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  #1  
Old 06-22-2007, 05:35 PM
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Large Dent Removal: Options?

A United States Postal Service minivan backed into my 300cd a while back. It hit the passenger's side rear quarter and left a big dent. I'm pretty sure it could be pulled instead of being cut out and new metal put in. One person followed me into the McDonalds parking lot, first asked me if the car was for sale, (it isn't) and then proceeded to show me how it could be pulled and even said I could do it myself my pushing on the dent from the trunk. The paint is also cracked an inch or two at the top of the dent. Would most bodyshops be able to pull this dent successfully without effort or paint damage? The dent is accessible from the trunk and could be pushed/pulled from there. Thanks for your advice on this and many other matters!




Here is a picture of my "show car" as well! It's been great to me so far.


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  #2  
Old 06-22-2007, 05:45 PM
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looks like an easy dent to pull to me, most any body shop should be able to take care of that and you may be able to push some out on your own just get in the trunk and give it a good push. One thing to make sure they dont do is drill holes and use a slide hammer to pull the dent, this is ok as long as they weld in the holes but most just bondo over them and then you have a good place for rust later on
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2007, 05:47 PM
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I just had a baseball-sized hood dent repaired on a VW by a place that specializes in paintless dent repair. All of the cost was in labor, but the person who did it has been doing nothing but pushing out dents for the last five years. It came out beautifully. There is the tiniest of wave you can just barely see if you look carefully from the side, but it would almost have to be pointed out to you. They made the point that while a body shop may push dents out sometimes, a paintless place does nothing but. I'd recommend the process whenever the paint is undamaged. This particular shop also did minor paint repair, and was very proud of their Mercedes certifications.
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2007, 08:55 PM
JimFreeh's Avatar
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Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
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Let the post office dweeb fix it....

Firstly, you can access the inside by pulling the trunk liner out.

Secondly, you mention the paint is cracked. Even if the dent remover guy can punch it out, you still need address the cracks before moisture gets in and starts the rust process

If you're on your own on this repair, I'd try a large suction cup on the outside and try to "pop" the dent. I have an old computer floor tile double cup tool that is great for this sort of work, but a properly used plumber's plunger can be amazingly effective (wet the rim for a seal).

Even popping it out, chances are the metal is stretched and will remain wavy after you're finished. If commit to refinishing the panel, a shop can heat shrink the metal and straighten it out with a minimum of bondo.

Bummer, dude....

Jim
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2007, 09:20 PM
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I got a quote to completely cut out the dent and put new sheetmetal in and refinish it at the dealer, and that's what I sent in to the post office. Replacing the dent will all new sheetmetal still won't get it perfect and to what it originally was, either the paint won't match or the panel might rust or something, either way my car will never be the same, unless 20 hours of bodywork from the dealer body shop will get it good enough.

So I have two choices, I could spend all the money USPS gives me and have the dent replaced with all new sheetmetal at the dealer's body shop, or I could go to another body shop to get the dent pulled/refinished and the crack repaired. Option number two would give me some money for the goodies I want for my car left over, such as european headlights and/or non-bundt rims. Which should I chose?
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2007, 09:26 PM
TheDon's Avatar
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make the USPS pay for it all.. they screwed up so they should pay. heck they just raised the price of stamps again...

Just tell them if they dont pay up you and all 25k thousand members of Mshop will use email more than regular boring mail
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 PM
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They are paying for it all, I sent them the quote for the dealer's shop work to cut out the dent and replace it with new sheet metal. I'm wondering if the dent could be pulled instead of cut, and if so, I would have more money to spend on my car this way. I could live with a wavy panel if it would leave me more money for my car, I'm not sure that the dealer bodyshop could make it appear as if the dent never happened, even though 20 hours plus of refinishing could perhaps do it.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2007, 11:14 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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I probably would remove the liner, pull the trim off and push it out with the heel of my hand. Then I would take properly mixed paint that matches and touch up the cracks to seal it off with a very tiny brush.

I would not sand and paint it unless at a later time I was painting the entire car.

That car is pretty clean looking. Even a good body shop will have a hard time making the repair completely disappear and the sanding will offer places for rust to get a foot hold.

My $.02.

Tom W

I just looked again at the photo. The dent is extensive enough that it probably would be tough to get it all out by hand. I would try though with my hand and a block of soft pine and a rubber hammer. If it didn't work it won't make any difference to the body shop.

In any case, cutting the metal is the last thing I would do....again, rust.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2007, 11:53 PM
Craig
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I would just visit the best 2 or 3 body-shops in town and ask them what they would do to make it look new, including an estimate. I would guess you can get it fixed pretty well for around $2000, or so.
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2007, 12:17 AM
KCM KCM is offline
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I had a dent similar to that removed from my car, except it wasn't as big an area but it was in the wheel well arch. I was lucky to find a good bodyman who removed the dent so well that you would not be able to tell it was dented even from the inside. Doesn't look like he used any body filler either, and no panel was replaced. He had done some major hail damage repair on my parent's car (which would have totaled the car normally), so I knew what he could do. My car is the same color as yours and he was able to match the paint perfectly so that you can't even tell it was repainted. It cost me $2000 but I would have never got those results doing it myself, and I was thrilled with the outcome. So it can be done, and I would check into that route before replacing the panel.
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2007, 06:23 AM
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Lightbulb Dents......

My present 300D had a similar dent when I got it.....but only the lower portion, below the trim.....I used a couple of wood blocks, and some wedges.....I removed the trunk/fender liner, cut a section of 2x4 to fit the inside of the dent......and a piece of 4x4 to fit inside of the 2x4.....and another piece of 4x4 to fit against the tire well/frame......and used some cabinet wedges......drove them in between the 4x4's, gradually increasing pressure on the dent until it popped out......came out well, but is noticeable if you look for it....the Dark Blue is unforgiving, as well as is Black......

SB
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Diesels:
'85 300D, "Max, Blue Benz", 155K, 27.0 MPG
'84 190D 2.2, "Eva, Brown Benz", 142K, 40.2 MPG
'77 240D (parts car)
'67 Eicher ES 202 Tractor "Otto" (2cyl, Air Cooled, 30HP)
Gassers:
'94 Ford F-150, "Henry", 170K (300 Six) 17.5 MPG
'85 190E 2.3, 148K....Parts Car
'58 Dodge W300M Powerwagon (Flat Fenders) Less than 10 MPG
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2007, 10:11 AM
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Most bodyshops should be able to handle that easliy. I'd be more concerned about thier paint matching abilities than the dent. There's no way I'd let the dealer cut metal to repair that.

I had a similar dent on a truck once. Had a body guy came out to look at it, as soon as he saw it he turned around and went back to his truck, got his body hammer and wacked the edges of the dent 5 or 6 times and out it popped. A few more wacks kept it from wanting to go back in again. A little rubbing compound to get rid of the metal marks on the paint and life was good again.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2007, 01:46 PM
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I definitely don't want the dealer to cut my car just to have it rust later. I'll go to good body shops and see what they can do about it. I'm not too concerned about a wavy panel if it will leave me an extra 1,000 dollars for my car. Maybe I'll fool around with the dent and see if I can take it out myself, then that means more money for my car. I know of a good bodyshop with the equipment to make a good paint match and I'll have the crack taken care of there.
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2007, 08:40 PM
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That's a good sized dent, but very repairable, and a good body shop should be able to put an analyzer on the paint and correctly match it for age and fade. (Yes, those tools do exist). I would definitely not cut that out, wouldn't even conceive how they think that other than fast and dirty fixin's.
When I was in class for my cert's, part of our training was to take a piece of an old panel, about 12-18" square, fold it on half, jump on it, beat it up with a sledge, drill in it, smash it in a vise, basically make a hole filled tinfoil ball of it, then the task was to repair that piece of metal to within 1/8 inch of it's origional form with only metalworking. This taught us proper shrinking/stretching techniques, welding without distortion, and how to reverse the damage properly. (First in=last out). Make sure they use a stud gun to pull the dent, it makes no holes for rust and reduces the hardening/crystallizing of the metal from trying to weld unnecessary holes. Frankly, I think a good bodyman with a few hand dollies should be able to pop that right near out with just a touch of filler. If the paint has cracks as you say, it needs to be repainted to do it right, at the very least use some superglue to seal those cracks so they don't create worse issues, water under paint doesn't evaporate as it does on top, it just sits and creates rust thru holes which you won't see until its gone deep, then it starts as bubbly looking paint spots.
You never look at metal the same after those classes, now if I could only get hold of an english wheel, ohh man, I'd be dangerous...Boyd Coddington lookout! lol
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Last edited by Mustang_man298; 06-23-2007 at 08:45 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2007, 06:10 AM
Shorebilly's Avatar
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Location: West Virginia
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Thumbs up PaintScratch.com

Awhile back I was seeking a source of MB touch up paint in a spray can.....someone here sent me to PaintScratch.com......they also sell paint in regular paint cans.....

These folks custom mix automotive paint, and have a guarantee to match......

I was extremely happy with the results from the spray can that I purchased......904 Midnight Blue.....

SB

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Diesels:
'85 300D, "Max, Blue Benz", 155K, 27.0 MPG
'84 190D 2.2, "Eva, Brown Benz", 142K, 40.2 MPG
'77 240D (parts car)
'67 Eicher ES 202 Tractor "Otto" (2cyl, Air Cooled, 30HP)
Gassers:
'94 Ford F-150, "Henry", 170K (300 Six) 17.5 MPG
'85 190E 2.3, 148K....Parts Car
'58 Dodge W300M Powerwagon (Flat Fenders) Less than 10 MPG
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