Tools for repairing the body with your own hands

Step-by-step instructions. how to properly straighten a car

Beginners car enthusiasts and those who do not have much experience can be advised to use the services of professionals, both their physical help and consulting.

The process of straightening with your own hands is carried out by means of the following steps:

  • First of all you have to dismantle the defective body elements, you also need to remove the trim and other interfering elements.
  • The removed element is laid on a flat surface, it is necessary to outline the existing boundaries of damage.
  • Present rather large dents should be smoothed from the edge where all major mechanical damage is located. Using a special straightening hammer, you need to move from the edge to the center, and the dent will gradually diminish. The process requires the use of support when carrying out the process.

How well the body is straightened can be simply checked by placing the palm of the hand on the area to be straightened. If they are hollows, they cannot be eliminated by simple extrusion.

The process of straightening a car is usually performed element by element, and the following will describe how to perform this process depending on which of the elements to be straightened.

Bodywork Geometry Restoration

If a severe impact has resulted in a change in the geometric distances between the body fixation points, it may be necessary to repair the geometry of the car. It is not easy to do this work with your own hands, especially if you do not have experience.

In order to correct such violations of geometry you should apply to specialists. And the matter is not even that it is difficult to straighten the body by your own efforts. Simply for such works you often need not a usual manual tool, but special devices, which are not available everywhere. Also not out of place will be the control of such works by an experienced master, to avoid unnecessary errors and loss of time to fix them.

Several variants are used to perform straightening work, often they are used together. Among the most famous:

  • Classic. relevant for damages of any kind. Various mandrels, levers, metal and rubber hammers, and shaped plates are used for the work.
  • Vacuum. used to level smooth dents without disturbing the paint coating. Requires a special vacuum reverse hammer, which even a novice can use.
  • Using a mini elevator with suction cups. Small irregularities can be gently pulled out to a perfect state.
  • Using a spotter. spot welding machine. It has a working part consisting of a reverse hammer, washers, pliers, studs. For a small one-time repair it does not make sense to buy an expensive machine, it is better to use more affordable tools.

For ryhtovki their own hands use the listed methods, which from joint application show good result. Generally start with a minilift or reverse hammer, even when the paintwork is damaged. If needed, straightening is completed by a classic straightening method. The main thing in the work is to feel the metal. Old domestic cars have a rigid body, which is difficult to align. Foreign cars are made of thin and flexible, which is easy to straighten.

Rikhtovka car. is a special technique of pulling or aligning the body parts with damage. You should not start without a little theoretical training: you can do more harm than good. Technology with the use of modern tools allows you to cope with a person who has never done such a thing before. Before we begin, assess the condition of the damaged area. Perhaps the deformation is so severe that it is reasonable to replace the part, so as not to spend a lot of time and effort, often to no avail.

Carry out repair gradually, section by section. The applied technology depends on the size of the damaged place. You begin to level a large dent from the edges, approaching the middle. Some craftsmen heat the metal to make it more pliable. If you have no experience, it is better not to use this method or to act very carefully in order not to overheat. Small defects are eliminated, starting in the middle.

When is it necessary to straighten the body?

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Such work is used in the following cases:

  • By restoring the original geometry of the body parts. This is the most common type of restoration work. Auto leveling is applied if its parts were damaged in a traffic accident or under other circumstances. Repair involves the use of welding, grinding, fitting with special tools.
  • Repairing localized damage on a small area. In this case, minor damage to the body is repaired with the help of straightening. Dents are smoothed, using a large arsenal of hammers with different geometries and coatings, applying frequent light blows to the damaged area.
  • When preparing auto body parts for painting. Sometimes metal straightening is necessary to correct dents before applying paint.

Note that in cases of significant tears and stretching of the metal, straightening is not possible, because it will not be able to fully restore the factory geometry of this or that part, so it is advisable to fully replace the damaged node.

Body repair with their own hands: rust removal, painting and puttying

You can remove rust from metal in different ways:

  • Mechanical. using sandpaper of different grit size, a grinder or an electric drill with special attachments.
  • Chemical. the use of agents that have the ability to dissolve the rust and turn it into a special protective film, which may not be washed off.

Car body repair with its further coloring is recommended to be performed only after cleaning of the surface, otherwise under-film corrosion may start to develop and all repair work shall be repeated.

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How you can remove the corrosion from the metal? Here are some of the secrets:

  • Do not break the technology. Skip or neglect the steps in order to save time and money is not recommended, because it can only worsen the situation and will soon require even more financial costs.
  • You can work on areas with a wire brush, coarse sandpaper, or a grinder. The latter method will be much more effective and will reduce the time of work.
  • Wash the surface with the rust converter must be very carefully, and it is desirable to work with gloves, because the agent is toxic.
  • If necessary (the manufacturer has indicated it in the instructions to the remedy). the converter is thoroughly washed off the body with plain water.
  • Repair of the car with your own hands includes the following puttying of the defect and application of the priming compound on the body.
  • To remove the rust more thoroughly, it is better to call in professionals.
  • After the primer has dried, sanded and degreased, you can apply paint to the body surface.
  • You should carefully choose the tint beforehand, taking into account the degree of its fading. Although the tinting service is expensive, it excludes the possibility of mistakes and the place of repair will not stand out after all the work is done.
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Pulling shock absorber cups

As mentioned above, when measuring the “geometry” of the body, it is important to check the location of shock absorber cups. Measured are the diagonals of the segments from the centers of the upper bolts fixing the struts to the bolts fixing the hood brackets to the body. Also, the diagonals of the distances between the centers of the bolts of both body cups are checked.

When dislocating the shock absorber cups, a special device is used. It allows you to pull the cup in any direction.

Repairing VAZ doors. How to repair VAZ

Repair of VAZ doors also requires special skills and attention! To master operations on dismantling and assembly of car doors is useful also because the acquired knowledge and skill can be used even when the body is intact and unharmed, and capricious either the windshield, or the window elevator, or the door locking mechanism.

For the sake of justice, it should be noted that in the course of operation, the listed units sometimes “sin”. It is not uncommon when as a result of unfortunate accidents the windshields of doors break and even having a spare glass in hands one has to waste much time to perform an essentially simple work on replacement of the glass in conditions of service station. In this case, having the skill to handle the door “on your own”, will greatly simplify the matter.

When disassembling the door, it is advisable to follow a certain sequence:

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  • to remove an armrest, having unscrewed two screws and a handle of window lifter (however, for this purpose it is necessary to use a simple device, by means of which the socket is pressed on itself and the spring clip is taken out)
  • Remove the inner lock handle trim by prying the trim with a screwdriver
  • remove the door trim, fastened with plastic pistons. For convenience, the upholstery can be prying with a screwdriver, slightly depressing on itself, overcoming the force of the pistons
  • Release the frame of the pivot window (sash), for this purpose unscrew fixing screws of the frame with a screwdriver, to remove the pivot window, it is necessary to lower the sash window.

Removing the front windshield swing window frame

The door lock is fastened with three screws. Having unscrewed them and the lock button and two screws fixing the inside handle, the lock can be removed together with the drive rods.

The next operation is window elevator dismantle, for what it is necessary to loosen nut 1 and unscrew screws 2 fixing cage 3 of the window to cable 1 of the window lift. After removing the cable from the roller, you can dismantle the window elevator mechanism by first removing the three screws, and also remove the windshield.

The final operation is the removal of the outer door handle, for which you only need to unscrew the two nuts fixing it.

In contrast to the front door VAZ in the disassembly of the rear door you need to lower the dip glass, unscrew the upper screw fixing the rack and remove the fixed glass from the door frame in the assembly with a rubber seal.

When reassembling VAZ doors, follow the reverse sequence. Furthermore, a number of additional steps must be taken in order to reassemble and adjust the power window:

  • wind the rope around the power cable drum, making sure that the rope is winded correctly (not overlapped)
  • The power window must be mounted after the windshield has been reassembled.

Adjust the power cable tension by moving the roller and then tightening the nut.

To set the power window to a position where the power window will fully lower and raise the window, rotate the power window handle to a position where the window reaches its lower edge.

Remember that the window must rest on the rubber buffer and in this position fix the window on the cable with the plate. After fixing the position of the window, make sure that the window lift works properly.

Make VAZ door repair by yourself. it is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. In the following articles you will learn about how to replace the windshield (rear window) of a VAZ car.

The old Zhiguli is an eternal classic, which brings smile and memories of youth in the eyes of older generation. Of course, our cars are not considered the best in the world, so if you have the desire to buy a foreign car, we recommend you to contact Victor.

Hydraulic body repair

In the alignment work often uses hydraulics. hydraulic extensions and jacks, hydraulic cylinders, pumps. The hydraulic tool is included in the set, the stretching tool allows you to create a force up to 5 tons. With the help of hydraulics trunk covers and hoods of automobiles are straightened, sills are leveled, distortions of door apertures are corrected.

The subtleties of body repair

Such repair may involve the alignment of damaged areas with specialized tools, using welding, grinding. Different types of hammers, geometries, and coatings are used in straightening to repair localized damage. Sometimes straightening is necessary before painting car parts. Without straightening it is impossible to restore the deformed surface of body parts. In addition to restoring geometry, straightening also relieves the stresses inside the metal that were created as a result of the collision. The beauty of straightening is that you don’t want to create any compression and distension areas in the bodywork that didn’t exist before. Under these circumstances, it is necessary, considering the nature of the damage, to determine the straightening technique. Trying to straighten a dent in the middle leads to immediate warping of the metal where it is stretched. New areas of compression and stretching are created with each blow of the hammer. Increasing their number leads to loss of alignment control of the part surface. But in such a case there is a danger of loosing the strength properties of the metal as a result of changes in its structure. This is particularly important for parts made of high-strength steels. That is why this straightening method is only permissible for straightening exterior bodywork.

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Creation of a flat surface where large dents occur

Generally, large dents are removed by straightening with a straightening hammer. Its light blows are first applied to the edges of the dent. They gradually become tapered in a circular pattern in the middle of the distorted area. Do not allow the control bar, which has to move away from the center of the dent, and the hammer to be on the same axis. If these requirements are complied with, the original form of the bodywork is restored to its original geometry and the stresses caused by the deformation are eliminated. Such work requires a certain amount of experience and skill on the part of the bodybuilder. After all, if you first hit the center of the dent with a hammer, its edges will remain unchanged, and the metal will only partially level out in the middle. From the middle to the edge of the dent, stresses will occur that compress and stretch the metal. This will cause the point of such an impact to become rigid and further machining will require considerable effort. Once the body geometry has been restored as a result of the spiral straightening procedure, the small pits should be smoothed out. The method used before is not suitable. The method commonly referred to as straightforward forging should be used. An aluminum hammer and a checker are needed here. Both must have flat working surfaces. When working, they should be facing each other.

Elimination of swollen bodywork

The straight forging method does not eliminate any tension in the material. They are concentrated at the points where the control rod and the aluminium hammer interacted during the alignment of the shallow pits. Usually only a few small indentations are removed when the dent is removed. The stresses decrease as the distance from the hammer blow points increases. However, if the centers of the eliminated pits are close to each other, in certain cases the mutual influence of the respective stresses will make it impossible to reduce them. A situation may arise in which the surface, even with a small amount of extraneous action, can bend. By means of the heat treatment it is possible to reduce the tension in the center of the bent surface, thus eliminating this danger.

The idea is to heat up the center of the damaged surface by spot heating with a welding gun. Then, using a hammer and checker, the surface is flattened and the metal is deposited in the middle.

The retraction of the intumescent surface is a rather complex operation that requires preparation. First it is necessary to identify the center of the convexity, for which purpose carefully examine the place of treatment of the material. Practice shows that the strongest springing point on it is the center of the bulge. This point is then heated to a cherry red with a gas torch. This is done in a spiral fashion, from the edge of the lesion to the heated midpoint. Then work by straight forging. Finally, the heated center is cooled with water to secure the retraction

If the swelling surface is large, each point can be cooled after heating. This is best done with a wet sponge. Heat up in a spiral motion over a small area and then cool down in a spiral motion. But in this case, too, a straight forging must be used in order to achieve the best possible upsetting of the metal.

Dressing with a pulling hammer

If the dent was formed on a side of the body, a sill, or other parts that have a double wall, the straightening hammer is not helpful. It is simply not possible to get to the back side of the deformed metal. It helps to pull the hammer in the form of a forty centimeter metal rod with a heavy cylindrical weight sliding on it. This weight is to be used to strike the stop on the rod handle. The surface to be straightened is first scraped to a metal finish with a wire brush. Then studs or auxiliary rings are spot-welded to the cleaned surface.

Several such studs or rings are also welded from the edge of the dent to its center. A pulling hammer is then attached to the stud or ring. The hammer is then held by the handle with one hand and the worker, having chosen the direction of impact, hits the weight upward against the handle stop. The dent is gradually levelled out more and more from the edges towards the centre with a few manipulations of this kind. It is important to extend it further than necessary. This is so that the deformed body part can later be finally straightened out with the straightening hammer. Please note that the pulling hammer is not suitable for straightening large and resilient body parts such as the exterior roof panel.

Restoring geometry without damage to paintwork

In recent years, more and more cars have been repaired with an innovative vacuum technology. Usually, repair of dents is impossible without painting, if the paint is damaged during the deformation. In this case, all paint in the damaged area must be removed, and the surface must be straightened in a usual manner. It then needs to be puttyed, primed, and repainted. Vacuum straightening recovers the original shape of the bodywork, while leaving the paintwork intact. Silicone suction cups are designed for large dents. Roofs of cars are often straightened in this manner. This straightening procedure may not be used for straightening small or complicated dents, or may only be an entry-level straightening procedure. Its advantages are quickness (15-60 minutes) and low cost. When doing this type of straightening, it is important to determine exactly where the suction cups are attached and how much pressure is applied to the dent. In this way damage to the paint is avoided. For that after careful inspection of the damaged part the sequence of operations is defined. Then the most convenient places for suction cups fastening are cleaned from dust and dirt and degreased. The suction pads are placed on them. After turning on the vacuum device the process of damage straightening begins. The vacuum straightening procedure does not exclude the additional treatment of the damaged area with silicone hammers and wooden bars.

Fine straightening

The main straightening tools are a hammer and a spatula. They are used to restore body parameters and eliminate small defects of the leveled surface. The straightened surface should then be filed to locate any remaining ridge and cavity. This should be done obliquely, and be very careful.

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Body Work Made Easy If You Have The Right Tools

Skewed or careless files with rough surfaces can create additional defects that must be corrected. Rough spots left over after being filed can also be reworked. A flattening hammer made of aluminum and a control rod corresponding to it are used for this purpose, as well as a hammer with a pointed working surface. This achieves a much better result than using solder or putty to cover the irregularities. A version called soft straightening can also be used for fine straightening. In this case, special tool kits are supposed to be used for smoothing the defect on the reverse side of the damage. This technique is designed to minimize interference with the machine and does not require the components to be removed.

How small dents are removed

Small dents are removed by electrical straightening. A special automatic tool is used to pull the notch. Externally, it looks like an electric drill weighing about 1.8 kg. When it is turned on, the pin electrode comes out of the body instead of the drill. It is placed in the center of the dent and welded to the metal for 0.3 seconds. The rapidity of such a connection to the metal prevents the reverse surface of the metal being burned out. The retracting mechanism is then actuated and the electrode is returned to the tool body to level the distorted surface. The desired retraction height is pre-selected with the appropriate controller. This is to prevent the dent from turning into a bulge. Immediately after pulling, the straightened surface should be cooled, thus stabilizing its final position. Then the electrode is separated from the metal, and the place of its attachment is aligned. A powerful permanent magnet is sometimes used to straighten small dents.

Using the thermal method for repairing hail dents

This is very important because the fastening of the body is often affected by large hailstones, rocks, and other objects. These are usually small, multiple dents. In order to fully assess the extent of the damage, these surfaces should be inspected using a light source so that the smallest irregularities are visible. The main thing here is to determine how extensive the repair is and whether it is necessary to replace damaged parts. If it is economically feasible with respect to the hood and trunk lid, it is unlikely to be worth replacing the entire roof panel. Damaged bodywork can be repaired using various techniques. It can be an elementary putty. It is important to note, however, that synthetic putty can shrink and expand more than the body material due to temperature changes. If the putty is applied too thick in one go, it can flake off due to temperature changes. Therefore, taking into account the nature of the damage, it is worth applying either a hammering or a thermal method of correcting the defect. A special hammer is good for deep dents.

In contrast, if the dent has a smooth contour, is about a centimeter in diameter, and is no deeper than two millimeters, the heat method is effective. So when you heat the dent, by moving the heat source from the edges toward the center, you concentrate the heat in the center. The repaired surface is more flexible relative to the heated metal around it. Rapid cooling of the edges of the dent will move the center of the dent up and tension the metal. If you alternate between applying heat and cooling the metal, the dent will disappear. No additional leveling of the surface is necessary. It is best to use an oxyacetylene torch to apply heat to this type of work. And the heat is removed by putting the dent in contact with a heavy metal cylinder with a handle. This cylinder is pre-cooled with de-icing spray. But this method is not always practical.

In practice, the heat is dissipated when the file is used to dress the damaged area. This is done after the spiral heating from the edge to the center of the dent and the surrounding metal protrudes slightly relative to the body plane. The dent is then reworked by means of a special special bent file. Symmetry in the processing must be maintained. The file touches the edge of the dent and removes most of the heat. It heats up instantly, so you should have a few of these tools at hand for quick replacement. First use a file with a coarse cut for rapid paint stripping. Use a fine-toothed file when exposing metal. If it is not done in time the thickness of the metal can drop unacceptably. This method is more effective than the water-cooled variant. After all, most often due to internal stresses, the edges of the dent are slightly raised, and by cooling with water, it is very difficult to get rid of it. At the same time, the use of a file helps level the material and ensure a smooth transition to undamaged metal. After that, all that is left is to use a little putty to create a perfectly flat surface.

Preparation of the straightened surface for painting

Despite the apparent flawlessness of the machined part, it is still too early to apply paint. It should be achieved that the depth of the microroughness on the metal did not exceed 15 micromicron. To do this, the straightened surface needs to be sanded. Used grinder, which can change the angle of sanding, It consists of an electric or pneumatic drive, a plate for fixing the sanding material and grinding wheel.

Processing of the part with such a machine should be performed at rotation speed of about 5000 rpm. The grinding quality is ensured by the proper operation of the grinding plate on which the grinding wheel is mounted. Plate. Combination part 125 or 175 mm in diameter. It consists of a rigid and a resilient element. The grinding wheel used for post-grinding must have a grit size of P60 to P80. Grinding requires certain rules and consideration of the heat generated during operation. Therefore, it is important to move the grinder smoothly over the workpiece without any slow-down or acceleration. First the machine moves horizontally, then vertically. In doing so, start these zig-zag passes from the same point on the surface of the bodywork. This provides proper cooling of the machined surface, which prevents it from being deformed by overheating. To perform grinding qualitatively and avoid steps on the ground surface use 6-7 carbon sanding discs.

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