If you’ve been reading Resto Shop long enough, you know we cover many aspects of restored supercar Camaros (e.g., Yenko and Dana), rare parts, restoration processes by the pros, and great products. We also love cool tools. We’ve seen the Eastwood Stud Welder in their catalog for a long time and thought, That looks really cool, but there’s no way it works as easy as it looks. Well, we tried it out and are here to say that it exceeded our expectations by far. We’re old enough to remember drilling holes in sheetmetal in order to use hand-held dent pullers and slide hammers to pull out dents. That always seemed so crude.
There’s something great about pulling out a dent without making extra holes. The Eastwood Stud Welder dent pulling system and Shoot Suit welded stud pulling tool are great for pulling dents out of a panel when it’s tough or impossible to get behind it with a dolly and hammer.
After reading the product reviews on the Eastwood site about the Shoot Suit puller and the 2.0mm draw pins, we decided to use the 2.5mm draw pins, which performed great. We didn’t try the additional tip for the Stud Welder for welding on trim attaching studs, but if they work as good as the pulling studs, we’re sure they work great. We could have used this trim stud tool a few years ago when we had to repair some rusted metal in our rear window channel and had trouble with our window trim fitment. Here’s how the tools worked for us.
01 For fun, we dragged out a dented, original RS tailpanel we had lying around. We started by removing the paint in the dented area so the studs could be welded to the panel.
02 With the stud in the tip of the gun we placed the tip against the panel and pulled the trigger. The stud quickly welded to the panel and the weld was stronger than we thought it would be. Since this is a small dent, we welded directly to the center of the dent. Different types of dents may require pulling different areas of the dent before pulling the very center to reduce stretching the metal unnecessarily.
03 Here’s the stud welded in place. You can see a second stud welded for pulling out another dent. If you weld multiple studs, make sure they are far enough apart to get the pulling tools where you need them. In some cases, it’s better to only weld one stud at a time.
04 You can use the more aggressive stud slide hammer (not shown) for work on bigger dents or the handy Shoot Suit puller (shown), which is perfect for smaller and finer work. The cage around the Shoot Suit is great because it uses the surrounding panel to pull against. You can shim under the edges of the cage if it won’t set perfectly on your panel.
05 We used a cutoff wheel to remove the stud when we were done, then we quickly ground off the remnants of the stud with a 50-grit 3M Green Corps disc.
06 Compared to the dent we started with, less filler would be necessary to repair this area. With a few more well-placed studs, we were able to get this surface back to its original shape. It’s all about how much work you are willing to put in.
Eastwood’s ½hp Electric Bench Mount Belt/Disc Sander (PN 13660) features a 4x36-inch sanding belt as well as a 6-inch sanding disc. This tool is ideal for final finishing and deburring of fabricated parts. Retail price is $139.99. For more information, go to eastwood.com/cp213 or call 800.343.9353 source code CP213.