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CurranShelter

Damage repair - removing interior tailgate trim

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Hi all. Does anyone know offhand how I can take off the plastic panel inside the tailgate on the Auris Touring Sport (2015)? Got a nasty big bash just underneath the number plate and I'm hoping it can be popped out from the other side. I see there are access hatches for the lock and lights, but wasn't obvious how to get the whole trim off.

Also, the paint has cracked, but that's another matter. Looks like a proper repair would be pricey to say the least, so I'm tempted to give it the DIY treatment for now (even though I've never liked using touch-up paint). 😦 Needs protecting one way or another, as there's some exposed metal which already looks like it has a bit of rust stain on it (didn't notice the damage right away, and had some wet weather - although I was a little surprised it could start getting rusty within just a week or two). I've kind of given up hope on keeping everything in top condition as it's already had someone smash into the front bumper (and drive off) and arguments with a kerb, a tree stump and a bus driving in the middle of the road. Sigh. Might get a Citroen C4 Cactus next time 😁 (just kidding... already eyeing up the new Corolla).

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The trim uses clips and just "pops" on, use a flat trim tool or screwdriver covered with insulation tape, and pop the clips from the tailgate. The tailgate is double skinned so you probably can't do much with it from the inside to be honest

2hcf8cz.jpg

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Thank you Parts-King, that is useful to know. Doesn't sound too hopeful though. I'm guessing if I got it repaired professionally, they'd try suction from the outside, but it's in a really awkward place to get closure around the dent (just below a bodywork crease), dunno if there are any other clever techniques out there, but I can't be forking out a load for that so might just have to live with it. 😕

Ouch.jpg

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To get a partial repair, Halfords used to do a dent puller kit for £20, maybe they still do.  Inside. it was basically a short hot-melt glue stick, some string to pull it with, and some isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol).  There wasn't much in the box for your £20, so I just cheekily took a photo of the instructions, which are somewhere in the garage if you are interested.

I have seen a professional dent removal chap do his own version with just a regular glue stick and a hot air gun and some isopropyl alcohol, but usually on dents smaller than yours.

Basically, (the Halfords' instructions said this as well) you heat the paint up enough to allow the glue stick to stick perpendicularly to the body.  This takes some faith in the strength of the paint - it only works with factory, well-adhered paint.  Let it cool down, then  pull the glue stick to draw the bent panel out.  When you want to release the glue stick (if it hasn't come off already), then put a few drops of the alcohol on the join - the bond is severely weakened by the alcohol (amazingly) and the glue stick pulls off.  This may need repeating many, many times.

Regrettably, I have to admit there is a technique to be learned to do it well.

Obviously, you could do with checking that there is nothing behind the boot skin that may be damaged by the heat.

In your situation (hard to judge from one picture), I would think you could remove about 65% of the volume of the dent quite quickly with the above for just the price of a glue stick and some isopropyl alcohol (IPA).  That's assuming you have a heat gun.   IPA is available from chemists (to order) or eBay or Amazon, about £6-£9 for 500ml.  It is an excellent degreaser and has loads of other uses as well. 

If it wasn't for the top crease and the missing paint (shown) then you might be able to have more success.  And I can't guarantee the above it won't make it worse, of course.

Even if the panel is double-skinned at that point, your 'Dent Devil' type repairer may well drill a small hole to gain access from the back or use his bodywork levers through an existing hole nearby.  Dent Devils will normally work from an emailed photo by the way, to assess suitability to their techniques and a price, if you didn't already know.  I think yours is too bad for them to undertake, but I'm happy to be corrected, maybe they do bigger jobs these days.

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That would not repair with a dent master IMHO, the crease is right on the swage line and when you have a crease there, they are difficult to pull out. You would be able to make it less severe but not completely. Why don't you claim on your insurance?

 

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Ouch, commiserations. Agree with others, that's more than a dent-pulling number because of the crease at the top. Should be within the abilities of a small outfit, though, and they charge punters a lot less than they charge the insurance companies. Get a few quotes, and good luck.

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Thanks Gerg for the detail (most of which is new to me, so much appreciated - and yes I have a glue gun) and everyone else for your suggestions. Plenty to mull over. I do intend to get some quotes (ChipsAway weren't interested, perhaps unsurprisingly) and will weigh up the cost vs insurance, but I suppose the other option is to live with it for now (i.e. painted but with dent remaining) and possibly even take the hit (no pun intended) when I sell the car - might not be sensible at its current age but maybe less of an issue if I keep it as long as (or longer than) my last one (just under 12 years).

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