View Full Version : How to straighten grill bars

07-01-2006, 01:29 AM
This summer I'm working the sheet metal on my M5. I hauled the fenders to the painter this morning. Tonight I was back in the garage stripping and wire brushing 3 colors of paint off the grill pieces. The center grill is great from 100 feet. At close range it's pretty bent up although fortunately no rust. What is the best way to straighted the bars? I have a spare that has a rusty lower end although all the bars but one are straight as a string. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. <<48M5>>

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/8381/cimg10895ku.th.jpg (http://img169.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg10895ku.jpg)

07-01-2006, 01:32 AM
Center grill photo


07-01-2006, 07:41 AM
Once those bars have been bent, the metal has stretched and you'll have a dickens of a time getting them straight and not twisted. Your best bet may a transplant - either cut off the rusty lower section of the grille with the good bars or cut all the straight bars off and move them to the other grille. Welding, grinding, and filling should makes the transplant invisible.

Without seeing the grille with the rusty lower part, I might try cutting the rusty section off and welding on a good lower section. Since butt welds are tough, I'd have the patch piece about 1/4-3/8 taller than the part cut off. Mount it behind the upper part and put a couple of pop rivets or sheet metal screws through the overlap temporarily to hold everything in place while you weld. If you use a flanging tool, you can put an slight offset in the patch piece so the patch will be truly flush, though it's tough on curved parts. You may need to trim the flange edges so that they just butt, not overlap, so you don't get a lump where the side grilles mount. A little filler smoothed from top to bottom will hide the weld, and the bottom of the grille is behind the bumper so it shouldn't be too visible anyway. Seal the back side well before you paint so the overlap joint doesn't rust.

Gary Ash
Dartmouth, MA
'48 M5
'65 Wagonaire Commander
'63 Wagonaire Standard