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Old 05-02-2016, 01:25 PM   #1
NoNeck
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Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

OK guys, I searched the forums and found plenty of advice on REMOVING the upper stainless tailgate trim. I need some tips on installing the trim.

The tailgate is NOS, but it didn't have the upper trim holes. We are adding MarK stainless trim and had the body shop mock up and drill the holes before paint. During the mock up, the stainless was dented from the back side in two different places on both pieces. Not sure what they did wrong, but I am installing new ones myself after the body shop reimbursed us.

I don't want to make the same mistakes they did and end up with dimples in the stainless. Anyone installed the trim before? What size should the holes be for the push-in clips? I know the basic ideas is to take your time and not force the clips into the holes.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
POP
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:04 PM   #2
mcbassin
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNeck View Post
OK guys, I searched the forums and found plenty of advice on REMOVING the upper stainless tailgate trim. I need some tips on installing the trim.

The tailgate is NOS, but it didn't have the upper trim holes. We are adding MarK stainless trim and had the body shop mock up and drill the holes before paint. During the mock up, the stainless was dented from the back side in two different places on both pieces. Not sure what they did wrong, but I am installing new ones myself after the body shop reimbursed us.

I don't want to make the same mistakes they did and end up with dimples in the stainless. Anyone installed the trim before? What size should the holes be for the push-in clips? I know the basic ideas is to take your time and not force the clips into the holes.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
POP
Pop,
I'm not sure what clips you used, but I found using either NOS GM clips or old used ones that have been restored(I did this on a few that I was short on).
I found the aftermarket clips I bought were entirely too tight in the stock holes.
You might open the holes up a little with the aftermarket clips.

Just a heads up, all the exterior trim on our trucks is all aluminum.
The only stainless trim I know of is on the window frames.
good luck.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:52 PM   #3
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Mike -

All the clips came from MarK and fit really well. The body shop drilled the holes before final paint to make sure the holes weren't bare metal. I'm wondering if the layers of primer, paint and clear have filled the holes somewhat.

For comparison, what does the factory holes measure?

Thanks again.

POP
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

The upper tailgate trim assembly originally used two different size holes, as referenced from a 69 assembly drawing. The spring clip push-ins "A" are .332-.352" diameter. The threaded clips "B" are .228" diameter as are the center section's barrel nuts/clips. The lower are all size "A".

Upper trim, three sections
B A A A B B A A A B

Lower trim
A A A A A A A A A
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:55 PM   #5
71meangreenc10
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I rolled up some masking tape and put it behind the clip. Go between the clip and trim piece. Worked like a charm. Mine came as a kit, so if the clips were wrong, it is on them...


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Old 05-02-2016, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

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Old 05-03-2016, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNeck View Post
Mike -

All the clips came from MarK and fit really well. The body shop drilled the holes before final paint to make sure the holes weren't bare metal. I'm wondering if the layers of primer, paint and clear have filled the holes somewhat.

For comparison, what does the factory holes measure?

Thanks again.

POP
Pop,
Sorry, Tim beat me to the reply.
You are right the base and clear will add thickness to the inside diameter. On my truck, I would just lightly ream the paint off with the correct drill. On other pieces I had to drill new holes. (very scary in new paint!).
Then, I would just primer the inside of the hole to prevent rust.
For what it's worth the GM assembly manual is very difficult to decrypt the locations. Fortunately for me I have several other trucks and body parts to use for reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS Tim View Post
The upper tailgate trim assembly originally used two different size holes, as referenced from a 69 assembly drawing. The spring clip push-ins "A" are .332-.352" diameter. The threaded clips "B" are .228" diameter as are the center section's barrel nuts/clips. The lower are all size "A".

Upper trim, three sections
B A A A B B A A A B

Lower trim
A A A A A A A A A
Thanks Tim!
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:58 PM   #8
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

More problems... either the reproduction aluminum tailgate trim is too thick or the reproduction blind clips are too short. I can't get the clips to seat into the holes. They are too short to reach the bevel that holds them on. Plus, the little tension tails are breaking off of the clips.

Repro molding + repro clips = total frustration. I am going to try to locate some original GM "army green" blind clips. Any body have a source for these?

Thanks,
POP
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:41 AM   #9
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNeck View Post
More problems... either the reproduction aluminum tailgate trim is too thick or the reproduction blind clips are too short. I can't get the clips to seat into the holes. They are too short to reach the bevel that holds them on. Plus, the little tension tails are breaking off of the clips.

Repro molding + repro clips = total frustration. I am going to try to locate some original GM "army green" blind clips. Any body have a source for these?

Thanks,
POP
I found a lot of those type clips here in the parts section. They are getting hard to find though. I would restore used ones before I'd try to use the aftermarket ones.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Quote:
I rolled up some masking tape and put it behind the clip. Go between the clip and trim piece. Worked like a charm.
Thanks Smitty - That gave me an idea... I cut small strips of Velcro and stuck just the black (soft) part behind the clips. They worked great! Just like a little cushion between the aluminum and the clip.

Quote:
I found a lot of those type clips here in the parts section.
Mike, you are right. I'm going to post a WTB in the parts section for original clips.

Thanks guys,

POP
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:06 PM   #11
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoNeck View Post
Thanks Smitty - That gave me an idea... I cut small strips of Velcro and stuck just the black (soft) part behind the clips. They worked great! Just like a little cushion between the aluminum and the clip.



Mike, you are right. I'm going to post a WTB in the parts section for original clips.

Thanks guys,

POP
I like the Velcro idea!

Those clips look just like the ones I tossed in the trash.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:10 AM   #12
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I am currently doing this on my recently painted truck. Thankfully I have another tailgate with the trim on it, so I like to share some helpful information to this thread. I have not yet done this, hopefully doing it this weekend.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:16 AM   #13
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Using drill bit 5/16 and 7/32, as you can tell in the pics.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:21 AM   #14
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

My truck just came out of the body shop, sure hope not to make mistakes.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:34 AM   #15
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I have used 3M side molding double sided tape to hold on those moldings, they won't come off until you cut the tape seal.
No need to drill holes either.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:22 PM   #16
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Good tip, I may just try it. Doing side mokding as well.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:31 PM   #17
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I've experienced loose fitting tailgate trim using Mar-K brand and the clips they supply as well as non-Mar-K trim with clips from a board vendor.

I am bumping this thread to see if anyone else out there has experienced similar problems recently with tailgate trim install.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:23 PM   #18
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

DeadheadNM,

I remember this original post.
First the OE clips are your best bet if you can get them.

I too was concerned how some were damaging the trim when installing.
Using the quality Mar-K trim, the after market clips they provided, I took NoNecks (post#10) advice and used the soft sided Velcro between the trim and clips.
I did experience two of the cheap repo trim clips spring tabs breaking though.
I flared out the clips slightly before snapping into the mounting holes and
they fortunately seated tight.
I also did the Velcro method on the fragile tail light bezels
Good luck,
Sam
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:17 PM   #19
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Thanks Sam! I’m going to try some NOS clips next and see what shakes out. I suspect that sadly like the windshield trim the repro pieces are poorly made and won’t function as OEM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:19 PM   #20
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I might direct Mar-K to this thread depending on what others have to say. Their product should fit and function as original though the fault likely rests with the clips.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:18 PM   #21
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Your welcome Deadhead,
Yes, the repro clips can be problematic.

I called Mar-K about the trim they offered and what was made in house.
After talking to them, they updated their web site about what products they actually manufactured.

FYI,
Mar-K manufactures the three tailgate trim pieces:
RH Upper, LH Upper and the long Lower one piece.
IMHO, excellent quality and finish compared to other after market trim.

They offer but do not make the Upper center trim piece (above the tailgate handle). It is from another manufacturer.
Tail light bezels are not made in house and are also from another manufacturer.

I have read that many members on this site agree that Mar-K made lower side body moldings are of excellent quality fit and finish wise.
You also pay a little more for their shipping and quality packaging.
I would use the Mar-K manufactured products again.

Good luck with your truck.
Sam
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:48 AM   #22
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

Sam good info thank you. I know that Mar-K doesnít make one or two of the lower trim pieces oddly enough. Also, I noticed that my Mar-K lower wood grain on the doors has a slightly different contour of the upper bright portion relative to adjoining pieces. When the light is right these door pieces are dark where the remaining trim reflects the light. Drives me nuts. I had NOS pieces I could have used and still do but donít want to pull off the sheet metal to replace these.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:11 PM   #23
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Re: Tips On Installing Upper Tailgate Trim

I can confirm that with NOS clips the bright tailgate molding pieces install without any difficulty.

THE AFTERMARKET REPRO CLIPS FROM MAR-K AND ANOTHER VENDOR DO NOT WORK AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED - PRESUMABLY THESE CLIPS ARE FROM THE SAME MANUFACTURER
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