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Old 10-26-2005, 02:54 PM
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Paintless Dent Removal

My 2000 GMC truck has a couple of small shallow dings in the door an inch or so below the door handle.

Not a big deal, and I bought it that way (used).

No damage to the paint.

Was wondering if those paintless dent removal services are worth it.

Also wondering if this isn't something I could do myself with the right tools, time and patience. Is it difficult to do and what tools would be required?

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Old 10-26-2005, 03:08 PM
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PDR is an extremely difficult thing to do well. Most people who are good at it do it exclusively. They offer special classes on it and take about six months of practice to get good at it.
It is a good alternative to painting, if you can find someone who does it well and charges reasonably. Ask around and see if anyone does it in your area.
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:19 PM
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Go to a new or big used car lot and ask them who they use. Years ago I worked at a Ford dealership and every couple of weeks this guy would come by the used car lot and fix dents.
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Old 10-26-2005, 03:29 PM
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I bought one of those kits to remove dents from some stainless steel appliances I had... It worked ok at very best.. I would not waste my time with it on a vehicle... I said I not everyone, I am sure there is a pro system that works much better than what I bought off ebay!!

Matthew
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Old 10-26-2005, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckucia
My 2000 GMC truck has a couple of small shallow dings in the door an inch or so below the door handle.

Not a big deal, and I bought it that way (used).

No damage to the paint.

Was wondering if those paintless dent removal services are worth it.
Also wondering if this isn't something I could do myself with the right tools, time and patience. Is it difficult to do and what tools would be required?
A few years ago I had a Firebird Formula that was caught in a hail storm.
Hand washed and towel dried the car the night before I took it to one of the well advertised dent removal companies. I pick up the car, dents are removed but at each spot it looks like there was a chip in the paint that was touched up. Owners deny that anything they did would have caused this.
Flash forward four years and I am overseeing an addition on a local new car dealership. I watch a guy doing paintless dent removal on the dealer lot, I am about 100 feet away. He pokes and prods from the backside of the dings, then takes a hammer and some type of punch and pings the outer body. Flash bulbs go off and I now know how my Firebird received the chips (touched up) that I raised hell about four years earlier.
Just an FYI.
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Old 10-26-2005, 08:26 PM
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I think you've just witnessed bad PDR guys. Those guys that do it right, have extreme talent, and are great body men for that reason, they know how to manipulate metal. It can be done right without being seen afterwards. My uncle (bodyman) has a brother-in-law (his side of the family) that is really good at it. I guess from how I heard the story, the way he learned is he was a bodyman already, but decided to take up the trade, and found a guy that allowed him to be his apprentice, and traveled with him for a year or something, and learned the trade like that. He said the way to make money in that business is to travel storms across the country, works great if your single I say. I was at the shop and looking at his cart of tools, and man, it was a massive array of spons and other shaped rods with differn sizes of handles, hot glue guns and all kinds of things. But like I said, when the dent is gone, it's gone.
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:22 PM
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Just like regular body shops -There are hacks and there are guys who can really do a great job. Heres an example of both - Pick your shop wisely.
http://beluap.tripod.com/PDR.html
http://www.a2zautoforums.com/showthread.php?t=788
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:06 PM
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I had a black 95 GMC Yukon that i would have to say was one of those" rare " great trucks to come off an assembly line . Paint looked nice ,always started and aside from the normal wear items ,this thing looked like new with 165000mi when I sold it.

I got a small door ding in it about 3 months before i sold it and it always drove me crazy. A friend stopped by one day with a buddie(pd guy). He told me it was an easy one and he could fix me up quick. I told him I have a painters eye and he wouldnt be able to fool me with a 90% fix . He didnt do a 90%er . For the life of me I couldnt tell where the dent was . PERFICT .

Get a good guy and you will be happy

Dave
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Old 10-27-2005, 01:47 AM
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There has to be a thousand pdr guys in new jersey.. ive had numerous friends of mine have it done.. mostly brand new cars and the ones that i remember most were both from a shopping cart.. one a bmw 5 series the other was a honda element. both had nice sized dents in the door.. they had it done and there wasnt anything noticable left.. no nicks or nothing.. not even wavy one bit.. their are good guys out there doing it.. just have to get some references to go by. and around here they go from $75- $150 a panel.
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Old 10-27-2005, 03:40 AM
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A couple of years ago, my brother bought a new Toyota PU. About 3 weeks after getting it, a kid in the neighborhood put a dent in the left fender, in the back near the door. He came to me about getting it fixed. He was going to try to get the money back from the kid's parents, but wasn't sure that would ever happen. The problem with fixing it in a body shop, is the color match, and painting on a brand new vehicle. I suggested a friend that runs a PDR business. My brother took the truck to him to see if it could be fixed. It cost him $75 to get the dent removed. Honestly, that dent would have normally cost twice that, but my friend wasn't really happy with the way it turned out. My brother still to this day can't see where the dent was, and he saw it before.

Like was said, there are good ones and not so good ones. Check references and work being performed.
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:51 AM
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Two years ago we had very bad hail damage on bout our Rav4 and Mazda Protege. Literally hundreds of dings in the roof, hood, trunk and even some on the sides of the cars. We took it to our local shop which does normal body work as well as PDR. They used PDR on both vehicles and after they were done I could not find evidence of even one dent or mark. In fact, the Protege was a leased vehicle and when the least expired we had to return it and a very complete inspection was done of the paint and body. Passed with flying colors.

As was said above, it takes lots of training AND the right (read expensive) tools (my shop has approximately 100 small, "tappers", each with a specially designed handle and head, for accessing the back side of each dent). Not for the hobbyist unless you intend to make the large investment as a future business venture.

In the right shop with the right technician and the right tools...it is an excellent repair technique.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:02 AM
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I've looked into this a bit and it seems that a large part of the tools required are to access the dents/dings without removing the interior panels or by going through small holes.

I haven't been inside my truck doors, but I wouldn't have a problem with removing the door panels to get at the dings.

I just wish I could find out more about the techniques involved.

I discovered that one of the tools is a highly polished dolly so that you can support the outside surface and the polished surface doesn't damage the exterior paint.

I guess I'm just curious if, assuming I had good access to the backside, I could polish up one of my dollies or make one and then make or modify some small tools out of scrap metal or old tools to gently tap or massage the dings out.

From what I've read, part of the process is prying on the dent with tools, but tapping might also be involved.

I suppose that someday the actual techniques will creep onto the web, but right now its difficult to find any info on the process without going through a class.

I'm sure I could push out most of the dent, but the nature of dents and dings is that the metal is stretched. To really make the repair invisible, I need to know how to gently "unstretch" the metal.

The reason I'm curious is that I have a leather kit for the truck and part of it involves covering a fabric panel on the door panel with leather. That would be easier with the door panel off, and if I already have the panel off, then it would be nice to take care of the dings.


Thanks to everyone for the replies.


Eastwood sells a PDR instructional DVD for $50. Might be worth checking it out.

Last edited by ckucia; 10-27-2005 at 08:07 AM.
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