PDR – Glue and Pull Technique

Back to Contents

Most ideally, using the leverage technique is the most effective and efficient method to remove dents. But it also relies on access and access points. Sometimes access may be difficult or virtually impossible even with all the various tools available. It is in these exhausted situations that the glue and pull technique is used. Glue pulling is also used when time is limited with very large dents to assist in the initial process and then finished off with tools.

In some cases, only glue and pull is used! For instance in a recent storm in Europe, there was a yard where only light damage occurred. These cars were to be only glue and pulled (no R and R) and the more the teams could do the more they earned!

The glue and pull technique is simply a special type of glue applied to the dent and a specially designed tab placed over the top to be glued to the surface.

Step 1: Always prepare the surface to be free of all grease, wax and dirt using a special paint solvent such as Prepsall.

Step 2: Apply the glue on the dent itself and not on the outer edges as if you were applying the tool from the other side (there are a variety of glues available for different temperature conditions)

Step 3: Allowing a few moments (say at least 10 seconds) for the glue to set and the tab stuck, a glue tab lifting tool is used to apply a sudden tug or pull effectively lifting the dent somewhat.

Step 4: The used tab is then removed using alcohol and another glue and pull tab applied.

It may take several glue and pulls to lift the dent effectively leveling the metal surface back to original position.

Sometimes, there may be a need to tap the metal back down if pulled slightly above the surface. A plastic punch or a punch with insulation is used to tap the metal down with a small hammer. Basically, the tapping is used to push the dent back into the original shape caused by the hail so that it can be pushed up properly. Otherwise, the dent may not be repairable. Tapping is applied to the higher points one small tap at a time. After each tap on the high point, check it to see if more is required.

Remember the glue and pull technique is only used in specific circumstances and is most effective on sturdy surfaces near edges or with supports. It should be avoided over more flexible surfaces or the paint may rip. Definitely, old paint does not do well and may rip as well (this goes back to the original inspection stage during quotation of whether the vehicle can be repaired or not).

There are different types of PDR glues for this glue and pull process and they are colour coded as red, yellow or black. The red is generally used for warmer temperatures above 20 degrees Celcius and the yellow in winter conditions. The black glue is used for universal conditions. There is also a silver glue which is also universal but can be removed easily.

Note: Yellow glues are somewhat stronger in terms of pulling power than the other glues and can pull repainted paint surface. Yellow glues are used for OEM paints.

Glue tabs come in various sizes for different situation – namely to match the different sizes and depth of dents. And of course, a glue pulling kit is required.

Just some caution when glue and pull is being applied: there are weaker regions on areas of some panels depending on the gauge of the metal and regions with lesser back support. For instance, on the pillar of a ute, the wider area of metal may be weak and should be approached with slight pulls. A good guide as to what is weak or strong is knocking with back of your knuckles listening carefully for hollow sounds or pushing with your fingers or hands.

0414jd26Take a look what happens when Glue-and-Pull goes wrong! It happens to any PDR Technician and probably means that there was an attempt to try it and perhaps it would have required painting anyway.