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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just took a lunch break to whack at a dent -- trying to re-create the crease along the front fender. Taking pictures reminded me to get this thread going with photos of the project.

I'm a complete novice at working metal, but I wasn't happy with the stud welder/slide hammer -- too many low spots between the welds. So I took out the grille and I'm working both sides of the fender with a light ball-peen hammer. I'd like to get it shaped as close as possible but don't know how perfect it needs to be before bondo goes on. Any suggestions are welcome.

A used engine arrives next week. The only other major component I need to find is a windshield.

Here is my current status:

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And here are the "before" pictures:

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not a body guy but the recommendation is to use as little filler a possible, max 2mm I guess, so keep shaping the metal and using a rule to check for any highs and lows and mark them with a marker and then use hammer and dolly to correct. does take time so need to be patient. the crease will be the real challenge, from the pics you've done a fine job so far and just requires some finessing....
 

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Looks good to me. But I am not a body man either...

A couple of tips that have helped me. When working out a dent, try to imagine how it occurred and work it out in reverse. Imagine it happening in slow motion then play it backwards. Meaning, the damage that happened last should come out first and so on. Avoid the temptation to bash out the deepest part first - as you work out the damage 'in reverse', the deepest damage will become less & less. Next, as you are getting close to repaired, spray on a thin guide coat of a cheap paint (a contrasting color also helps). Then block sand the area - the paint will be removed from the high spots and left in the lows. Work it a little more until you've evened out the highs & lows.

Most damage also includes metal that has stretched. Learning to shrink metal back into place is a real skill. Try searching the interwebs for more info about that.
 

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Like the others, I wasn’t a bodywork guy until my current project 76 GT. With some help I’ve sanded, filled and painted my way to some knowledge.

The comments above are spot-on… as little filler as possible. Anything more than about 1/8” is sure to crack, and it also means you didn’t tap out the dent enough.

You will eventually have the character line back to a point where it kinda sorta lines up. The order Eric suggested is right! Get yourself a metal yardstick, and then flatten it out over the dent, conforming to the good body panels on both sides of the dent. This will give you an idea of where the dented sheet metal needs to be gently tapped out if you can. If the sheet metal is close to the yardstick, you’re good.

For the deepest dents (again, less than 1/8”) use fiberglass filler. Hard and strong. Sand with 36 grit. In a perfect world, you want some metal to be showing up at the end of your sanding… if the whole dent comes up in filler, it’s too deep. SEM makes a spray guide coat and there’s lots of YouTube vids on using it. From fiberglass and 36g, use “high-build primer” to apply a thick coat of fill-based primer. Use guide coat and sand most all of the high-build off (!!), looking for high and low spots. Then, transition to Poly filler (the traditional stuff) for shallow fills, and sand with 80g. Repeat as needed. There are also great vids on sanding in body lines… you can do it!

You’ll repeat the high-build again, going to 180g andthen repeat with 320g. Your hand is the best guide of whether you’ve removed the dent and filled it correctly. If you get to 320, and it’s all good, seal it and paint it!
By the way Eastwood has a great series on bodywork. Should have pointed you there instead of all this explaining’… good luck!
Oh, and take some Advil before you start sanding the fiberglass filler… and wear a mask (finally I get to say that for all the right reasons!!)
 

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To add to the above, when you are using the hammer to strike the panel, make sure the hammer face is flat to the spot you are hitting. On the back side of the panel you should be using a heavy chunk of steel to hit against. Called a bucking bar, google will show you all kinds. Fits the space and the heavier the better.

In this post you can see my bar, I put the masking tape on so I don’t mar the paint as bad.
 

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Good job so far. Using a selection of hammers and dolly's does a great job of reshaping metal after an accident, sometimes heat and water can fine tune the tin knocking to make it even smoother.
From what I see, you have a great start. Baloccos rule, I have several of them here.
And yeah, Baloccos were all red, but Black is the GTV6's most striking color!
 
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Hey I really salute you for taking this on! I never seemed to have the patience, or the knack, for bodywork. I can see that you are making good progress, though. The most I have done is to straighten out some dents and slight damage to a few inner structural members, but the old hammer and dolly does work (old school bodywork). I predict you'll have this area smoothed out very soon. (y)
 

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I was going to suggest doing something much like Sportiva suggests.

Get some cardboard and, using the good offside, create gauges that you can use to check your work on the damaged side. Make gauges for both the horizontal and vertical axis. Compare your work as you go along. Be careful not to over stretch...although there are techniques to cure that issue.

I'm a fan of this guy's videos on youtube: ProShaper Sheet Metal Fabricator, Metal Shaping Classes
 

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I was going to suggest doing something much like Sportiva suggests.

Get some cardboard and, using the good offside, create gauges that you can use to check your work on the damaged side. Make gauges for both the horizontal and vertical axis. Compare your work as you go along. Be careful not to over stretch...although there are techniques to cure that issue.

I'm a fan of this guy's videos on youtube: ProShaper Sheet Metal Fabricator, Metal Shaping Classes
Good Lord! Watch this guy and you'll see where the $$$ are in a quality concours restoration! Incredible old school Yankee craftsman. Bondo not permitted in his shop.
 

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If you spray a more wet coat over that- if you can do it without runs- then you can sand and buff out to a mirror shine.
Black is the hardest, but I have done many. A couple solid coats of color, block sanded, then 3 coats of clear, block sanded and buffed.
 

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For an outdoor job, you are doing excellent!
Looking forward to seeing it!
 

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I'll give you credit-- you do dive into a project with both feet! 😁 😁
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay. I'm thinking about replacing the flex discs while I have everything out.

Question: I did not mark the driveshaft bolt alignment to the front or rear giubos. I will certainly mark the alignment for the center disc. This will keep the weights on both driveshaft sections aligned as they currently are with respect to each other. But I will have no guarantee that I'll get the same alignment on the transmission end. And the engine is a replacement too. Plus the discs will be new. Do I need to worry about rebalancing?
 
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