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OT - Auto Hail Damage Repair

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  • OT - Auto Hail Damage Repair

    We had a nice little hail storm here this evening (initial estimates are around $250,000,000 in damage) and my truck (2006 GMC that when washed looked new) got caught out in it. Ended up with a lot of little hail dents on the hood, roof, tops of the doors, and fenders. I am going to call the insurance company in the morning to get the ball rolling. I went through this about 15 years ago with a Ford, they ended up replacing a bunch of panels and reshooting the whole thing but it still never looked right. The silver paint on the truck still looks good and does not appear to be chipped much from the dents, so does anyone know if the paintless dent repair stuff actually works? I really do not want to get it repainted and drive a pos little rental car (what if I need to move a piece of machinery?) while it is in the shop for six weeks. Has anyone been through this lately?

  • #2
    The paintless dent repair works very well when done by someone who knows what they are doing. They go behind the dent with rods and push the dent out while watching a reflection of a straight line positioned in the distance. Sometimes they have to drill small hole to access panels for repair but the holes get plugged after the repair is complete. Here is the problem with this type of repair and the reason why many auto manufacturers don't approve of this type of repair, it can damage the corrosion protection on the back of the repair area. A good dent repair guy can apply corrosion protection, such as a bituminous wax, after the repair is made but many don't.
    Mark Hockett

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mark Hockett
      The paintless dent repair works very well when done by someone who knows what they are doing.
      Paintless Dent Repair doesn't work on Texas hail. My rear windshield looks like someone strafed it with a machine gun. In other words, the hail went clear through the windshield, the headlights, and the taillights.

      I'll post some pictures in the morning.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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      • #4
        I was feeling sorry for myself until I saw the email from Lazlo and then the reports on the news. The stuff I got caught in was "only" golf ball size, but a couple of miles to the NW of me they had tennis ball size hail. The truck is aggravating, but what really got to me was my tomato plants. I have been nursing them along for a month, finally got them transplanted two weeks ago into the garden, and now most of them are gone. And I was going to have home grown tomatoes in about 8 weeks...

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        • #5
          I've been a bodyman for 16 years my dad for 45, we've done allot of hail damage. If the dent is "soft" meaning no sharp lines yes it will work perfectly. If there's a line or sharp dent the metal is stretched and will not return without the aid of heat and or hammer/dolly.

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          • #6
            Iv done much on my own, (paintless) The things I look for are the size - Like Clinton just stated once its beyond a point it simply cannot be done due to the metal being stretched - like a bi-metal heat disc it has to go somewhere and will turn into an "outie"

            I have an assortment of different size spoons and screw driver handles that have a refined convex, I use a light positioned a certain way and try to use lines to look against ,, I dont do enough of it but if I did I would have a ceiling of panel lights with a grid of black interruption lines - as crude as tools Iv used Iv taken cars that were pretty bad and made the damage undetectable - it takes allot of patients but in my opinion its worth it to keep the original paint.

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            • #7
              I've never done this, no first hand knowledge.

              If you Google hail damage dry ice you'll find a lot of info. Good luck.

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              • #8
                Over here the Insurance companies would be looking carefully at the "Act Of God" clauses, a way for them to take your money and pay bu**er all back.

                Regards Ian.
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                • #9
                  We don't get a lot of hail up here near Buffalo so I can't help you Want to talk snow, give me a call !
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                  Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                  It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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                  • #10
                    ive heard a lot of the hair dryer and dry ice method but not tried it as we also have SNOW, and not much hail. it would be interesting to try sometime.

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                    • #11
                      My neighbor runs a rebuilder/body shop. He bought a new hail damaged high-dollar Dodge at a big discount. Repaired or replaced the hood, skipped the top ( who can see it), used some dry ice/heat on the rest. Looks good enough and saved a fortune. Depreciation eats late model cars and trucks so bad, I wouldn't put much money back into one. In a few years the Texas sun could make the re-paint look worse than a little remaining hail damage.

                      As an aside, he took the paint code to the paint store to get white (white, remember that) paint for the hood. They told him that that one code could be any one of 5 mixes. The manufactures are using the equivalent of floor sweepings to mix paint.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GKman

                        As an aside, he took the paint code to the paint store to get white (white, remember that) paint for the hood. They told him that that one code could be any one of 5 mixes. The manufactures are using the equivalent of floor sweepings to mix paint.
                        Not true, the reason for the 5 "variant decks" is the location on where the vehicle was built. If it was built in Canada as opposed to the US it have a different shade or hue because each will use different band/manufacture or paint. Does not mean one is worse than the other just different.
                        And it also does not mean it's any good. If it were paint on a Hyundai or Saturn I would say the repaint would be a far better option as the paint would be of far better quality. You can opt for higher quality clear that will outlast factory clear it's all in how much your willing to spend.

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                        • #13
                          We had some hail damage up here (Oklahoma) a few weeks ago and there are a lot of the itinerant dent repair places set up around town. I've been waiting for one to advertise:

                          Paintless Dent-istry

                          Not sure I'd go there but ...
                          .
                          "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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                          • #14
                            I don't think Clinton is old enough to remember this one but back in the early 1970's a hail storm went through Edmonton. It passed over the main storage lot for new GM vehicles, about 500 new cars and trucks. The hail was up to softball size and every single one of the vehicles was a writeoff. They sold them all at auction for prices ranging from $500 to $1000. A lot of farmers bought brand new cars and trucks for peanuts plus the cost of some glass.

                            I was working in aircraft sheet metal at the time and after the storm we had a Cessna 180 trucked in with broken windscreen and all upper panels looking like it had been worked over with a sledge hammer. It had been stored in a tee hanger and the hail went through the roof and then through the plexiglass. Some of the dents in the wings were almost holes. They didn't write it off because it was nearly new so we replaced every single upper panel and repaired or replaced a bunch of the wing ribs as well.

                            I sure hope my sister and her husband made out ok. They live north of Austin and have a specialty farm growing lavender. So far the drought hasn't much affected them but hail can wipe out everything in seconds.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Evan
                              I don't think Clinton is old enough to remember this one but back in the early 1970's a hail storm went through Edmonton. It passed over the main storage lot for new GM vehicles, about 500 new cars and trucks. The hail was up to softball size and every single one of the vehicles was a writeoff. They sold them all at auction for prices ranging from $500 to $1000. A lot of farmers bought brand new cars and trucks for peanuts plus the cost of some glass.
                              Nope, that's about the time I was born in Calgary. We've had a few stoms like that in the last 10 years though. My car, used to be my wifes till we bought brand new a few months ago. Was a write off that got massive hail damage after I had brought it home to work on. So the damage was all on me, no insurance on a write off until it's reregistered. It only took a day and a half to fit it back to where it was, hail damage is gravy work. I'd take it any time, easy money.

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