This was an interesting job to do as the van had damage on both the wheel arch and the door. Usually a door repair is outside the scope of SMART repair, but the damage was very much on the far right and not breaching into the middle of the door.
The first thing to do was to remove the sign-writing as spraying over or around this is not an option. Luckily the writing was due to be updated anyway, so it was not a problem for the customer to have it removed, if anything it was beneficial.
Once the stickers had been removed the panel is wiped down using solvents to remove the sticky residue left over from the sign-writing. As the van colour is a solid it was also important to machine polish the panels before being sprayed, this is to ensure the fading is brought back to the original colour as much as possible so fresh paint will match. The SMART system allows colour to be tweaked anyway, but its good to have as best a match as possible to begin with.
Repairing the damage to the wing with a variety of panel beating tools and flat edges was used to get the bent metal back into shape as much as possible. As for the door, this required the door card inside to be temporarily taken off so tools can be used to push dents back out from behind.
Filler is then used to fill in any dips and and regain some shape. This is rubbed down and filler reapplied a number of times until the shape is correct and the overall surface is smooth.
I used masking tape to contain the work area, this prevented any reduction paper from scratching areas further away from the actual damage causing the repair to creep into a larger area.
The door and wheel arch is then sprayed with undercoat and rubbed down with Wet & Dry paper. Again, this process may be repeated a number of times until the area is smooth, scratch and blemish free.
The final coat of primer I add blue, this helps the colour coat to cover better and require less paint.
Unfortunately on this particular van I had some problems matching the colour. All the non-metallic blue’s Ford produced did not come close to the colour of this van! I finally concluded that the van was not a standard Ford colour and so must be an ex-fleet van. This can be a problem as there are so many fleet colours to choose from. However, it looked suspiciously like a British Gas blue colour and after mixing a little paint up and trying it, the match was perfect – ta da!
After spraying on a thin coat of British Gas blue, all that was left to do was spray on some lacquer, and blend out using special materials so no feather line is left.
The final result was a perfect repair on a blue van that has been re-purposed for life outside British Gas. Its always good to see vans have a long busy life.