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Old 10-08-2019, 09:06 AM
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Jeep body damage

Girlfriend got the Jeep into a minor accident. Everyone's ok. Jeep took some damage though. What would y'all suggest about the front fender? The front bumper I'm going to get a replacement but the front fender is dented in and the paint came off. I don't have experience with painting cars at all so I wanted suggestions. I was going to try to bend out the dent as best I could, then paint over it, then put on this front fender body guard I found online to make it look better. Any other suggestions? Is rusting a concern?

Sorry if I'm on the wrong forum but I've always posted to the tech forum.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 10-08-2019, 10:43 AM   #2
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Most home mechanics should be able to get that damage "roughed out". It'll take a person with body experience to repair it properly.

With the bumper off, I suggest you find or make a tool with a hook that you can hook onto the lip on the inside bottom of the front of the fender. Pull down first. Once you have the lip pulled down you can use a hammer & dolly to shape it.
Don't try to bondo it unless the fender is real close to it's original shape. Bondo is for filling hammer marks and minor imperfections.

There's a tool called a slide hammer. There is a body version and a mechanics version. Usually the body version has a screw on the end to pull dents out. I have a hook for mine that I use for damage like you have. If you Google "autobody slide hammer puller set" you should find a website called Auto Body Toolmart. They have one for $20.00. Once you see the tool, you'll see how it works. I'm sure there's other websites that sell the same thing. That's just the first one that popped up for me.

Home Depot has Rustolium paint that has the primer in the paint. Find a red that most closely matches your Jeep. While you're there, buy a red or green Scotchbrite pad and a roll of masking tape.
Get a small can of red or tan colored rubbing compound at your local auto parts store. You don't want anything with wax in it or the paint won't stick. You'll want to have some sort of cleaning solvent handy too.

Once you have the damage roughed out as best you can, clean the area real well with the rubbing compound. Do from the park light down. Once you have all the oxidation cleaned off the paint in the damaged area and a couple inches beyond, put a line of masking tape on the ridge of the body detail line just above the damaged area. Then using newspaper or other suitable material, mask off anything that you don't want overspray on. Scuff the damaged area with the Scotchbrite making sure to knock off any flaking paint. Use the cleaning solvent to wipe away any dust or other residue.

Spray several light coats of paint rather than a few heavy coats. Allow the paint to "tack up" between coats.
Once you're done, give the back side a shot of undercoat

A pro would go about the repair somewhat differently, but I think for an economy repair by a home mechanic the above will give you the best results. It certainly won't be perfect, but it won't look too bad and will be less likely to rust.
If you can get the girlfriend to pay, a body shop should be able to easily repair that damage so that you won't be able to tell.
Other posters might be able to add to what I've posted to help OP get the best results.

Post some pics of the process and the results.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:34 AM
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L.M.,

Thanks very much for your suggestions! As someone who doesn't have much experience with this type of work, I'm glad to see there are people willing to take their time to offer such detailed advice.

I will take into consideration your suggestions if I decide to go the route of doing the "home" repair. It doesn't sound too bad.

I think I will also go to a body shop and ask for a quote from them. If they come back with something outrageous, then home repair it is. I honestly don't care about looks that much at all. Some might even say just live with the dent, but I'd like to get it looking reasonably ok.

My new front bumper should arrive next week. Once I get everything fixed I'll post after picture.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:38 PM   #4
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Another idea, is that replacement fenders are fairly cheap. Can get one for around $100. Then paint it yourself.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazor View Post
Another idea, is that replacement fenders are fairly cheap. Can get one for around $100. Then paint it yourself.
That's probably cheaper than having a body shop repair it.
Blazor's suggestion is a good alternative if you do the repair and are dissatisfied with how it comes out.

If you plan on buying an aftermarket fender, read the reviews on that particular part. There can be a big difference in quality.
Rather than rely on the selling website's reviews, I like to Google the brand name and part. I feel the independent reviews will be more candid.

If you have a compressor and a spray gun, an automotive paint store can make up a quart of color based on the paint code stamped into the plate on your cowl. I'd go with single stage paint for a non-metallic color.
Be sure to wear a respirator (not a 3M dust mask) while you're painting.

Urethane enamel is more durable. Acrylic lacquer is a lot easier to spray and easier to fix boo-boos. It's probably cheaper too.
Depending on where you live, lacquer might not be available due to local regulations. Even if it's legal, some paint stores might not carry it. It's old technology.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:24 PM   #6
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You can look into used fenders. I found one, same year and color, few minor issues that I’m fixing. YouTube replacing fender, not that hard? Just time consuming.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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Body shop quoted me around 600 to fix it. Not going that route. I'll be doing a home repair myself. I'm not going for perfect by any means. Jeep already has other dings around the body. Just gonna try to make it look good enough for me, while also trying to prevent rust from forming.

Thanks all for the input.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:42 PM   #8
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:40 AM   #9
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Depends if you have more time or$$.
Replacement fenders are relatively cheap.

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