This stage is called "tear down," where the body tech takes apart all necessary items (lights, moldings, seals etc.) in order to keep any items on the vehicle from getting damaged/in the way during repairs. This is also the part where all new parts that are to be put on the vehicle are checked for quality and fit-checked to the vehicle so that no problems arise later on.
If needed, the vehicle will be placed up on our frame machines so that the body tech can make "pulls" on the body panels in order to make them more straight and easier to repair. This essentially straightens the panels so that less repair material is used.
Once everything is torn down, and all panels have been "pulled," the repairs start. This part is where the original paint is sanded/grinded down to make the surface ready for the repair materials (if the panel(s) are not being replaced).
After the panel(s) have been sanded down, the repair material or "bondo" is applied to the damaged area (if the panel is not being replaced). The repair material is then sanded down until evenly smooth with the original shape of the panel.
The sanded repair material is then blown off to remove all excess dust so that the body tech can fully make sure that the repaired panel is back to its original shape and smooth.
If anything does not look correct, the body tech will then make a second pass over the repair material with either more repair material, or the body tech will sand the repair material further. This ensures that the correct shape and smoothness is met.
Once the body repair/replacing is completed, the vehicle is then blown off and cleaned again so that it can be sent to the paint shop to continue the repair process.