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Apr 27, 2012
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Nashville, Tennessee
My Car
1973 Q code Mach 1
I tend to avoid body work for a multitude of reasons, but from time to time I do find it necessary to be able to do a repair.

I had such an occasion the other night as my son damaged his Toyota Rav 4 just ahead of the rear driver side wheel.

I have, but had never before used a stud welder from Harbor Freight.

I thought I would share some thoughts and seek some comments from those more experienced with body work.

First-the Toyota metal seems incredibly thin.  The first few studs pulled the metal out of shape and popped off leaving holes.  I reduced the time to attach a stud to under a second and it seemed to improve some.  I have larger studs, but expect they would be worse, but I am a novice, so I don't really know.

Second-the welder has a really lousy duty rating of one stud every 5 minutes.  It will run a bit faster, but I imagine the heat inside will eventually cause it to fail.

Third, the "trigger" is a sucky designed poorly located piece of shit.

Overall it worked adequately and with a hammer and some light tappity tapping, I had the area ready for a skim coat of filler is under 30 minutes.  A rubber mallet helped to reshape the door edge and remove the gap created by the dent in the door after I pulled the leading edge of the quarter panel back out.

Still need to block sand it a bit further, but it looks as good as a 10 year old 140K mile Rav 4 should look. ;)