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gr8fulabe
07-09-2011, 02:36 PM
Hi guys,

I just picked up a couple of pieces for an oem soft top (parts that go over the doors). One of them has been bent up a bit (see pics). Since lots of you guys know how to work with metal, I was wondering if anyone can advise the best way to straighten thm up? Just bend with pliers? Add heat, then bend? If adding heat is best, I only have a mapp gas torch. Will that get it hot enough?

these don't need to be showroom resto qaulity, but i want them to work & not break when I try to straighten them out. They cost me a small fortune more or less, so I don't want to screw them up.
Thanks,
Abe


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Uncle Ben
07-09-2011, 02:53 PM
Heat should be a last resort! Patience is your best buddy when working sheet metal! The slower you work it to the shape you want the better your end results will be! You need a dolly of some type (dolly can even be scarp metal) and both light and medium hammers. If you can press or clamp the majority of it straight that would be a great start! PS I suggest shoes too! ;)

DanS
07-09-2011, 03:48 PM
It's just the bent stuff on the end, right?

Unless I'm missing something in the middle of the part, that is a 10 minute job with a combination of dolly, anvil and hammer. Frankly, you might be able to get that serviceable with nothing more than a crescent wrench (I like crescent wrenches more than pliers, but those would work too).

Dan

Beater
07-09-2011, 04:02 PM
I have most sheet metal hammers and dolly's.

j

gr8fulabe
07-10-2011, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys! I don't have most of the tools you mentioned, but did have a crescent wrench, which has vastly improved the issue. I'm also, still not wearing shoes apparently, since you can see my barefeet in these pics too... :).
I think that this thing is close enough to at least test fit & see how it will work. If it seems good I will put it off & see if I can go the hammer/dolly/anvil route to make it even better. One last question for you guys. Do you know what these two hooks are for, and how do these things install? It doesn't seem like the hooks should be a part of this gig...
Thanks,
Abe

Rezarf
07-10-2011, 06:42 PM
Just a regular hammer and the anvil on the backside of a vice is all you would need. I use punches of different sizes to straighten things out and get into difficult spots. Metal works a lot like a paper clip... if you work it back and forth too much it will fatigue and fail, but if you take your time and get it straight, you'll be all set.

Its looking good.

gr8fulabe
07-10-2011, 08:04 PM
Thanks Rezarf! Ball peen, or regular? Also, if I don't have a vice or anvil, does it work if I just put it on a board, or does it need to be as, "non reactive" as a big slab of metal is?

Lastly, exactly how does it work? do I hit the parts I want to move, or ??? that sounds really stupid, but the for years I thought you had to put a part down on the gasket paper & hit it really hard to, 'peen' a gasket, rather than hitting the paper softly... It wasn't until a couple of years ago when Robbie showed me how to it correctly, that I learned how stupid I had been...
Thanks again!
Abe

Uncle Ben
07-10-2011, 08:57 PM
24282

24283

24284

Thanks for the advice guys! I don't have most of the tools you mentioned, but did have a crescent wrench, which has vastly improved the issue. I'm also, still not wearing shoes apparently, since you can see my barefeet in these pics too... :).
I think that this thing is close enough to at least test fit & see how it will work. If it seems good I will put it off & see if I can go the hammer/dolly/anvil route to make it even better. One last question for you guys. Do you know what these two hooks are for, and how do these things install? It doesn't seem like the hooks should be a part of this gig...
Thanks,
Abe

The hooks are tail gate latches. Those go on the body tub and the latch is on the tailgate itself.

Rezarf
07-10-2011, 09:03 PM
You basically want a hammer to deform the metal again... its just you want the metal to deform again betwee two straight objects that wont deform. Wood might work, but something that won't move on you will give you more control. And use a lot of little taps verses whailing on it. Ask a neighbor or friend who might have a vice and get after it. Heck if you have a good steel bumper on the 40 with a flat surface, you could put a layer of masking tape over it and get to work.

And I just use a regular hammer... or a 3lb on heavier steel.

Beater
07-11-2011, 10:25 AM
abe - where are you located?

gr8fulabe
07-11-2011, 09:13 PM
abe - where are you located?

Hey John,
I'm in Boulder Canyon, about 1 mile up Magnolia road, and I work in Boulder. But I do get out & about from time to time.

No garage (yet, but some day) so no cool metal tools & such.
Best,
Abe

Rezarf
07-12-2011, 08:08 AM
Yeah Abe, I am in Louisville if you want me to form/shape it, I am happy to help. My schedule is wierd this summer but I am available most mornings/middays.