Author Topic: Easy Paintless Ding Repair  (Read 2781 times)

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Offline Hutch

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Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« on: February 12, 2014, 04:44:55 am »
I was able to repair 2 dings in a tank I recently purchased using one of those harbor freight glue gun dent pullers.

Here's the process:
1. Start off by thoroughly cleaning the repair area, I used denatured alcohol.
2. This part is critical, allow the glue in you glue gun to get as hot as possible.  For me this meant a 10 minute heat time.
3. Also critical, use a generous amount of glue on the dent lifter (2 are provided with the kit).  This was counter-intuitive, my thought was to use enough glue to cover the surface of the dent lifter, that is not enough.  Also, be sure the glue goes into the small hole in the lifter face.
4. Don't press to hard when applying the dent lifter to the surface of the tank, you want roughly 1/8" of glue between the lifter and metal surface when it dries.
5. Allow the glue to harden completely, it will turn opaque. For me at room temperature, this was roughly 3- 5 minutes. Don't be temped to shave time hear if you want a good result.
6. When you begin pulling the dent, go slow.  I mean molasses slow. 
7. When removing the glue from the tank, us a small amount of release agent on one edge, and brush some on the glue surface.
8. Repeat steps 1-7.  This is a tedious process, the ding pictured required 12-15 pulls.

I was skeptical of this thing working, but I was considering finishing the tank with a clear coat over bare metal and didn't want to fork over the cash to a body shop.  I din't get quotes, my guess is that it would have been in the $150-200 range for a paintless repair.  I'll post a picture of the result later, someone with some body work skills could probably make it look as if the dent isn't there with finishing tool provided.  As it sits, I'll need the lightest of skim coats to make the dent go away completely.  At under $15, this is a great investment. 
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 05:19:31 am by Hutch »

Offline calj737

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 07:40:22 am »
This is a very good technique, but has some caveats: won't work on creased dents, you'll need to "push" those. The "ding" must only be shallow, glue can't lift a deep dent. And don't use this technique near stripes. They are tape and it will pull the tape off. Every time. But if the situation is outside those, works great.
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Offline Hutch

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 05:03:30 am »
There's still some glue residue, here's the result.

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Offline Hutch

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 05:04:54 am »
Pic

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Offline Hutch

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 05:05:53 am »
Different angle

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Offline calj737

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 06:23:13 am »
Denatured alcohol will take the right off.
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Offline azuredesign

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 12:57:35 am »
Looks like a well done job! I have always thought that dents caused stretching of metal, but that does not appear to be the case here, because with a small dent, the stretch is also proportionally small?

Offline calj737

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 04:16:46 am »
Dents do stretch the metal. But small dents don't do significant damage. Also, these 40 year old tanks are very thick metal, so there is no reason they can not be pushed, pulled or pounded upon to work them into shape.
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Offline rupaulpierce

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 10:37:44 am »
Clamp puller or slide hammer?


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Offline calj737

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 12:42:42 pm »
Clamp puller or slide hammer?
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Offline rupaulpierce

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2019, 07:08:38 am »
What’s dead may never die! Seems like the slide hammer would be difficult to use on something not fixed like a motorcycle tank.


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Offline d9canada

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Re: Easy Paintless Ding Repair
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2019, 11:25:49 am »
I know this is an old thread but here's a sort of update on the process from my experience.  I watched some Youtubes about doing the "glue on" puller operation and it seemed useful.  One video showed a homespun attempt that I modified and used with success.  So here's my El Cheapo method:

Take some wood dowelling or just scraps from 3/4" diameter to 1.5" diameter (approximately!) with one end cut square and all edges & corners rounded a bit.  Make the wood pieces about 3" long, from stout material, not something soft like cedar.  Drill a 1/4" hole across the block about 2" up from the end that will glue to the work.  Use a couple of heavy Zip ties to connect the block to your slide hammer.   A much better option would be to use a clevis type connection, but I was just experimenting.

BTW You can make a slide hammer with a long bolt like used for powerline work, or heavy "all thread" rod.  Put a sliding weight on it with a nut and washer at one end for the weight to smack into.  At the other end, you can make whatever connectors you need, held in place with a nut.  Watch your fingers!

As mentioned in the previous thread, there's a couple of critical things, clean the work and heat the glue well.  You may need to use a real wax and grease remover - more on this is a second.  Glue on your wood block.  On larger dents, it's usually best to work from the sides of the dent not down in the center.  Trying to "get it all at once" is often too much at once.  Let the glue cool thoroughly.

If the tank has been aired out, perhaps derusted so it's not wreaking of fumes, you can also heat the perimeter of the damaged area with a hot air gun.  You can use a simple remote temperature sensing gun to monitor the progress - take it to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit.  On a sunny day, just leave the tank in the sun for a few hours  ;)

Then hook up your slide hammer and give the thing a good wack.  Note that you have to hold the tank securely when doing this with the tank off the bike.  Sometimes the glue breaks away from the tank cleanly with no useful work done - this usually indicates that your glue did not adhere - probably the part was waxed well.  Be prepared that you may spend hours, gluing on, letting it cool, pulling a bit - the progress is sometimes halting, slow but incrementally it's often useful.

I upgraded my slide hammer with a metal connector and I purchased a set of proper adapters from Amazon.  Now, without the Zip ties, I figured I'd removed any stretching at the connection and so I'd get faster results.  But all I did was succeed in breaking away the glue at the work, despite thorough cleaning and careful gluing.  So I've ordered the high tensile glue from Amazon - eta two weeks.  Pray for me?

Brian

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