Land Rover Discovery Owners & Service Manuals

Land Rover Discovery: Panel Beating

Fundamentals of panel beating

  • Before carrying out any sectional replacements or complete replacements of body panels, always check carefully whether the damaged panel(s) can be rectified by panel beating.
  • Panel beating is usually the easiest and most economical method of repairing a damaged panel.

Examples of applications of different panel beating techniques: aluminum hammer and mallet.

  • Advantage: Low risk of over-stretching the panel.
  • Used for repairs of small dents on panels that are accessible from both sides.
  • These two panel beating tools are usually used for "finishing repairs".

Fine straightening with an aluminum hammer and a universal dolly

Fine straightening with an aluminum hammer and a universal dolly

HEAT-TREATMENT OF PANELS

  • It is usually inevitable that some parts of the body panels show excess material as a result of mechanical strain. If there are any areas of excess material this will cause localized instabilities due to differences in tension.

    These localized instabilities can be stabilized by applying heat-treatment techniques.

NOTE:

This does not apply to high-strength low alloy steel, ultra high strength steel and aluminum.

  • Rule: Flattening panels by heat-treatment reduces the amount of excess material by more than they were originally stretched.

Different heat-treatment techniques.

NOTE:

Different heat-treatment techniques are used depending on the amount of excess material.

Flattening using a flame.

  • A welding torch is used if the material excess extends over a larger area (torch size 0.5 - 1.0 mm). Use a soft flame.
  • The surface of the metal is briefly spot-heated and then immediately cooled with a wet sponge.
  • Requirement: Ability to handle a welding torch safely and knowledge of annealing colors of steel.
  • Advantage: No damage to the surface of the metal.

Flattening using a flame, supported by hammer and counterhold.

The flattening effect is increased by speeding up the heating and cooling stages.

NOTE:

The flattening effect is increased by speeding up the heating and cooling stages.

If the material excess is concentrated, then the flattening effect can be increased after heating by carefully using an aluminum or wooden hammer.

  • Requirement: Ability to recognize material tension by feeling the surface that is to be flattened.

Flattening using a carbon electrode.

  • If panel areas are only accessible from one side, or the panel is only slightly destabilized, then the preferred method is flattening using a carbon electrode.
  • Requirement: Bare metal surface.
  • Disadvantage: Scarring and hardening of the surface.

Flattening using a copper electrode.

  • Small, sharp dents that face outwards can be worked on with a copper electrode.

Flattening using a flame and body files.

When applied correctly, this method can be used with all the attached parts still in place (roof headlining, wiring harnesses etc.).

NOTE:

When applied correctly, this method can be used with all the attached parts still in place (roof headlining, wiring harnesses etc.).

Small, soft dents (only slight stretching): Working at the edges of the dent in an inward spiral pattern, the dent is heated with an oxyacetylene torch (torch size 1 - 2 mm, excess gas flame) to approx.

250º C.

  • Working rapidly with a body file extracts heat from the edge area until the dent is flattened. Preferably alternate between two files. This increases the amount of heat that can be extracted.

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