Newbie straightened metal

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:49 pm
Hi All,

I'm new to this and was wondering how the experts might approach this. I need to bend the below piece of metal to look like the second pic. It's not really a pinch weld, since it's one piece of metal about 1/8" thick, but it is in the same location where people refer to the "pinch weld" under the rocker. It is essential for the rear suspension in my old '89 BMW 325i. Would a cheap set of dollies from Harbor Freight help me flatten it or should I just wail on it with a BFH? Would I be able to bend it with some clamps? Thanks in advance from you experienced guys.

https://imgur.com/a/Jy6nSh0



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:28 am
bavarianhobo wrote: It's not really a pinch weld, since it's one piece of metal about 1/8" thick,

https://imgur.com/a/Jy6nSh0

I'm not familiar with that car, but in the picture it looks like a typical pinch weld, with an easy fix.

bavarianhobo wrote: It is essential for the rear suspension in my old '89 BMW 325i.

How so, it looks like the damage in concentrated in the pinch weld area. I work on cars much older than this, so maybe its just me.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:56 am
I only say it's not a pinch weld because it is a single piece of metal, there is nothing welded together. Maybe my terminology is off?

As far as being essential, see diagram:
Image


The semi-trailing arm subframe beam has only two points where it ties into the body. It is stabilized in the x-axis (front to back)by two little brackets that BMW calls "thrust rods" that are fixed to the tab I need to straighten by 2 bolts on each side.



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:24 am
Maybe someone else on here knows more about it, have you had the alignment checked?



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:44 pm
Ha, I mean the whole assembly you see above is off the car right now (except for the shocks), so there isn't really an alignment to check.

But anyway, I'm here for advice on straightening metal. I was hitting it with a hammer the other day and it was doing anything but maybe rounding it a bit, but the hammer wasn't that big.

So should just get a bigger hammer? I just found out about dollies, IDK if they would help in this situation, I guess they are more for thinner body panels, right?

Or do you think if I got a big clamp I could bend it? It's kinda thick, since it is load bearing, that's the only reason I'm asking. I'll start experimenting, but I don't want to f' it up and have to weld a new piece on.

Thanks in advance.



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:40 pm
I didn't notice the thickness of it before, maybe some of the collision guys on here will speak up.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:28 pm
Yeah not sure how to approach 1/8" thick steel. I think I'm going to start with a bigger hammer and bang on it as best I can and see what happens. Bit cramped getting a good swing at that angle under the bottom of the quarter panel.

Thanks



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:52 am
bavarianhobo wrote:Hi All,

I'm new to this and was wondering how the experts might approach this. I need to bend the below piece of metal to look like the second pic. It's not really a pinch weld, since it's one piece of metal about 1/8" thick, but it is in the same location where people refer to the "pinch weld" under the rocker. It is essential for the rear suspension in my old '89 BMW 325i. Would a cheap set of dollies from Harbor Freight help me flatten it or should I just wail on it with a BFH? Would I be able to bend it with some clamps? Thanks in advance from you experienced guys.

https://imgur.com/a/Jy6nSh0



I cant make heads or tails of what your working on there maybe if you back up a little to see more car and then get in close and more detail from the bottom...

Sure looks like a Pinch weld to me though And yes Using a large Dolley to back up your Hammer blows would be advisable. no do not use BFH use a Small flat hammer is best use light repeating blows together with a Dolley. Less is More when it comes to a cars sheet metal.
Think Bumping Not hammering.
In this case you can hammer on both sides should straiten out quickly and easily.
Remember less is more Don't try to straiten in one or two blows.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

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