In this Mustang restoration tutorial, I am going to show you an old trick I learn years ago for repairing small dents. This method is not a paintless dent repair method, but a method to repair the metal without the use of body filler. However, the surface will have to be primed, blocked and painted.
If you have been in the collision industry for many years, than this is nothing new. I have used and I have seen many other guys use this method to repair small dents, such as hail damage. However, if the car you are working on has thin metal, this may not work well.
If you have a oxy/acetylene torch with a welding tip, I would recommend using that. It works much better than the propane torch I am using in this tutorial. However, I am always looking for alternative ways to repair cars for the DIY car enthusiast who may not have all of the tools needed. If you don’t have a oxy/acetylene torch, then you can buy one of these propane torches fairly cheap. I bought this one at ACE Hardware, but I you can get them at Walmart or many other places.
Let’s Get Started
We have the dents located and marked, now it’s time to repair them. To use this method, apply the heat outside of the dent and move inward towards the dent in a spiral direction. You will see the metal start to expand from the heat. When you see this, chase the expanded metal to the lowest part of the dent, which will cause the dent to raise. When the metal is hot, use a body hammer to lightly tap down on the center of the high area to help level and spread the molecules in the metal. The metal will still be slightly high at this point. Next, use a body file to level the metal. This will help you identify any highs or lows the metal may have. If there is still a low area, repeat the process to help raise the remaining low out.
Usually this method will work on the first attempt for hail damage. More stubborn dents may require several attempts to remove all of the dent. However, if there is a small low or imperfection, you can apply a small amount of body filler to complete the repair.
Warning: If the dent is not cooperating or starts to sink (move the wrong direction) stop and use a different method to repair this particular dent. You may be able to use a dolly to push up as you heat the metal, but you also need to know when to quit and use a different repair method.
If you have never tried this method, I recommend finding a junk part and practicing before attempting to do this on your restoration project. It takes practice and this will give you the opportunity to see how the metal moves around with the heat.
If you are afraid to try this method, don’t worry. During this Mustang restoration project, we’ll be demonstrating several different ways to repair dents.
Be sure to watch our video that demonstrates the steps in detail for using this method below.