Bent Basketball Pole

We have an installed basketball driveway hoop that was here when we bought the house. It is a really nice glass backboard hoop that costs probably close to $ 500 to replace. Anyway, when a guy was delivering firewood a couple of years ago, he backed into it and bent it right near the bottom. It is now listing to the right and it it really annoying. I don't want to get rid of it because like I said it is such a nice backboard. What can I do short of blow torching it off (I would lose about 5 - 6 inches of height, but I would rather have it straight) Then dig up the concrete, and re-set it in the ground? Seems like alot of work, and I have no experience with a blow torch. Could I put a chain around it up high and attach it to a vehicle and attempt to re-straighten it, but would that be possible and wouldn't the bottom of it be permanently weakend?
Any help would be appreciated
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How bent is it? If it more than a little, the metal is probably pretty shot. If only a little, it can probably be saved. My boat hoist was bent up by ice two years ago. I cut out a 6x6 so that it fit over the pipe properly, and hit it with a sledge hammer. It got 80% of the bend out and works okay now. (looks like crap, but works...)
I would suggest combining the two ideas. Gently pull on a chain above the bend, and hit the bend with a sledge hammer at the same time.
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depending on how bad the bend is you could make a jig with some 4x4 and 1x4's for sides attach it to both sides with another piece of 4x4 kind of like a long narrow clap and then using allthread tighten the allthread up to squeeze the 4x4 together that might straiten the post if you can get to the top once you have it pretty straight you could try to sleeve it on the outside or inside with a pipe of a slightly different size, Inside would be could as you could take pieces 3' long and slide them down once you hit the curve using board pound the sleeve down with a sledge hammer?
Wayne

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Do you have a decent size tree near the pole opposite the direction of lean? A $10 import cable come-along puller can be fastened to the base of the tree with an old piece of auto tire padding protecting the tree, and you can get a controlled pull. Tow chain can be used to extend the rigging as necessary. Start the pull, then bump the area of the bend on the pull side using a sledge hammer cushioned by a hardwood block to protect the pipe. This will take two people to do properly, one holding the end of a long block (fool) while the other strikes. You are trying to make the pole take a "set" during pulling, instead of just springing back after releasing pressure. Pull, strike, pull, strike. Two trees out of line can be used if you use a "Y" shaped arrangement with the come along pulling a direct run of chain off to one side. If you are unsure of your ability to rig this safely, find a local construction worker experienced in structural ironwork, or a millwright. A couple of 12 packs and burgers will be required. Leverage is a wonderful thing, but be safe. I am an ex-millwright, and I have used this rigging method many times when using a chain saw to fell tall pine trees right where I want them to drop in confined areas.
RJ

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Not sure what's in your head when you say "blow torch". If you're talking a propane job typically used to sweat pipes, you'll be there a long time. For cutting or bending, it is recommended to use an oxyacetylene setup. I would try straightening it first. What have you got to lose other than pulling it out and putting a new pipe in the ground? Cheers, cc

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I used to be a steel erection contractor. I used to straighten a lot of vertical posts ou carports that would get bent from one means or another. We used to either hook a sling on them, then hook the other end to a truck, and slowly pull until it was just past where we wanted it to be. When the pressure was released, it sprang back a little. Or, you can hook a come along to a stationary object, and jack it that way. It takes a little pulling this way and that, but it is fairly easy to get it pretty straight again. Just take it slowly, and remember, the farther you put the sling up from the concrete, the more the leverage increases. If you DO have a torch, take a bind, then heat it a bit, and it will move on its own. But you lose strength due to the application of heat. Just go slow. You don't want to have to bend it back again in the other direction.
I could have it straight for you in half an hour. It depends on how bad the thing is bent, and how much it has to be pulled back to be straightened, as to how much strength you will lose. If you are just going go use it for regular basketball, it should be okay. You might weld a couple of stiffeners along the sides. If you want it for slam dunks, and people hanging on the rim and swinging like orangutans, it might be a little weak.
It isn't hard to fix.
Steve
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If your really only interested in gettign the backboard and basket straight, perhaps you could remove it from the mountings and re-attach it straight. It might take some redrilling of the mounting holes, or some other means of adjusting the out-of-oline mounting to the backboard, but would probably be easier than trying to straighten the pole.

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Thanks for all the responses, I am going to plan to straighten it by pulling on in and apply some method to strengthen it once I am finished. There is a very strong tree about 10 feet away on the left of the hoop (opposite the bend), so I should be able to use the come along puller as backlash suggests.
Thanks again
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Let us know how it turns out. I think you should be able to get it pretty close. Just remember.......... a little at a time does it. If you need something other than where the tree is, you can hook it to a truck bumper parked in just the right alignment.
Steve
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and take care that the cable you use does not break...
that can be deadly....
Mark
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