FalconEarlyBirds~The Round Body Years 1960-1963 1/2

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Author Topic: How can I straighten a 62 grill  (Read 1220 times)

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rcrown

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How can I straighten a 62 grill
« on: Sep 08, 2013, 12:51:27 AM »

Hello, does anyone have any tricks to straighten a grill? This grill I have on the 62 is wavy and dinged in a few places.
Thank you
Ron
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stu in wichita

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Re: How can I straighten a 62 grill
« Reply #1 on: Sep 11, 2013, 03:57:56 PM »

I straightened my '61, which is pretty similar to the '62.  It really wasn't too hard, since the aluminum is really soft.

I had 3 grills, one a really nice one.  I wanted to try the so-called "chrome" powder coat instead of trying to polish it.  Since I didn't know how it might turn out, I set aside my best grill and picked on of the crummy ones for the experiment.

The one I picked wasn't totally mangled, but it was warped and wavy with a couple of serious kinks where the metal had been completely folded over.  None of the bars were torn or broken.  To start, I worked on the bowed and wavy horizontal bars by hand.  I worked on a sheet of plywood and blocked underneath so I could bend it slightly past where it needed to be, because it springs back.  The bars are basically straight, so it was easy to identify the high and low areas and persuade them back into shape.   

For any bars that had kinks, dents or buckled areas, I used wood to support it from the back side while I tapped it from the front with a hammer.  I cut several custom bucks to fit in the concave areas of the thicker bars.  I've read that stainless trim requires hardwood bucks, but the aluminum doesn't - I used scraps of pine and fir.  A thin wood strip (paint stick) protected the front side from hammer marks, plus helped spread the force.  The small vertical bars are flat metal and are pretty easy to straighten.   I spent about an hour with it, sighting down each of the bars, and it looked pretty good.


A couple of places weren't perfect, but it actually looked better than my "good" grill.  I sent it and the headlight doors out to be coated and they came out fantastic!  I had a number of comments at the nationals that the finish looked like the original anodizing, much more original than polished.  Best part is that it should last forever. 



 
Give it a try.  I think you'll be surprised how well it turns out.

-Stu
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oldbleu

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Re: How can I straighten a 62 grill
« Reply #2 on: Sep 11, 2013, 09:09:02 PM »

Hey Stu,

I like the way the grill turned out. In the pictures, it looks great.

I will have to keep the "chrome" powder coating in mind.
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