Rear panel damage and slight quarter panel buckle
So, I'm being optimistic here, can this be fixed without any panel replacement, and very (important to me) minimal filler?
The car is a 1971 BMW 2002 that I'm going completely through inside out and upside down, I just don't have the know how yet how to do bodywork like this.
The buckle can be pushed out from the trunk side, but at its position, is pretty impossible to get to with a hammer or just about anything. It's right behind where part of the wheel well and supporting bracketry is. Anyway, I'll estimate it at about maybe 1/4" deep or more, over a broad relatively vertical line.
Here are two pictures of it, the first of which has a couple yellow lines roughly outlining it. The second I made sure to get the light line to cross right through it.
Quarter Panel 1
Quarter Panel 2
To the rear panel is where the smaller but more severe in my novice opinion are. I'd rather spend the money for tools to have a good fixed panel rather than use the labor and cost to weld in a new one. There are several dings and dents all over it, through body lines and not so deep it interferes with anything mechanical, but it looks like complete garbage. By the time I paint it, I want it to look almost perfect. Is it possible for a novice like me, to get these blemishes out? Once again picture 1 has several circles and arrows, while the second picture is a more vertical one intended to give a better perspective how deep they are.
Rear Panel 1
Rear Panel 2
What methods would any of you use to remove these problems? Can I do it all myself? What tools would you suggest for me to purchase? I have more bumps and bruises around the rest of the car too, but this is by far the most severe, in both fixing and replacing the panel if necessary. The others are just little things with the front fenders that should be easy to bring back out and flatten.
Thanks in advance, I've been lurking for a while over the last few years and finally decided to join.
i am no bodyman....but have you tried a plunder? or maybe temporarily welding a stud on it and pullin. The usin bondo or some type of filler and and it smooth? Like i said, not a pro, but those are some simple suggestions. I would listen to what the others have to say about it and maybe they will agree with my suggestions. But i highly doubt that. They will more than likely tell you a better way
I have not tried anything on it yet, I'm just trying to gather ideas at this point. I'd like to get it all pretty close before I use any sort of filler. Any ideas are welcome though.
Here is an album with a simple dent repair technique:
Practice on some scrap first to get feel for the tools. You need to remove all the paint in the area so you can see what you really have.
I would cut out any inner structure that is in the way of tool access, after first trying to pry the low area out. Whatever you use to pry should have soft edges so that you keep the surface of the metal as smooth as you can. Small lumps and waves made while removing dents are not hard to fix, but hard creases are a bit more difficult.
It might help you to try bumping the outer edges of the dent out first with many gentle blows using a soft edged dolly with a crown in it, working your way into the middle. Or, in the case of the rear body panel, start away from the crease slowly moving the metal out where the least damage is first and at the crease afterwards. This is not the best method but it may be the easiest. An expert would probably look at the creases in the body detail at the rear and decide to straighten out the deeper portion of the crease first in some areas in such a way as to remove the lighter damage without touching it. It would come along for the ride. You can get the dent out near its original contours either way pretty quickly. Do not be afraid to hit the metal. As long as your tools surfaces and edges are smooth, you will not hurt it.
You can hit the metal from either side, backed up on the other side with a dolly, or a piece of wood. The idea is to have control over both sides of the panel at once. When you hit the metal in one direction, you want to restrain it in the other a little bit to keep from pushing the whole area out more than the original contours. In other words bumping a low spot out while holding pressure on a high spot from the other side of the panel.
This will help get the contours close, then you will need to raise up small low spots, smooth with a hammer and dolly, and repeat these steps as often as you have to. You will not get it it done in one or two rounds of these steps. You will need to do some them multiple times.
Again, practice on some scrap first! Make dent and fix it. The more you do, the better you will get at it.
There is a link to a dent repair article with links to others on my web site below.
Well I saw your pictures. You have two ways that you can fix that quarter panel. One way is to get a porter power sonce you have access to the back side of the panel. Brace the porter power in the trunk at the right side and you work the pump which push most of the dent out. the rest can filled with some bodyfiller. Now the other way is to get a die grinder and grind the paint off the dent and about 3-4 inches around the dent so that you have a nice feathered edge. Now you wanna use whats called a stud gun which welds a nail to the panel. With the slidehammer which is included in the kit you can pull the dent out. Now with a very small coat of bodyfiller Just sand it with 80grit then with 120. Since its bare metal id use a good etching primer since it has a good bite, maybe 2- 3coats
If the dent in the quarter was cause by a rear end hit then it should be pulled or pushed back and the damage pulled out using a stud welder. If the damage was caused by a side hit then the stud welder and body hammer should do the job.
If the rear panel is accessable on the inside you could hammer and dolly it but if it were in our shop we would probably mostly use a stud welder on that damage also.
The studs are fastened to the low areas and pulled while you tap around it with a body hammer.
Pictures Link to Pages
Even when using the proper tools and techniques you'll probably want to use a light coat of filler to level the surface.
A stud gun is definately the way to go on that one, and probably on the more minor dings as well. Check the pawn shops in your local area and see if they have any stud guns for sale. If not then buy a new one, they cost between $200 - $500 new. For your needs a $200 set would work fine. You'll need a couple body hammers (one round nose semi flat nose pick hammer, and one square head semi flat on one end with the other end kind of wedge shaped). You'll need a couple dollies. expensive one are of course best but cheap taiwani ones are functional. For a novice like you a Taiwani hammer/dollie set should work fine for around $20 - $30. Just make sure and get the ones with the fiberglass handles. (I've seen some really bad junk wooden handle ones in that price range). John Kelley offered you some excellent advice for working sheetmetal, John knows his stuff when it comes to sheet metal.
What kind of air compressor do you have to run air tools ? grinders, sanders, primer guns, paint guns etc.
Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions and tips so far. Very helpful.
First of all, as far as the compressor goes. The one I have available to me isn't worth a damn for air tools, or any self respecting spray gun. Its an ancient Craftsman 20 gal laydown with a whopping ~10scfm at 40psi. It's ok for mostly anything else, but is long winded and small. I've been looking at a nice 60 gallon IR but have no permanent available room for it unless I make a small insulated house outside next to the garage and plumb it in. Either the 2340L5 or SS5L5. I like the 2340L5, but then again I tend to always end up buying tools that are at least one step above what I think I'll ever need. It's a good idea, but costs a lot more money in the end.
Now, jumping around a little bit, what is a porter power? Is it basically like a giant hydraulic jack push rod thing? That's what I'm gathering. I didnt own the car when the damage occured, and am not positive the two locations are related but I'm assuming so due to the nature of the buckle. What would you suggest to do/measure to make sure? If it's not related, and I try to pull it out by the rear of the car, what kind of extra damage would I be looking at? Besides the dings, it APPEARS to be straight. I suppose it could just be pushed directly in not down or up at all. How much would you estimate it cost to get that buckle out of I rolled it to a bodyshop? What kind of extra damage would occur that would need to be stud welded etc after pulling it out even if it was related?
I'm eager to learn, and love buying tools
Definately be checking back and asking more questions in this thread. This forum is invaluable. Thanks guys.
Porta power is a collection of hydraulic rams that can be placed in or around the car to straighten some damage. I've actually seen someone pull out a frame on a 3/4 ton pick-up with a set. It took him a while, but it can be done.
As others have said, you'll need a set of body hammers and dollies. Many places carry an inexpensive 7 or 8 piece set and possibly a slapper or two. If you're restoring this yourself, you should address your air needs as well. Len sells a stud welder that's not too pricey. I bought one from Harbor Freight, and the quality isn't very good (it was cracked even though I took it from the middle of the stack.) But I have to say, for my limited needs, it gets the job done. We all want to buy expensive tools, and if you're a pro, I can understand that the highest quality tools are necessary, but for Joe Shadetree, it's unlikely that you'll ever place the same demand on a tool that the pros will. That, coupled with the fact that car restorations are like government building projects (i.e. they never get done on time or within the original budget) I'd advise you to spend wisely. There are some things that will blow you away when you see the price tag (i.e. anything with a 3M label) and there's few options that turn out to be cheaper in the long run (you might find cheaper sandpaper, but you'll use more of it, thus negating the savings.)
I can't really see the buckle in the quarter panel. I'll take your word that one is there. I suck at metal working so I can offer little commentary. But something to consider is that in the long run it may be cheaper to farm out a small job then to buy the tools and do it yourself. If it's buckled and needs some pulling, or if a new panel has to be fitted and welded in, your tool expense may exceed the cost of farming out the job. I'll start a new paragraph to deal with another option for your scenario.
The BMW 2002 has always had a cult-like following, and its popularity is on a rise beyond the typical cult-following. Just like you found this site, I'm sure a similar search will find you some discussion sites on vintage BMWs if you haven't found one already. It's amazing what people will do for you for free just because you share one similar interest. You may find a guy over there who has done extensive pulling and/or other bodywork on the same vehicle and would gladly come lend you a hand and some tools with the only payment expected being a case of beer or something like that. A lot of cars get restored this way.
Thanks for the community suggestion, I hadn't quite thought of that to see if anybody around my area into 02's had a body shop or experience with this sort of thing. I've been a part of an 02 community for quite a while, as I've also had this car for longer than I'd care to admit (went from my first car I was fixing to drive to way over my head snowball effect that I'm starting to get under control). I have opportunity to try to fix it properly now and I'm gathering up everything I need. The parts and everything are stacking up just waiting to have the shell suitably prepped. I'll post on the 02 forum later today or tomorrow and see if anybody would have time to come help out. I'm not counting my chickens though. I know one person in Hollister but I'm in Sonoma County...and he's usually very busy.
Last edited by Norcal02; 02-12-2007 at 06:36 PM.
There's a gal over at autobody101.com by the handle of 'esty' who likes old BMW's and has repainted several. You might already know her from other forums, but I just thought I'd mention it. She's got body and paint knowledge, and is familiar with the same cars as you. She's done several in two-tone.
Yup, actually I am. I'll look into some things she did. Can't say I like her style but the information isn't bad
the back would have to be banged out, feathered, and filled. Remove all surface rust by sanding or die grinding. Stud guns also work good on the thicker soft steels, but only if you can't access the backside. Get a hammer and flat dolly. Matching that finish will be difficult. You can buff the entire car to match it better but buff a hidden area first.I'd say you're better off repairing it, metal condition(maybe), etching it, and then painting the whole car when you can. That's just my opinion though.
Originally Posted by Norcal02
Last edited by SHOWCAR FINISH; 02-24-2007 at 04:06 PM.
Oh, getting the paint back into good condition is way out of the picture, I'll be repainting it after I finish with the bodywork anyway. Thanks.