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Dent Magic

Got a dent you want to get rid of? Well, here is the cheapest and easiest way to do it - it's paintless dent removal...

By Michael Knowling

Click on pics to view larger images

This article was first published in 2001.

We all know that dents can spoil an otherwise top lookin' car. Yet, no matter how hard you try to steer away from them, you always end up copping the odd ripple or dimple (which usually arises from hail damage, car door openings or basic driver error).

Now let's imagine you've just noticed another surprise dent in the side of your car - what should you do next? Well, so long as the dent doesn't have any major paint chips in it, we'd recommend that you call Dent Wizard for some of their amazing paintless dent removal magic. The Dent Wizards - who operate throughout Australia - will come to your home or workplace, wave their magic wands over your car's battle scars and yield unbelievable results. And - what's more - the job is usually completed within the space of a couple of hours, and comes with a very reasonable fee.

Believe us, this isn't just a lot of hoo-ha - these Dent Wizards really do pull the rabbit out of the proverbial hat...

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Certainly, one of the biggest benefits of paintless dent removal is that you can achieve a perfect repair job, without the need (or cost) of having to get that panel dolly'd and then re-sprayed. And we all know the downside of having to get one particular panel re-sprayed - you very rarely get the perfect colour match and finish to go with the rest of your car. Your pride and joy comes back looking a bit like patchwork! But, of course, the advantages of paintless dent removal don't end there. Notice that the following process incorporates no bog or filler, no new panels and gives you a much quicker repair time. We were enormously impressed - it really is a great fix....

The Paintless Dent Removal Process

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Here, a couple of the Dent Wizard guys have kindly bashed the bonnet of this (hired!) AU Falcon with a rubber mallet to enable them to demonstrate their unique panel massaging techniques (they're obviously very confident in the quality of their end result!)... The dent is around 5mm deep and 10cm in diameter.

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The first step is to have a good, hard look at the dent. This particular dent came from three repeated strikes from a mallet - which means the dent has three different dimensions to it. Recognising this, the Wizard knows that the repair will later have to be tackled from three different angles of attack.

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The dent is then clearly marked out (on both sides of the panel, if possible) to make identification easier.

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Depending on where the damage has occurred, the next job is to get the panel work-ready. Here, our test dent necessitated securely supporting the bonnet in a workable position. Notice that the Wizard has supported the bonnet with a sturdy adjustable-height rod (similar to a photographic mono-pod) and used a rubber tie-down strap to keep the bonnet perfectly still. Obviously, it's no good to have the panel flapping around while it's being massaged...

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The next preparation is to wheel over a fluorescent light that shines across the dent. Interestingly, it's of key importance that the edge of a beam light falls through the centre of the dent. The reflection of this line of light through the dent actually makes the damage much easier to see. (And, notice, this is also the same technique we've used in our photography to help "lift" the dent.)

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With those initial prep jobs out of the way, the Dent Wizards can now get to working their awesome magic. Using a so-called blade (which, in this case, is essentially a long, curved shaft with a rounded tip), the highly trained Wizard repeatedly bumps and taps the underside of the dent back into its original position. This massaging is performed at various angles to the dent (bearing in mind that this dent has three separate parts), and with minimal force behind each hit - it really is a matter of plugging away gently. Here, the leading edge of the bonnet is being used as a support, and the Wizard is paying close attention to the changing form of the dent.

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With the eye of the dent eventually massaged out to near its original position, the Wizard then concentrates another piece of equipment on the outer face of the dent. Unbeknown to most of us, when a dent is pushed back out, it leaves a slightly raised edge around the perimeter. The Wizard carefully flattens this out using a "tap-down" with a padded tip. Again, it's a job requiring a trained hand and a lot of patience. It's not something for the average Joe to "have a go at"...

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This two-step process with the blade and tap-down is then carried on until the dent is worked completely flush. So it's a bit more of this...

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...and a bit more of that.

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Now - with the dent now completely gone - the final job is to remove any telltale signs of work having been done. Usually a quick rub over with some polish will get rid of any left over tap-down and transfer marks. However, if there's been some paint separation in the dent (either before or during the repair) a delicate brush touch-up will mask this.

The Verdict


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...and after!

Looking at where the mallet king-kits were, there is now no way you could pick that there has ever been any kind of repair. Without a hint of exaggeration, the job is that good. Expand the photo and bring your eye right up close and you still won't see any traces of damage - not in the line of the bonnet or in the paint. This really is a perfect repair.

It is no wonder that the work performed by Dent Wizard comes backed by a money-back satisfaction guarantee!

So much does this kind of job cost?

Well, the demo dent on the Falcon will take only about $110 to fix, while a typical door opening dent costs around $83. Over and above this, charges are generally kept to between a third and half the anticipated costs of having a conventional panel shop fix it. Obviously, that's a pretty big saving!

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Note that the ultra-experienced Dent Wizard "master technicians" can also tackle some much larger scale dents. We've seen photos of a rear guard repair on a later model Jaguar - with the dent about the size of a football! So, obviously, there are no real limitations for the paintless dent removal process - except if the metal has been stretched by a sharp crease, there's excessive paint separation or the panel is inaccessible from behind (like double backed panels). Older cars (ie 15 years and over) can also give some hassles in terms of paint brittleness and previous paint repairs. But, other than that, there's no reason why the Dent Wizard can't give you a perfect repair on virtually any part of your car - they carry a variety of tools so they can fix just about anything.

David Copperfield eat your heart out...


Dent Wizard
1800 500 599

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