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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have some small hail dents in the roof and hood. They range from about 1/8" to maybe 1/2". I need to repair them before I get the truck painted.

I'm just about ready to start all the body repair. All trim is off and there's no head liner. I'm going to rip out the underhood insulation since it continually drops dirt in the engine bay. That means I can get to both sides of the dents.

I've watched videos of people using dry ice, but most of them were not very successful.

I don't have any body hammers and "anvils" (whatever they're called), but Harbor Freight has a set for about $40. Should I try that route? I have no experience.

I have some Clausen Z-CHROME™ Self-Etching Body Filler. I saw it used on one of the TV shows, Muscle Cars, I think. They claim it doesn't shrink. Would that be a viable option?

Jack
 

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Deputy Director Region 6 - Supporting Member
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6,209 Posts
The 'Dent Man' in my area here uses things that look like kids rubber darts (on original paint). And has some things like vacuums to put over the small dents from hail too. Work from the back side is usually done with just a rod, not hammers. The guy is amazing to watch...even on big dents! Sorry but I don't think he will make house calls to Texas like he does here. Check with a few body shops to see if there is someone like that in your area. Yes even body shops call this guy in! An insurance adjuster may have someone on their list too if you know of any you can ask.

Anyway...My vote is fix, not filler.

:beer:
 

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38 Posts
40 bucks for a hammer and dolly/anvil set is pretty decent. just remember when working the dents dont hammer, tap. and dont hammer on top of where the dolly is on the back or front side of what you are hammering. if youre doing it yourself.

best of luck

Dirdy
 

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Deputy Director, Region 1
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2,566 Posts
Most hail damage can be repaired with PDR (paintless dent removal). But there are some limitations. For example if the damage is above structural reinforcements it can be very difficult to get behind the dent with the picks. Most insurance adjustors will split hail damage on the estimates. Some areas will require "conventional" repair while others are PDR.
I've had cars in the shop that were subject to both forms of repair. That being said, the small 1/8 dents can be hit with a DA sander and 120-180 grit. No need to go down to the metal, just remove the gloss. Then you can skim them with polyester putty and sand with 180-220. One skim should be enough. There's no need to try and work out the dent. You will probably stretch the metal and have a harder time repairing it. The bigger ones you can try to pry up slightly with a flat screwdriver but be careful you don't go too far.
The bigger 1/2 ones can be done the same way but use a little plastic first, then skim with poly putty.
Follow both repairs with some High-Build 2K primer and mist on a guide coat with some flat back in a spray can. Then block sand in an "X" pattern until all the black is gone and thus the high spots are levelled. You can block the primer with 400 or 500 wet paper and a durablock sanding block. Sanding wet is a bit messy but you won't have dust all the place and your sandpaper will last much longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't understand what you mean here "The bigger ones you can try to pry up slightly with a flat screwdriver".

Jack
 

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Deputy Director, Region 1
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2,566 Posts
If you can get under them, you can try to nudge them up a bit so they're not so deep. That's the basic idea of PDR. They use long flat picks and long pointy picks to gently message the metal back into shape. These picks all have soft edges so they don't mark the metal too much. Another thing to keep in minde is that the newer cars are made of thinner softer metals. These older el caminos are a bit stronger.
 

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Premium Member
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Contact your local PDR guy, my guy here did amazing work on my 2011 Acura RDX. I had a dent on a body line and in 2 hours he repaired it with no evidence there was ever a dent.
 
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