Paintless panel repair - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 02-16-2012, 09:31 AM
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Paintless panel repair

I have got several "dents" in the body of my 74, (roof, deck lid, hood, fenders) of the kind that might be caused by someone leaning too hard for too long. The car will also eventually need paint (clearcoat peeling in places from a previous respray along with some unkown substance that sprayed up on the drivers side and etched itself permanently into the paint) but I have been trolling you-tube looking at how-to vids on paintless repair. The idea of course is that you get a slide hammer, glue it to the car at the low spot, and pop it back out.

Wondering whether anyone has tried this on the thin metal of an Alfa, and what the results were. What should a novice know? Any tips?

Thanks!

Dave
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:43 AM
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Pay a professional, IMO.

#1: check with a depth meter. you never know if there is bondo under there.
#2: dependent on what type of paint was used previously, it could be hard vs soft/plyable with newer paints -- and could crack.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:00 PM
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I agree with jf308, get a professional. Paintless dent repair, also known as restyling, is not a DIY job. It takes knowledge of the process (including knowledge of the specific sheet metal used on the car), the right tools and a healthy dosis of experience.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:19 PM
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I had a small dent in one of my cars taken out by a "paintless" professional, and I couldn't believe how good a job he did. I absolutely cannot find where he did the work.

Now granted, they are not cheap, at least $125 per dent here in Seattle, but it does turn out right. You do have to decide whether or not it is worth it to you.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:05 AM
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I had a kink worked out of my rear wheelwell by a recommended paintless dent guy, and it was money well spent. $165, took him an hour and a half. No paint needed, absolutely impossible to tell anything had been done.
Andrew
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:41 AM
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Or perhaps, get a pro for one of them and watch carefully...



I appreciate the suggested caution. Now you've got me on the fence. It seems like knowledge of the process comes down to simply placing the dent puller in the right spot and applying the correct amount of force. A trip to the junk yard might be in order here - lol

I am one of those stubborn guys who demands top quality work, but is generally optimistic about my potential ability
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:21 AM
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You are not hearing the consistent message here....in principle, yes that is the approach. But in watching the guy repair my previous cars, it takes knowledge and experience to get a professional result. Sure, the dent will be lessened, but....in this case, you get what you pay for.

Experiment with something else not so permanent, IMO.

Good luck.
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Last edited by jf308; 02-20-2012 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:01 AM
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It is indeed a consistent voice. And I have learned to trust that voice too. Hmmm. How many times have people screwed things up royally not hiring a professional when it is truly called for. And am I even informed enough to know when that might be (when it comes to body work)? I think not!

I'm convinced now. Thanks for your help. Now, to find a pro...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:51 AM
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By the way...

Find a pro who only does paintless repair FULL TIME.

Not a part timer as you will see this clearly in the result.

That makes the difference between perfect and acceptable.

I'm telling this from own experience.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:08 AM
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Note that this technique depends on the quality of the paint. Harder to do on older cars with original paints. Ours were painted with lacquer and some hard enamels in their earliest days, which will crack under this technique. Modern catalyzed paints are much stronger and more flexible, and so cane "undented".

Robert
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:21 AM
Del Del is offline
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The paintless guy who worked on my car, didn't use pullers or suction cups, but was very skilled with long rods which were bent just right and with small spade ends, to reach inside the bodywork and slowly work the dent out by twisting the long rod. He slowly worked that dent right out, using a mirror on the outside to be able to have a sight line along the outside metal to look for any wavers, etc.

Large dents would require the puller or suction cup routine to get the major deflection out first.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:16 AM
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It can hundreds of little pushes with the right tool to get it perfectly smooth. It's a talent and not one your born with.
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