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Technical Unfolding the "hem"? on a trunk lid

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vtx1800, May 6, 2020.

  1. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,382

    vtx1800
    Member

    IMG_2951.JPG I wasn't sure of the correct terminology, hope I was close. I have a 53 Studebaker trunk lid that is missing it's hinge mounts, totally gone. I have a later model Hawk trunk lid that I liberated the inner panel from that has repairable hinge mounts.

    My question is after drilling out the spot welds so you can unfold the "hem" back and remove the original inner panel is there any trick tool or technique to use to make the job reasonable easy?
    Since pictures always make things clearer (I hope) here are shots of both lids.
    IMG_2952.JPG
     
  2. I've used the grind the edge method until the outer skin, inner structure and the "hem" separate.
     
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  3. ^^^ I do that also but to preserve the "hem" you would need to pry it open. Then replace the piece you want and refold it back then re spot weld.
     
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  4. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,852

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    For what you're doing maybe work your way along with a small chisel until it folds back.
    Myself, I'd avoid having to do that (because im impatient) and i'd see if I could cut the patch piece out, then place it over the keeper and cut that to match and weld it in without messing with that folded lip
     
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  5. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 502

    Stooge
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've done it a couple times when I wanted to save the outer skin, and was fixing what it was crimped to. I used some thin chisels I bought especially for it from Steck, https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/product/steck-right-angle-seam-buster-20016 and https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/product/steck-seam-buster-20015 , but places autobody places will have them but its still a slow and frustrating since even though the spot welds are drilled out, its still crimped, and easy to distort the outer.

    they also have one that you can use with an air hammer, but doesn't seem like it would work for the backside of a door hem, more for sandwiched panels it looks like.
    https://www.autobodytoolmart.com/product/steck-super-seam-buster-20017
     
  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,246

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    Years ago VW had a special tool for unfolding the hem flange on the Beetle cowl/door pillar seam. As I recall it was used with an air chisel gun. Probably unobtainium these days.

    I like @Gearhead Graphics ideas......

    Ray
     
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  7. run a DA sander along the edge, this will take a tiny bit of metal off so the panel will bend there and only there so it doesn't distort the outer panel.
     
  8. I would probably try it this way too. I have tried to unfold some door skins before and it always did some damage to the outer skin that needed further work.
     
  9. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    If you are only using the outer skin, locate all of the spot welds, cut those loose, and cut the inner structure down so you can remove it in convenient sized pieces. Then make a plan to insert the replacement structure back in place, with the least amount of messing with the flange, or hem. I have 2 Cougar doors I have to make one from, patience will be your friend.
     
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  10. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    You may find it easier to locate all of the spot welds by chopping the inner structure up first, and finding where it hangs up. You may also find it easier to insert the replacement by modifying it somewhat.
     
  11. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,729

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    Are you attempting to replace the entire inner panel or just the corners w/hinge mount ?
     
  12. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 3,514

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    This is what I have seen my friends do. I never had to replace a skin, myself.
     
  13. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,984

    anthony myrick
    Member

    VWs and Porsche had a cool tool to remove the roof/qtr hem
    couldn't find a pic to help you
    I have removed a few door skins in order to fix them, then reinstall the same skin
    it can be tedious
    I drilled out any spotwelds first, then modified a chisel to get under the edge and started lifting it, there will be some distortion. the metal stretches around the hem. Some basic hammer and dolly work will fix this, it can also remove itself as it is re-hammerd back on. the key is being patient.
     
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  14. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,984

    anthony myrick
    Member

    chisel 1.jpg chisel 3.jpg
    or shape you one like these "seam busters", great tools. You would probably need to shorten the end to fit better
    chisel.jpg
    the straighter ones would need a notch ground into the side to allow the fold to slide through. (modified curved section for the top chisel)
     
  15. Okay guys. Put down the hammer and chisel, don't grind the edge. After lunch I'll take a photo of a tool I made years ago to unfold the edge. I took a pair of channel locks and for lack of better words welded a Tooth on it. I just set the beveled edge at the inner edge and squeeze, up comes the flange. It don't get distorted at all and you have to edge weld things back together. Few people can edge weld with acceptable results. I'll be back
     
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  16. Left out a word. You DON'T have to edge weld.
     
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  17. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 729

    patterg2003

    Hnstray and 1934coupe like this.
  18. So here it is. To simple for words. Built in the early 70's and still use it often.
    20200506_133332.jpg
    Ya, it's kind of a Charlie Brown kind of deal and has been modified several times pending seam on hand. The tooth gets filed now and then so it will part the edge and slide under the fold. After that it's just tip a little and squeeze.
    20200506_133442.jpg
    20200506_133504.jpg
    20200506_133545.jpg 20200506_133628.jpg
    Didn't photograph well but the seam is standing up. And who don't have an old pair of Channel Locks laying around?
     
  19. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,682

    1934coupe
    Member

    Vtx, Pist n broke and patterg seem to have your solution. Vice grip or channel locks are your friend.

    Pat
     
  20. And you did not patent the tool.:( You could have been rich:mad:
     
  21. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,984

    anthony myrick
    Member

    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,198

    Mr48chev
    Member

    Thanks for sharing that Pist-N-Broke and Patterg2003. Between those two I can fashion a tool to work on my doors with.
    I was figuring on the modified chisel idea or creating a chisel like tool to do it .
     
  23. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,545

    indyjps
    Member

    MP&C HAMB2.jpg MP&C HAMB.jpg

    Similar to Pist-n-Broke. I downloaded these pics for example of a door skin popper but havent made my own yet.

    I think youll damage the outer skin quite a bit by the time you get it off. Anyway to accomplish this without splitting the inner and outer.
     
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  24. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,382

    vtx1800
    Member

    @Pist-n-Broke and @patterg2003 and@INDYJPS THANK YOU, I am a lucky SOB to participate in a group that has so much knowledge!! I have many of the spot welds drilled and used a chisel to just raise a couple of areas but I wasn't going to do much until I came back and checked this thread. Going to the shop now, I am sure I can find something in the shop to modify to make a similar tool.
     
  25. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,996

    Rand Man
    Member

    I have seen tools for this for sale (maybe Eastwood) but these homemade tools look pretty good.
     
  26. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,382

    vtx1800
    Member

    I've gotten one side of the trunk lid partially "lifted", I'll go around all sides and then bend it up some more. I dug through a box of junk pliers that my wife had (she does Metal Sculpture and has lots of "stuff"), and in another container I found an oblong hole punch, maybe used on harness?? and cut one side of it to use to lift the seam/lip. I found a junk chisel and modified it too, the only real problem was the spot welds didn't drill cleanly and I had to chisel around some of them. You guys are lifesavers IMG_2956.JPG IMG_2955.JPG !!
     
  27. Looks like things are moving along. If you notice the extended lower jaw on mine there is a reason for that. If your pliers ever slip off the edge the handles snap together and when your not wearing heavy gloves you end up with a Dang Nice blood blister on your finger. The extended lower jaw seemed to stop that.
     
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  28. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Thanks to all for posting the modified pliers. I have a ton of spare channelocks and a few extra vice grips, and will have a couple new tools in the morning.
     
    vtx1800 likes this.

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