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repairing headlight trim?

Posted By: 2ManyTrucks

repairing headlight trim? - Sat Apr 27 2019 05:15 PM

i thought i read someplace that there was a thread or post about how to repair headlight trim parts
i tried to search for it but i didn't find the specific post, i wanted to see how others try to fix original ones

if someone can please point me to the thread about how that's done or an article on that topic i would be appreciative

i tried my hand at it again and i think i did a better job this time, a few more and i might be able to make them look new
attached are photos of a stainless rim that i recently picked up from Turner's wrecking yard in Cali, it had some good dents and nasty scratches at where it got wiped against something hard.
i used only the tools in the photo with either solid metal backing or leather depending on the specific shape of the required pounding, i don't have a way to roll metal yet
near the end i did some sanding to reveal the high and low spots, then a bit more hammering
final sanding is wet 600 - 2000, then some polishing with a buffer, i used some black emery on a sisal wheel, then i went to meguiars compound and polish with a softer wheel
final polish was with a hard wool felt pad, no compound.
i think it came out alright looking, good enough until i get even better.
-s

Attached picture washed.jpg
Attached picture close_up_before.jpg
Attached picture hammer_time.jpg
Attached picture polishing.jpg
Attached picture finished.jpg
Posted By: MNSmith

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Sat Apr 27 2019 06:51 PM

Heck! Looks good enough for the girls I go out with!!
Posted By: Fox

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Sat Apr 27 2019 07:21 PM

Want to do mine for me?
Posted By: Jeler

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Sat Apr 27 2019 07:26 PM

Excellent restoration! Looks brand new! Congrats!
Posted By: 2ManyTrucks

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Sun Apr 28 2019 04:08 AM

Thanks for the words of encouragement!
I’m not sure how good the reproduction ones are, perhaps the effort wasn’t justified, I spent like 3-4 hrs on this ring.
Maybe I’m a fool.
But I had fun
-s
Posted By: Apache1

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Sun Apr 28 2019 07:10 PM

Nice work….you have found a new career...LOL
Posted By: 52Carl

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Mon Apr 29 2019 02:35 AM

WOW!!!
I tried that one time until the buffer caught the sharp back edge and sent me to the emergency room.
The repro rings now look absolutely perfect to me. They may not actually be, but my eyes now and forever harbor disdain for buffers.
Carl
Posted By: Fox

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Mon Apr 29 2019 04:06 AM

My reproductions look very nice but were a PITA to actually get them on. I’m not sure if it was something I was doing, but the originals clipped on perfectly in no time. I likely fought with them for the 3-4 hours you have in fixing the “good” ones! Huh...
Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Mon Apr 29 2019 02:47 PM

That looks awesome awesome 2MT! I need to do the same on my 54' 3100 restoration project. I was looking for the same thread you mentioned and was also unable to find it. The tool on the far left looks like what I will need to get the dings out of my bezels. Do you mind telling me what it is or where you found it? It looks like hardened steel with a polished round head.
Thanks,
SLC
Posted By: 2ManyTrucks

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Mon Apr 29 2019 03:35 PM

thank you everyone for the wonderful support! i feel so motivated to improve even more!

hi SLC,
the fancy tool is a valve out of a small gas engine smile
it has been ground into a makeshift punch about 30 years ago, and from abuse has a nice rounded tip and a slightly curved face
so it works well for light hammering from either end
the rod is 1/4 inch plane mild steel used as a drift, it's ends are also rounded lightly
the copper wire is just copper wire, easy to form to match the inside curves to tuck into the rolled edges of the rim

towards the end of shaping i find it works better to transition to hammering on hard steel as the amount of movement and area that needs shaping gets smaller and you need to get to as flat as possible so that the least sanding will be required, many small taps are worth more than one big tap of the hammer, you don't want to stretch the metal, just massage it back to where it came.

two more photos,
intermediate sanding to reveal high and low spots, this step is important for me,
close up of the repaired area, there are still waves, but a bit of practice goes a long way.
-s

Attached picture partial_sanded.jpg
Attached picture close_up.jpg
Posted By: SmithLakeChevy

Re: repairing headlight trim? - Mon Apr 29 2019 06:57 PM

Thanks 2MT! I will look and see what I have lying around and try to fabricate something similar..
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