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First PDR Repair Input wanted!!!


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Well I purchased a car at a steal that had some dents. I was going to resell the car but it appears the little lady wants it so now I have to fix the mess.  


Pic of the damage originally.



I started by using a suction cup and hand force from the back to push it out into the correct rough shape. Then I used compressed air and a heat gun to try to pop the low spots out but it appears to just be moving the metal around and its hit or miss if its getting better.  Also the heat is causing the paint to bubble even with me moving quickly but a little more concentration and I am able to minimize the issue.



Here is the pic after the work.





I realized later that I made a mistake by not starting at the less stressed metal and pushing metal into the worst section.  Im sure I have made more work for myself so I figure I would ask yall for the appropriate next step, please don't bother saying take it to a trained technician as I am using this "OPPORTUNITY" to learn the basic PDR techniques and get some practice. I don't mind the hard work and learning necessary to achieve my goal.


With that said I ordered a tap down set a t-bar puller and small auto body slide hammer kit. I also have the usual cheap harbor freight glue gun and hail puller bridge thingamawhatchacallit. I will also be getting a line board.  Iv learned how to use all of these simple starter toolson youtube and I'm ready to practice my technique but I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing.


I figured from here I would use the t puller/slide hammer to pull out a few more of the smaller dents with glue tabs and then I would use the tap down to bring down the high spots.  I'm still only trying to get the panel close.  After its close I will use the light board and tap to achieve some even lines and take out any crowns, pits, owls eyes, etc.


Thanks for your input.

Alex R.

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  • 2 weeks later...

you can make that look a lot better easily......I do pdr and noticed a couple things right off the bat. the metal has a large soft crown on the top of the dent. you need to flatten that out and it will add a lot more metal where you need it the most. that needs to be slapped down with a large flat hammer.....they make specialty hammers for this but I have saw people wrap a pipe in a pool noodle and tape around the noodle and use it as a large soft bat to slowly move that crown down.......(a proper tool would take less time but cost lots of money and have to be special ordered)

I wouldn't use a slide hammer on that you risk the chance of pulling paint. however since you said you already burned the paint then it prolly wont matter at this point.  I would try to get a pdr rod on the back of that dent from the inside behind taillight or wheel liner if you can. a stainless pdr rod (when used correctly) will greatly help in it being undectable in the future......its hard to say after this point....I would do a lot of work with those 2 tools....bring that dent 80% more of the way out (where the metal should be before the accident) and then at that point take more pics and see where u need to finish up at


throw that billy mays dent bridge away!!!

lol you wont see any real dent companies sell those.......



there are some bridges that work in very special circumstances....its more like a jig you setup hard to explain on here,........


BOTTOM LINE....pound that crown down.......and get behind the dent to push it out.....if you don't wanna buy expensive pdr rod.....the cheap way is to drill a hole in golfball and put it on a metal stick or something so you can use the ball to push out with......

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I would never make the repairs myself with golf ball and pool noodle.....I have saw people use the weirdest materials to produce finished dents on Ferraris and all kinds of vehicles. 


the right way is to get the proper tools and they will help a lot.......


but if this is a one time repair then I am just suggesting those ideas because I have saw them work for other people. that slide hammer is only good enough depending on type of tab you have on it. if you have a tab that is small in size it is for the most part meant to be used on small dings and for hard to get to areas. ( parts of the car you cant access with a stainless rod.....)  since your damage is so close to the taillight I would remove the taillight and get to the backside of the dent. 


you could make that look a lot better.....I wish I could help more....but you have to do those next 2 steps and then see where you are at. good luck!!

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  • 4 months later...

1.  Do a search for "slapper tapper". It's used to remove crowns, the larger pushed out areas on the edges of those dents. imlearning is right. 


2. All dents have variables that create differing degrees of difficulty. ie, the body line, the upper body curve, the back edge near tail light.  Each of these variables must be looked at and addressed as you move through the repair.  Typically, with larger dents, I will address each difficult variable throughout complete repair.  I'll work the body line, then slapper tapper the top crowns, then address rear tail light, then back to body line. You have to map it out as you see the variables in front of you. 


3. Ultimately its a matter of getting the stress points to release. 

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