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Do-It-Yourself Projects
Fender Unbender
By Mike Bumbeck /
Printable version
Degree of DifficultyModerate
Estimated Time240 minutes
240 minutes
Quick and Dirty Dent Repair

As anyone who has gotten into a fender bender knows, there's nothing inexpensive or quick about well done automotive paint and bodywork. Professional paint and bodywork is something best left to professionals. The materials and equipment required to reproduce a factory finish are beyond the scope and the budget of most do-it-yourselfers. That said, a $3,000 repair bill for a car that's worth $500 doesn't add up. Sometimes pulling or hammering out a dent and painting the word "ouch" on the fender are all that's required to restore function and utility.
Fender Unbender  - Quick and Dirty Dent Repair
Free Beats Good
The following tips may be helpful if you have a car the still runs and drives fine, but is not worth the cost of professional body repairs. This procedure is also helpful for a vehicle that perhaps came with dents when purchased. If a small scratch on the mirror finish of your paint results in sleepless nights then this is not the procedure for you. In this case, the car in question came complete with a dented fender and resulting annoying tire rub upon deep left turns or bumps. Something had to be done. As "cheap" was on top of the list when it came to budget, a $50 limit on tools was imposed. Thank goodness for the global economy.

Nothing to Lose
The best part about this procedure is that even if it doesn't turn out perfect, little will have been lost—except time. If everything turns out okay, your prized $500 runabout will once again be underway, and you will have saved a pile of money. Don't overestimate your power of reverse dent pounding. Deep creases in stamped steel fenders cannot be fixed. Even if things don't turn out perfect, valuable lessons can be learned. The absolute worst thing that can happen is you will have to replace and paint the bent fender. The best thing that can happen is that it will turn out good enough. Either way a valuable appreciation of professional bodywork will be gained.

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