Plato famously wrote: “our need will be the real creator” which has evolved over time into the English proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. This is accurate in so many areas of life, but in this article, we will be discussing Glue Pull Paintless Dent Repair.
Glue pull repair is a modern auto body repair technique that uses specially formulated adhesives or glue to pull out dents and damage from the outside of a vehicle’s body. This trend toward glue pulling came about when technicians needed a dent repaired but had no way to get their tools behind the panel. Before the tabs were available throughout the industry, mechanics and technicians made them for themselves out of various materials available. If no makeshift tab was available, they would heat the end of a glue stick with a blow torch and stick it to the dent in the panel. They let the glue cool, and then pulled on it attempting to move the metal. This process would only work on smaller, shallow dents. This was semi functional, but still, necessity kept the technicians to keep trying to build a better mousetrap.
In the mid-20th century, advances in synthetic adhesives led to the development of more sophisticated glue-based repair methods. One such method, which is still used today, involves using a hot-melt glue gun to apply a bead or line of adhesive to a plastic tab. The tab is then attached to the dent, and the glue is allowed to cool and harden. Once the glue is hard, the tab is pulled, and the dent is pulled out with it. In the 1980s and 1990s, the use of adhesive-based repair methods began to spread throughout the auto body repair industry. The development of new adhesives with improved bonding properties, coupled with advances in tab design, made the technique more effective and efficient than ever before. In the late 90’s a company called Wurth produced a glue pull kit that included glue, tabs and a slide hammer. This was one of the first mainstream true glue pull repair kits to come to market available to mechanics and paintless dent repair technicians. Over the next few years (and still today) companies and technicians alike are still trying to improve the perfect tab, the perfect pull, and the perfect glue. Originally, the first tabs were round, and much larger than what is available today. They were also less pliable, so if the dent was smaller than the tab, it was difficult or impossible to pull the dent out because you were pulling metal around the dent instead of the dent itself. Technicians started modifying these tabs by cutting the edge off until the tab fit the dent. Then came the need for long tabs used for crease dents. The industry of glue pull providers has grown substantially since then and continues to do so.
One of the largest names in glue pulling kits and accessories is KECO. And one of their Master Glue Pull Trainers is the owner of Dent Repair Now in Pittsburgh, Pa. Gene Fetty. He’s been providing paintless dent repair services since 2002. He started working with KECO in 2019. He has traveled all over the United States teaching body shop technicians and mechanics the art and benefits of Glue Pull Repair. While training, KECO President Chris White and Master Trainer Gene Fetty focus on a few very important key points. White explains that glue pull repair is not paintless dent repair. While most if not all paintless dent repair technicians use glue and pulling systems, body shops and collision centers are the target audience for these in person training days. In an article published in Autobody News and written by Stacey Phillips, Chris White says,
“Like paintless dent repair (PDR), GPR aims to save as much of the original finish as possible so there’s little to no filling, priming and painting at the end of the repair. In addition, no stud welding is required.
Although GPR is similar to PDR in some ways, White said “GPR is not PDR.”
However, he said, with much more time and skill applied and with many times the use of additional PDR push tools, the GPR process can be a means to a full PDR.
GPR is mainly used as a tool for conventional dent repair and enables technicians to avoid disturbing or damaging the insulation and sensitive electronics on the reverse side of the panel.
In addition, he said, technicians experience less damage to the clear coat and less distortion of the metal. This leads to less harmful dust, painting and replacement of panels.
“We’ve found over and over again that panels, particularly aluminum, that needed to be replaced are now repairable,” he said.
A wide range of metals is compatible with GPR, including mild steel, high-strength steel and most aluminum. However, he encourages repairers always to check the OEM procedures.”
You can read the full article here. Glue Pulling Repair Becoming More Commonly Used in Auto Body Shops (autobodynews.com)
There’s another article in Repairer Driven News written by Dave LaChance that highlights another of Gene’s training classes with KECO. (It has some great photos too!)
Here is a live recorded video of Gene going over the tools, and process of glue pulling with Brockton Birky and answering questions.
In addition to being a KECO Master trainer, Gene has published multiple training videos for the world’s largest online PDR
training company, Dent Trainer. Gene is a leader in the paintless dent repair (PDR) industry. He’s an instructor on Dentrainer.com has been a guest on The PDR College Podcast, The PDR Coach Podcast PDR Tool Time, and hosted The PDR Marketing Minute Podcast. He was also a founding member, secretary and Chairman for PDR Nation. He has spoken on stage for The Advanced Skills Seminar, the PDR Secrets Seminar, and has spoken multiple times at the Mobile Tech Expo. Gene was awarded the Mentor of the Year award at the Mobile Tech Expo in 2019.
He even penned a booklet titled “Ask Gene Fetty…What Every Person Needs To Know About Paintless Dent Repair”.
Gene Fetty and his wife Melissa are the owners of Dent Repair Now located at 4699
Campbells Run Road Pittsburgh Pa 15205. If you have a damage on your car, truck, or SUV, we’d love to hear from you! You can call us at 724-554-1756 or contact us through our email firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide free estimates and you can even fill in your information with pictures of your dent or ding on our website here. If you’d like to see more videos of Gene, or any of our trained, certified technicians, check out our Youtube channel.