#1  
Old 06-14-2024, 09:46 PM
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Default Valance Repair Attempt

Thought I'd share my struggle to learn some body work skills and get help from those that know.

My front valance started less than perfect, then got folded by some careless movers:

https://forums.maxperformanceinc.com...d.php?t=869485

So here was the worst of it after it was assaulted:



My limited understanding of sheet metal repair came from an old book by Sargent that I think is great. I started by assuming this crease was where the load was applied and the bending happened as a result. So I started by just pushing it back to this:



Then I started hitting it with a dolly and used a shrinking disk on the fold, assuming metal had been stretched there. I got it back to this:


  #2  
Old 06-14-2024, 10:08 PM
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Next session, I worked on the fold area a little more with a hammer (off dolly) and a "slapper". This helped smooth it out "locally" but there is still a "macro" profile problem to address:



I then started sanding with a block to ID other "opportunities" and found several. I hope to go after these one at a time.

Here's a section with some "ripples" and a larger depression:



Here's a tear I will have to weld:



...along with this spot weld rupture:

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Old 06-14-2024, 10:23 PM
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More damage to try and fix...

Here's a hole that doesn't belong and will need to be welded. The only time I did this before I didn't understand how welding can shrink and it wasn't easy for me to recover. This one will get planished:



And here's a weird bunch of ripples... not sure what would have caused this so will think before I jump:

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Old 06-15-2024, 03:11 PM
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My suggestion on the split would be to sand blast both sides of it to remove the rust, then weld it from the back side. You'll have a heavier, stronger (and unseen) weld that you won't risk grinding through.

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Old 06-15-2024, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400 4spd. View Post
My suggestion on the split would be to sand blast both sides of it to remove the rust, then weld it from the back side. You'll have a heavier, stronger (and unseen) weld that you won't risk grinding through.
Good timing and suggestion, thank you! I definitely would have welded from the outside so this is the kind of help I need!

I had actually planned on welding next, so spent a couple hours unpacking my welder and searching for welding stuff after our move last fall.

It has been several years since I welded anything on my car and I never had any skill so I'm approaching this with a known need to practice.

Naturally, the welder needed a new plug... does this happen to anyone else? You have to fix something before you can use it to fix something???

Anyway, the welder works, my auto-dim helmet worked, and I'm ready to practice. I'll watch some Youtube videos on how to set it up and buy some sheet metal for practice. I remember it was easy to burn holes through it

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Old 07-08-2024, 07:29 PM
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I'm making some progress. Like usual for me, 2 steps forward, 1 back, but I haven't given up yet.

I have now welded it twice. I spent time on my practice piece, had it dialed in, made lots of small welds that looked great. With all the confidence I could muster, I moved right to the valance. The settings proved too weak and I had cold-looking welds. Note to self: find 20 ga practice metal, 22 ga is not the same.

So I walked away, regrouped, and went after it again. It wasn't pretty, but I feel like fusion happened.

I took the advice on another thread and cut a small disc to fill the hole. I'm declaring this good enough.



I could not reach the back of the tear in the corner so welded it from the front. This went better than the hole.




So on to the seriously hard stuff for me - dollies and hammers..

I spent an hour working on "rough" shaping. I did OK on most of it, but still have a challenge where the big fold happened. I also found two other messes that are cooperating better. They both have a bunch of work damage now. This is where I struggle. The metal whisperer gene did not get passed to me.

Here's one of the messes... I have to get the overall curve better, then deal with the dimples. I'm sure I can get it closer, just have to be careful not to stretch it out.



I like trying to learn this and the worst that happens is I find a used one and start over.

For some reason I keep getting flashbacks to a Mechanical Metallurgy class in ~1974 about tri-axial stress states.... didn't sink in then, either!

Mike
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2024, 10:26 AM
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Could be worse
Could be 80s Japanese,thin as rice paper.
At least you have some real metal to deal with.
rather than hammer and dolly try using a slapping file.
old timer taught me this about 40 yrs ago,guess that means Im old timer now.

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Old 07-11-2024, 12:17 AM
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Thanks Cammer-6

I have both a smooth and a "file"-type slapper. I struggle to get a dolly positioned well on the low spots but the slappers do seem to spread out the blows and reduce the damage I cause with a hammer.

I worked on one area today, dolly under the low spots, slapper on top.

Went OK, just slow.

Started here


Ended here


I'll spend a little more time on this section but have uglier areas to try and straighten before I get too picky.

This is definitely a challenge for me but that's a good thing.

Mike
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