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Old 12-02-2010, 06:13 AM
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How do I fix this ding in my door?

The dent is about an inch wide and high, and maybe 1/4 inch deep. I haven't done much bodywork before, first time really. I'm that the most reasonable thing to do is to smooth as much of the dent out as possible, Before I use filler on it.

So do I use a hammer and hand dolly to push it through from the inside and try to flatten it out?

Should I use a stud welder and slide hammer to try and pull the dent out?

Or is there another approach that I'm not thinking of, perhaps the proper way to fix it? Also once I get it smoother, I guess I need to fill it, then coat it with primer. How big of an area should I smooth with the sander and prime? The whole door skin? I need to remove some side molding as well and fill it in.

I cannot get a replacement door skin, its not a option, not made anymore. Too rare of a car. So I'd prefer not to screw this one up.

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:54 AM
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Digdig,

That does not look like a dent, but rather a rust pit. Check out the other side of the panel and see if it is raised. If not, then it's a rust pit, if it is raised then it looks to be a combination of both.

A small dent can be easily worked with body hammer and dolly like you mentioned and would be my preferred way to handle it. Depending on you finesse (and luck) the dent should be easily flattened, but may not flatten out 100%.

Slide hammers are best suited for much larger dents and I will only use one if it is a last resort. They can be real handy when you cannot access the back side of the damage.

The key to amateur (as in my case) body hammering is to remove as much of the damage without causing the dent/s to stick out past the exterior surface. This will not be able to be smoothed with body glaze, putty, or fill primer as the metal will be "high". Where low spots can be filled and sanded smooth, high spots cannot. I think you'll find that hail-like dents are the easiest to master and if your attempts yield high spots, you just have to tap them back "low" and fill them.

Make sure you eliminate the rust prior to priming. I prefer to sandblast for rust removal, but some of the rust removing chemicals work well too. Merely wire wheeling is not enough especially where pits are involved. You just can't get into the deep spots with sand paper or brushes.

If your spot is just rust pits, hammering will not do you much good. I fact, I would advise against trying to hammer from the back side to raise the metal. You'll only risk buggering it up more. Simple remove/neutralize the rust and fill with a quality fill putty. Some might suggest welding up the pits and that is a valid fix if you have the skills. It's more work, yields better (more permanent) results, but could make things worse if your not practiced at sheet metal welding. Too much heat may warp the panel and then your back to fixing the panel and it's now a bigger problem.

A tip to hammering out a simple hail-like dent. Don't smack the dent dead center and always use a dolly (I ignore this rule on occasion and get away with it, but rarely) Start tapping the perimeter of the dent and work your way in, all the while, checking the results after each blow or two. If you smack it dead center, you will likely pop it inside out and make it high. It needs to be worked back into place a little at a time.

As far as smoothing the panel itself, I can only advice to smooth as much as you'd like. If you are only concerned with the one spot, a five inch circle would suffice. I good trick to determinining how straight your panel is, is to prime the area you are concerned with, let it dry, then mist spray some cheap flat paint of contrasting color to your primer, then block sand the area. Low spots will maintain some of your misted paint and high spots will sand through to steel. The longer the block - the better the results, and always sand with the curves not down them. In other words, most doors would want to be block sanded top to bottom, not front to back.

Hope that gives you some options to ponder.

Ride On,

Noel

Last edited by Sick467; 12-02-2010 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:28 AM
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Why does the area in question have a rectangle outline? Was this behind some kind of emblem or trim? The center looks like it has a hole through it. Possibly something attached here?
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:44 AM
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If you can reach the dent from the inside, you can place the hand dolly on the outside and try working the dent out as flush as possible to the rest of the body. Then grind the area on the outside and use body filler and sand it to make it flush with the body. If it was a new car with a good paint (which it appears not to be the case!) There guys out there that remove dents without bodywork. They drill a hole and insert a metal rod that messages the dent flush. Pretty cool.
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Old 12-02-2010, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyjude076
Why does the area in question have a rectangle outline? Was this behind some kind of emblem or trim? The center looks like it has a hole through it. Possibly something attached here?
The gentleman I bought the car from, instead of fixing the dents, because it was a 1 of 4 beaters he drove on a regular basis. Started covering them with magnetic business cards, this one was for a autobody business near his house, odd and funny at the same time.

This is NOT a rust pit, but is indeed a dent, I'll try hammering it out, and see what my results will be.

Andrew

Last edited by digdug18; 12-02-2010 at 02:10 PM.
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