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How To Repair Your Commercial Vehicle's Body Damage To Prepare It For Paint

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When one of your commercial vehicles is in a crash and receives minor body damage, you can do much of the dent repair yourself. With the right tools and knowledge, you can pull out dents on your vehicle to prepare it for a professional paint application. Here are instructions to help you use a stud welder gun to pull out the vehicle body's dents yourself.

Prepare For Safe Work

It's always a good idea to protect yourself while you are working with sanding and auto body repair tools. Wear work gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and shoes that cover your feet. Also, protect your hearing with earplugs or other hearing protection. Wear safety glasses and a dust mask, especially when you are sanding down the metal body of a vehicle. The safety glasses protect your eyes from any flying debris or sparks while you use a metal grinder and sander on your vehicle's body.

Remove Paint and Other Residues

To pull the dents out of your vehicle, you will need to weld metal pins onto the body with a stud welding gun, which will provide you with pulling points to grip and pull the metal out. But first, the surface of the damaged portion of your vehicle needs to be stripped down to the bare metal for the stud welder gun to create a weld. And, you will need to remove the portions of damaged vehicle paint and primer, which will be repainted after the repair has been completed. 

Use a degreaser cleaner, such as liquid dish soap, with warm water and a rag to remove any residues and oils from the metal. Allow the vehicle's body to dry completely. Next, use a medium-grit sandpaper to sand off the paint and primer over the area of damage and several inches of the surrounding surface. 

Weld the Pins

If you have never used a stud welder gun before, it is a basic process that does not require you to know how to weld metal. When you press the copper nose of the welder gun onto the bare metal of your vehicle, the connection will create an electric currant that fuses the metal pin to the metal body. This weld process only takes two to three seconds to create a secure weld. Pulling the trigger and holding the hose of the gun onto the metal any longer than four seconds will melt through the metal on your vehicle's body. So, it can be helpful to practice the weld process on a piece of scrap metal before you attempt it on your vehicle's body.

Place one of the metal pins into the nose of the stud welder and press the nose into the damaged area of your vehicle to weld the pin in place. Continue this process to weld additional pins onto the damaged section, spacing the pins about one inch apart. Place as many pins as you will need to fully pull the dent. Allow the pins and their welded connection to cool before you begin pulling the dent.

Pull the Dent

Use a slide hammer to clamp onto each pin and pull the pin outward, aligning the metal of your vehicle back into place. Be careful that you don't use too much force when you pull on the pins, as this can cause the metal to stretch too far and create further damage on your vehicle's body.

Begin pulling on the pins along the outside of the damage, working your way to the inside of the damage. This technique allows you to repair the damage in reverse order of how it was created during the accident impact.

Remove Pins and Smooth Area

Now you can cut off each of the pins with a pair of wire cutters, then grind down the nub of each pin with a grinding tool. Often, imperfections can still remain in the vehicle's body. To repair these, apply a layer of auto body filler over the bumps, using a plastic applicator. Allow the auto body filler to fully dry, then sand it smooth using a fine-grit sandpaper. 

Now your vehicle is ready to receive its professional primer, paint, and clear coat application for a flawless look. Contact a place that does commercial fleet repairs or click here for more info.