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How I removed the fender trim

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How I removed the fender trim Empty How I removed the fender trim

Post by Hotrod Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:41 pm

I thought I would do a quick thread on how I removed the trim from my car.

Classic Roadsters used 4-40 screws with nuts to retain the trim.  The extruded tubing that the trim is made from is just wide enough on the inside to accept the head of the screw.  This method was cheap and fairly easy to do, when the screws were new.

However, the screws were just blackened steel with no plating to prevent rust and rust they did.  Mine were not rusted solid, but nearly every one of them had some major corrosion damage to the exposed threads as well as some rust in the threaded connection inside the nut.

The other issue was that the head of the screw had nothing to keep it from rotating inside the trim piece.  Trying to remove the nut would work sometimes, but most of the time you couldn’t even get the nut to turn without spinning the screw in the trim.  I did come up with a solution, though.

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 I realized early on that there was no reason to try and save the screws for reuse.  They were pretty much toast after 25 or so years of road grime and water.  Besides, 4-40 screws and nuts are dirt cheap in box quantities.

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What I did for most of them was use a small set of Vice Grip pliers to grab the long tail of the screw and a small wrench (1/4” if I remember)to turn the nut off as far as I could.

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Then I used a pair of end cutting pliers to get behind the nut and cut the screw.  I had to turn the nut back a few turns or I couldn’t get the cutters behind the nut.

This worked for most of them, but occasionally I had one that would not turn.  For these there was no choice but to break out my 4 ½” grinder and grind the nut off.   I didn’t like doing this because of the heat generated and the possibility of damaging the fiberglass.  Grinders make short work of the soft fiberglass, so go carefully if you have to do this.  Also, goggles or a full face shield(much much better) is definitely required for this close quarter work.  Fortunately, in my case, I only had about 10% that I had to do this way.

Hope this helps some of you.

FWIW - I'm going to attempt to make a better thought out system to retain the trim that will be more easily removed AND reusable.  I'll post that up when I get to that point.  That will most likely be next spring, though.
Hotrod
Hotrod

Posts : 844
Join date : 2014-06-17

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