Right Rear Fender Dent Repairs

This afternoon I spent about three hours working on some dents and dings in the right rear fender. Behind the right rear wheel was a crease-like dent running up the fender, maybe five inches long. I went over the area with a black marker to isolate the low area–the marker essentially acted as a guide coat.

After the whole area was colored black I used a sanding block to sand it off again.

Then the low spot of the dent was clearly apparent as the dark area where the marker remained.

I used a dolly and a slapper, tools that came in a set I bought from Harborfreight. I placed the dolly inside the trunk up against the low spot in the fender.

Then I used the slapper on the outside of the dent to actually strike the dolly through the low spot in the metal. It is counter intuitive, but the slapping on the outside actually causes the dolly to raise the metal upward upon impact. I used the slapper rather than a body hammer because it has a much broader face, making it easier to strike the dolly. The important thing was to position the dolly in the right spot. Every time I connected, a bit of the black marker would show the impact, allowing me to locate my blows strictly within the low spot of the dent.

After working for about thirty minutes with the dolly the dent was beginning to rise, so I moved to my shrinking disk to try to level out the surface. When the dent occurred the metal stretched both downward at the crease of the dent but also upward at the edges of the crease. The shrinking disk would enable me to lower those raised areas on either side of the dent. I quenched the heated metal with a spray bottle containing water.

I repeated the shrinking and quenching several times.

Here is a look at the dent from above, showing that it had come back into alignment somewhat.

Next I repeated the process with the black marker and sanding, which revealed that the crease had become decidedly less pronounced and that the surface was more uniform.

Then I went back to work with the shrinking disk until I was satisfied that the metal was very close to its original shape.

On the same rear fender, up on the ridge of the body, there was a small dent that was very obvious because of its placement on the body line. I used a Clean & Strip wheel to clean the metal in preparation for applying tinning compound to repair the area with body solder.

I brushed on a thick coat of the tin.

And I heated the tin with my propane torch, wiping away the impurities and spreading the tin uniformly across the surface.

After the tin was applied I began heating and applying the body solder.

I tried a new method this time, different from the way I applied body solder to the passenger-side door. Rather than try to form the repair with the clumsy paddle, I just applied an excess amount of solder so that even the lower edges of the repair were above the original metal, reasoning that I could remove the excess and get a smooth repair.

In my 4 1/2″ angle grinder I mounted three cut-off wheels on top of one another. This gave me a thicker profile so I could use the edge of the wheels to grind away the solder. I went to work grinding the solder repair and the grinder worked very well. The bottom cut-off wheel actually wore away, leaving the three wheel edges at an angle so I could use the edges of the three wheels to smooth the edges of the repair.

After several minutes of careful grinding the area came roughly into shape.

Then I hand-sanded with some 120-grit sandpaper and the area became very smooth and into profile with the body.

And here is a look at the repair from the rear.

There was also a small, quarter-sized round ding in the same rear fender just above the larger dent, located above the side moulding. Below, left is a picture of it after I used the black marker to show its low spot, and to the right is a picture after I cleaned the area with a Clean & Strip wheel.

Using the same methods I used on the other dent, I applied the tinning compound, washed the area, and applied body solder.

And after grinding and sanding the ding was back in good shape.

And I followed the same procedure to solder the larger dent down below. I stripped the metal, then wiped it with acetone to remove grease and/or marker that remained.

Then I applied the tinning compound, followed by the solder.

Here is the solder applied over the crease, proud of the surface, and after I did some grinding and sanding of the area.

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