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Old 08-28-2015, 05:18 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Can these dents be worked out on an English Wheel?

Hello all,

Can these dents be worked out on an English Wheel or some other technique?

I have access to a full metal shop so its possible to go another route as well. Needless to say I would prefer to avoid replacing panels if possible.

The unit is gutted and I plan to replace the floor and/or lift the top and cleanup the frame etc. so I don't have many limits as far as access goes.

Thanks!

Mikal

P.S. I'm not sure why the photos are sideways... Any advice on flipping them would be appreciated as well.

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Old 08-28-2015, 07:04 PM   #2
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No. The aluminum is stretched. You can try all the suggestions such as dry ice but it will not be the same as it should be.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:18 PM   #3
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No I don't think those will come out.

Perry
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:45 PM   #4
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So that is a no to both photos?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:09 PM   #5
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Those things are so darn painful, breaks one's heart.
It all revolves around the way aluminum stretches, and regrettably no matter how much work you expend on trying to "to make it all better", it just never will look right.
As you are doing all the work you list, while the trailer is apart, do it right; it will not cost that much more especially if you are doing the labor, and you can stand back and admire your work with pride.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:15 PM   #6
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Can these dents be worked out on an English Wheel?

I've often wondered why people don't do auto body style dent repair on their AS body panel dents. I remember making a bowl out of a flat piece of copper in metal shop as well as removing dings from sheet metal on vehicles.
Here's a video of removing a small dent in an aluminum car hood. There are more out there:
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:03 PM   #7
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Can these dents be worked out on an English Wheel?

With aluminum it's always about the alloy and either the hardness or the temper. Some alloys and hardness,s can be worked with ease others can't. The corner panel could probably be worked out but there would be heating and shrinking involved, and if not skilled in these technics it would likely not end well. The flat side panel is a goner
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:53 PM   #8
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Here's a repair on an AC Cobra.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:32 PM   #9
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repair

These dents are not going away. You could possibly get it fairly straight, but it will show. Much easier to add new skin.. .Use sheet aluminum and the olympic rivets. Plenty of experts on this forum.. you can do it.. Use a rivet cutter, its better than drilling out the old rivets.. cleaner job.
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Old 08-29-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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These dents are not going away. You could possibly get it fairly straight, but it will show. Much easier to add new skin.. .Use sheet aluminum and the olympic rivets. Plenty of experts on this forum.. you can do it.. Use a rivet cutter, its better than drilling out the old rivets.. cleaner job.

Thanks for all of your feed back.

I have access to a full metal shop so I think going with new sheet is the way to go.

I was under the impression that I had to purchase used panels, I wasn't sure if making my own was an option.

Any ideas on where I could get the sheet needed to make the repair?

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2015, 09:37 PM   #11
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Airparts, .032 2024-T3 for the flat panel. If you decide to replace the corner then you will have to source that one as it is a compound curve formed panel
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:36 PM   #12
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Some panels are available at the online stores.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:50 PM   #13
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So that is a no to both photos?

Thanks for the feedback!
Stretched aluminum can sometimes shrink, such as small hail dents.

Your photo's show severe denting.

Used panels are basicallay a no-no, since the holes are not in the same place, not even access compartment or window holes.

Biting the bullet is the only way to go.

The sheet metal can be puchased from most any dealer that is knowledgeable about Airstream sheet metal work.

Or, you can purchase it at Airstream, BUT, you must be present to do so. NO phone orders accepted.

Andy
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