restoring moulding pieces - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 00, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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The moulding pieces on my '67 RS are in good shape, but after 30+ years have a lot of pitting. These are the pieces around the headlamps, along the rockers, lower doors etc. Is there a way to buff or sand out the pits to make them look new again? Should I just buy new pieces? (I believe these parts are made from aluminum but could be wrong.) Thanks for any advice!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 00, 09:22 AM
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Jim
 
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Those mouldings are stainless steel, and, correct me if I'm wrong, but once they're shot, they're shot.



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 00, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think they are stainless because I took all of the trim to a shop to have it buffed out. They could do the windshield moulding and the moulding around the convertible top/body because they were stainless steel, but wouldn't do the trim pieces like the RS chrome on the doors and fenders and the long rocker panel chrome piece because they weren't stainless. (this shop used to be great but not too helpful anymore.)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 00, 02:09 PM
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Most of the front grille mouldings are aluminum. I re-did all of the front trim pieces on my 68 RS, which does not have the large headlight surrounds. I found the best way to brighten up the trim is to first use a small hammer and punch/prick etc. to straighten and flatten any irregularities in the surface. You can then use sandpaper to remove pits and smooth out your hammer areas. Start with 180 grit and work up to 400+. Buff out the sanded sections using a buffing wheel and various compounds. A rubber sanding block comes in handy. If you need to paint in black sections, you can mask, or cheat like I did. Paint the whole thing, then using a paper towel with laquer thinner wipe away the wet paint on the areas that should expose shiny metal. Usually these areas are long and thin and are easy to handle. Once you get the knack for it they go quickly. It took me a day to do the front grillwork and a day to do the RS side mouldings. The stainless mouldings can also be sanded/buffed but are much more difficult because they are made of a harder material. If you buff the stainless be sure not to get it too hot or it will bend. The best thing about re-doing your original mouldings is that you know they fit and it is much less expensive.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 00, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Carl, thanks for the post, the "fitting" part is what I am concerned with so I am glad to hear the original pieces can be restored!
Another technique I have used when painting parts where some of the paint will need to come off like the front trim, take a Q-Tip lightly coat the areas where you don't want paint with Vaseline. After the paint dries, these areas will wipe off very easily.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 00, 08:39 AM
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Oh please, that's way too easy and not nearly as much fun as breathing fumes. Uh, what was I saying?????
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 00, 08:49 AM
 
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Just went through this whole job with my car. Like DenverRS/SS said the moldings around the side, front and rear glass is SST. So are the door locks. These can be polished. But unless you have experience buffing SST trim I would call a local chroming place as they should have the talent to do this. For my car this cost $400 and looks better than new. They took out several large dings and buffed them up. The lower rocker moldings is a different story. If they are pitted badly you will probably need to replace them. The aftermarket "junk" that I got is still in my basement as I can't get it on properly. I have tried two mounting kits and it still does not fit. I did my front grill area parts the same way as CarlC and they look great. Hope this helps.
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