We keep making progress with our ’68 Nova project car at Outlaw Motorsports in Riverside, CA. One of the things we knew from the start is that repairing the original sheetmetal would be far easier than replacing it with new panels, so we decided we’d salvage as much of the road-worn skin as possible. To do that, we checked out the Eastwood website and selected their Unispotter Deluxe 9000 Stud Welder Kit (part No. 12374, $549.99). This kit contains everything you need to pull any sized dent short of a completely obliterated panel, and includes a 120-volt Uni-Spotter stud welder, a slide hammer, plenty of studs in two sizes (including a box of window channel clip studs!), colletts to hold each size of stud, and a T-handle for holding your stud in situations where a dolly can’t be employed for hammer work. It all comes in a solid crash-proof polyethylene blow-molded case. We made short work of several dents, and even shot a how-to video that we’ll be posting here next week.
The process is really simple. You start by stripping the paint from the affected area using a Scotchbrite pad on a high-speed angle grinder. Load a stud into the Uni-Spotter, place the stud head on the low portion of the dent where you want to raise it, and pull the trigger. In less than a second the stud is welded to the work. Repeat as necessary at all low areas to be pulled. Grab the slide hammer in the kit and tighten the collett over the stud. Slide the weighted hammer to the end of the slide shaft—gently at first and increasing force as necessary in subsequent blows. When you raised the dent at or above the surrounding level, cut the studs off at the base, and grind down the high areas with a Scotchbrite grinding wheel. Repeat the process again as necessary if there are low areas remaining. It’s that easy!