Top 3 Tools For Removing Auto Body Panels
Removing old body panels to repair or restore them can be as big of a job as the repair itself. There’s a lot of different ways to remove the panel but if you have a few specific tools you can be assured that it will make the job easier for you to do. We decided to put together three of our top tools for removing old auto body panels safely without wrecking the vehicle and saving time.
- Eastwood Seam Splitter– Most body panels on vehicles made after the 1930’s have had an undercoating or seam sealer installed on them that tends to “glue” the panel on and can make it difficult to remove it. Seam Splitters are made for a number of functions including cutting, separating, and splitting. The seam splitter kit comes with three different tools that are oriented to split panels apart in different angles. They also have cutting or splitting surfaces on different edges that make them work in almost any situation. The best part about these are that they’re made of a durable ductile steel that allows you to hammer on them and even split apart stubborn spot welds! Grab the kit and put them in as one of your go-to tools for removing and separating panels!
- Spot Weld Cutters– Once electric welding became a common method for joining metal all automotive manufacturers had been spot welding body panels together. These spot welds from the factory can be so small/inconspicuous that over time it can incredibly difficult to locate them to remove a panel from a vehicle. Missing just one or two spot welds can change a straight forward repair job to an all-out battle. For that reason we like to start by running a block or disc sander over the area where the spot welds are taking notice of where the paint is left in the low spots. Usually this will show you exactly where each spot weld is and you can center punch each one before using a spot weld cutter to cut the metal around the spot weld. Most quality spot weld cutters use a centering pin or bit that depend on your center punch. Go slow with moderate pressure on the back of the drill and you will watch the cutter make a small cut around the spot weld and you can follow up with your seam splitter to pop the panel loose and move to the next spot weld.
- Eastwood Rotary Removal Tool- In order to get panels separated or even to find the seam you sometimes need to remove a pile of undercoating or factory rust protectant. The wire wheel on the rotary rust removal tool takes undercoating and similar coatings off quickly and easily. The thin inline design also allows you to keep the removal to a small area and avoid a bigger mess than necessary.