Pulling Dents From Your Old Hearse or Classic Car




This instructable will show you how to pull dents using a stud welder/slide hammer-specically older cars. This article is specific to hearse owner, yet is useful to anyone who owns a car that has dent. Please check out my art work: Miz Raven KustomsThanks
photos by Andrew Bauer

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Step 1: Prep and Introduction to the Stud Welder

` From the Crypt of Michelle Miz Raven Maynard

Dent Removal 101

From my experience pulling out the huge dent from my rear quarter panel, I have found that the beautiful cars we drive are built like tanks. There are many methods used to pull dents such as, the hammer dolly method, but when I tried alternate methods on my ‘69 MM, I found that the construction of the vehicle did not give much room for future body work. I removed both the rear bumper and the tail light in hopes of being able to use the hammer dolly method on the dent, only to find out that there are panels welded behind every nook and cranny of the vehicle! So don’t waste your time pulling parts off your pro-car unless you’re sure it will help you to get to the opposite side of the dent you want to pull. Now moving right along –

1. Remember safety first! Always use safety glasses, dust masks, and ear plugs. I love you all and I’d hate to see you get hurt!
2. Locate the dent and grind off the finish. In order for the stud gun to weld the stud into the surface, the surface must be bare metal.
3. Circle the lowest points of the dent. (I also like to lightly tap around the diameter of the dent just to relieve stress from the metal making the dent easier to pull)
4. The Stud Welder-see diagram
The copper ring is what contacts the bare medal thus acting as a ground for the welding of the stud. The stud holder is where you place the stud you are going to weld on to the surface. Once the contact ring is grounded, the trigger is pushed to send the electrical current that makes the weld possible.

Step 2: Operation of the Stud Welder

5. Operation of the stud welder: Once you have a stud inside the stud holder you carefully place the stud welder against the surface you wish to weld the stud to. The copper ring is usually spring loaded, so press firmly. Make sure the contact ring is in contact with the surface, and then press the trigger for NO MORE THAN 4 SECONDS!!! (if you press the trigger to long, you may risk burning a hole thru the metal).

Step 3: Slide Hammer

6. The slide hammer/puller works by clamping on to the stud, allowing the user to slide the weight (hammer) away from the dent thus pulling the metal out ward. When you use the puller do so with care, because if you pull to hard you can risk damaging the integrity of the metal by stretching it. It is possible to shrink metal, but shrinking metal is very difficult. So avoid tragedy by working smart!

Step 4: Removing and Grounding Studs

7. Once you are satisfied with your pulling work, gently cut the studs off, and grind the remnants level to the original metal. Stay tuned for my next instructable - filling and finishing.

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    12 Discussions


    Reply 3 years ago

    didn't you EVER watch Scooby Doo?! Oh, right - the ghosts weren't ever real...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work! And nice instructable too. I wanted to buy a hearse but drivable ones are expensive around here and the wife vetoed it... The "but think of all the room for the dogs" argument didn't work.. :/


    11 years ago on Introduction

    We prefer a two person dent removal team. While one person gently tap with the slide hammer, I like to have a second person with a rubber mallet pound around the perimeter of the dent. Seems to help. Those stud welders are great. I usually resort to drilling a hole and using a sheet metal screw attached to the slide hammer. Then I have to somehow get a copper plate behind the repair spot and fill in the hole with a MIG. Then grind flush.

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Unfortunately for me, I usually have to be a one-woman operation, thats why I do my tapping before hand. I know what you mean about resorting to drilling, I had a dent on the side of the car also, and it almost came to that. I had to use the mig because after I grinded it down to bare meta,l I found the previous owner tried to pull the dent by drilling holes, but didn't bother to weld them up! -thanks for the comment


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice, and nice ride... iv wanted a hearse for ages but im only 15 (16 in may) so i'l have to wait a few years