Mid Century Cadillacs

General Category => Mid Century Cadillac Discussion => Topic started by: RobertM on March 10, 2018, 08:51:38 AM

Title: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on March 10, 2018, 08:51:38 AM
The '54 will go in to start paint and some bodywork on April 10th.  So excited!  I finally decided on Cobalt Blue.  Beautiful color, and it's still a '54 color, so that eases my "keep it original" misgivings.

The shop gave me the go ahead to remove trim myself prior to bringing them the car. Nice of them to let me do that, and should save me a few $ up front. It also gives me a chance to get a head start on bringing trim, bumpers, etc to my chrome shop here in CT. New England Chrome gave me a reasonable estimate and I know from personal experience that they do nice work but they are notoriously slow.

Problem is, this is something I haven't done by myself before. Looking for tips on getting trim off without causing damage.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Clewisiii on March 10, 2018, 09:09:34 AM
You will need putty knives. Nylon pry bars. Several. You need to use the thinnest that you can which means they will break

Try not to find out where all the fasteners are. And their type.

My body side trim had clips in the middle but screws on the ends. None of my screws would come out. I had to gently drill off the heads without hurting the body.

Always pull along the length of the part.  You do not want to kink anything.

Basically your first few hours at it be overly cautious. After you see how it behaves you can get more aggressive.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on March 10, 2018, 09:40:15 AM
Bob I removed and installed all the trim on my 55. The first thing you need is patience especially with the install. I also bought those plastic trim removal tools used them all over the car. I also used my 1/4 inch drive socket set a lot. Plastic bags and a good marker. Watch out there are different length screws used on the same trim piece if you put the long on in the wrong place it will put a pimple in the trim I speak from experience. Are you going to remove the bumpers if so the front bumper dagmars and grille on my 55 came off as one unit you can imagine how heavy it is. The rear is the same with the ends attached. I was amazed that everything is fine threads. On the installation of the trim I would use painters masking tape to protect the paint like we see on the car shows on t.v. I took pictures before I removed pieces if you are having problems give me a shout and I will post a picture or try to help. Have fun!

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on March 10, 2018, 05:35:27 PM
Thanks guys,

I'm going to be slow and methodical about this.  Lots of pictures and notes, to be sure.  I took a week off of work to drive down to NC (the car is currently at my parent's house) and get this done.

Bob, I remember watching the progress of your 55.  What a nice job you did, and I love the color. Yes, both of the bumpers are most definitely coming with me. That's actually the part i'm least anxious about.  I had the front bumper and both fenders off when I did the motor restoration a couple years back. A couple hydraulic jacks and a plank in between made for easier removal.  Not something I will be able to do by myself, obviously.

A couple questions: 
==The windows won't be coming out or off for this paint job.  The owner of the resto shop said something about the windshield and rear window trim may be "imbedded" and won't be able to come off.  I don't think this is the case with our cars, is it? 
==How would I remove the surrounding trim for the vent windows and rear quarter windows? 
==Can the trim on the taillights come off to be refinished?

I'm also curious how difficult will it be to get to the stone guards, and especially the Fleetwood hashmarks.  Mine are on the rear doors, so I'm thinking I may have to remove the interior door panels.  We will see. I hope not.

What do you think about buying this off of eBay as an insurance policy, and selling off what I don't end up using?  https://www.ebay.com/itm/323122872957
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on March 11, 2018, 03:44:23 AM
Have a look in the body section from the shop manual, you will get answers about some moldings from the windshield and back window. For the side trim, most of the time, they are attached with screws....You may need to remove the door's trim to see how names or moldings are fixed. Good luck!
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: PHIL WHYTE CLC 14192 on March 11, 2018, 04:20:38 AM
I stripped down my 54 CDV many years ago including removing the front and back screen ( though the original painter smashed my front screen, he didn't get to finish the car!). I used the shop manual for guidance. You do need to remove a lot of interior trim, door panels, interior windshield trim etc. I had no problems removing any of the side trim or bumpers. The only part I had problems with was the stainless trim that clips over the gutter, I had to get replacement for one side because it was twisted beyond use during removal. Phil
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on March 12, 2018, 09:36:57 AM
When my 55 was in the body shop they had a windshield company remove and install the rear window and I furnished them with a new gasket they also removed and installed the trim pieces around the rear window. The front windshield was not removed when you remove the trim around it there is room for them to mask it off and apply paint. Fortunately for me the vent window trim was in good shape so all I had to do was polish them with the glass intact. You should be able to get the trim off around the taillights mine where just a bolt for the gas hinge and some screws you should see them when you remove the taillight lens and backup lens. The door panels have to come off to get the trim off the doors. Try not to lose the clips that hold the handles on I had a hard time finding the correct ones.  I was amazed with the engineering that went into holding these trim pieces on not that they are hard to get off. The hash marks on the 55 are located on the lower part of the rear quarter panel and each had two 1/4 x28 nuts on them. When I went to reinstall them my spouse would line them up while I tighten them she has a really good eye for this. If my memory serves me right I believe you have to remove the vertical piece first for the door window trim before you remove the horizontal piece there are screws behind the vertical piece that holds on the horizontal piece. There is also a type of caulk behind the horizontal trim piece it reminds me of plumbers putty. Also on all the nuts that held the trim there was a red type of caulk. Have fun keep us up to date.

Keep Cruzin,

Bob Kielar
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on March 16, 2018, 07:06:50 PM
Thx friends,
Driving down tomorrow (it's a 10 hour drive) and going to start this on Sunday.  I gave myself a week to get it done.  Wish me luck :)
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: South_paw on March 16, 2018, 07:16:02 PM

If I recall correctly. Some of the rear window trim has clips with long studs that get bolted on from inside the cab of the car. You may have to peel back the headliner to access a few of them. All of the front windshield trim is removable on a 60S without removing the glass.

Good luck
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on March 21, 2018, 11:24:08 PM
3 full days of work so far and I'm making progress! Slow and steady, definitely harder work than I expected. I didn't expect the door windows would have to come out to get the reveal moldings off. That sure added a new dimension.

This car is fighting me; I've drilled out several screws and bolts that were rusted or stripped and have found rust in places I never expected. The worst disappointment so far is the nuts on several of the Fleetwood hash marks were rusted on and the studs broke.

I've got a dozen Ziploc bags of labeled nuts and screws along with diagrams of where it all came from. And a growing list of what was drilled out or missing. Can never be too organized.

By the way, can anyone tell me how to get the Cadillac fender script off without breaking the attachment pins? I broke a couple pins on the Fleetwood script and don't want to repeat the mistake.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Sevillian on March 22, 2018, 01:15:39 AM
There are places like King of Trim in SoCal that will refinish and repair trim, including repairing broken-off studs.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on March 22, 2018, 10:38:40 AM
Hello Bob,
                 On my 55 I did not have to remove windows I removed the rubber bumper stop inside the door panel I might also disconnect the window from the lift mechanism. That gave me enough room to remove the trim. Is the script held on by speed nuts or those flat pain in the butt spring steel. Either way I have found this product the best for remove stuck fasteners itís Aerokroil. I know you are on a time frame so maybe a squirt of some penetrating oil might help. Have fun.

Keep Cruzin,
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on March 23, 2018, 05:36:48 PM
It's the flat ones. I decided to leave them on and let the pros break the pins instead of me.

She's just about naked now. I left the windshield reveal molding and those Cadillac scripts. 

Here's a silly question.. how do I know what's stainless and what's chrome? I'm tempted to bring it all to the chrome shop and have him tell me which is which.

With the door panels and seats out, seems like a good time to get those spruced up too.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Roger Zimmermann on March 24, 2018, 02:38:59 AM
Usually the front fender moldings are chromed steel. A magnet is not the best way to differentiate them because the stainless used in automotive industry is attracted by a magnet. However, the back side has a different aspect than chromed parts, so you may se the diference.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on April 07, 2018, 07:21:24 PM
Anyone have a picture of a 54 front door without the door panel on?  Trying to organize nut and bolts and I must have mislabeled something.  Silly me, I made a ton of diagrams but didn't take any pictures
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Clewisiii on April 07, 2018, 07:25:14 PM
There are never enough pictures. I have thousands for my 61 and still not enough. And the door mechanism is impossible to photograph properly
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on April 07, 2018, 07:38:23 PM
I just found I have a couple extra screws and cant quite figure where they came from lol.  My diagrams are really meticulous and pictures didn't seem to be the way to go (at the time) since there were screws etc going together from so many different angles.

If I was going to be putting it back together myself, I'd be really confident to get it right. But..I'm handing all this off to the shop doing the paint, and want to give my notes to them 100% complete.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on April 07, 2018, 08:08:56 PM
The current state of my living room while I sort things out.  If I were married, I'd be in some serious hot water!
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: South_paw on April 08, 2018, 11:41:25 AM

You may want to bring the stainless trim with you to the plater. Cadillac did plate all of the stainless with a process called flash chrome. Basically all that means is the bare stainless received the chromium plating only. No copper or nickel. The reason for this is because when bare polished stainless is next to chrome it doesn't match in color. Polished stainless appears yellowish when it's next to chrome.

You can polish your stainless trim but keep in mind if you break through the flash chrome, you will notice the difference.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on April 13, 2018, 03:59:51 PM
Chrome is going to be a huge percentage of my overall budget. I finally have everything off and all of the chrome is at the platers. I gave him exactly 50 pieces of chrome in all. Studs on 8 of the 16 Fleetwood nash marks need to be repaired. 

I did bring the stainless with me, but I think I would rather give it a go myself than pay another $2500 to have the shop do 25 or so pieces.  There's also the 20 or so grill slats that I didn't bring, so we are talking 100 pieces of brightwork in all!  The shop told me since it's all in good shape to start with, if I stick with the white rouge I'll be fine.   Except for the rocker pieces that is. Those are going to take some work.

There are a couple good threads here about doing stainless but if anyone has any other tips, it would be much appreciated.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: rare eldorado on April 14, 2018, 09:21:24 AM
Hello Robert If you can get an eastwood catalog or go on line to there web site  they can supply you with all the tools and polish to restore your stainless trim .If you have a bench grinder it can be converted to a polish machine  .They can also give you an instructions sheet of how to do it .It will show you how to take out dents in the trim .Purchasing all the equipment is less exspensive than sending the trim out ,,and you will have it for future use . The web site eastwood.com or 800 343 9353
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: RobertM on April 14, 2018, 12:03:09 PM
Fantastic advice.  Thank you,  I'll check out right now.
Title: Re: Removing trim
Post by: Caddy Daddy 55 on April 15, 2018, 11:07:31 AM
Hello Bob,
                When I polished the stainless on my 55 I used a pedestal grinder. First thing and Iím sure you are aware of this a good pair of work gloves. The other suggestion is put old blankets or moving pad on the floor beneath the polishing wheel. I found out the hard way when a piece got loose out of my hands and hit the floor then shot across the garage floor.:o Also when you polish donít get to close to the edge toward the shaft of the grinder I had one slip and hit the spinning shaft and caused damage to the piece which I had to have professionally repaired. :P Have fun.


Bob Kielar