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View Full Version : How do I bend this metal back?



sambarnett
03-14-2006, 10:08 PM
I am working on repairing some minor damage on a Mazda Miata. I removed the front bumper cover and fender. As you can see in the pics below the metal behind the fender and front bumper cover has been bent up. I have banged it a little bit with a hammer in an attempt to straighen it out but it doesn't really seem like it is working too well. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can bend it back to it's approximate original shape? I'm not very handy with bodywork but I don't want to have to bring it to a body shop to do this minor work if I don't have to.

The damage (Passenger side front corner):
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/sabarne4/RedMiata/IMGP3305.JPG

The undamaged other corner (for reference)
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/sabarne4/RedMiata/IMGP3304.JPG

Repair overview
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/sabarne4/RedMiata/IMGP3303.JPG

Thanks,
Sam - Charlotte, NC

TimG
03-14-2006, 11:54 PM
Trick is,you try and figure how the damage happened,and do the exact opposite to remove it.
Looking at the pics, hard to really tell w/o actually seeing the car,this has to be pulled up,out,and to the right,not a big deal if you have the equipment to do it.
Does the hood line up with the opposite fndr and h/l? Latch smoothly? Radiator and condenser still bolt up? Bumper cover line to hood? Any big buckles in the upper tie bar?
Not saying this can't be done w/ blocks of wood and a sledge,or a Porta Power,or a come a long and a tree......
BUT you would probably be ahead of the game by letting a shop w/ a frame rack pull it and fit the parts,you repair any clamp damage,etc.
Good luck!

sambarnett
03-15-2006, 06:41 AM
Tim,a

Here are pics before the body panels were removed:

http://filebox.vt.edu/users/sabarne4/RedMiata/9b_12.JPG
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/sabarne4/RedMiata/ce_12.JPG

I bought the car after it was wrecked so I'm not sure exactly what happened. The previous owner said an SUV backed into him in a parking lot. So to do the exact opposite should I take it to a parking lot and rear end an SUV? :-)

The hood would line up with the opposite fender but doesn't only because the hood was pushed during the collision and the latches got bent. The damage behind the body panels is concentrated just to the corner. The opposite corner appears to be completely straight and matches up with with the other panels. The radiator and condenser still bolt up fine. I don't know what an upper tie bar is so I'm not sure if it is buckled or not, I doubt it unless it is the part in the pic.

I don't have any body shop tools but someone recommended a slide hammer. I can buy one of those cheap but I want to make sure it will work before I buy it.

Thanks,
Sam




Trick is,you try and figure how the damage happened,and do the exact opposite to remove it.
Looking at the pics, hard to really tell w/o actually seeing the car,this has to be pulled up,out,and to the right,not a big deal if you have the equipment to do it.
Does the hood line up with the opposite fndr and h/l? Latch smoothly? Radiator and condenser still bolt up? Bumper cover line to hood? Any big buckles in the upper tie bar?
Not saying this can't be done w/ blocks of wood and a sledge,or a Porta Power,or a come a long and a tree......
BUT you would probably be ahead of the game by letting a shop w/ a frame rack pull it and fit the parts,you repair any clamp damage,etc.
Good luck!

TimG
03-15-2006, 11:45 PM
What I ment was,how did the damage go in?
You want to try to reverse it,for example,did it get hit on an angle,straight on,driven up,squashed down,etc?
Idea is,you want to pull/push/bang the damage OUT at the same angle it went IN,working on the furthest damage from point of impact FIRST.
If it was me,I'd get the hood to fit the other fender first,take the striker bolt out of the hood,then bend/adjust align hood to left fender.....sometimes the cowl where the hinge bolts to will bend down @ the rear hinge bolt,looks like this may have happened by the pics....
Next,I'd get the hood to latch,pretty sure a Miata uses a striker bolt on the hood,which fits into a latch,one or the other should be adjustable,you may have to whack the striker bolt to straighten out where it mounts if you are using the original hood...
Next,I'd try to straighten the bad corner,from the pics,looks like it has to come UP,FWD,and to the RIGHT.
Take a tape ,and measure from the rearmost rt fndr bolt,to the front bolt on the l fnr,straighten the rt side 'till it looks close,and try to get the same distance from the l rear bolt to the rt front bolt,then fit the fender.
Maybe you could hook a come a long to a pickup's trailer hitch or something,set the brake,chock the wheels,and put pressure on it,play w/different angles,when you get it right,you'll be suprised how easy it moves!
You want to hammer and dolly any buckles flat w/pressure from the come a long applied,starting w/the ones farthest back "Last in First Out" was my Voke school teacher's mantra!
Don't know what kind of slide hammer you were referring to,stay away from the ones w/ the screw tip.
Maybe you could rent or borrow a Morgan Knokker,or a Silver Slapper,8 or 10 lb weight slide hammer,w/an assortment of different hooks,costs @ 175.00 new.......Should be able to get a Chinese knock off for less,just DON'T stand behind it while you're slamming on the thing!
You can move the headlight covers around for alignment,should be screws under the plastic cover {Headlamp door}that surrounds the sealed beam....
Upper tie bar is the top of the radiator support,the two end pieces are called baffles,part the top of the fender bolts to is an apron....
I'm not the most elonquent guy on the board,but hope this helps,and good luck!

sambarnett
03-15-2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks a lot for the help! I used a slide hammer today and tried your method and it got it close enough that I think I can get all the body panels on straight now. Thanks for taking the time to write this for me.

Sam


What I ment was,how did the damage go in?
You want to try to reverse it,for example,did it get hit on an angle,straight on,driven up,squashed down,etc?
Idea is,you want to pull/push/bang the damage OUT at the same angle it went IN,working on the furthest damage from point of impact FIRST.
If it was me,I'd get the hood to fit the other fender first,take the striker bolt out of the hood,then bend/adjust align hood to left fender.....sometimes the cowl where the hinge bolts to will bend down @ the rear hinge bolt,looks like this may have happened by the pics....
Next,I'd get the hood to latch,pretty sure a Miata uses a striker bolt on the hood,which fits into a latch,one or the other should be adjustable,you may have to whack the striker bolt to straighten out where it mounts if you are using the original hood...
Next,I'd try to straighten the bad corner,from the pics,looks like it has to come UP,FWD,and to the RIGHT.
Take a tape ,and measure from the rearmost rt fndr bolt,to the front bolt on the l fnr,straighten the rt side 'till it looks close,and try to get the same distance from the l rear bolt to the rt front bolt,then fit the fender.
Maybe you could hook a come a long to a pickup's trailer hitch or something,set the brake,chock the wheels,and put pressure on it,play w/different angles,when you get it right,you'll be suprised how easy it moves!
You want to hammer and dolly any buckles flat w/pressure from the come a long applied,starting w/the ones farthest back "Last in First Out" was my Voke school teacher's mantra!
Don't know what kind of slide hammer you were referring to,stay away from the ones w/ the screw tip.
Maybe you could rent or borrow a Morgan Knokker,or a Silver Slapper,8 or 10 lb weight slide hammer,w/an assortment of different hooks,costs @ 175.00 new.......Should be able to get a Chinese knock off for less,just DON'T stand behind it while you're slamming on the thing!
You can move the headlight covers around for alignment,should be screws under the plastic cover {Headlamp door}that surrounds the sealed beam....
Upper tie bar is the top of the radiator support,the two end pieces are called baffles,part the top of the fender bolts to is an apron....
I'm not the most elonquent guy on the board,but hope this helps,and good luck!