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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, just thought I'd mention some happy progress with my project 164. I had several noticeable dents removed today with Paintless Dent Repair.

Unfortunately I do not have very good photographs of the dents beforehand. I found it much harder than expected to take photos of dents! The first three photos attempt to show the long dents on the rear door (almost the whole length of the door, just above the ridge line) and through the rear side panel, near the fuel filler, and the 8cm dent on the front-right guard.

Greg the Dent Magician (whom I have had good service from in the past) gained access through the right tailight aperture and of course, inside the boot. He used a series of long rods with pointed ends and a 'rest' loop (for leverage) fastened to one of the taillight mounting studs. The technique seems to involve working the dent out while leaving a regular series of small dimples (since it would be difficult to shrink the stretched metal) and with any luck, these dimples blend with the orange peel of the paint. As my 164 has the original paint, this worked out pretty well after I polished it up a bit. The dents were not in the 'easy' category, because instead of being simple 'round' dents, they were quite long scrapes.

For the right rear door, I first removed the door trim. Getting that pull-handle off was quite a careful struggle. Then I broke the rear clip of the top trim - they lift off the mountings, not pry off... it's been a few years since I did one. :eek:

A similar rods-technique applied for the rear door, except that the extreme length of the dent meant this repair took a long time. There was also a round dent near the front edge. Nevertheless Greg worked away patiently for almost an hour!

The front-right guard was much quicker - less than ten minutes - and turned out really well. Access was through the gap above the headlight (under the rubber cover). Obviously I don't know what caused these dents, but it seems that the front guard was an impact with less relative motion so the steel was not stretched.

I don't know whether the photos will be any use, but in summary I am very happy with the result. Normally I would have sanded, filled, and re-sprayed - but given the surprising condition of the original paint (at 16 years old!) I didn't want to do this. I find it difficult to avoid paint contamination/defects. I do intend to repaint a replacement bumper - expect a thread on that soon :)

Instead I paid Greg about NZ$120 for the three dents (I had two very small dings removed from my FIAT at the same time) which is about US$90 for the hour-and-45 minutes that it took. I think this is well worthwhile and I recommend the principle, even though the surface is left slightly dimpled (as mentioned), it is nowhere near as noticeable as the original dents and you still have the integrity of the original paint. Success varies according to the dent type - long scrapes like mine are the worst case - there is no dimpling visible at all on the front guard. On the side 'after' photo, you can see a little near the ridge closest to the camera.

Cheers,
-Alex
 

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I highly recommend the people who do dent repairs as I have seen them do their magic at car dealerships. I am contacting them this week to have them fix a couple minor dings on our Acura. Someone with a tall truck dinged the drivers door up near the window. A very unsightly ding.
 
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