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Old 05-16-2013, 10:50 AM
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Metalworking Q...

Concerning a shrinker/stretcher such as HF sells, would this work OK on a piece of muffler tubing split in quarters down the length? (Imagine a piece of 18GA angle with a round radiused corner) I need to make some fill pieces to bridge between my wheel tubs and inner fenders since I somehow managed to over-cut the inner fenders. My plan is to make a jig to hold the tubing and be able to slide my plasma cutter down the length of the tube for a straight cut, then rotate 90 and do it again.

I don't mind buying the tool, my concern is whether it will make a nice smooth curved bend or crimp it all to h^ll. I've only seen these tools work on hard-angled pieces...

TIA!

Russ

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:30 AM
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I believe exhaust tubing is much thicker than 18 gauge. 18 gauge is like a 68 Camaro fender, I believe exhaust tubing is more like 15 gauge and I believe way too thick for the shrinker-stretcher.

And so you know the strinker-stretcher does put some "teeth marks" in the metal. It doesn't leave it smooth, it requires a little work to smooth them out. On something thicker if it was to work I have to assume those teeth marks would be even deeper and require a lot of finishing to eliminate.

Brian
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:25 PM
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My approach would be to roll some 18 or 20 gauge around a pipe or tube to get the curve then apply the shrinker stretcher. Then it may take some trips to the beater bag and the planishing head to get the part smooth. Now how smooth is smooth, that piece is up to you as to just how finished you need the piece to be.

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Old 05-16-2013, 01:10 PM
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that makes sense.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:56 PM
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20GA may be easier to work with, I'm pretty sure I can get 18GA muffler tubing in 6ft lengths. Either way, do ya'll think the stretcher will kink the radius or is it easy to manipulate (controllable)?

Russ
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:57 PM
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I would take a different approach, I would take a piece of the correct diameter tubing, run it thru a hoop roller until it has the radius I need, then cut it apart with a skinny wheel.
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:15 PM
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How about some pictures?

This may be a stupid question but if you "over cut" the inner fenders, why not just weld the piece back on that you cut off?

Brian
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
How about some pictures?

This may be a stupid question but if you "over cut" the inner fenders, why not just weld the piece back on that you cut off?

Brian
Mainly cause I trimmed it a bit at a time (yes, using a template) and all those pieces are at the j/y now.

Russ
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:44 PM
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I don't understand now seeing it, why do you need a piece of tubing or something round for this? It looks as simple as laying a piece of card stock there on top of the inner panel trimming it until it fits perfectly with the wheel well, it will bend easy to the shape of the quarter inner panel. Just cut it to size and butt weld it to the inner quarter then I believe it should have a flange at the end that you would again make a template to follow the shape so that your piece has this little 1/2" "foot" where it meets the tub. I like this idea instead of welding it "T" style to the tub. Put a flange on the end so it will basically be as the manufacturer would have done from the factory. That lip displaces energy. Just running it to a "T" weld into the tub puts all that energy on that little 1/8" surface of the weld.

But honestly, it looks like a perfect place to just make a template bending it to the shape running it right into the tub.

Brian
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:45 PM
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I forget, what kind of car is this?

Brian
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Old 05-16-2013, 05:49 PM
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This is an easy route to take for a nice smooth radius. Go ahead and do it. the Shrinker/Stretcher will work fine on the tubing.... I did this exact same thing for the new front wheel wells for the van...

We worked on the left wheel well and got it fleshed out real nice. We ended up re-making the piece I had fabbed a month or so ago. Needed it about an inch wider and didn't want to scab in a piece.

We quartered up a piece of 3" dia. muffler tubing to make the rolled edge.
While I was playing with the welder Mel remade the pattern for the new wheel well. Here is the new piece all fit in and ready to weld to the tubing.


Here is a pic from underneath. This provides PLENTY of room for the tire at full jounce/full steer.

Here it is after tacking.

We pulled it out and finish welded it. After a bit of sanding we clecoed it back in and started making the inner skirt.

This is how it looks underneath right now.

The pattern (in white) for the inner skirt.

Mel finishing up the inner skirt in steel.

The skirt clamped in place. We have a little trimming to do yet and are planning to run a bead around the bottom edge to add some strength.

A look under the skirt...

I think this looks great! Once we get the skirt finished up it will be very strong also!
Thanks for looking
Mark
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:41 PM
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Mark,

Thanks for the pix and info, what gauge muffler pipe was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post
I forget, what kind of car is this?

Brian
You should recognize it, it's a '63 Rambler American. I was hoping to keep a somewhat factory look, hence the fixation with the compound curves. Figured it would be easier to start with "most" of the curve already done, then coerce it into a final shape. But I do like the idea of a paper template with the flange.

The older I get the harder it is to visualize these things. This simple subframe connector I did yesterday took me an hour to cut and fit, Even then, I didn't feel confident until I drew out all four sides.

Russ
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:09 PM
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I thought it was the Rambler! Keeping it round would look nicer than I described.

Brian
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:28 PM
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I would take the trailer fender's out and cut the hole a little better, then just build a new set of tub's... Here's a shot of some I made in a mustang..

I now you would like to save the fenders(tubs),, But I think it would be nicer to re-make some new tub's to fit the car,, A lot easier then fitting the car to the tubs in this case,,, Just my way of doing it..





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Old 05-17-2013, 04:08 AM
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The tubing is 16ga. and the S/S worked it just fine.
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