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Header dings / dents

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by earlymopar, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,242


    Just curious what methods any of you have found to be sucessful in repairing (removing) dings and dents in tube headers. This would be methods short of cutting-out and patching-in new sections, filling-in with weld, pulling the dings with a small slide hammer, etc. I thought of simply heating the area cherry red as on flat sheet stock this causes the material to expand and raise. Certainly as it cools it does drop a little but the general idea would seem to offer a gain in ding height. Thanks much.

    - EM
  2. I'm gonna try welding tabs and using a slide hammer dent puller. With the header heated up:(:confused:.......This should work with out having to remove the headers, of course having a friend with a body shop helps, I do.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  3. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 947

    Joe H

    Bolt both headers together at the mounting flanges with a gasket between them. Seal one header outlet with block off plate, seal other header with same kind of plate with a air chuck fitting in it. Fill headers with 15 to 20 psi air pressure. Slowly head the dent till the air pressure pushes it back out. Turn up air if you need more push, don't burn through! This is how motor cycle shops do it, I have done it with good results.

  4. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,443

    from MN,USA

    I'll have to try this, thanks. I imagine a cycle gas tank would benefit from the same process provided you exhaust any fumes. :eek: I had some success heating and using a air hose to cool or water. If its sharply creased results vary.

  5. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    Another way is to drill a small hole opposite the dent and insert a drift punch to beat the dent back out then weld up the hole.
  6. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,242


    Good concept Joe. I would suspect that playing with temperature (color of the heated area), the heated area size, the time the heat is applied along with pressure variation this would give pretty good control.

    My headers are brand spanking new but somebody did a terrible job of packing them so I get to work on new headers now.

    - EM
  7. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,242


    Good thought too aagie.
  8. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    from Greeley Co

    Had some luck with using broom handles or larger wooden dowels.also heard of guys using golf balls & ramming em down the tubes.....
  9. Okatoma cruiser
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 178

    Okatoma cruiser
    from Ms

  10. Lucky3
    Joined: Dec 9, 2009
    Posts: 652


    Exactly how the header repair shop here in Oklahoma does it !
    Works great !
  11. Torch and Slide Hammer , Apply Heat and Force
  12. Drive Em
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    Drive Em

    I was going to do a picture thread on this soon, but this is how I repair severely smashed dented header tubes on sprint cars, modifieds and motorcycles:

    You will need to completely seal one end of the header tube at the collector or the bottom of the tube. I do this by either bolting on a plate to the bottom of the collector if it has one or by completely welding the tube closed with a plate. The tube needs to be sealed completely, so use some silicone if needed.

    The other end of the tube needs another welded on plate with a 3/4" pipe nipple that will accept a pipe plug. The top plate odes not need to be completely welded on, and several tack welds will suffice.

    Stand the header or tube on end with the sealed up bottom plate at the bottom, fill the header tube with water, install the pipe plug and stick the whole thing in a freezer big enough to accept the header/tube. Come back a few hours later and the dent/ damage will be either completely gone or almost gone. You may need to fill the tube back to the top with more water and re-freeze.

    The expanding water as it freezes removes the dents from the tube. While the water is frozen, you can use a slap hammer or body hammer to work out any high spots that the tube may have as the ice serves as a dolly inside the tube.

    I have also used this method on motorcycle gas tanks with great success.
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,094

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Do a search; this was covered a few months ago and there was a long thread of techniques posted with good info.
  14. Ob1
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 411


    When using the plugged tube/air pressure/torch technique, use a regulated air supply, and start with less air pressure and move up as needed.

    Motorcycle tanks are not very robust, and blowing out a tank dent by air pressure alone will result in a deformed tank, a lesson I learned as a kid. Tank ruined!

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