BODYLINE SMASH | STEP by STEP Aluminium Repair

Today is all about Aluminium we have a
Mercedes E220 AMG Line with a nasty body line dent, but stay tuned and
I’ll show you the complete repair from start to finish Hi everyone is Jake here from first Track Dents and welcome back foranother paintless dent removal video, so today
we’re working on the front wing of this Mercedes E220 AMG Line, so it’s not
the biggest dent you’ve seen me do but I can promise you I had a real tough
time removing this then not only because it was on the sharp body line but because
this wing was made from Aluminium or as our American and Canadian friends like
to call it Aluminum, now in the mid point of this video I’ll explain a little bit
about the properties of Aluminium and why it’s used in the vehicle
manufacturing industry but for now let’s jump in to this repair… Okay so first off I knew this was most
likely to be an Aluminium panel as Mercedes use this light weight metal alloy quite a lot on their exterior body panels. So the customer returned back to
their vehicle to find a trolley up against their wing, it obviously made
heavy contact with this panel and created this dent with an overall width of
approximately 120 millimeters and looking here from the overhead view we
can see that it’s pushed in the profile line at the top edge at least 12
millimeters. Now this metal had to go somewhere so it’s pushed upwards and
created this lump of what we like to call a crown which branches off and
extends up the panel, now the last thing to mention is that on close inspection
I did notice these very minor scratches in the clear coat which I will polish
off at the end of the repair but for now let’s remove the lower trim and get
behind this panel The stone guard is made from a very soft
plastic, so to gain access you simply use your hand and pull it aside. So as this dent has bent the body line
and formed this high ridge on top I will be using a lot of heat to prevent the
paint from cracking and to help the Aluminium to move. So for most of this
repair I will be using my Ultra Dent Double Bend tool and I’m going to start
with the large rubber tip. I’ll link this tool in the description. So I’m just
feeling out the tight areas here before I commit to using a lot of force,
I then gradually start pushing out the deepest low areas of this dent. So when
the body line is moved in like this you really need three hands to work in
unison, one to heat the panel, one to push the dent out and one to tap down the
crown. So as I’m pushing this down out I’m holding the tension while tapping
down some of this crown on top, this is a slow process as you want to try and
bring up the body line and the dent cleanly. So I’ve done all I can with a
large rubber tip now time to switch over to my standard rubber tip, with this tip
I’m more focused on trying to bring out the body line profile that’s why I’m
moving up and down the body line edge. I’m still using my hammer to tap the
hard crown down while I try not to put any hammer marks into the metal as that
would give me more work at the end of the repair. Now because Aluminium is a
tough metal to move is inevitable that some pushes will leave very small high
marks, this is where the nylon tap down is used to tap these areas down level
again. So I’m happy that a profile line is
almost level and straight, so now it’s time to change position and attack this
stubborn crown. I decided this position would give me
the best view of this crown so I’m using my tap down which takes the screw on tips
and I’m using the rubber tip to try and push this crown back down level again.
I’m gradually moving across it to try and bring it down evenly. On the really stubborn areas I’m using
my nylon tip as the rubber tip absorbs some of the impact, whereas the nylon tip
doesn’t. So I am making progress, the overall shape is pretty much there but
there is plenty of work that still needs to be done. Okay so a bit more heat now
and I’m switching to my nylon tip to bring up some of the small indentations
that are left on the panel. It still takes a lot of force to move
this metal even though the indentations that are left behind are very small I’m
still using the nylonn tap down to remove any high areas leftover from the crown
removal. Now it’s very important to protect your hearing as much as you can
in these repairs especially when a lot of tapping down is required like in
this repair. I find Aluminium has a certain acoustic
quality that makes it louder as opposed to tapping down regular steel panels. I’m
still using the nylon tap down to remove the last the stubborn high areas on this
crown. So when we talk about motor vehicles
having exterior body panels made from Aluminium there’s a huge misconception
that dents in these panels should be very easy to push out because Aluminium
is very soft, well trust me, dents in these panels are not easy to push out,
this is because they’re not made from pure Aluminium. Now Aluminium is one of
the most abundant metallic elements found in the Earth’s crust, its atomic
number is 13 and it’s found on the periodic table here. In its purest form
Aluminium would be way too soft to be used in the manufacture of Motor
Vehicles. Now one example of Aluminium almost in its purest form would be in
Aluminium kitchen foil, although this does have an aluminium content of just
over 99% and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be driving around in the same stuff
that you wrap your sandwiches in. So the material used in the manufacture of
these vehicles is in Aluminium alloy, so what does that mean? Well it means it’s a
mixture of elements where Aluminium is the predominant metal, so in the
manufacture of vehicle body panels Aluminium is mixed with various other
elements in order to get the right characteristics for example weight
reduction, corrosion resistance, weldability, impact absorption amongst
many other factors. So there are huge weight savings when using Aluminium as
opposed to regular steel, now depending on the vehicle some studies suggest that
Aluminium bodies are up to 30 to 50 percent lighter, now that’s the
equivalent of 5 or more people. At the moment Aluminium is used more in the
production of high-end luxury vehicles. But let’s not completely write steel off
because there are studies that show a big development in the use of Advanced
High-Strength Steels (AHSS) Now these high-strength Steels have been
developed and engineered to be much stronger and much lighter. So I don’t
think that we will be seeing either of these metals taking over the entire
market even now or in the near future. I think because of the complex structure
of motor vehicle bodies they will always be a mix of different metals and
plastics. So from my experience with dent removal I find that Steel requires a lot
less effort and force to get it to move back into position, whereas aluminium
requires probably twice amount of force and twice the amount of effort just to
get it to move and the metal memory characteristics of both metals are
completely different. So that was some basic facts on aluminium now let’s
get back to the repair. Now the sun’s just creeping up over the rooftop making
it very difficult to see so I’m putting up the umbrella. I’m now switching to the
finer tips to bring up some of the micro lows. Again the use of heat here is very
important here when using these sharp tips as we don’t want to crack the paint. As you can see the panel is completely
back to its original shape, although if you look closely you can just see some
of these micro lows in the surface of the panel, these have to be pushed up one
by one, this is the part of the repair that takes the longest to do and
requires the most patience. You have to push carefully when using the sharp tips
as if you push too hard you will make very sharp highs that may be too sharp
to tap back down again and would show up in the paint surface at the end of the
repair. Now here you can see the importance of cross-checking your
repairs you’ll notice I don’t stay in one position too long, I’m working the
dent in horizontal and vertical positions either side of the dent to
ensure the finished result looks good in all directions. Now I’m moving on to a
super sharp tip to bring out some of the micro lows which are on the top section
of the wheel arch where the crown was earlier. Most of the micro lows here are
close to the edge profile of this panel. As you can see, some of these micro lows
need pushing up quite far in order to get them to move, but the high areas are
easily tapped back down again using my sharp nylon Tips. After this section is complete, it’s
time to remove the clear coat scratches that we spotted earlier. So after flatting out the scratches, I
gave the panel of good mop over with some Ultrafine polish to give the paint
a rich deep gloss, so now it’s time to check out the FINAL RESULT! Once again, thanks for coming along on this repair. I know this one probably didn’t look super challenging to do, but trust
me, this took a lot of time and effort to remove this one, Aluminium can be really
difficult to work with. If you liked the video it would be great to get a thumbs up and
if you aren’t subscribed already click that subscribe button and don’t forget
to click the notification bell to be kept in touch with all the latest videos.
Thanks again for watching, and I’ll see you all on the next video!

61 thoughts on “BODYLINE SMASH | STEP by STEP Aluminium Repair

  1. Hi everyone, another in depth repair for you this time on a front wing/fender made from Aluminium, this metal is always a challenge to repair, hope you enjoy it!

  2. Brilliant work I've always wondered why Aluminium was such a different prospect to steel bodied cars. Your explanation was spot on. Thanks.

  3. Good afternoon Jake, beautiful work as usual. You really got that black looking good. That was a tough little dent. You take care.

  4. I bet the customer was chuffed out of his mind when he saw the finished job. You got magic at your finger tips Jake.

  5. Your videos are almost like watching your favorite TV show . Hoping in anticipating the next video every time. Outstanding work once again Jake

  6. Amazing, very skilled work enjoying these videos thanks there therapeutic to watch nice to see a panel being properly repaired rather than bodged with filler or replaced

  7. As always great job. I would be curious to see during your closing shots a time summary. I find my self wondering how long most of your tepairs take you.

  8. So much to learn, and being inquisitive, this is rewarding! Thanks Jake. All the best as you show how good YouTube can be.

  9. I had to subscribe, watching you is like watching a magician, is this a skill you teach others, I'm a driving instructor and this skill would save me alot of aggravation.

  10. Your videos are amazing! Very professionally recorded which makes for a great tutorial. And the result is always "factory finished" GLASS ! Amazing work Jake, thank you

  11. Can you pdr a dented plastic bumper? Not sure I've seen videos on this type of dent on plastic bumpers. You have the best informative videos out there for pdr.

  12. Buddy the videos are superb, as is your ability.
    What would you recommend as the most viable route, here in uk, to train properly and learn the fundamental principles from?
    So many channels say ‘get an old door or panel and practice’ that shows the how but doesn’t explain the why. Why should we attack certain areas first etc..
    I’m blown away at your ability to tackle ludicrous dents (I’ve said this before) but for an individual to seriously want to explore, learn and master PDR? Which route?

  13. Fantastic content as usual Jake. Having had you work on my car before I can 100% recommend your services. A true perfectionist at work, every time …

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