Projects & Repairs --> Collision Repair --> Dent Pulling
Pro Auto Body Technique:

Pulling Dents With A Stud Welder

 

In This Article:

A metal wire stud is attached to a dent in a car body. A slide hammer is used to pull the dent out.

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Skill Level: 3-4 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Time Taken: About 10 Minutes

By Bruce W. Maki, Editor

Start:

This is an electric stud welding gun.

This tool is used to weld a small steel pin (or stud) to a dent in a steel body panel. Then a special pull-hammer is used to hammer the stud outward.

 

These studs are about 1 inches long.

 

To begin, the stud is inserted into the end of the gun.

The outer copper ring is negative and the center copper nipple is positively charged. When the trigger is pulled these metal parts are energized.

Of course, this tool needs to be pushed up against the bare steel for anything to happen.

 

To use the stud gun, the tip is pressed against the bare steel. When the trigger is squeezed, electric current flows through the tip and fuses the stud to the car body.

The dented area needs to be bare metal... all the paint must be removed around the stud location. The bare metal spot needs to be at least the size of a quarter, perhaps bigger.

 

Once the stud is attached to the car body, the stud welder gun is pulled away, leaving the metal rod attached to the car.

 

Some dents can benefit from multiple studs. It's best to install all of the desired studs, let the metal cool, and then do the dent pulling.

 

Since this dent was a long skinny crease about 4 inches long, Jim attached 4 studs, about an inch apart.

 

The dent is pulled with a slide hammer that has a special head that grabs the stud.

Jim gave the slide hammer one good whack and the dented metal pulled out. Using a slide hammer takes some practice to develop the right touch.

After all the dent pulling was done, Jim cut off the studs with a pair of wire cutters and then used a grinder to grind down the remaining bit of steel.

Finishing Touches:

Once the dent had been pounded outward, Jim applied a thin coating of plastic filler (a.k.a. Bondo).

When the filler was hard he sanded the area smooth and level, then he primed and painted the entire area that needed to be repaired.

 

Tool Kit:

These dent-pulling tools can be purchased as a set, which sell in the range of $250 to $450.

The small tool on the lower left is a hand-puller, which is for light-duty dent pulling where hand pressure is often all you need.

 

More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Electric Stud Welder
  • Slide Hammer
  • Wire Cutters
  • Grinder

Materials Used:

  • Dent Puller Studs

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Written September 6, 2007