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Basics of Glue Pull Paintless Dent Repair. (Hot glue glue pulling.)

By duane langenfeld April 09, 2020 0 comments

So let's chat about (hot) glue pull PDR.

What is it, what dent removal tools are necessary, how to glue pull (basics), and why you should learn it.

What is it?

Glue pull PDR is the process of removing dents from the outside of a vehicle by applying industry specific hot glue to a plastic/nylon glue tab, attaching said tab to the damaged area, then "pulling" the tab away from the vehicle's panel with either a slide hammer, mini lifter or other industry specific "pullers".

This, when done correctly will move the damaged area out. If done perfectly, you can remove a dent with one pull. 

What tools are required for GLUE PULL paintless dent repair?

  1. Glue sticks. The paintless dent removal industry makes tons of different types of hot glue for PDR. The glue available all vary based on temperature, humidity, damage extremes.
  2. Glue tabs. There are hundreds of different types of glue tabs available out there. The current norm in the industry is directed to glue tabs with flat surfaces. As glues have gotten better, the tab head size has been able to be reduced to accomplish more precise pulls.
  3. Slide hammer, mini lifter or t-bar.  Each of these dent removal tools has a use in the industry. Typically, slide hammers pulls are effecient based on the impact of the slide. A minilifter or t-bar is meant for more consistent pressure pulls.
  4. PDR light. (Optional.) It helps to find the best placement of pdr glue tabs. 
  5. Hammer plus knockdown. (Optional.) Often, if the pull is strong, you will need to tap down the high areas that are caused by glue pulling.

How to glue pull basics. (ideal temp range between 70-80 degrees)

  1. Wipe the area that has the dent/ding with 91% or higher alcohol. As you clean the area, the cloth you are wiping with will start grabbing the surface some. Once this happens, stop.
  2. Pick the approriate glue tab. Typically, you should use a tab that fits within the outside edge of the damage. You want to pull from the center of the dent (a majority of the time). Use a tab that's flat and fits within the outside edge of damage.
  3. Apply hot glue to the tab's flat surface.  Enough so when you place tab against area you want to pull, some of the glue squishes out the sides but leaves about 2mm glue between tab and surface. 
  4. Place tab into middle of damage. Press until you think there is about 2mm of glue between tab and surface. 
  5. Allow glue to set up. Once it hits its "zone", or has cooled down sufficiently, you can pull. You identify when it's ready by touching the exposed glue around the tab. If it strings away, it's too soon to pull. Once it becomes tacky, or just after stringiness, you can pull. 
  6. Place your slide hammer (or whatever glue pulling tool you will use to pull) in place. Once there, make your pull. 
  7. The tab should make a "pop" sound. 
  8. Remove excess glue with 91% or higher alcohol. 
  9. Check results. If nothing happened, you need to adjust your timing. Play with pullling a little earlier or later. Within a few pulls you should figure it out. 
  10. Repeat until damage is removed to satisfaction.

Remember that the ambient temperature and humidity effects timing.  The temperature of the surface effects timing. The ideal surface temp is 75 degrees as well!

Why you should learn glue pull PDR.

The auto industry (and insurance industry ) desire the least intrusive methods possible to repair any body damage done to vehicles.  As paintless dent removal and paintless dent repair tools have evolved, the least intrusive method is becoming more and more expected. 

So, with that being said, glue pull PDR is the LEAST intrusive method of PDR. 

If you are an autobody tech, a painter, a peripheral to PDR industry, putting a little time in to learning how to glue pull could help you a lot. 

Especially in the Body Shop world. (Personally, I have been repairing autos with PDR since 1994.) And while doing so I have serviced hundreds of body shops. Every week it seemed there was a need for a PDR tech to remove a dent from one of their jobs. If they were proactive selling PDR, likely every day.

How does this apply to the body tech? If the shop is willing to pay you to remove a dent rather than a dent guy (who typically charges a premium) you will profit more. 

If you simply need the damaged moved closer to original and don't want to ruin the ecoat with welding pins, or with hammer and dolly, glue pulling is your answer.

FYI, we carry glue, tabs, and pulling tools on our site at www.dingtool.com. (Available May 1, 2020)

If you are interested in free, online training please go to DING TOOL's training site here:  DINGTOOL TRAINING.

ZERO COST TO YOU. Why spend thousands on a training school when you can learn with us for free? If you like it and see potential (or legitimate result) and want to pursue full training give us a shout as well. We will connect you with the right people.


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