Bulging cells are a different matter. They bulge when the electrolyte boils. That is what the vent caps are for, to burst and prevent the aluminum cell body from exploding.
I have no experience with bulging cells, but it means that the cell was overcharged or over discharged.
I think OP has "slightly" bulging cells that pull full capacity. So, I am just wondering if there are real safety risks of using such cells?