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Old 06-13-2010, 08:53 PM
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1HTBRRD 1HTBRRD is offline
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Default Shrink sheet metal?

I recently painted my firebird. I then went to my local autocross and had the battery box in the truck fail during competition.... and yes the battery smacked a dent in my freshly painted quarterpanel. The dent was only about an inch long and an 1/8 deep, but it had a sharp point on it from the battery. I used my hammer and dolly to straighten it out, but now the sheet metal seems flimsy and easily manipulated in the area of the dent.

It is my understanding that the sheet metal was stretched slightly when the dent occurred and it needs to be shrunk to give it more rigidity. I have heard I could use a torch to heat the metal, but I am trying to keep the damaged area as small as possible.

My question is this, can I use my handy lincoln 110v welder to buzz a couple tack welds and heat the area, then grind them down and do the neccesary bodywork to the affected area?

Any input in this area would be helpful...I just don't want to make it worse than it already is.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:57 PM
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It's called "oil canning" (like the bottom of an old oil squirt can)....

No -- I would not weld the area...

The stretched metal can be dolly and hammered -- or shrunk using heating and cooling the area.

Trust me on this - this is no place (on a freshly painted panel) for a beginner to learn to shrink metal. Take it to a QUALITY body shop and have it fixed. Or leave it alone.

Sorry to hear you had the issue... but really -- shrinking metal correctly is a learned skill... and needs to be done but someone that knows what they're doing otherwise you're going to end up with a huge mess... creating more problems than you can solve.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:05 AM
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I agree with Greg,but if you still want to attempt to do it yourself, use stud welding gun, it works great ,you can also try using a heat gun , I'm sure few spot welds with mig will work too,it sucks to have damage on fresh paint, good luck
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:22 AM
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Do a search on shrinking discs, they work.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:32 AM
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yes, they do, I use them often, but they will require a larger bare metal working area to work IMO
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1998 GS400TT widebody
1969 Firebird
1979 Firebird LS3,DSE,Baer
1938 Dodge LC pickup
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:16 PM
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thanks for the info guys. Once I wipe away all the tears and get to work, I will let you know how it goes.... I think I will try the heat gun idea first, it seems the safest way to control the heat
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