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Old 04-11-2010, 06:43 AM   #1
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Dent removal help

It appears that the tree limb that put several dents in the roof also dented or depressed the rear vent/solardome. The force of the limb hit the front right corner of the vent cover. The entire vent on the front and right side is down about an inch. Water will collect there. I removed the light and exposed the edge of the vent from the inside. If I push up on the vent it moves about a 1/4 of an inch. All the rivets around the vent appear solid.
Can I make a jig of wood and slowly push the vent up from the inside? Will this help or cause more problems? Plan to use a sturdy base and a screw jack. Will this "pop" up and out the dent?
The dent popped three rivets from the interior left side of the skin. Know I will replace the rivets. The vent cover has a dent I do not think I can "fix". Will replace. Bottom right picture is from the inside looking front to rear. It shows where the ceiling has dropped in the front right corner.
Any suggestions or help appreciated. Thanks. Jack
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:00 AM   #2
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Sounds like now might be a good time for a Fantastic Fan. You get rid of the dent and create some great air flow.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:26 AM   #3
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I'm not a dent removal expert by any means, but your idea of using a jack to push up the RF corner could work. You might want to make sure the top of the jack has a surface area large enough (an 8"x8" piece of plywood?) to spread the force over a large enough area so you don't twist or unnaturally bend the vent housing when you apply pressure.

Also, it will be interesting to see how much you have to jack it up to remove the dip. A 1" dip might have to be jacked up over 2" or 3" to have it settle back down to it's normal position.

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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You might be able to pull some of the dents out with a suction dent fixer from Auto Zone. I fixed a dent on my end cap with one.
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:18 PM   #5
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About the dent in the vent cover. Are you talking about the small dent in the lower left corner of the cover in the photo?
If you have a drill press or access to one. Use a carriage bolt. Put the threaded part in the chuck with the round head of the carriage bolt pointed down. By the looks of the small size of the dent, I would start with a 1/4" bolt, then move up to 5/16" for a little larger surface area.
Put the cover on a block of wood upside down. Use the head of the bolt to press the dent out from the inside, work slowly and gently. I've removed dents from chrome trim on cars this way and it works great.
You might try working on a dent in a piece of scrap material before taking on the vent.
Good Luck
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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Just a thought...

The dent appears is to very near the rib line. I would check the rib profile to see if there is any deformation there before applying any pressure to the skin or the vent frame. You could possibly end up with rivet(s) pulling through the skin if the rib is out of profile and pressure is applied to the adjacent area.

Best of luck,

Kevin
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
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Pushed the dent up/out...follow-up

Finally attacked the dented/depressed vent. Made a tower 6' tall. Used 2"x4" frame and jack. Really am pleased with the results. The carpet pads helped maintain the curve of the inner skin. This took a lot of thought and not afraid to say anguish. A neighbor's cat jumped on the lid of a garbage can and I thought the entire roof had warped! Managed to use flat bar metal clamps and took out the bent edge/rim of the vent cover. Decided to replace the entire cover with a polycarbon to let in more daylight. Thanks for all the guidance. Studied the rib line and it did not appear to be distorted. Only cranked it up an extra 1" to maintain the desired elevation before it settled back down. Thanks. Jack
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:12 AM   #8
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Nice results. Glad it worked out for you.

It might also be a good time to consider re-sealing things while you're up there working.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:31 AM   #9
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sweet, I'll add this technique to my bag of tricks.
you had me somewhat confused when you switched the orientation of the stir stick tho, lol
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:08 AM   #10
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Nicely done... and may you never have to do it again.

Where did you bury the neighbor's cat?
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:23 PM   #11
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Cat almost got buried in the stuff that almost evacuated my body. The dang cat can climb a ladder and likes to come up and nose around. The stirrer stick would not stay on the "new" curve. I am in the process of removing all old caulk and replacing. Gotta love 60cc syringes. Thanks. Jack
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