My '25 coupe has some tiny rust spots on the steel beltline trim piece that runs around the rear of the body just below the quarter windows and rear window. Is there any way to remove this trim piece without damaging the surrounding sheet metal and nice existing paint? Thanks in advance : Bruce
Bruce when restoring my Grandfathers 24 Coupe I raised up the belt line trim molding with a drywall knife. They are thin and can be carefully slid under the molding to raise and remove the trim.
With care you can raise it just enough to find where its nailed to the body. If you need to you can pull the nails to remove it.
You stated that the trim is steel. On my 24 Coupe the trim is aluminum. Be careful with the molding or trim on the closed T's. No body makes this and its almost impossible to find!
I too am looking for suggestions how to safely separate the two pieces of steel trim. I have my coupe's molding hanging from the rafters until I find the secret. There was a man at the Old Car Festival named Mose who has mastered the disassembly; I have yet to see the tool he made.
On my '22 Coupe I used upholstery tools to carefully get under the trim strip and pull it off the car. They are small enough to get in between the two metal pieces but first I scored the paint at the seam with a razor blade. If your not repainting cover the surrounding area with masking tape and if you need to apply more pressure use a thin scrape piece of wood under the upholstery tool before prying against the body of the car. Cover the wood with tape or cloth to protect your paint. If your repainting then have at it.
Getting the molding off the car was not the problem. It came off nails and all. Unlike earlier coupes with solid nail through moldings, the '25 molding looks like the belt molding on a Model A.
There is a slotted steel piece that nails to the body and then a steel cover that snaps over the piece that's nailed to the body. I am trying to figure out how to separate the two pieces so I can paint them and replace them on the vehicle.
Yes, the trim is steel, not aluminum. How is it held onto the body? I'm not sure how to approach the rust problem as I may try to repair it on the body, but would really prefer to remove it and do it right. Thanks again : Bruce
Glass bead the trim edges to remove any paint and rust that might be binding them together. You will need thin putty knives and much patience to do this. Start at one end and spring the outside piece enough to get it to start lifting from one side of the base piece. once you have it started, it's a matter of working it down the molding. Take it easy! and I would try to lift the bottom edge, so any deforming you do may not show up as much as it would if it were on the top side.
Once you have it apart, the cover piece will be quite fragile and easily damaged--treat it with kid gloves, store it out of reach of kids & animals! Prime with a good, but thin primer--I'd recommend an epoxy-based one.
This is not an easy project, it's almost like doing clock work! Be in a good mood before starting--if the mood shifts, set the project aside!!
When snapping it back on, start the top edge and then work the bottom edge over--same reason as when taking it apart!
Hey Tom -
I will be taking possession of my dad's 25 coupe mid June and I also have to figure out how to split the molding. By brothers and I replaced all of the body wood 5 years ago and that belt rail never made its way back on the car. Once I find a reasonably good method, I'll post It.
By chance, does anyone have a drawing or sketch of the profile of this trim piece and related sheet metal so I know in advance just what I'm dealing with? Thanks : Bruce