Every vehicle owner knows the sinking feeling you get when your auto is dented in a minor accident. Instead of spending a lot of money having the dent fixed at a body shop, another option is to fix the dent yourself with a method called stud welding. This article takes a closer look at this intriguing technique for car owners who don't mind putting in a little time and effort to repair their own dented vehicles.
Stud welding involves fastening some type of stud, such as a bolt or pin, to a metal substrate or base. The technique has many types of industrial applications, but it is also a used in automotive repair. A key aspect of stud welding is that the stud does not have to be made from the same type of metal as the base.
You will need a special type of tool known as a stud welder gun to proceed with this method. You will also need a pulling tool to pull on the studs and remove the dent. A pair of metal snips is also required, along with a grinder. Some retailers have special dent repair kits available that combine the stud welder gun and the pulling tool in the same package.
The first step in the process is to remove the paint from the dented area with a grinder. Be careful as you proceed, because most modern auto bodies have a thin coat of paint, and you don't want to accidentally grind too much of the metal from the surface.
Use the stud welder gun to fasten the studs, which in this case will be several pins rather than bolts or other fasteners, to the unpainted metal surrounding the dent. Once the pins are welded to the surface, pull the pins outward with the pulling tool. This should pop the dent back into place. If any high spots remain, tap them down with a body hammer. Cut off the pins with a pair of metal snips and then grind them even with the surface. Once the dent has been removed, the remaining part of the job is to apply body filler to the area and then paint it.
Welding creates sparks, so always wear goggles or safety glasses.
Although it's possible to repair dents yourself with the stud welding technique, make sure that research the method thoroughly and work carefully to avoid any problems. If you require more help or advice, speak with professionals like Northland Fastening Systems.