Progress Thread Trim Blackout

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Virtual, Feb 8, 2014.


  1. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    I'm happy with how my stang sits right now mechanically (I know... shhh.. knock on wood), and I promised myself I'd work on some of the cosmetic stuff. It's actually pretty good cosmetically overall, but over the years the trim has faded and is probably the one part of the car that instantly shows it's age when you see it. So I'm planning on taking it all off, re-blacking (is that a word?) it or replacing it, and then putting it all back on. This is a first for me, so I'm not 100% sure what I'm getting myself into. I'm expecting that repainting it will get me that "like new" look that I'm wanting.

    If any of you have any wisdom, tips, or suggestions of trim parts that I have to especially careful with during removal or reinstall, or any hints about the painting process to get the best results. Nows the time! I'm starting this weekend, so any tips to guide me (or the next guy) are welcome.

    Oh.. and it's a vert so we're talking well molding as well.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  2. 25thmustang

    25thmustang Advanced Member

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    Careful with the windshield molding, it's fragile and takes the right angle to pry it off.

    SEM trim black looks very nice in my opinion.
  3. Fordfreak93

    Fordfreak93 Member

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    Take your time, go slow and don't pry too hard. If it doesn't feel right, it might not be! Take pics and bag all of your hardware
  4. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    Here's some of the obligatory before pix.

    TrimBefore1.JPG

    TrimBefore2.JPG

    TrimBefore3.JPG

    So far I've just removed the easy stuff, but it's gone well. As mentioned above by 25thMustang, and my friends at LMR its gonna be SEM trim black to get it looking better.
  5. mikestang63

    mikestang63 Mustang Master

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    Those trms pieces can be a PITA to remove without breaking. You must use the correct trim removal tool to engage the clips and also use the plastic trim molding tools or you will break the pieces. Sometimes it's easier to mask off the area and spray the pieces in place.
  6. 91TwighlightGT

    91TwighlightGT Active Member

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    I've never had much issue with the front windshield trim. The back glass ones have been a nightmare on both of my cars though.

    Repainting them should bring them back just fine. I do really recommend sanding them smooth, priming, then painting them to make them look good. Also, be careful on the door belt moldings, the plastic is molded over the metal (aluminum I believe?) and over time it becomes brittle and the edges can chip easily. No big deal if you aren't rough with it, but keep it in mind.
  7. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    This is probably the lamest progress thread ever, since I lost the memory card that had all my pictures on it.

    But here's how these worked out at least. It was a real pain in the #$^% trying to get things off. Again I was probably being overly careful but that was probably for the best. Getting them on again was tricky in a few places also.

    As far as the trunk luggage rack is concerned, I had a few places where the clear coat was degraded on the trunk lid itself, so I took it off and took it to a body shop to repaint it. They drilled off the rack pieces, let me paint them myself, and then they riveted them back on again when they were done. I also had them paint some new side molding pieces for me that had faded over time. All in all it looks a lot better. Almost new!

    Mainly what surprised me was how much paint the trim pieces soaked up. Despite using the pre-treatment they would look fine right after painting, but it all had pretty much soaked in by the next day. So I think I put on at least 5 coats.

    Pup-trim-after-front.jpg

    Pup-trim-after-rear.jpg
  8. hoopty5.0

    hoopty5.0 Mustang Master

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    Wow! That looks great
  9. tamadrummer88

    tamadrummer88 Active Member

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    Im gonna be trying this with my trim. Replacing the pieces is costly, so I'm gonna attempt to paint them and see how it looks. The drip rail and door outer belt molding is the worst.
  10. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    FWIW.. My outer door belt molding is something I will probably end up replacing. Basically it's the issue that 91TwilightGT warned about above.. Not only did it not come out as well as the other molding did, unlike the other molding which is all shiny and smooth, the door outer belt is rough and very brittle. So I already had one little part chip off (which is why I didn't sand it more), and it doesn't look nearly as good as everything else. I'll try and see if I can capture the difference between them and the other molding in a picture and post it.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  11. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    When you get up close you can still see flaws, but I'm happy since you have to look close to see them. There are a number of places where scratches as such just didn't come out, but at least they're now black scratches that match their surroundings.
  12. tamadrummer88

    tamadrummer88 Active Member

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    I just did one of mine tonight with a trim paint we sell locally (we don't have the SEM trim paint here, and they can't fly aerosols to hawaii) and it came out okay. Gonna wait till it fully dries to see how it really came out.
  13. Grabbin' Asphalt

    Grabbin' Asphalt Mustang Master

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    Trim pieces help detail the car, it's very important and your progress looks great. Makes the car pop :nice:
  14. mccarthd

    mccarthd New Member

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    Great work on the trim! It looks good as new. What shop did the paint work? Glad to see you kept the luggage rack - love the look on a convertible.

    The trim on my 92 GT vert suffered the same fate as yours. When my driver quarter window decided to crap out last fall I decided I would finally tackle the job of replacing/ refurbishing all the faded exterior trim at the same time. Currently I have the car in the garage with all of the convertible well moldings (LH, RH and middle) and trunk hinge covers removed. I ordered new lower and upper plastic well moldings from LMR (at a hefty price) because mine were cracked.

    I see you had a shop remove and install the luggage rack for you. I am glad I found your post before moving forward. I am debating now if I should have a shop paint all of the trim or if I should do it myself. Yours looks like it turned out great. Did you use any different process painting the metal vs the plastic trim pieces? The hinge covers and middle upper convertible well trim piece are metal and look as though they were powder coated from the factory. Also, how steep was the price on the paint work you had? Most of my GT ground effect trim is very faded and need fresh paint.
  15. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    Don't want to pretend like I know what I'm doing. If you search this site, there's another trim painting thread with guidance from someone who is clearly more knowledgeable than myself.

    Just took it slow slow slow and redid anything I didn't like the look of. I sanded down the pieces I could, just to make sure the surface was smooth before applying the paint. Didn't use multiple grades of sandpaper, just used a fine grade and rubbed gently. All of the plastic trim got adhesive promoter first and then the paint. Didn't use any primer, and I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me later. But it might be why it took so many coats. The metal pieces just got smoothed out on the existing coat of paint (not enough to remove it if it was there) enough to make it smooth to the touch especially in the transition areas where some had peeled off. And then new coats of paint went on that. After 2 coats, you could still tell where the old paint had peeled even though I had tried to sand those transitions smooth, but by the 3rd coat you couldn't tell any more.

    I talked to a number of shops about repainting the trunk lid. I was surprised how much they wanted for doing just it, since the rest of everything else is pretty good. There seems to be a "price of entry" just get them to do anything at all for you, but I wanted it done right. Many just didn't want to do it in the first place since they said the new and the old paint on the car wouldn't match up (not just color). I never asked about having them paint the rest of the trim but I'm sure that would have cost many $100's more. I saved $200 by redoing the luggage rack pieces myself, and this way I know everything would get the same black. In the end I paid $600 for the trunk and 4 pieces of the side molding. 2 were new which I had bought from LMR, and 2 were just repainted and got new strips of 2 sided tape. Rather than just using the factory color, they ran some electrical gadget thingy (technical term) across the surface to allow them to color match to the paint on the car since it's probably faded over it's original color.
  16. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    Don't know if it shows up in the picture, but here's the difference between the door belt molding and the well molding. The door molding is all rough compared to the well molding. I tried to sand it smoother, but it ended up chipping because it's so old and brittle. I'll post that next.

    Pup-trim-2.JPG
  17. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    This is what happened to the door belt molding after some fairly gentle sanding. It also cracked in another place in a similar semi-circle pattern on the edge, and I just stopped there. I did paint it anyway, but it didn't come out as well at the other pieces.

    Pup-trim-1.JPG
  18. Grabbin' Asphalt

    Grabbin' Asphalt Mustang Master

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    That door molding is really easy to replace. Open the door, remove the screw on the end and slide it out on the track going toward the rear of the car. There are small round slider rivets that can break so be gentle pulling, they have slot grooves, those parts are replaceable too.
    mccarthd likes this.
  19. 89oem

    89oem Active Member

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    looks really good!
    howd you remove all the windshield and well molding? mines in good shape but flat black due to age... the door piece just does that mines the same figure LMR has the piece when i get around to it...
  20. Virtual

    Virtual Active Member

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    Keep in mind you're seeing photos and the real thing isn't quite as "as new", but like I said, I'm pretty pleased with how it all came out.

    LMR (I think) has videos on taking off the windshield moldings. So I'll refer you to those. I give them and CJPoneyParts lots of kudos for posting all of those how-to vidz. If it's not LMR videos, search eeeww-tooob. Everything just snaps off, but trim tools are invaluable (and cheap). The lower windshield moldings were probably the trickiest part to remove, since you have to take off the vertical strip they connect too first, and be really careful not to snap the tabs that hold them in. I was prepared to just replace mine since they're really cheap $20/pair, and honestly at that price it's probably easier to replace them than paint them.

    The well moldings are bolt on. You have to lower the roof too get under the top lip of the quarter panel where there are 3 nuts holding the molding to the car from studs that are on the molding. On my car one side was pretty easy, since the nuts were easily available. Though its a little fiddly since there isn't much room for you maneuver the wrench. On the other side though there was some sort of compound all over the nuts which had to be scraped off before I could get to the nuts and take them off. if I had started on that side I would never have known there were nuts under there.

    So here's a little trick in case it helps anyone... Before I got into this I had checked the costs of the various moldings, so I kinda knew what the cost of replacement of each was going to be. Things like the well moldings are pretty expensive, so I started off with the cheaper pieces and did them first. That gave me some experience and practice before I tackled the more expensive ones.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014

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