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How to get dents out of headers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 64 Thunderbolt, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    I need some help here.
    I just got a set of brand new ceramic coated headers for my 67 Fairlane in a trade today.
    The problem is the guy didn't know what he was doing & beat them with a hammer while trying to install them & now they have dents up high where you can't get anything in to fix them.
    Is there anyway of getting these dents out without taking the coating off.
    I really want to use them on my 67 & had thought about putting header wrap on them if I can get them out but I wanted to see what everybody said.

    The engine was never even started & other than this they look great!
     
  2. Until you said getting the dent out without damaging the finish,,,NO! HRP
     
  3. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    I had somebody tell me to stick them in a deep freezer & fill them 3/4 of the way full of water after blocking off the one end & that might expand the metal once it freezes?
     
  4. What about those paintless dent removal tools? Might work.
     
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  5. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,793

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Ball bearings!.....
     
  6. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member


    That's the issue, there only two pipes on each header that was dented & there both right after the bend from where it comes out of the head.
    Basically you can't get any PDR tools in there.
     
  7. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    Are you joking here Deuces or what are you meaning?
     
  8. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,793

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    If you shove a ball bearing of the right size in a header tube with a dent in it, it'll pop the dent out...
     
  9. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    OK, I'll have to try that! I guess the problem is though finding a ball bearing big enough to do this!
     
  10. 50 Chevy PU
    Joined: Feb 22, 2009
    Posts: 16

    50 Chevy PU
    Member

    Cap both ends apply air pressure (5-10lb is enough it won’t take much)
    Then torch heat the area you want to move go slow and take your time when it stars to move things happens fast. I have never done it with coated headers so I am not sure what the coating will do. I have done it with Chrome dirt bike pipes without damaging the chrome.
     
  11. 50 Chevy PU
    Joined: Feb 22, 2009
    Posts: 16

    50 Chevy PU
    Member

    The ball bearing method will work too. You probably want to find a few sizes and work up to the finished size
     
  12. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    How do you get the water to freeze only at the dent and not where it will slit the rest of the tube wide open?
     
  13. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    That is a good question Tommy but I would. think if you didin't completely fill the headers with water it might work.
     
  14. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    That's what I need to find out about. I wondered about heating it but wasn't sure if it would mess up the coating.
     
  15. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,793

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Better yet.... Use a dent puller!
     
  16. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    Yes but then you would mess up the coating!
     
  17. Ball bearing forced through has the best chance to keep the coating intact. Even less than red hot heat will do some damage to the headers. The alum ceramic coating can take a good amount of heat (they are headers after all....), but get them near red (1400+ degrees F) and the coating will be damaged.
     
  18. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    Thanks, that gives me some sort of idea.
     
  19. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,777

    oldolds
    Member

    What happens when you force the bearing past the dent? How will you get it out? I would bet that the diameter at the bends is much smaller than the straights.
     
  20. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    Jimmy2car
    Member
    from No. Cal

    Drill a small hole opposite the dent and use a small punch/drift to remove the dent,
    then weld up the hole (won't be seen anyway)
     
  21. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,353

    Dane
    Member
    from Soquel, CA

    Slick... :cool:
     
  22. BOBCRMAN
    Joined: Nov 10, 2005
    Posts: 846

    BOBCRMAN
    Member
    from Holly

    A ball bearing would be great if you can find one.

    I lent a pair of coated headers to a "friend". He wanted to trial fit them into a similar combination.
    Long story/short. They came back with two huge dents on the upper outside tubes.

    A took a measurement of the tube ID and turned down a short round slug in the lathe. Rounded the ends, much like a ball bearing. drilled a hole thru it and attached a chain.

    Dropped the assembly into the tube with chain sticking out the flange end. Oiled up the inside. Inserted a jack handle/pry bar into the chain links and a fulcrum at the flange and pulled the slug thru the dented tubes. Straightened them up good. :D
     
  23. Mark T
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,828

    Mark T
    Member

    I thought about this a few years ago when I had a set of headers with the same problem, I was going to use a bearing like mentioned above but I was going to weld 2 washers on either side of the ball and tie pieces of rope to both washers. My plan was to work the ball back and forth with the ropes to knock out the dent.
     
  24. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,258

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    That sounds like a great idea. Gotta get Jimmy on speed dial for the next time I get in a jam!
     
  25. 64 Thunderbolt
    Joined: Feb 8, 2011
    Posts: 277

    64 Thunderbolt
    Member

    Sounds like the ball bearing trick might be the best thing!
     
  26. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,793

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    Git'er done.....
     
  27. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member

    Yep, takes a man with big balls to fix a dented header :D
     
  28. AREA51SD
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 99

    AREA51SD
    Member

    Try www.vxb.com for loose ball bearings. Had to buy 1/4" to 1 1/8" bearing balls has they were called for passing mandrel bent tubing for NASA.
     
  29. If that works it will amaze me,,the headers are made out of a pretty thick material. HRP
     
  30. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    So have you figgered out what you're gonna do with the body? 'probably start to stink real good in a couple days:D

    I'd contact a PDR guy and discuss a glue pull or two before I'd fool 'round with any heat or bearings that may well get stuck at, or after a bend! You may also try and contact a musical insturment shop to see if they have anyone they could refer ya to. Large horns made of brass get dented and repaired.

    " You can see happiness stagger on down the street "
     

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