jim, you need shiny paint for the suction cup to work. There would be no reason to use a stud gun on this car, there FULL access to every single square inch.
MrMuscles, these dents are only a tiny hiccup in the zillions of hours it will take to restore/rod this car. Believe me, you start doing the easier body repairs and by the time you need to finish off those dents you will be darn good at it and won't need much help at all.
That old Chevy has body structure made out of wood, believe me, that is your biggest problem.
DO NOT start on this big dent! You need to start studying, and learning slowly, this is a HUGE, MONSTEROUS project. One that most people would enthusiastically start but get VERY overwhelmed soon and dump the whole thing. Most people who start out with a car like this will have a friend with similar photos of it sitting in their front yard on a trailer in a year or so when they buy the car after the first guy gave up.
FIRST things FIRST, take your time and just start "fooling" with the car, take some things off, start learning about it. There are a million things you don't know about the car. How many were made? How many had the trunk and not a "Flat back"? Is it a standard with an I beam axle or Deluxe with an independent front? Is it an "early 34" or a rare "late 34" (I just made that up) and so on. There are of little things that may be unique to this particular car, cars were like that in the thirties. Have fun, get into the car before you start working on it.
The following text may not sound like it relates to you and this old car, but believe me it does. In your case, TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES And not the kind of pictures like you have here, TAKE LOTS OF VERY CLOSE PICTURES. Take these pictures and develop them or print them BEFORE you take the part off. Get those pictures and see if you can see what you wanted to capture. It will do you no good if you take a photo too far away or it gets washed out by flash and you can't even see the bolts and wireing you wanted to record for reassembly. I would have a photo album of this car BEFORE a bolt was turned.
“Basics of Basics” disassembly and reassemble tips.
It is common in the body shop to have three or four or more cars disassembled at once. Sometimes they could be disassembled for weeks waiting on parts, insurance, etc. When doing a restoration they could be disassembled for years!
I use a very straight forward process on every single car. That is one of the tricks, to do exactly the same on every car.
First off, I have a stack of those trays with a handle on top used for cleaning house. You can get them at the supermarket and are made by Rubbermaid and others. I usually only need one per car but on bigger projects more are needed. They are not that good for restoration, boxes would be better.
I have a roll of ¾ inch and 2 inch masking tape at all times for marking items. Put a strip of tape on the tray you are using and right the job number on it. It is also advisable to put the job number on the windshield of the car. You can get markers that have a watercolor in them for this use. When the car gets washed when done, it simply washes off.
Along with the trays I use two different “Zip lock” bags small “sandwich” size and then large “gallon” size. I use a LOT of these bags. I don’t put all the bolts for the front end in a bag, I break it way down to much smaller groups.
I will even go down to right headlamp in one bag and left headlamp in another. If it is a particularly complex car like a Mitsubishi Eclipse for instance I will definitely break it way down. Heck the front bumper on one of these cars has about 50 bolts! So, I break it down to “left side”, “right side” and “under” maybe something like that.
I put as much as possible in these bags. The large ones will usually hold all the parts to a door for instance. Handles, trim pieces off the trim panel, etc.
Then EVERY SINGLE bag is labeled with a Sharpie felt pin. “Left front door”, “right fender” and so on. Also on EVERY bag is the work order number in case the bag gets separated from the car.
I also will wrap a piece of tape around screws and put a little note on it to aid in assembly.
On parts where a wiring harness is going to be removed and then reinstalled on the part or a new part I mark where it attaches with that Sharpie pen BEFORE it is removed. On the metal next to the clip I put a “W” for “wire” on the clips that are on a plug I put “P”. On the wiring that is clipped on the inside I put a “WI” for wire inside. On Cables I put a “C”. I will also put arrows where a wire or cable will go into a hole or write a note on the metal or a piece of tape. All it takes is a little time and a few notes, arrows, etc. and you can easily put it back together. You don’t have to mark every single thing.
A little note written on the inside of a door like for instance Dodge caravans have little metal brackets on the inside of the side doors that are held on with the nuts from the glass. I put a number “1” on the front bracket and a number “1” next to it on the metal. An arrow showing direction the thing bolts in is useful too.
I have found one thing is for certain, you can’t remember everything. Another very important point is YOU may not be the guy putting the thing back together. If there is one thing that burns me up is having to put together someone else’s project only to find a big box of nuts and bolts and brackets with no idea where they go. The time you spend on this “cataloging” of the parts is VERY well spent. It is much less time than standing there scratching your head when you are putting it back together.
Have a nice “table” of some sort to lay out all the nuts and bolts for each part AS you bolt it on. Do not open more than one bag at a time.
If you have some guys in the shop giving you a hard time because you do this, ignore them, they are the ignorant ones. I know that I have had guys make comments. They were the ones who did the worst work and always had a huge bucket or something filled with nuts and bolts (gee, I wonder where those came from) . Many of these guys would start doing what I do I have noticed.
When I am done with a car, no matter how big a job, I rarely have a single nut or bolt unaccounted for.
Read the following text about 15 times. Then go to this link How to repair a dent by Randy Fergison (click here) and read it about 15 times. Forget that the photos aren't there, just read it.
After doing that, AND "fooling" with the car for about a month mininum, read all this again and then go out there and "touch" those dents.
THIS IS NOT A JOKE unless I am reading you all wrong, by the way you asked that question, you are a fresh newbe. A project like this 34 Chevy is HUGE even for a guy who has done a few "easy" builds, HUGE I tell you. HOWEVER, there is nothing different from restoreing/rodding this car than changing a light bulb in the wifes mini van other than how long it takes. If you take your time and study, just take your time and don't jump into anything. You can pull it off. I mean, a show quality car. If you jump in and start tearing the thing apart and sandblasting and banging on sheetmetal you will be overwelmed SOON.
If I have misjudged you and you are skilled rod builder, sorry.
“Basics of Basics” Flat panel repair
By Brian Martin
When you have a large flat panel that is flexing the first thing you need to do is find out why. Sometimes you can stop it, other times you can’t. But if you can stop it, you’ll have a much easier time with the body filler work. Hoods, decklids, and the roof are particularly difficult because the heat and weight of the plastic filler can have an effect on the metal. The good news is many times it is very easy to repair.
First off, there is no such thing as a “flat” panel. All panels that appear flat actually have a slight crown or gentle bow up in the middle. Go to a flat panel and lay a straight edge across it. You will see that the straight edge in not touching the panel at the on the outer ends. If the panel were perfectly flat it would appear to the eye to be concave. It would also have no “body” and flex very easily. This is the problem with your large flexing panel; it has “lost” its crown and is now weak and flexible.
The first place to start your search for a culprit is under the panel. Many panels have inner structure that supports the outer skin. When the outer panel has been damaged the inner structure was bent down along with the outer. This inner structure can be in the form of just a simple inch or so wide support running across the panel to the complete support by a stamped panel that goes covers the underside of the panel. These full inner structures can commonly be found on hoods and decklids. The inner structure can sometimes be bent down, causing your flexing. It usually is very close to the outer skin, with just a thin layer of a foam or urethane adhesive. It may have small “dollops” of this foam or adhesive that has been squished between the inner structure and outer skin or even a thin piece of tarpaper.
You can push up on these low spots to return it to supporting the outer skin, as it should. But it is difficult because you can’t push it past where it needs to be. On this particular type of damage, the inner structure would need to go past the correct shape and then “relax” back down to where it belongs. It can’t do this of course because the outer panel is there and limits the inner structure from going up where it needs to go. Just as with looking at the “big picture” when you look at any dent, you need to search for a kink or bend that is holding the inner structure down in that area. If you apply pressure up on the low area and tap out these kinks, you may get it to stay back in shape. If these methods don’t get it back up to support the outer panel properly, you will need to “shim” between the two panels to get the outer panel up where it belongs. This can be done with sheet of tarpaper or more adhesive. As a last resort a thin piece of wood like a paint stirring stick can be used. Of course, this is a little on the funky side but if you are haven’t been able to correct the problem, something has to be done. What you have to watch out for is applying too much pressure in one area. If you were to force a piece of wood in there, you will likely be making a high spot on the outside. That would just give you in a whole new problem.
Sight down the body lines that are nearest the low, “oil canning” , or just plain flexing area. A body line is effectively the “edge” of the panel. Those crowns in the flat panel that I mention end at the body line. So each area in between the lines is sort of like an individual panel. Look to see if the body line is low, it may be holding down your panel. If it is, you need to push it up. To help you determine how straight the line is sometimes you can use a metal ruler as a “straight edge”. How can this be done on a crowned panel you ask? A metal carpenters yard stick will bend very easily, right? So what you do is lay the yard stick on it’s back against the panel and apply a little pressure on the outward edges low area where the metal is OK. You will then have a “curved straight edge”. I have a drawer with a number of these metal or aluminum rulers in it and find them very useful. I treat them like rice paper and they will last a lifetime.
So lets say that you have found that you have no low spots in the body lines or there were one or two and you repaired them. Now you have to look for something else that is holding the panel down. This can usually be found in the form of a “crown” or “brow”. When you put a dent in any panel the metal has to “go” somewhere. All panels have this crown, right? So as an example picture a metal rod that is 3 feet long. This rod has a slight bend to it. The center of the rod is up from the ends about three inches. If you were to push down on the center, the rod would get “longer”, right? So, if the ends of the rod were clamped in vices, the “extra” rod would force the areas on the sides of where you were pushing to go up. You panel does the same thing only on a much smaller scale. Most brows will be found on the outer edges of a panel, this includes of course at the edge of the body line. They are VERY common around the outer edges of a roof. Search around the outer edges of ANY bent roof and you will find them.
The brow or crown is a U, C, L or even I shaped high spot. In the center of that curved high spot is a low spot, sort of like a “pocket” in the brow. Just one or two of these will make a panel, especially a large panel look like a cotton sheet! What you have to do is to push up on that low spot while tapping down on the brow. When I say “tap” I mean TAP. Just the weight of the hammer bouncing off the brow will do it sometimes. Use a large VERY flat body hammer or a flat body spoon for this repair. If you are careful you can repair these brows with little to no plastic filler. Just take you time and keep checking the area with a block with sand paper or a vexon file if you have one for low and high spots.
Now, if you simply can eliminate the brow and low spot, you have won the battle. If it takes some plastic filler, so be it, you have given the panel it’s strength back and that is what matters.
Oh yeah, and read this link 15 times too. :) You have a lot of reading to do.
Secrets of removing rust (click here)
of my league.. :pimp:
Hey MARTINSR! Thanks for the advice!
I am a newbie when it comes to building Hot Rods, but I decided to tackle this car because it is my dream car, and I have a ton of friends who have been building rods forever, that are more than willing to help.
The most I have done is a ground-up restoration of a TR-6, far from a 1934 Chevy as far as restorations go. haha.
I have read those articles, and I think they are awesome. I just wasn't sure if the advice given would work on major sized dents like my car has.
And yeah, the wood structure of the car does worry me, but the wood is actually in surprisingly good shape, so I think that as long as I know how to put it all together, it should be fine.
If worst comes to worse, I will replace it with steel.
A deicent digital camera.
I take pic's of EVERYTHING and various states of dissasembly.
These have saved my butt MANY times on HOW something is supposed to go back togather.
I create a folder titled 34 Chevy and just keep creating subfolders in it for whatever I'm working on and even subfolders in them.
Like Engine,Intake,Cam,Pistons,Bearings,Oil pump,ect. So I have a record of what was done and what it look's like.
I pulled the heater box apart on my 69 to rebuild it and it came time to install the diverter door inside of it and I could not rember which way it went. Looked up the pic from tearing it down and there it was. :thumbup:
each month,burn a copy of the 34 Chevy folder on a CD in case your PC wrecks. This will have ALL the subfolders included so there is no need to copy them all.
The dent repair tutorial with the missing pictures can be viewed here:
Or you can get the rust repair, dent repair and all sorts of stuff here:
I would have just fixed the picture problem, but I'm not being given the edit option.
Randy: you truely amaze me with your work,
I don't think you realize how good you really are.
You have a talent that I don't believe I will ever match.
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