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Old 03-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
LEEVON
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'81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

This isn't a hard task, but there isn't much detail out there so I figured a how-to might be helpful.

1) Source. The regular vendors sell this trim in pre-cut kits or bulk. In addition there are a couple of online sources that have the trim in bulk, and I've heard it could be purchased at parts stores, although I'm not sure of the quality or availability. I decided against a pre-cut kit because I'd rather have control over exactly where the cuts are made. A 32' roll from LMC was enough to do the job and then some, and the price was right.

2) Tools. Marker, tape, string line, cutting tool. You need any "anvil" type cutter where the cutting head is backed by a flat plate. Side or bypass cutters won't do the trick. Somebody more determined than me might be able to use a razor or saw, but I'd be suspect of the results. You will probably need to buy the anvil cutter, and the box that the molding came in recommends a "Ronan Multi-Cutter". Hardware stores generally don't carry these, but you can easily order them. I was going to do this, then I remembered that I have a nice set of Fiskar pruners with a very sharp anvil head. One test cut confirmed they would do the job. Now, this may seem picky, but there is more than one purpose to the anvil cutter. The compressing action pushes the slight edge of the chrome into the molding, essentially sealing it off. If you cut with a razor, the chrome will probably de-laminate much quicker (evidenced by the old molding I removed from my truck). Now they make sealer pens for the ends, you could also use something else to seal them but I found my cuts were nice and tight, so I took a chance and didn't use sealer.

3) Layout. This is one of those things where there are as many ways to skin the cat as there are people doing it. I didn't want any sags or offsets. I considered using a laser level, but ultimately decided to keep it simple with a string line. I simply used the rear corner molding and the front marker light and looped the string line around each end. Being very careful to keep the same line, I placed tape on the wheel arch trim, securing the string line, then I carefully placed more tape on the body itself. This created a "hard edge" if you will to place the trim right up to.

4) Installation. I measured each length with a tape, leaving about 3/16" at the edges. My first cut for each piece was 90 degrees to the longest measurement, then if a different angle was required I held it or taped it in place and marked the angle cuts. I did not bevel the front of the doors, they open fine and don't interfere. That may depend on your door gaps though. Sticking the molding on is self-explanatory, there are two rows of 3M adhesive tape. I pulled the bottom first, making sure the top was tight to my string line and then pulled the top. Press it on, and voila!
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Last edited by LEEVON; 03-23-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

More pics.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

Thanks for the write-up!
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

10-4!
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

Can you post some pics of the gaps for between the doors/fenders, doors/cab, and how you trimmed up the the fuel doors. I seen on the wheel well trim it looks like you left about a 3/16 gap between. Just curious how you did tha above mentioned. I would like to how much gap is left. Thanks for the right up. Hopefully it won't be too long before I am doing this. Great Job!
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

Thanks! This is what I have handy, a crop from the full side shot.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: '81-'91 Body Side Molding "How-to"

Thank you Sir!
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