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Straightening A Kidney Grille?


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Hey All,


I have an almost perfect kidney grille with one small, but relatively deep dent right in the middle of the center aluminum bar and was wondering if anyone has any tricks or tips they have used to push out dents in a grille or if I should just leave it alone.  I didn't pay much for the grille, so I'm willing to experiment a bit.  Thanks and have a great day! 

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That piece is anodized so when you bang out the little dent the anodizing around it cracks and crazes and creates a star pattern so you have to decide what looks worse, a blurry looking spot or a dent. (ask me how I learned that)

Edited by FunkyLaneO

74 Golf

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Yeah, but it's anodized, so if you sand down through the anodizing, it looks different.  Not bad- but as Funky says, you can see it.


I have had luck making a nylon 'backer' that's the curve that the metal SHOULD be, and then working it from the front using

very soft tools.  The trick is to use the absolutely LARGEST pressing surface (either striking or backing) that you can, so it

spreads the 'push'.


It will look BETTER when you fix it, it's just very difficult to get it to look PERFECT.



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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That's what I sorta figured.  Do you remember what you used to do the reshaping?  I'm guessing it would be whatever you have in your garage that most closely matches the shape of the inside of the grille frame.


When I was trying to get the dings out of my beltline trim I shaped a small piece of wood to the inside contour of the trim to hammer it out.

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One a little bit off-topic question - is the belt trim also anodized. I guess yes, but i want to hear you, guys. I will tell you why i'm asking. I have straight trim, some of the pieces haven't been even mounted on the car. But from the sitting somewhere with other things they have some scratches which i want to remove with polishing. I have a local place where they can anodized them, but the finish look is not the same, they look more matte. So i was thinking if the belt trim is not anodized (let's say they are from stainless steel and they don't need anodizing to protect them) to take out the scratches, to polish them and with scotch brite to give them a little bit matte finish to match the original untouched pieces. What do you think? lol

07/73 BMW 2002tii Golf, powered Sunroof

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One more suggestion on the grille.  I've successfully straightened out bent grille slats and the perimeter frames by using a piece of Masonite on the inside, and a soft rubber or rawhide mallet to gently tap the dings/bends out of the soft aluminum grilles.  It won't be perfect, but will be a lot less noticeable than a bent or dented piece.




'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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 I have a local place where they can anodized them, but the finish look is not the same, they look more matte.


I think there's some misinformation out there on reanodizing.

The when anodizing the final finish depends largely on the initial surface finish of the part you are anodizing.  Meaning the more polished the part is to start with, the shinier it will be when it is done.

Now when you take trim parts to an anodizer the first thing they do is strip the old anodizing  (if the part isn't anodized to start with it still goes in to clean the part).  The stripper is fairly abrasive and the part comes out with a flat/matt surface finish.  Typically part is then put into the anodizing tank and given the matt finish at that point, that's what you end up with for the final finish.

The solution is a mix of elbow grease and the cooperation of your anodizer.  Have the parts stripped (or do it yourself), pick the parts up, polish them, take them back for final anodizing.

Edited by AceAndrew
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