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Topic: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends (Read 141 times) previous topic - next topic

Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

I'd like to start jumping on every car I see appear at the local salvage yards.  I want to start pulling th  exterior trim pieces when I can, but don't want to damage parts if I can come better prepared.

Front:
If I remember correctly from many years ago, the side trim around the windshield unscrews. I believe there are two screws - one visible near the base that screws into the bottom of the A-pillar, and one on the side near the top of the A-pillar. Correct me if I'm wrong in my memory. I'll look at my car later.

The top horizontal piece has no screws - it clips into place. Releasing the clips and getting the metal piece removed can be difficult without putting a bend into the aluminum. Does anyone have any tips on the easiest intact removal of this top piece? While I straightened mine out when removed some decade ago, it still has a little bit of a bend from my removal attempt.

Rear (metal trim models 1987/early 1988):
How does the rear trim on these cars get released? Do I just use a plastic pry tool around the outside (preferably from the glass side as to not scratch paint)?

Rear (rubber single piece models late 1988):
Same as above - how does the rubber single-piece molding get removed? Are there clips biting into the rubber, preventing them from being removed? Should they pull out without being torn, or should I expect a rip?  On cars with pliable rubber, do I need to pry up on the outside to see something to push on to release the clips, or just pry up and hope the rubber doesn't split?

https://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/index.php?topic=28331 suggests just lift/yank


Hoping to start testing these removal processes this weekend on this car https://www.picknpull.com/vehicle_details.aspx?VIN=1FABP6047JH215698
1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #1
Id like to know as well, part for these cars are  few and far between.  Seldom seen in the yards around here.
Mike

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #2
Well I know the front metal trim and rear metal trim (my car is an September 87 build 88 with rear metal trim) is removed with some kind of clip tool. I was afraid of damaging it so I had the body shop remove and re-install the front and rear window trim when the car was painted 2 years ago. It went off and back on without getting bent. I wonder if the molding comes off with the kind of tool in this video?

https://youtu.be/NlWKcCu-UlU
88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, bunch of other stuff.

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #3
Steele Rubber has no interest in reproduction rear window moldings (unless we can get some strong interest to make it financially viable).

Would love to know if we can remove some of these pieces intact from salvage yards.
1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #4
Well I know the front metal trim and rear metal trim (my car is an September 87 build 88 with rear metal trim) is removed with some kind of clip tool. I was afraid of damaging it so I had the body shop remove and re-install the front and rear window trim when the car was painted 2 years ago. It went off and back on without getting bent. I wonder if the molding comes off with the kind of tool in this video?

https://youtu.be/NlWKcCu-UlU


That may work?  Only $5.80 on Amazon for that type of tool.  Tempted to grab a couple options from Amazon for removal and try them out in the salvage yard on Saturday.

Our clips:




Best angle I could find of how bad the trim looks after it gets bent, even after bending it back. It can also take a little effort to get all the clips to seat again without pushing down on the aluminum firmly enough that it introduces additional bends.



The trim on my car looks fine generally, but I did get what I believe was the worst reflection for the piece. We need to use the proper tool to help prevent the above!
1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #5
Okay, so that basic squeezing tool works fine. I wish it didn't squeeze so much because it uses leverage against the roof sheetmetal (sliding against the hidden paint). A couple thin rods that go behind the clip so that I can manually pull it open would be nicer on the clip finish. A pick with a 90-degree angle on the tip would also work to slide behind, and then pull outward.

Now I know how these clips work - stick something behind them and pull out, away into the opposite side of the windshield. This tool simply forces the clip outward as it squeezes.



1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #6
It also appears to be common on older cars to replace these windshield trim clips, AND studs. Converting from rear window  rubber to metal trim should be possible if the window is taken out.

Best option is using a stud welder for a factory-like install. Other poor options are rivets or drilling a hole and screwing in studs. Not sure how small of stud welders can be obtained, but the standard generic ones I see are a bit large - they may not be able to get into the window channel deep enough for a proper stud location.





http://www.beldenspeed.com/beldenspeed-news/screw-instyletrimclipstudsorthepop-rivettype
https://www.hotrodders.com/forum/how-you-replace-those-little-window-molding-studs-66768.html


Modding a harbor freight stud welder to make the outer conductive housing shorter could also work, with appropriate welding eye protection of course. See this photo with the copper not fully enclosing the center:


1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #7
I got the rear window molding off of a junkyard Thunderbird today. This one was a little more flexible than mine, so I pulled it, with the minor scrape it has on the top near the roof line.

The entire thing just pushes into a channel. No clips - friction holds it. Once a section is out, I was able to run a wide plastic tool (anything would work, I had a yellow plastic pry tool) along the molding to get all the rest to pop out. A couple spots snag as the ridge in the molding has a couple gaps, but it came off pretty easy.

It looks like the window unit itself has the valley that the molding pushes into, and there's not much clearance between this and the car body. I'm guessing anyone getting a replacement rear window would need to switch to the rubber single piece molding in place of the metal, or try to modify/grind the replacement window's metal frame.




I still think my molding will split once I try to remove it, but now I have an intact spare.
1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #8
My research also shows that rubber should be conditioned with water-based silicone lubricant/spray (without other additives).

Honda Shin-Etsu 08798-9013 silicone lubricant, LPS-1 01516 (not LPS-2 or LPS-3) water-based lubricant, Jet-Lube EMS silicone lubricant, and some plumber greases will work.  Napa 7651346 SIL Glyde silicone lubricating compound may partially work, but it's castor-oil based, and oils aren't best suited for rubber-like seals/moldings.

Other silicone sprays are corrosive with their solvents, including the CRC water-based silicone spray.  I may have accelerated my window molding's aging by using the wrong and corrosive products over the years. No more!
1988 Thunderbird Sport

Re: Removal of front and rear window trim without damage/bends

Reply #9
I received the new molding today,and thought a piece around the lip was to protect the molding in storage. It turns out that the molding is 2 pieces - an inner ring that grabs the edge of the glass, and the visible molding. It seems the inner ring is likely installed when the window is put in, but also that the outer visible molding is difficult to remove from the inner, as it's stored in box. I'm going to need to see if I can get these separated cleanly on the new molding, so that I may get the new glass installed without the outer molding (for install after paint)

This inner ring  surrounds the glass, and grabs the glass from both the top and bottom. The crevice is where the top molding is friction-fit:


Green arrow here shows where I've pried the rear of this trim away from the glass. The underside is stuck a bit from the glass install adhesive;


More of me carefully prying away. Note at the green arrow, the top near the roof is brittle and cracking when trying to remove:


Underside of new molding on top with the window ring/trim attached. The lower trim actually goes up to near the lip of the outer molding - this is the top face that can be seen in the photos above. Other arrow shows the entire width of this hidden trim. You can see this part by carefully lifting up the visible molding from the glass side - there is a second lip that prevents you from easily sliding a pry tool underneath it.
1988 Thunderbird Sport