Remove a 64 Impala grill tie barPosted by Carl King - 25/06/09 at 05:06 pm
Here’s a challenge. It just so happens that the nicest tie bar in all these 64 Impala grill sections I’ve taken apart has some rusty old machine screws holding the grill in place. Good luck undoing those.
The cutting torch is not an option here.
Up to this point I’ve been using the torch to cut off rusty bolts. It’s fast and easy. The problem here is the high risk in damaging both the tie bar and the grill. The melting point for aluminum is really low compared to steel. Since this grill tie bar is only stamped out of what looks like 16 guage sheet metal there is a a chance that I would blow a hole thru it, or it would become warped from the high heat of the cutting torch.
I could use the dremel and a cut off wheel but that would mean hacking away at the backside of the machine screw and nut. It wouldn’t be pretty and I’d surely break a half dozen or so cutoff wheels in the process. Expensive.
So I decided to use something more industrial. My Snap-on hand held grinder. This thing has been around a long time, probably 30 years now. My father bought it when I was a teenager and used it in the transmission business. I ground the heads of the screws down on the grill side so that they were flattened enough to center punch and drill out. Since these screw heads had a built in shoulder washer, the risk in damaging the grill from slipping off the screw head while grinding was rather low. I used a very light pressure to minimize the risk.
Above you see the head ground down and center drilled with a 1/8″ bit. Next I used a 1/2″ bit to drill out the head. The drill bit ate away enough of a divet to weaken the screw head’s attachment to the shaft. By grabbing the rusty nut on the backside with a pair of pliers, it just snapped of with very little effort.
This meant I didn’t need to do anything to pry on the head of the screw and risk scratching the grill surface.
Wholla! The 64 Impala grill tie bar is off and in good shape. Now I can take all the best parts I’ve piled up from disassembling all these grills and put one good grill together.
My first priority was to use the least rusty parts. None of them are perfect, some were bent as well. If the nicest part was bent I spent the time needed to
straighten it. From this collection of parts I was able to assemble a fairly nice 64 Impala grill section. I’ll set this aside, for use on my car and figure out what to do with the pile of less than perfect parts. Even if they aren’t good enough to refinish, a lot of the clips, screws and other fasteners might prove to be worth harvesting.