Looking for ideas on how to safely straighten some billet grille bars - Team Camaro Tech
Non-Camaro Tech Problems and Issues with your daily driver or other non-Camaro vehicles.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 12, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 8,303
Looking for ideas on how to safely straighten some billet grille bars

Just looking for some thoughts. I tried googling, but got no useful tips.

I bought the grille below for my 06 Tundra. The one in the pic is as installed on PO truck; I wish it was mine, as I much, much prefer gray to black (which my truck is). Of course that Toyota gray looks a little too close to the shade on my Camaro, so maybe it is good mt Tundra isn't that color.



Anyway, if you look closely at the photo (and I did before buying) you can see most of the panels have at least one cross bar bent. I am going to black chrome these, so I guess I don't need to worry that much, but any of you guys that know me through TC know how I am .

I was just wondering if anyone has any tips on straightening these kinds of bars. I do have a trim hammer and small Eastwood trim anvil somewhere here. I also have nylon pry pars, various body hammers and dollies, flanging ViseGrips (for welding) and various sizes of c-clamps.

I have a heat gun but will need to be careful because, although I do plan to paint them, the paint is somewhat transparent and I cannot have bluing or other overheating marks.

I think the first plan of attack is to try the smallest c-clamps I have, from the black painted backside (tell me that didn't put an image in your mind on this Monday AM...), and using some thick bar stock I have to spread the load across the bent and straight area of each bent bar. The bars are pretty stout, but I think they are soft enough that this first approach may be successful.

I just thought I would throw it out to my TC brothers and sisters, and see if anyone has a foolproof method of doing this, before I start trying things on my own.

I really like this grille (and I would still have a Chevy truck, if I still ignored safety testing results, but I don't...) because it is the only one I have seen that fits all the openings and does not cover the grille emblem. If I can get the bars straight, give it a polish, and then black chrome it (I have tried some methods of blacking out the grille emblem, and while it lasted, I loved the look), I think it will be exactly what I was looking for. The PO did not know the brand, or I would have just tried to buy a new one. I have never seen one like it, so even if someone here had a lead on who made it, that would be useful too.

I liked the Street Scene inserts, but the ones for my truck don't look good. I also spent about half to a third of what any new upper and lower grille inserts cost, and that's good.

So, any thoughts? Other than to ditch the Toyota, because that isn't going to happen. I hate having leather in a truck I use as a truck, and I wish the gas mileage was better, but this is the safest, best truck I have had of the 7 I have owned since I turned 16.

Thanks!

Eric
69 'vert project big block/TKO 600 RR
68 'vert driver RS clone -- gone!
Eric Kammerer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 12, 10:05 AM
Senior Tech
Royce
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 10,474
Re: Looking for ideas on how to safely straighten some billet grille b

Shouldn't be too hard to get them fairly straight. I wish I could put into words here on how I would approach it, but I can't. I don't think you will need to do any hammering. The nylon pry bars and various small "supports" (to place near where you want to bend/straighten) is the route I would take. Nice looking grille though and should look great with what you have planned.

Royce (NO XQSSS) Bradley

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(brief sound/video clip, 3 1/2" exhaust through Borla Sportsman mufflers)
camaroman7d is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 12, 01:10 PM
Gold Lifetime Member
John
 
Vintage 68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Moraga,Ca.,USA
Posts: 13,705
Thumbs up Re: Looking for ideas on how to safely straighten some billet grille b

I agree with Royce that with a little gentle work it can be straightened fairly easily.
One tool I've found handy for doing straightening of small tubes and bars is the 'Wide Jaw' Vise-Grip pliers.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Vise Grip wide jaw.jpg
Views:	156
Size:	12.7 KB
ID:	30681
These spread the clamping out over a wide area and help resist the common problem of localizing the holding point and making a sharp bend there.
A pair of them can be used to span the bend and leaver the spot back.

1968 Convertible
Some trucks
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Other V8 things - some of which float
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Other V6 things - none of which float
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Oh yeah, and 1 "Straight-Six" ...
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


If a man says something in the garage - and his wife can't hear him - is he still wrong !!!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Vintage 68 is offline  
 
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Nov 5th, 12, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 8,303
Re: Looking for ideas on how to safely straighten some billet grille b

Thanks for the feedback Royce and John. My flanging vice grips are along the line of what you show John, but I haven't had a chance to see if they fit between the bars yet.

I am back in a cast and on crutches, so even something as simple as getting out to the shed and getting the pliers off my welding cart isn't easy. Bikes, wagons, hand trucks, etc., all have to be moved out of the way. The kids have off school tomorrow for Election Day, so I'll be putting them to work moving stuff around so I can gather my tools. I finally broke down and bought a garage stool so that I can just sit at my work bench and work on small, easy projects like this.

This and servicing my son's Tippmann 98 Custom so he can finish wasting paintballs in the woods (I am expecting some colored squirrels...).

Eric
69 'vert project big block/TKO 600 RR
68 'vert driver RS clone -- gone!
Eric Kammerer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome