Can the front bumper be bent back into shape?

Myasylum

Well-Known Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
172
Reaction score
36
Location
53024
Hello,

The front bumper on my 72 Satellite must have hit something hit in the middle of the bumper at some point in its life (The long way across) and it is actually folded over like an inch. The chrome is good so I'd rather no pay $500.00 for a new bumper.
Do you know if these bumpers can be bent back into shape, or is the steel so thick it's pretty pointless to bother?

Thanks!
 

RemCharger

Well-Known Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
2,691
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Sask
Yes.
Never worked at a bumper shop, but that's what they do.
 

WileERobby

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
18,737
Location
State of insanity
The definitive answer to that is: ... it depends. I've straightened and repaired bumpers I thought was impossible, while others initially looked like a piece of cake became a royal pain in the ass. The type of damage will most times dictate success.
 

Dave6T4

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
2,529
Reaction score
4,288
Location
Ontario, Canada
The big thing is; can it be bent back into shape without cracking the chrome?
 

Jc cooper

Second gear fun!
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
652
Reaction score
364
Location
Houston tx
Yes, during my restoration, 67Gtx, both bumpers were ugly , chrome shop in North Houston, had no problem, making them look like new ! Not cheap, but doable!
 

Robertop

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
78
Reaction score
35
A gradual bend can be slowly... slowly and carefully, bent back.
Chrome plating is very hard and thinner than one hair, you can bend the steel underneath, but the chrome will not 'give' and will simply crack. Try and bend a razor blade, same thing; it will never take a sharp bend. This an example, of course.
 

Dako

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
1,756
Reaction score
891
Location
Southern MD
Without a photo, it's harder to say, 'you can pull that out' or 'that needs to go to a shop'.

I once caught the end of a pickup bumper pulling into a garage. It pushed the outer end back about an 1 1/2"...the bend was where it mounted to the frame. The top of the bumper 'buckled up' just to the outside of where it mounted to the frame.
I hooked one end of a ratchet type come-along to the rear of my buddies Malibu frame, and the other end to the outer edge of my bumper. Ratcheted a little, then hammered on the top of the bumper (where my newly developed 'crown' was sticking up) with a small sledge, using a piece of 2x4 laying flat length wise with the bumper. Ratcheted a bit more, beat on it a bit more. After several iterations, let the tension off to check progress. Repeated the steps until it was straight. When we were done, you couldn't see it had ever been bent. Good luck with yours!
 
Last edited:

hunt2elk

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
8,949
Reaction score
8,604
Location
WI
From my past experience, by the time you send off the bumper to be straightened and rechromed, a new AMD piece will be cheaper. Unless of course you want an original part.
 

WileERobby

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
18,737
Location
State of insanity
Chrome plating is very hard and thinner than one hair, you can bend the steel underneath, but the chrome will not 'give' and will simply crack. Try and bend a razor blade, same thing; it will never take a sharp bend. This an example, of course.
Have you ever done it ? Did you read what I said ? Please answer both questions.
 

69a100

Well-Known Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
10,485
Reaction score
14,808
Location
The Real World
Try and bend a razor blade, same thing; This an example, of course.

That is a very lame example, of course! I've bent many a razor blade without it breaking all the time. I guess I know the trick to it and you don't?
 

WileERobby

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
18,737
Location
State of insanity
Without a photo, it's harder to say, 'you can pull that out' or 'that needs to go to a shop'.

I once caught the end of a pickup bumper pulling into a garage. It pushed the outer end back about an 1 1/2"...the bend was where it mounted to the frame. The top of the bumper 'buckled up' just to the outside of where it mounted to the frame.
I hooked one end of a ratchet type come-along to the rear of my buddies Malibu frame, and the other end to the outer edge of my bumper. Ratcheted a little, then hammered on the top of the bumper (where my newly developed 'crown' was sticking up) with a small sledge, using a piece of 2x4 laying flat length wise with the bumper. Ratcheted a bit more, beat on it a bit more. After several iterations, let the tension off to check progress. Repeated the steps until it was straight. When we were done, you couldn't see it had ever been bent. Good luck with yours!
Yup... that's the way in many cases... when you apply a pulling force, and use a soft piece of wood. Slowly and gradually. Been there, done that.
 

Cranky

Henchman #27
Staff member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Dec 4, 2009
Messages
27,140
Reaction score
27,616
Location
Down southeast Taxas
Did a front bumper on a 67 Dart. The chrome was already in bad shape so wasn't concerned with it and went to work on it. It was dented and bent but using a decent size sledge and the ground as a sand bag, it came out pretty good then painted it body color once the rest of the chrome was off. This was in the 70's when you didn't see many bumpers that were painted body color.

Another one was from a mid 70's Dodge pickup that wasn't bent all that bad and did what Dako did and the chrome stayed with it. Chrome is flexible but it'll only go so far....and a pic of what you have would help @Myasylum
 

qkcuda

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
965
Reaction score
1,295
Location
Jarvis, Ontario
I used my small hydraulic shop press to take a dent out of my Dakota bumper after my wife had a mishap. It worked well. If I was more concerned I would have used a small block of wood between the press and the bumper.

Springs.jpg
 

69a100

Well-Known Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
10,485
Reaction score
14,808
Location
The Real World
I've straightened a few dents with a vice, and well as using a BFH. Not perfect, but better than what I started with!
 

Robertop

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
78
Reaction score
35
That is a very lame example, of course! I've bent many a razor blade without it breaking all the time. I guess I know the trick to it and you don't?
Well, I agree it ,was a bad example , at that tima I could not think of a better one.
That is a very lame example, of course! I've bent many a razor blade without it breaking all the time. I guess I know the trick to it and you don't?
I guessI could have found a better example, guys. The whole point is that if you try to fix a bend bumper you can with time and patience, but you will not be able to make the mess invisible to a close inspection. There are many variants in scratches, bends, other damages than can be made better, but I am talking about show quality plated surfaces,that is something else.
 

haywire 440

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
8:43 PM
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Messages
984
Reaction score
1,139
Location
N. Illinois
I put a very deep V in the middle of the rear bump of a ‘63 ChevyII bumper by backing it into a telephone pole hard.

Pops and I wrapped a chain around another television pole next to our garage while wrapping the other end around the V. He had me jerk the car forward, it was a three on the tree, until the bumper was straight again. Then a junkyard replacement trunk lid was bolted in, closed it & drove it.

Bought it for $35 sold it for $50 with a blown trans. Boy I wish I still had that 2-door.

Maybe sent the bumper company some photos for their opinion. Good luck :thumbsup:
 

WileERobby

Well-Known Member
Local time
9:43 PM
Joined
Sep 15, 2009
Messages
11,664
Reaction score
18,737
Location
State of insanity
Well, I agree it ,was a bad example , at that tima I could not think of a better one.

I guessI could have found a better example, guys. The whole point is that if you try to fix a bend bumper you can with time and patience, but you will not be able to make the mess invisible to a close inspection. There are many variants in scratches, bends, other damages than can be made better, but I am talking about show quality plated surfaces,that is something else.
Again, Robert, I disagree, I've straightened bumpers you'd never know were bent. Back in the days of chrome bumpers, a collision-body shop we would always try to straighten a mildly bent bumper.
 

73HEMI_RR_GTX

Well-Known Member
Local time
7:43 PM
Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
2,763
Reaction score
989
Location
Laughlin, Nv.
Hello,

The front bumper on my 72 Satellite must have hit something hit in the middle of the bumper at some point in its life (The long way across) and it is actually folded over like an inch. The chrome is good so I'd rather no pay $500.00 for a new bumper.
Do you know if these bumpers can be bent back into shape, or is the steel so thick it's pretty pointless to bother?

Thanks!

Chrome shops that specialize in bumper straightening/repair can do amazing things. Most severely damage bumpers can be sectioned and welded during the repair. Some shops have hundreds of used bumpers on hand to select from so they may exchange your bumper with a re-chromed one. With that said, most repairs require the bumper to be re-chromed for show quality.
 
Top