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Repairing Bumpers


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Avoid heat as it will take the temper out of the bumpe- they should be repaired cold. Heating one spot in a repair attempt makes it very difficult to get dead smooth as you try to blend a soft spot into a tempered spot. I usually leave these to my plating repair guy, as he does such a great job, so I am not speaking from a lot of hands-on.

Straighten bends and larger waves cold by pressing & pulling. Smaller sections are done with a heavy hammer and blunt chisels and punches and files, the same technique as "picking and filing" on sheet metal, only with heavy-duty tooling. It takes some experience to make it perfect. You might want to practice on something, preferably not another salvageable Franklin Bumper (find some cheap car bumper to try it on- maybe like a Cadillac, or Marmon(kidding...))

Chisel, hammer and punch marks are ground out on the backside- lightly if the back will be painted as they can be filled. On Franklins we grind the backside smooth, copper & sand to very smooth,(front polished, of course) then grit blast and chrome plate. GM painted the backsides black. Otherwise we paint in satin Argent silver- looks very nice.

Bumpers are not huge fun- good luck!


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  • 3 months later...
Guest myold88

Years ago the front bumpers on my '29 Franklin had "slight rolls/bends " like you describe.

I brought them to a local body shop who only used his large bench vise plus his muscle to rework them into shape.

No tools or hammers. I then had them plated and they were good as new.

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