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Username Post: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?        (Topic#65677)
chazzerguy 
Member
Posts: 323
chazzerguy
Loc: NC
Reg: 03-14-03
05-13-04 03:45 AM - Post#445038    

I've looked at the shop manual, and it doesn't shed much light on the best way to do this... So I'll throw it out to you guys...

The chrome/stainless trim that comprises the "spear" running from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels could use a little TLC... It could all use some good polishing, and some of the pieces have old door dings and dents, so I'd like to pull the pieces and pound them out a little bit... The crown trim on the rear quarters could also use some love...

How do I go about popping this trim off the car? The shop manual says some should pry off and some unscrews, but it just seems a little vague... And if I'm putting the paint finish of the car at risk by doing this, then I'll leave well enough alone...

I am entering my car in a show in July... It's the first time it's ever been formally shown, and I have a laundry list of little things like this I wanna get squared away. This car will never win anything, but I'd like to get it in the best shape possible...

So what's the best way to get this trim off?
1957 Bel Air Convertible w/283 PowerPack & PowerGlide (engine code "FC") Matador Red with a white top


 
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Royer 
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Posts: 11411

Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 05:17 AM - Post#445039    
    In response to chazzerguy

Generally, you'll find that at each end of a trim strip there will be a positive retention with a threaded fastener that must be unscrewed from behind (this is generally true on most all cars - not just these Chevy models). On the doors, this generally requires removal of the interior trim panels to get at the nuts. They have a 3/8" hex head if I recall correctly. On the front fenders and rear quarters I seem to recall that you can reach up and get the fasteners from behind without taking anything apart - but it isn't all that easy. The trim molding can then be "popped loose" from the intermediate clips. I usually use a small putty knife that I've covered with tape to prevent scratches.

Good luck.

Royer

 
stefanoff2 
Senior Member
Posts: 162
stefanoff2
Loc: Finland
Reg: 01-16-03
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 06:10 AM - Post#445040    
    In response to Royer

I agree with Royer. I would say you start with the spears, if and when you get them loose the rest is easy.
Good luck!
- '57 2d 210air
- '50 2d Fleetline custom


 
brad_bb 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4249
brad_bb
Loc: Joliet, IL.
Reg: 07-13-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 08:07 AM - Post#445041    
    In response to chazzerguy

"and pound them out a little bit"
If you are a novice with stainless, I do not recommend you try to do anything with the dings until you have been taught properly by a professional, or have a professional do it. You can easily make a ding worse when It could have been simple with the proper technique. Same goes for polishing. If you bought an eastwood buffer with the video tape on how to polish...well I really think that video leaves a lot out that you need to understand. There have been some posts in the past with discussions about ding removal and buffing. Ding removal should be done with a piece of soft wood like pine, and a hard wood tool to rub and work out dings.
If someone else can design it, I sure as heck can figure out how to fix it!


 
Royer 
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Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 08:54 AM - Post#445042    
    In response to brad_bb

I wouldn't be so nervous about trying to remove dings in the stainless. I did all the trim on my '53 Ford using some pine forms and wedges of maple in various shapes that I used as appropriate. Is it now perfect? No. But, it all looks 100% better than before I started and one has the satisfaction of doing it by ones' self.

At worst, you make a mess of something that wasn't all that great to start with - and you wind up having to locate a replacement. At least the trim for these cars is relatively easy to get - unlike something for say a '38 Cadillac 60-Special.

Royer

 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 01:39 PM - Post#445043    
    In response to chazzerguy

Quote:



The chrome/stainless trim that comprises the "spear" running from the front fenders to the rear quarter panels could use a little TLC... It could all use some good polishing, and some of the pieces have old door dings and dents, so I'd like to pull the pieces and pound them out a little bit... The crown trim on the rear quarters could also use some love...

How do I go about popping this trim off the car? The shop manual says some should pry off and some unscrews, but it just seems a little vague... And if I'm putting the paint finish of the car at risk by doing this, then I'll leave well enough alone...





It's quite a job you're getting into. If the car was painted around the moldings, instead of without the moldings on, it will be difficult to reinstall the moldings in the exact same positions so the paint job edges, underlying paint and paint gaps won't show. Some paint may pull up or chip around the edges where it meets the molding. Even if the car was painted without the moldings on, when the moldings are tightened, they can leave marks in the paint, so you would have to reinstall the moldings so the marks don't show. After you hear what's involved, you may not want to tackle the job, unless you have alot of free time and energy. But here it is anyway.
Some of it depends on if the trim is still fastened with original clips or if it has been removed and reinstalled with new clips, since the new clips aren't like the old clips.
For the front fenders, the front 4 clips are easy, since you just reach up under the fender and remove the nuts. But the last 3 can be a problem on an assembled car. If original, there will be nuts behind there and on a 57, there's no easy way to get to them to remove them without some chance of scratching paint or taking the fender loose somewhere. You can try to pull the molding forward off of the rear clips, but you'd have to be real careful not to scratch paint doing this. Then you'd grind off the heads of the clips to remove them and use pop-in clips when reinstalling. The trim holes will most likely need to be drilled larger to accept the pop-in clips. Another way would be to take the rear bottom bolt out of the fender, pull the bottom away from the car enough to reach behind the fender to unfasten the clips. Again care would have to be used not to scratch or bend anything. The rear 3 clips may already have been replaced with pop-in clips, which would make it easier on you, since they allow you to pry the molding off.
The doors have a screw on each end on the inner lip of the door. Once the 2 end screws are removed, if original clips are still there, the molding will pry off. If the clips have been replaced, they may be pop-in clips and it will still pry off. Or someone may have used clips with nuts inside, in which case you have to remove the interior door panel and access plates to remove the nuts.
On the quarter panels, you must remove the rear seat, armrest, and upholstery panel. Then remove the access panel and you can access clips and nuts from behind the panel. There will be at least one nut inside the quarter window cavity for the clip that joins the short front curved molding to the rear upper long molding. You also have to reach up in the wheel wells, and up inside the rear quarters. Originally most of the clips are push-in clips and these clips often have to be squeezed from the backside and the molding and clip together will pull free. Sometimes, if the clips are weak, you can just pull them off. If they were replaced with new ones, they'll have clips with nuts behind. The rearmost clip on the long upper quarters are different and use a small screw from the inside in a hole in the quarter panel that looks like a sideways keyhole. Once the rest of the upper molding is loose, you can usually pull the molding forward which will pull the rear clip with its screw out of the keyhole and the molding is freed. The one on the driver side will be a pain to reinstall, due the gas box being in the way. I prefer to remove the gas box so I can get to that rear upper clip to remove it and reinstall it.
The crown moldings must be removed with the fin moldings because they are connected with a stainless clip. Not removing them together has damaged the top of many a fin molding. The left side isn't much trouble, because you can get to the screws to the short fin by way of the gas box. Remove the 2 screws and pry up the crown molding and the crown and fin moldings will come off together. The will pull apart as they come off. The right side is more trouble. The bottom fin screws are covered by the tail light housing. The bumper has to be loosened and dropped down, the 4 nuts of the tail housing unfastened from behind and the housing pulled away from the body, so you can remove the bottom fin molding screws. Then pry up the crown molding to pull the crown and fin molding off. The crown moldings will be difficult to do dent repair because they have metal inserts with attached studs inside them. The inserts must be pulled out, the molding repaired and the inserts installed to the original position inside molding. Scratch a mark inside the molding, so you know how far into the molding the insert should be when you reinstall it. The inserts are sometimes rusty, but often can be reused. Removing and installing the stud inserts can be a trying experience and takes some ingenuity. The inserts are often tight and rusty inside the molding. CCI sells a crown molding insert removal tool that helps you slightly bend up the lip of the stainless that is over the edge of the insert to free it up.
When prying, use a broad stiff flat blade tool, like a putty knife. Put some a couple of layers of tape next to the molding. Pry under the molding and up, so you don't put pressure on the exposed body metal to avoid denting or scratching the car.
Have fun .
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
lumpy55 
"10th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1802
lumpy55
Loc: Pensacola Fl
Reg: 02-17-02
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-13-04 02:00 PM - Post#445044    
    In response to chazzerguy

You can improve the s/s appearance by placing wide masking tape on both sides of an installed strip and use a drill with a buffing wheel and some white rouge compound and shine them up. It won't be any where near show, and it won't do anything for the dings and dents, but it will make the s/s look better. And if it shines good you won't notice the d&d. Plus you avoid all the above problems. Use the 3m blue tape(not as sticky) or wipe the tape across your pants leg to keep the tape from being too sticky (it can lift any loose paint around the trim pieces)
Gene
* If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.


 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 02:30 AM - Post#445045    
    In response to chazzerguy

Like Steve said, they aren't going to just 'pop' off. It can be done at home and it isn't a bad job to do but as he describes in order to prevent damage to the paint and trim ypu have to go at the trim clips from the backside. I have gotten the front fender spears off with bolt on clips all the way along by removing the inner fender ducts, which then allows you to (often barely) reach the retaining nuts. If the car's paint and trim looks good I think I'd be more tempted to leave it in place and just polish with a hand polish on the car. With all the disassembly required to do the job right (I know what I'm doing and it would take me at least a day to get it all off, not counting the front and rear windshields), polish it and then reassemble and adjust everything I think you will still be pushing it to do it all in a month and a half even if all goes well. Unless you have all day to work on it that is like me.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
Royer 
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Posts: 11411

Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 04:22 AM - Post#445046    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

Mike W. has a good point. Why not consider a compromise approach? Possibly you could consider attempting to remove only the piece (or pieces) that have some significant dents and try to work those out - in combination with polishing the trim as best you can while it remains on the car?

 
chazzerguy 
Member
Posts: 323
chazzerguy
Loc: NC
Reg: 03-14-03
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 07:21 AM - Post#445047    
    In response to Royer

Well, all very good advice...

I broke out my assembly manual and I can see from that all the hardware that's holding that trim on, and what it would take to get to it and undo it... Yikes!

I swung by the shop of a local guy here who specializes in antique car resto, and he's worked on a fair number of tri-fives... He seems to agree with most of you... Unless the car is being completely repainted, I am probably better off just leaving the trim on and polishing it in place... And the places that are dinged either just try to live with or maybe wait until this winter to mess with it when I have more time on my hands...

This car is no show winner... a solid twenty footer to be sure, but that's it... At this point the payoff in show points probably isn't worth all the effort it would take.
1957 Bel Air Convertible w/283 PowerPack & PowerGlide (engine code "FC") Matador Red with a white top


 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 08:27 AM - Post#445048    
    In response to chazzerguy

I think it's a wise decision to leave it alone. If you were to restore the side stainless, then it would make the rest of the stainless around the windows, the chrome, and other aspects of the car look worse in comparison. To me, if you make one part of a car look brand new and the rest is still weathered, it just doesn't look right. Of course if you had some really smashed pieces, I would go to the trouble to replace them, But otherwise, I think it is kind of an all or nothing situation and if you're not restoring it all, it looks just as good if the car is very clean and equally imperfect all over, so it all matches. In a way, it has character that way, like an unrestored car does.
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
Royer 
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Posts: 11411

Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
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Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 08:53 AM - Post#445049    
    In response to chazzerguy

Ah, "points" really don't mean much compared with the fun that you can have actually DRIVING one of these old cars -

 
chazzerguy 
Member
Posts: 323
chazzerguy
Loc: NC
Reg: 03-14-03
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-14-04 09:00 AM - Post#445050    
    In response to Royer

Yeh, I'm withya there... Like I said, I've never showed the car before, and it's never been my goal to have a 1000 pointer that can't be driven. I'm doing it because 1) I'd like to see what other people bring 2) I'm looking forward to an honest critique of my car... There may be some pretty simple and cheap things I can do to make it better and 3) shoot... It should just be a fun time!
1957 Bel Air Convertible w/283 PowerPack & PowerGlide (engine code "FC") Matador Red with a white top


 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-17-04 02:12 AM - Post#445051    
    In response to chazzerguy

I used to take my everyday driver '57 wagon to the shows just to participate and had a blast even though I knew it would never win a thing.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
67SS427 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12683
67SS427
Loc: Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Reg: 05-26-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-17-04 02:53 AM - Post#445052    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

Yes, if you put your car in the show, you're guaranteed to have a great parking spot amoungst the rest of them .
Steve F., professional resto work since 1985, http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v159/67SS427/E xa...




 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: How to remove chrome/stainless trim (spears)?
05-17-04 03:52 AM - Post#445053    
    In response to 67SS427

I guess that is another way to look at it.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
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