View Full Version : Body: Need help removing trim from 53 Regal

07-18-2017, 12:33 AM
I need to remove the trim from my 53 Regal Commander safely. I can figure the door trim comes off with the bolts and nuts but what is a safe way to remove the drip rail and windshield trim? I want to be able to put it back on.
https://s19.postimg.org/8l4tq8hlv/2017-07-17_16.36.30.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/ukb8dfyfz/)
https://s19.postimg.org/7garkuv4z/2017-07-17_16.36.21.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/yqw2sry1r/)
https://s19.postimg.org/ys60m6zvn/2017-07-17_16.36.37.jpg (https://postimage.org)

07-18-2017, 06:28 AM
The restoration shop in my area told me to use a brake adjusting spoon and gently work the trim from the bottom. Removed the drip rail trim that way from my 59 wagon. I also used a paint stir stick to protect the body.

07-18-2017, 07:28 AM
The windshield trim is locked into the rubber gasket. You'll have to remove the windshield, then remove the trim.

07-18-2017, 07:50 AM
Also on the windshield side trim pieces, there may be two small Phillips screws that attach trim to the roof pillar.

07-18-2017, 07:52 AM
the drip rail trim can be removed with an old fashioned beer can opener. one end pointed and the other flat. use the flat end with some tape. modern paint can openers are
not the same although they appear similar. my Hamm's opener worked fine on the speedster. trim just snaps back on.

07-18-2017, 08:08 AM
On the drip rail, you see there is a tie-in clip (my word) to cover the ends. I would start there. Some of these parts require the deftness and dexterity of a jeweler's hands. Study the parts, and gently pry as you work at the trim. Essential to work within the spring memory of the metal, and not over stretch/stress it. In the past, when doing this task, I have taken old plastic tooth brushes, ground a chisel point on the handles, and used them to pry off the parts. It has been a long time since I have done this, so I'm being careful not to be too bold to advise you.

I had a brother that would have ripped them off and then wondered what went wrong.:oops: Some of these parts require patience, and instead of "ripping" them off, require you to "worry" them off.;) My experience is so dated, that if I had to do it today, I'd have to re-teach myself.:o:rolleyes:

07-18-2017, 09:19 AM
When it comes to the drip rails, SLOW and steady wins the race. Go SLOW! Did I mention to GO SLOW!! :)

07-18-2017, 09:47 AM
After removing the drip moulding make sure you sand to the bare metal and than prime coat very thin
When you paint over your old paint , your drip moulding will not snap in properly.

07-18-2017, 09:48 AM
When it comes to the drip rail mdlg. if it doesn't have to come off leave it on and tape it off.

07-18-2017, 09:48 AM
May be best NOT to remove the drip rail stainless.

07-18-2017, 09:51 AM
If you can't, or don't want to make your own tools, here is a set with a variety of tips and angles for trim removal.http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-5-piece-nylon-trim-removal-tools.html

07-18-2017, 09:58 AM
Great information. But I want to be clear. The old beer opener is the type we used to punch the hole in top, correct? And when you say bottom to top are we talking slight prying motion grabbing the bottom of the drip rail? The big stainless windshield strips are in the moulding? Do the top of the door mouldings just pry off as well? I know the are held on be clips underneath. Same with the rear spears?

07-18-2017, 10:04 AM
All the trim has to come off. I am transferring it to the other rust free car I have. I like the look of it.

07-18-2017, 03:44 PM
I guess that taking it of the parts car is to only answer, but I fear that you won't like the removal process and will like the installing results even less. I was told this many years ago but didn't listen. I guess that we all have to make our own mistakes at least once.

07-19-2017, 07:50 AM
yes, it is the type with the end used to punch a hole in a can. The other end is for bottle caps. You cover that flat end with some tape and use it as you would to pry off a bottle cap - grabbing the bottom of the drip rail.
as others have said - slowly and it will come off with no damage. I do not remember how the windshield stainless is removed.

07-19-2017, 10:21 AM
Really do not have choice for removal. I need to move the trim from this car

https://s19.postimg.org/ys60m6zvn/2017-07-17_16.36.37.jpg (https://postimage.org)

To this car

https://s19.postimg.org/ujqyvhkmb/52167893525_A4_EFE8_B5-_F4_A5-4_B40-_B711-362_E0224_F92.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/z5n33u65b/)

Mike Sal
07-19-2017, 10:38 AM
I use a small paint scraper in between the can opener and the drip rail moulding, to spread the pressure out & not cause a small dent from the opener. Yes, it takes two hands and yes it's slow, but there is no other way. As soon as you get in a hurry, you'll bend & twist the moulding & then it will look like crap when you re-install it.
The best plan would be to find a junker that you can practice on before tackling the good one.
Mike Sal

07-19-2017, 10:48 AM
Does anyone have a picture of the opener against the rail? The rail on this car is far from perfect. Maybe I should look for one that someone has for sale?

T.J. lavallee
07-19-2017, 12:06 PM
When it comes to the drip rail mdlg. if it doesn't have to come off leave it on and tape it off.

I concur. The possibility of warping the drip rail is ever present at every inch. Carefully taping it off is great advise and the only option as far as I am concerned. "If it ain't broke don't fix it" surely applies to this one.

07-19-2017, 04:59 PM
Sure looks like 55 trim to me. (Stainless, not chrome. Also, wasn't the windshield trim thinner on the 53 and didn't have the wide sides?)

In addition to what was said, the pieces between the wipers are tough because there are small bolts way way way up in the dashboard to remove. You will need a few socket extensions.

07-19-2017, 05:56 PM
I cannot say if it's 55 trim or not. I have seen a 53 with pot metal trim before. No problem getting the windshield wiper trim out since the entire dash is coming out first.

07-20-2017, 07:45 PM
I wrapped electrical tape on the jaws of a slip joint pliers for removing this stuff.

It hooks over the top of the drip rail and snaps on the bottom, so removal is you gently work if off prying the bottom outwards. Take the joiner clips off first (1 each side near vent windows and 1 in center of windshield). Then start taking the sides off from the front and work toward the qtr window. Work about a foot of it slowly and gradually as it will kink if you look at it wrong. Extra care on the curve around the back of the qtr windows. The 2 windshield pcs start in the center and work outwards.

The worst part of this is trying to polish it off the car and then storing it someplace it won't get damaged until time to put it back on. Tape the strip to a pc of conduit or wood or something and polish it in short sections. Too easy to get it grabbed in the polish wheel and mangled (been there and done that!!!). You can work out dents the normal way for stainless repair.

Also, when putting it back on resist any and all temptations to smack it if it does not want to snap back on at the bottom. You WILL dent it (been there and done that!!!).

07-20-2017, 08:16 PM
Great information. I could polish it on the car first. It is going on a different body and the other car will get repainted.

ed ellis
07-26-2017, 05:21 PM
The 55 Commander C-5 body had SS belt moldings instead of pot metal. They are highly prized as they look great when polished and of course they don't pit.

55 56 PREZ 4D
07-26-2017, 10:21 PM
It helps to have another person to hold the drip rail pieces as they come off. ONLY to hold and support, NOT helping to pull them off.
When reinstalling, apply firm pressure on top of the stainless to assure it is in place on the drip rail before attempting to push the bottom in place.
Keep the pressure spread out and near the bottom of the stainless.