Ford Escape 2005 - Front End Fender help needed!

I got a dent in my left side front fender --- before I pay for a new one (which would cost with painting about $700) I want to try and fix it myself.
Problem is I can't even remove the undercarriage in order to get underneath the fender to hammer it out. I unscrewed all the screws but it still won't budge.
Has anyone here tried this and what am I doing wrong? Is this the type of thing only a professional can fix?
It's a 2005 White Escape most basic model.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
InBetweenTheLines wrote:

New car - don't do it yourself. It will never "hammer out" to your satisfaction. Depending on how "dented" it is...:
http://www.dentmasters.com / http://www.google.com/search?q=dingdoctor http://www.google.com/search?q=paintless+dent+repair
Rob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You could always file an insurance claim, depending on how you did it. I'd have it done professionally if I were you. I've done light body work for years, and, probably because I did it myself and knew where it was, I could always see it, even if others couldn't. SC Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My collision is a $500 deductable, but it was my fault - I ran into a pillar in a parking garage while I was pulling my car out. So I don't want to get my insurance involved.
The paint wasn't damaged much so I thought I'd try it on my own. But I can't get access to it. Do you know how I could find out how to gain access behind the fender?
The part from Ford costs $260 and the paint they estimated would be $400 or more. So I'm looking at least $700 to get it done professionally. I can't afford the $700 right now, so I need an alternative to getting it fixed professionally. I've seen on Ebay how they sell the parts and match the paint code based on your VIN - they charge about $200 plus $50 for shipping. Of course I'd have to find someone to install it. Which I'm guessing would be another $100.
I thought I could try and do it myself since I'm not expecting perfection. But it is a large dent probably about 20 inches or so and rippled.
Any thoughts? Do you know of any Los Angeles body shops that are reputable and affordable?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can't help you on the LA part- I live in SC. With that large a dent and being rippled/creased, you're looking at replacement or professional Bondo/fiberglass work, then painting to match for it to look right. I have an '02 Escape, but I haven't had to pull the fender wells. If you know anyone with shop manuals for Escape or Tribute, they should be able to help you out on that one. Good luck!! SC Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.