• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Fixing dents in dog dish hubcaps?


FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
3:53 AM
Aug 6, 2012
Reaction score
NW Indiana
Over the weekend, I was at a Mopar buddy's garage and noticed he had a complete set of dog dish hubcaps on a shelf, and stated I had been looking for those, and he said "take them." As I pulled them down, 2 are in good shape, and 2 are dented (see pics). I have black steel wheels that I've been wanting these for.

Anyone have suggestions or methods for pounding the dents out? Or a good, reliable place to send them for fixing? There's a chrome polishing shop near me, but the guy takes forever to do anything (he's had a backup piece of trim of mine for three years and still not done!). I'm keen to try and fix these myself, just kind of stumped how to get the dents out? Assuming I need to find something appropriate that I can rest the dog dish on and start pounding away? Some sort of special hammers?

IMG_6095.JPG IMG_6096.JPG
The hammers are not so particular as is the technique and other tools. Typically dents in SS are worked out with a nail-set like punch. Start on the edge of the ding and work in a a spiral around the dent, narrowing in on each circle around until you end up in the center. You want to tap the punch hard enough to slightly move the metal and in the process you will raise a barely perceivable outward ding in the surface. Considering the size and depth of the larger ding I would probably use a larger blunt punch to start with to get the metal moved out a little closer to where it should be and then work with a smaller punch for the finish work. Those dings end up getting filed off in the end so you don’t want pronounced ones or you will excessively stretch and thin the metal. This spiral process may have to be repeated several times and modified some, until the surface profile is restored. Then it needs to be filed smooth which will also reveal low spots that need more work. After the surface looks right, the sanding starts with coarse paper that will remove the file marks, using homemade sanding blocks (pop cycle sticks, round pencil shank pieces, aluminum shapes - whatever you can find to maintain a proper surface shape). Progress thru finer and finer sandpaper (I usually go to 2000 to 3000 grit depending on the piece) and then end up buffing through about 3 stages of compound.

It’s a tedious, time consuming process and for just the hub caps I would consider sending the to a professional and being done with it.
By chance, have any recommendations?

It’s a tedious, time consuming process and for just the hub caps I would consider sending the to a professional and being done with it.
you might want to give one of those paint less dent removal kits a try ? I have pulled a few dents using mine On my fenders and they work well. Not sure if they will affect the stainless. my kit came with soft punches that may help you.
Nowhere near expert just a thought if you have access to one Give it a try I’ve had good results.
By chance, have any recommendations?

I'm trying a small plating and metal finishing company on some chrome work right now - located in western Arkansas - Whitworx.

Whitworx Chrome Plating Services, Stainless and Aluminum Polishing

But I haven't actually received back any work from them yet. I went to them based on friends recommendations and that I could drop off and pickup the parts. they also do stainless and aluminum work but they are really busy right now and they are a small shop. You may be able to find someone closer to you.
Yea, there's a shop really close to me that supposedly does good work and maybe I should go back over there and pay him a visit and see. Three years ago I took him a spare rear trim piece for my Bee and said "really, no rush," well f**k, it's been three years and he's still not done with it. The guy's as old as Moses, and was just in the hospital for three weeks, so not sure if I could put a rush into him for the dog dishes. Maybe if I tell him I need them for the Chicago Muscle Car show in Nov and wonder if that would help the speed. This guy is a one man shop.

There's a couple of powder coating shops nearby too, maybe I should visit them too, just to see.
Are they aluminum or stainless , they came in both versions , look like they are aluminum to me.

Not sure, will have to examine them closer. My first thought is stainless since I already wacked them with a hammer and nothing happened. Assuming aluminum would be softer than SS.

Are they aluminum or stainless , they came in both versions , look like they are aluminum to me.