Dent Removal with Suction Cup

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  #1  
Old 10-15-14, 12:31 PM
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Dent Removal with Suction Cup

There's a softball-sized dent in the rear quarter panel of my Infiniti G35 and I'd like to try and fix it using a suction cup. HF has a pneumatic dent puller for $79, but I'd rather not spend that much since I am selling the vehicle. I have access to a manual suction cup at work, which is about the same size as the dent. In general, it seems like the suction cup should be smaller than the dent to be most effective. Does anyone have experience in this field?
 
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Old 10-15-14, 12:49 PM
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I'd start by contacting someone who does this professionally to get their opinion whether this dent is a reasonable size for that method - sounds kinda big but this isn't my bag.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 12:54 PM
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Depends on if the metal is creased at all. If it's a pump up suction cup like glaziers use, bigger might provide enough suction to pull it out by that method alone. If you hope to attache the cup and pull...I dunno how well that would work.

No way to get behind it with a little bit of work?
 
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Old 10-15-14, 12:57 PM
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As Vic said, if there is a crease - a suction cup won't do the job. A lot depends on both the size and the depth of the dent whether or not a suction cup will be successful.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 12:59 PM
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Sorry, I should have said softball diameter-sized dent. It is only about 1/4" deep and there is no crease. I may be able to get access from inside the trunk, but I'm not sure. Seems like sucking from the outside would be better than pushing from the inside, but I really don't know.

The professional wants $1,600 to fix the dent and paint the entire left side of the vehicle.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 01:03 PM
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If the body shop wants to fix and paint - a suction cup probably won't work .... but it's always worth a try.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 01:15 PM
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Well, it was an insurance claim against someone elses insurance, so cost wasn't a concern, but I foolishly spent all that money and am now left to fix it myself. It doesn't look bad as-is, but I'd like to make it look a little more presentable because I am selling the vehicle.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 01:17 PM
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Almost all body panels have some curvature to them normally in both the hor and vert. Even if you don't see a real "crease", the metal has been flexed and won't just pop back out.

I have seen some amazing work by the paintless dent repair guys and sometimes it's not too expensive. Local dealer called them in after a hail storm in VA that damaged a bunch of fancy MB's. I watched for a few minutes and what they did was amazing. Basically just rubbed the metal back in position. Every car was checked by factory MB techs with lasers and gauges and certified.

Not a guy in an old truck with a sign.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 04:04 PM
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If the dent isn't too deep (5/8 inch or less) and there are no creases (like others have mentioned), then a suction cup might work (you might be able to rent one on the cheap). Just be aware that small deep dents tend to stretch the metal which makes it impossible to merely pop or pull the dent out. Also be aware that a bad dent repair will often end up looking worse then if you'd left it alone (sometimes a lot worse).

Anyway, another option would be the "glue on" type of dent puller system. These run ~ 30 bucks or so and include a padded metalic "brace" that spans the dent while giving something for the threaded glue-on puller to attach to. I've used both the suction type and glue type pullers over the years with reasonable to good results. I did have better luck with the glue on type tho.

Note: some people have claimed that the glue on type pullers can pull the paint off, but I did not have this problem even when the puller didn't have the strength to pull the dent out all the way (bad dent btw).
 
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Old 10-15-14, 05:00 PM
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I have never done it myself, but one of the local "tent" dent pullers locally uses dry ice and a light tap. Works for him. I guess the -172 degree ice causes the metal to go wonky.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 08:41 AM
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Temperature is my next question. Should I heat the area up with a blow dryer to relax the metal before attempting to pop out the dent? If I am able to access the dent from behind, what procedure should I use? Push on it by hand? Rubber mallet? Maybe inflate a ball or bladder to push it out?
 
  #12  
Old 10-17-14, 12:17 PM
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I bought a suction cup from HF (110 lb capacity) and massaged the dent a bit. It looks a little better now, but didn't pop out as hoped. Doesn't look like I can get behind the dent so it's staying as is. It's really not that bad. There are no scratches and I was able to buff out all the scuff marks so it's not very noticeable.
 
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