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Thread: '65 Impala drip rail trim removal

  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Question '65 Impala drip rail trim removal

    Have some mint condition chrome trim I'm wary of damaging. I assume it has adhesive/sealant sticking it well but wanted to make sure there wasn't a retaining lip (more so roof than pillar) preventing me from prying it out and rolling it up-n-over the rail. Any suggestions...maybe a little heat to soften adhesive (if any)?

    "EDIT" -- Pillar trim has been removed, still can get no movement on the roof rail trim though.

    drip_rail.JPG
    Last edited by aurecom; 08-29-2018 at 06:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurecom View Post
    Have some mint condition chrome trim I'm wary of damaging. I assume it has adhesive/sealant sticking it well but wanted to make sure there wasn't a retaining lip (more so roof than pillar) preventing me from prying it out and rolling it up-n-over the rail. Any suggestions...maybe a little heat to soften adhesive (if any)?

    "EDIT" -- Pillar trim has been removed, still can get no movement on the roof rail trim though.

    drip_rail.JPG
    You have to use a wide putty knife and work it up from underside slow and with care. Try a little heat

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurecom View Post
    Have some mint condition chrome trim I'm wary of damaging. I assume it has adhesive/sealant sticking it well but wanted to make sure there wasn't a retaining lip (more so roof than pillar) preventing me from prying it out and rolling it up-n-over the rail. Any suggestions...maybe a little heat to soften adhesive (if any)?

    "EDIT" -- Pillar trim has been removed, still can get no movement on the roof rail trim though.

    drip_rail.JPG
    lI agree with Tommie that something like a putty knife could work but I'd probably also use a heat gun to soften it up first.


  4. #4
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    Thanks gentleman.

    Since it sounds like there's no retaining/locking lip to overcome I'll give the heat gun a chance to free it up. Will let you know how I fare.

  5. #5
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    Default Hold on!

    Quote Originally Posted by aurecom View Post
    Thanks gentleman.

    Since it sounds like there's no retaining/locking lip to overcome I'll give the heat gun a chance to free it up. Will let you know how I fare.
    Don't rush off too fast because Tommie and Len were actually talking more towards your "A" pillar attachment and the putty knife HOWEVER, you since made an edit to say you got that one off. That was the easier one.

    Listen, the remainder of the trim on the outside of the gutter is more of a snug, lock-in press fit. I would not try a putty knife on those as they can bend and kink just looking at them the wrong way.

    I gotten them off (and ruined some). Start with heat on a one to two foot length. Debris (and POSSIBLE) adhesive could help hold the trim. Start at the bottom and GINGERLY use your thumbs and finger nails to see if you have any movement. This molding hooks at the top over the gutter metal so the idea of getting the bottom loose first (all the way would be nice), then carefully and gradually rocking it (evenly) up and over the gutter to remove.

    I cannot emphasize enough NOT to rush this job or make 'sudden' moves, jerks or twists. I would not use any tools under this molding other than at the very bottom. Anywhere else and it will get creased from underneath.

    You might want to ask around if anyone knows anyone who is MORE EXPERT at the removal (to save) this type of molding and you be there to watch and learn. PLUS we are dealing with an unknown. The car is old and you are unaware if anyone prior had that molding off and used any type of adhesive in a reinstallation.

    Henry

  6. #6
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    Appreciate the cautionary reply Henry!

    Yeah, I'm being overly cautious with this molding removal since I've never seen them available as reproductions. With egg on my face I'll admit the pillar moldings came off with no effort "after" I removed the fastening screws. I assumed the screws holding the weatherstrip channel were the moldings only source of attachment.

    As for the remaining stubborn moldings, I'm hoping to make progress this weekend. So far I've only been fulcruming it outward from below using the large wooden paint stirring sticks. Will probably again do the same but with heat added (along with my toes and fingers crossed :-)). Unfortunately I'm a lone wolf in my little corner of the resto world but will also heed your advice and see what I can do in seeking out someone in-the-know before ever contemplating going rogue on it.

    *EDIT* -- Forgot to mention that the vehicle has been in the family since '68 and can recall no reason for the molding to ever have been touched so odds are they're in factory install condition...whatever that may have been that week.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Don't rush off too fast because Tommie and Len were actually talking more towards your "A" pillar attachment and the putty knife HOWEVER, you since made an edit to say you got that one off. That was the easier one.

    Listen, the remainder of the trim on the outside of the gutter is more of a snug, lock-in press fit. I would not try a putty knife on those as they can bend and kink just looking at them the wrong way.

    I gotten them off (and ruined some). Start with heat on a one to two foot length. Debris (and POSSIBLE) adhesive could help hold the trim. Start at the bottom and GINGERLY use your thumbs and finger nails to see if you have any movement. This molding hooks at the top over the gutter metal so the idea of getting the bottom loose first (all the way would be nice), then carefully and gradually rocking it (evenly) up and over the gutter to remove.

    I cannot emphasize enough NOT to rush this job or make 'sudden' moves, jerks or twists. I would not use any tools under this molding other than at the very bottom. Anywhere else and it will get creased from underneath.

    You might want to ask around if anyone knows anyone who is MORE EXPERT at the removal (to save) this type of molding and you be there to watch and learn. PLUS we are dealing with an unknown. The car is old and you are unaware if anyone prior had that molding off and used any type of adhesive in a reinstallation.

    Henry
    Henry has a good point. What I forgot to say the putty knife i use is heated and bent to about 120 deg. bend and used VERY gently in combo with hands and also masking tape on knife. and yes it sort of a snap fit over the drip rail.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
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    i know it's nice to get everything off the car for a thorough job, but if they're really in that great of shape maybe leave them on?a little seam sealer in the gutter will keep any moisture away and not be readily visible.
    b marler

  9. #9
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    Default Leave them!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by aurecom View Post
    Appreciate the cautionary reply Henry!

    Yeah, I'm being overly cautious with this molding removal since I've never seen them available as reproductions. With egg on my face I'll admit the pillar moldings came off with no effort "after" I removed the fastening screws. I assumed the screws holding the weatherstrip channel were the moldings only source of attachment.

    As for the remaining stubborn moldings, I'm hoping to make progress this weekend. So far I've only been fulcruming it outward from below using the large wooden paint stirring sticks. Will probably again do the same but with heat added (along with my toes and fingers crossed :-)). Unfortunately I'm a lone wolf in my little corner of the resto world but will also heed your advice and see what I can do in seeking out someone in-the-know before ever contemplating going rogue on it.

    *EDIT* -- Forgot to mention that the vehicle has been in the family since '68 and can recall no reason for the molding to ever have been touched so odds are they're in factory install condition...whatever that may have been that week.
    Often, there really is NO need to remove these moldings. Also, you saying the thing has been in the family since 1968 and in good condition, I would just leave them on as the suggestion in post #8 by bmarler.

    Henry

  10. #10
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    Sep 2017
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    Much appreciate the additional input!

    It's really tempting to not remove the drip rail molding but I do see rust (albeit, very light surface rust) at a few locations of the roof rail extending under the moldings. The other equally important reason for doing so is the quarter window corner moldings are badly pitted. The only way to remove these is to first remove the drip molding as it impedes access to the retaining screws. Thankfully reproductions corners are available, isn't surprising as all those I've seen salvaged are in the same desperate condition.

  11. #11
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    Default Networking!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by aurecom View Post
    Much appreciate the additional input!

    It's really tempting to not remove the drip rail molding but I do see rust (albeit, very light surface rust) at a few locations of the roof rail extending under the moldings. The other equally important reason for doing so is the quarter window corner moldings are badly pitted. The only way to remove these is to first remove the drip molding as it impedes access to the retaining screws. Thankfully reproductions corners are available, isn't surprising as all those I've seen salvaged are in the same desperate condition.
    Maybe you can schmooze up to Brian (and others) who live where older cars are still on the street and junk yards that were not affected by certain things and sit there rust free. Hell, they aren't big pieces so shipping to you would not take a large box or large expense.

    Think dude, think. "I WANT this, I need this; where could I get it from?"

    Henry

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Maybe you can schmooze up to Brian (and others) who live where older cars are still on the street and junk yards that were not affected by certain things and sit there rust free. Hell, they aren't big pieces so shipping to you would not take a large box or large expense.

    Think dude, think. "I WANT this, I need this; where could I get it from?"

    Henry
    Thanks for the pep talk!

    Repros aren't too bad at about $55 for a pair (USA made). Would probably be at least half that for picked-parts even with kindness of others. Still, I'll have to spend more time in this forum and pick up on who's who while also earning a chit or two that could be cashed in. What I am crying about is the cost to ship steel. I'm preparing to replace the center section of the trunk pan (3 pieces, approx 20"x36" ea) and so far I've been quoted around $200 shipping! If I can't get better quotes I just may fabricate my own as this is a stand-off resto.

  13. #13
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    Finally had chance today to get at the molding. With the aid of a magnifying lens (to supplement these aging eyes) and good strong light, closer inspection revealed there indeed was a retaining lip on the molding nestled into a channel very well disguised by dusted over caulking. Have not seen this lip on previous drip molding removals. With this insight it only took a couple minutes to work the molding off without any damage. I found no sealer or adhesive but did find a little scale/surface rust underneath so glad I did push forward.

    Thanks again to all.

    drip_mldg.JPG

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