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Hood Trim Repair


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This is my first post here (hello :) ), although I've owned a 2002 for about 17 years now. I was wondering if anyone has tried repairing and reforming the front hood trim piece? I have the trim with the pattern in it and would really like to preserve it. Unfornately, I had someone back into my car, leaving a dent in the hood and flattening the trim piece in the process. I tried to take some pictures, but it's hard to get something that adequately shows the damage. I think the hardest part to fix will be trying to pull that bottom lip out on the backside.


Anyone have any methods or advice? Thanks!







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i've repaired a lot of stainless and aluminum...it takes patience and the right tools which are, whatever works best....the idea is to to lightly tap out the dent, from the back side  to slightly higher than it was originally...then the high points are sanded or filed down, depending on the material and finally polished


unfortunately, the trim is anodized aluminum and to return it to the original look, it'll have to be re-anodized...after sanding, which will remove the anodized coating...polishing it will give a new chrome like finish

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Thanks for the reply, esty. Like many here, I'll be investing in one of your carpet kits, in the near future :)


At this time, I'm more concerned with reshaping the trim, than having it look pristine. Was wondering if you would go about it by first just pulling out the lips on the back of the trim, tap out the dents, and then bend the lips back into place?

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Most things are possible, but, over the years, I've tried to repair even small imperfections I've received in the trim, almost always without a lot of sucess.


If you have a fair amount of time on your hands, have most of the proper tools (whatever those are), and are fairly skilled I'm sure you could get it "close" to original.  It just depends on what your time is worth.


New front trim pieces run from $68 on up.


Bob Napier

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I would not bend out the lips. I don't believe it will return to shape but rather just create another bend.

Your call. I did a few pieces. The group is right, it takes time. I place mine face down on a soft cloth, on a hard flat surface and made long smooth strokes with a tongue depressor edge following the length of the trim. Light pressure and frequent inspections. TAKE YOUR TIME! If you don't you might just create an bulge on the front side by pushing too hard.

Personally I would not use a hammer or hit it, Its really soft metal.

I am sure there are others that have more experience than I do so listen to them. I am a relative noob in comparison. My trim did come out pretty good.

Edited by Koblenz
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i would open up the bent lips 1st...you can squeeze them tighter when you finish the repair...


use a block of wood underneath the piece when making the repair...very lightly, with a light hand tap with a small somewhat pointed tool, start at the outside of the dent, working to the center...don't worry about or even expect to get the dented area up to where you want it in a few whacks...keep moving around the dent, making lite taps until you get the dent to where you want it...


once your satisfied with the repair, you may need to tap down some of the high points that you may have too aggressively pushed up...working a dent down, i try to use a flat blunt tool to widen the blow



unless you can find a pro that does that sort of thing and you're willing to pay, you have nothing to lose and all to gain...aluminum is very easy to work with but a bear to refinish


i picked it up when i lived in socal...i used to watch a dear old man in van nuys repair the stainless and other bits my husband would have me take to him


i'm no pro my any means but i'm cheap and hate paying anyone for things i can do myself.....or in reality, just think i can


if you'll take some close up pics of the damaged areas and email them to me i may be able to give more pointers

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I had pretty good luck straightening the bars on a roundie side grille by shaping a piece of wood (or masonite) to match the profile of the bar, the placing the wood on the inside of the bar, and gradually tapping the piece back to shape with a hard plastic mallet. 


For your hood trim, you might try shaping a piece of hard wood or plastic to match the trim's inside profile--it'll work as a die.  Take some dry sand and put it in a heavy plastic bag.  Lay the bag on your workbench or the floor and put a piece of leather over the plastic.  Lay the trim piece face down on the leather and insert the wood/plastic piece inside the trim and start tapping the die with a hammer to gradually reprofile the aluminum back to its original shape.  You may have to do some tapping on the face with the die behind the trim (as I did with the grille bars) using a soft plastic, rawhide or hard rubber mallet to get the final shape. 


You'll have to be patient, not try to reshape it with a few blows.  It'll never be perfect but a lot better than it is--if you're patient.  And as I'm sure you know, those embossed hood trims are NLA and have been for years.  If you caught the person that backed into you, I'd make his insurance company take it to a professional shop to have it repaired!




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I've been looking for an embossed nose trim like yours for 8 years. I hope you can fix it--they are impossible to find. I actually did find one but it had been bent in half and was in very poor condition. I sent it to this specialist http://iversonautomotive.com/aluminum.htm and he stated that it wasn't worth the expense and he couldn't make it look good enough for his (or my) standards. If you get stuck and don't want to ruin it further---try this guy.


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