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Old 09-13-2018, 09:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Barely noticeable after...
I know its not the same, as your dent, I just saying go slow and work from the edges inward!

Were the dents at the top like mine? Are there any "before" pictures?

That is really impressive work!


Pete.
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:13 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
My opinion based on my aluminum work...

Thought the black on the panel was spray paint....
What did you use to heat it?

Temperature to anneal is suggested to use a magic marker... when the pen mark burns off, its annealed.

I think you are going at it too grand with the glue tabs... nice try, but I would start in one corner of the crease and work inward to the center...

Use the slide hammer... like this one I did in a similar area...

The black is spray paint. The glue tabs stuck much better than to
the bare aluminum.


I did not have much luck with a slide hammer. The hand plier style
puller did somewhat better.


To measure temperature I have seen special crayons used. I will
get some.


I have not used heat yet.



Pete.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:29 AM   #31
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I had a lot of issues with the slide hammer too, but I think I was going at it too hard. It’s very different pulling aluminum to pulling steel. Steel has a memory. It wants to go back. Aluminum doesn’t.

My dent was not anyway near what yours is. I think the pics I posted showed it quite well. Most of it came out. I will look for other pics.
I suggest getting the book “Metal Bumping” too
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Old 09-14-2018, 09:15 PM   #32
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Hey,
I got a suggestion. I've never done it, but I got a dent in the back in the back too, that I'm going to have to deal with.
I think your going to have to remove the inside panel, if you took a heat gun, or maybe a hair dryer, and direct the heat at the panel. That aluminum is really thin, so it won't take to much heat. I don t think you'll blow a hole in it, but a little heat will make it more workable. A body working dolly would work well. That is what I'm going to do on my dent. Until I do it myself, it's only a suggestion. So let us know how it works out. If you heat from the outside, the dent will want to go inwards. It's kinda like blowing up a ballon. The end pieces are not like the AS sides. They have been stretched into that configuration, so they want to go back. But the metal has been changed, so I think a little heat, will help it move. That my take on it. Hope it is of some help. dJ
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:07 AM   #33
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I am continuing to ponder my strategy.
here is my latest one;

Remove the three aluminum panels from the outside. There are a lot
of rivets to drill out but that part of the job is no different then replacing
the panels with new ones.

With the panels out they will be much easier to straighten than working
with them in place even with the inside shell removed. If I need to
anneal them it would be much easier with them removed. I can also
use my brother's english wheel to get them smooth.

Reinstalling should be easy enough using the Olympic rivets. It will
allow me to seal the seams which likely needs doing since the bend
crosses some of the seams.

My worry is that if I expand the sheets and they no longer fit.

I have read more about restoring aluminum dents on aircraft sites.
They also use 2024-T3 aluminum that is .032 inches thick. It seems
the annealing temperature is about 650 degrees F not the 350 that
I originally thought. It also age re-hardens in a few hours after
annealing. You can measure the temperature using the soot method
or tempilstiks. TIG welding this alloy is not recommended.

More to ponder.
Pete.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:40 AM   #34
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Stupid, stupid, stupid continued.

I believe it’s 3003 H14, but I will check. The main flat sheets were .032” but I heard the wraps were 0.040” to allow for thinning when they are stretch formed.
I think your plan is a good one and probably the best. Your concerns about stretching are valid but in this case you are only gently teasing the metal back into place, not forming it.
I have several dents in my end caps on the passenger side rear, and some dent puller holes too. I may patch or weld up the holes... I may do the same as you. Either way, I’m prepared! Click image for larger version

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What is the È-Wheel you have access to? You will need to pretty large radius dies, and and need to practice your skills before hand! It’s not as easy as they make it look!

You will need to gently tease the metal back into shape by hand without stretching it. A large sandbag and a large dolly or roller.
Once it’s close it can go in the wheel.

My suggestion is you buy a few pieces of 3003 h14 in .040”, say cut into 24” squares. Get one in the wheel, and try to match the curve of the end cap panel. Look up and note the following phrases.... “Tight tracked” and “Wash over”. You will need to learn, practice, and get a feel for them!

Once you have matched the 2’ square practice panel to the Airstream panel, be proud of yourself!!! Then put it on the ground, and stand on it, denting it in, then wheel it back to shape again!!

You will enjoy it!


In some areas, you may loose the brushed look of the metal too. Ok if you plan to polish, but if not, you need to have a plan B.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:21 PM   #35
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Check this out..
https://www.facebook.com/SuperViral....1701957534432/
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:31 PM   #36
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So, you got me thinking...
But to do more than think if it’s possible, I had to get at it....

24” x 24” piece of 0.040” sheet... probably 5000 series so a little stiffer. Click image for larger version

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Wheeled it a little to get my flow going....
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Got it to a place where it was something like the double curvature of the rear segment.
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So now I had something similar...
I dropped a 24” piece of trailer hitch on it! Three times in fact.... until I got what I was looking for!

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Lol!
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #37
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So then it was on!
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:41 PM   #38
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About an hour....
Brushed it with some medium scotch pad to see if the tracking marks faded out...
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Still there on the back.
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Not perfect, but it was a fun and educational experience.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:42 PM   #39
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Hey,
I think your idea of replacing the panel,may be the wisest way to go. I read on the forum, the ends of the classics were the same as the the front panels of the trailors. That would be so much easier than dolling it. It's really hard to get if perfect. Reason being, is, the aluminum is so thin. Once you got a crease, it almost impossible to get it perfect. I think that is what I'm going to do. DJ
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:44 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post

I had not seen that technique before. It looked like some combination

spot welder and dent puller. He did lot of work to get it perfect when
a little bondo would have worked just as well. It is a painted surface
after all. We are not so lucky.


Pete.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:55 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
About an hour....
Brushed it with some medium scotch pad to see if the tracking marks faded out...
Still there on the back.
Not perfect, but it was a fun and educational experience.
You are a real artist with that thing. You did not bang the dent out
before using the wheel? The result is amazing!

I don't know the brand of my brother's wheel. He taught himself
to use it on steel. He is restoring a 1948 Buick Roadmaster. There
is a lot of rust and he is fabricating many panels from scratch.

I am sure that I can borrow the wheel since he bought a 200 year
old house that needs much more work than the Buick. The Buick
is on the back burner now.

What is the drill size for the Olympic rivets? I am going to make
a drill guide to fit over the rivets so I don't slip with the drill.

Pete.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:17 AM   #42
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Stupid, stupid, stupid continued.

My E-Wheel started life as an older HF unit I found on CL for $60.... I just added some beef to the frame to lesson the flex.
Artist, nah, just a can do, curious attitude, and no fear! That was a piece of cheap aluminum I got from the local metal store.... just a few bucks worth, so nothing lost if I screwed up. I figured I can cut it up and use it as patches!
That is the most complex thing I’ve ever done.... and I learned a lot, but I just took some of the fear out of using the beast.

Your panels are a more valuable commodity, so I’d invest some time, effort and a few $ in some sacrificial sheet, like I did above, before you touch your panels.

No, I didn’t bang it out, I let the wheel do the work.... another description I’ve seen of the E-Wheel is a “Rotary Hammer”.

My Motorhome is 45 miles away in storage so I couldn’t toss the panel up against it to compare, but your world will be a whole lot easier if you have the Motorhome right there to compare.

I don’t know what your practical skill level Is, but t If I were you, I’d do this:

1/ Buy William Longyard’s book on the Ewheel!
2/ Put tape on the panel joints of the Motorhome to protect the aluminum.
3/ Make a plywood template of each joint line. Think about it, each rivet line is straight in one plane. I know some of yours are tweaked, but some are good. You can hold a steel rule on the tweaked lines, mark with a pencil and cut a very close representation of where the curve should be.
4/ Join those pieces of ply together to form a perimeter box. That becomes your buck to compare.
5/ Get at it and see if you can replicate the curves on a $20 piece of aluminum!
6/ Either remove the originals, and wheel em back to good, or make new panels!

I will find the Aluminum spec sheet in the morning.

Vintage Trailer Supply has the drill size info.
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