How to fix defects on a car body: self-alignment of dents

car dent repair

Usually, repairing a car body with his own hands is a difficult and expensive task, which requires the master to have special skills, as well as possession of the necessary information. Body repair is divided into two major stages. First, the car body is given its original shape, the metal is leveled in the right places, and the areas affected by corrosion are removed. The second stage involves preparing the surface for painting and actually painting the car. It is quite difficult to do both stages of work with your own hands, but it is quite possible if you study the instructions and watch a few training videos.

Editing the car body

Straightening is necessary to rid the surface of small but obvious bends, stretching of the body metal. The main task of straightening is to restore the shape of the surface of the part. The curvature inherent in certain elements of the body should be smooth, look as if the part was stamped at the factory.

The procedure for doing do-it-yourself straightening:

  • visual inspection;
  • determination of the type and level of defects that have appeared;
  • editing, giving parts their original shape.

To diagnose car body problems, an inspection is first carried out. If possible, use the help of specialist bodybuilders. You can also learn how straightening is carried out from the video at the end of the article.

Body dent repair

Straightening of external elements

Provided that the supporting elements of the subframe, body pillars are not deformed, only the external elements can be repaired. This type of work is not too expensive, you can try to do it yourself.

When editing thin metal elements damaged over sufficiently large areas, wooden mallets are used. The procedure, when an element is given its original shape, is called a punch. Small anvils or shaped plates are used for support.

Concavities that do not have sharp bends, stretching of the metal, are knocked out very carefully so as not to stretch the metal with excessively powerful blows.

The shape of the body elements can sometimes be corrected almost completely. With a successful combination of circumstances, the editing of a car part occurs even without damaging the paintwork of the surface.

You can do a knockout with your own hands: in this case, it is carried out while holding the element in weight or when laying the part on a wooden stand. In this case, be sure to use a mallet that is not made of metal. Blows are applied from the center of damage in expanding circles, gradually moving to the outskirts of the crumpled area and undamaged metal.

Repairing a dent in a car body

Upon completion of the punching of sections with sharp bends and sharp corners, the general editing of the surface of the part remains. If the damaged area has a zone with a sharp angle or fold, then the punch should always be started from the place of this fold.

Restoration of body geometry

If the result of a serious impact is a change in the geometric distances between the fixation points of the body, it may be necessary to restore the geometric parameters of the car. Doing this work with your own hands is not easy, especially if there is no relevant experience.

To correct such violations of geometry, you should contact specialists. And it’s not even that it’s difficult to straighten the body on your own. It’s just that such work often requires not ordinary hand tools, but special devices that are not available everywhere. It would also be useful to control such work by an experienced craftsman, in order to eliminate unnecessary errors and loss of time to correct them.

Heating in body work

The use of spot welding quickly heats up the metal. This feature is often used by specialists who carry out car body repairs. The method consists in high-speed heating of the metal at the point of contact with the electrode of the welding machine. Heating with an acetylene torch with rapid cooling is also used. The application of the method can be clearly seen on many video masters on the Web.

If do-it-yourself repairs are carried out using heating, preliminary preparation of the work area is necessary. Initially, the damaged area is straightened with a conventional tool, the remaining paintwork is removed.

Heat straightening dents

The point at which the "mass" of the welding machine is connected to the car part must be cleaned with high quality. This gives a reliable stable contact and as a result affects the convenience of work.

The current strength should not be set more than 40 A. If work is carried out on cars of old years of manufacture, where thick enough metal was still used for body elements, this value can be increased.

First, the center of the bulge is subjected to heating. As the temperature increases, the plasticity increases sharply. As you know, all metals expand when heated, but here this is prevented by the relatively cold outer parts of the part. This, in turn, leads to a thickening of the heated area. Compressive stresses appear in the hot part of the part, leading to metal settling due to the temperature difference between different points of the repaired area.

Once the desired temperature has been reached, the heater is removed. As the metal cools, it shrinks, its area decreases, but it is restrained by the surrounding areas of the cold metal, the parameters of which have not changed. Rapid cooling of a heated area of ​​a car body part is achieved by using a damp asbestos swab. If the first heating did not lead to the complete removal of the bulge, then 3–6 surface points located around the place of the first precipitation are subjected to heating.

Never touch the part with bare hands, even if the metal seems cold!

When there is no confidence that you can cope on your own, it makes sense to trust the experts. Perhaps the result will be less costly in terms of money and time. In conclusion, we suggest watching a video on the topic.


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