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Hawk Stainless trim removal process around top of car.

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  • Hawk Stainless trim removal process around top of car.

    I am wondering how to remove the thin stainless trim that goes around the top of a golden hawk. I attempted the removal of the drivers side trim today and feel it is not usable. Patience is one thing that is required but there must be a trick or special tool. I need the passenger side for a rebuild and would love to have the best process.
    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    I guess that you are referring to the trim on the rain gutter. The best advice is to not remove it. If you want to attempt removal, carefully lift it from the lower edge gradually working your way around from an end. Different people use different tools, some homemade, some old style bottle openers, etc.
    Last edited by studegary; 11-23-2018, 12:07 AM.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    • #3
      My favorite tool for drip rail stainless removal is a paint can lid opener. Gently pry from the bottom, starting out on a straight section. Once some of it releases, then you can sort of roll that part of the stainless while continuing to pry. The only touchy part is the tight radius near the upper back quarter window. It takes some finesse, but is very possible.
      In my youth (a long time ago) I always seemed to have ‘57 Silver Hawks. At that time, there were plenty of ‘53 - ‘54 K bodies in the local wrecking yards, and I got real good at removing the drip rail stainless to put on my Silver Hawks.

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      • #4
        The paint can opener may work but the old beer bottle openers are better suited even though they appear about the same. The type with the pointed can opener on one end and the bottle cap opener on the other. I prefer the Hamm's beer model. It is really not that difficult.

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        • #5
          Somewhere in one of my stash of old promotional handouts (now vintage) I have some ruggedly made plastic keychain bottle openers. I have not thought about them 'till reading this thread, but I wonder if they would be up to the task of removing the fragile stainless trim along the rain gutters? I'll have to give it a try later if the thought does not flutter from my mind faster than it flashed into it while reading this thread. By "giving it a try," I will see if the device will catch on the trim so that you could flex the stainless just enough to release its grip without permanently distorting it.

          In the past, I have used the handle of old plastic toothbrushes to fabricate such tools. Appropriately fashioned for their specific tasks the plastic can be rigid enough to pry and yet not damage paint as much as metal tools.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            I used a wide putty knife for removing the rain gutter stainless trim on a late model Lark-type. The wide blade distributes the pressure evenly so as not to kink, or stretch the stainless as a bottle opener will. A light tap on the end of the handle with a hammer will make it 'pop' off the rain gutter evenly, starting at the windshield end.

            Craig

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            • #7
              Originally posted by studegary View Post
              I guess that you are referring to the trim on the rain gutter. The best advice is to not remove it.
              X2.

              I would not try to remove the passenger side. Finding even one good strip to replace your driver's side is not going to be fun.
              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

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              • #8
                Read and heed what Gary and Dick have already recommended. Don't take it off! Why do you think their are so many cars around, that once came with gutter trim, but doesn't have it now. If you remove it there is a really good chance that it will never be replaced. Maybe that's you goal, but if your intent is to replace it, I doubt that it will ever get done.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
                  Read and heed what Gary and Dick have already recommended. Don't take it off! Why do you think their are so many cars around, that once came with gutter trim, but doesn't have it now. If you remove it there is a really good chance that it will never be replaced. Maybe that's you goal, but if your intent is to replace it, I doubt that it will ever get done.
                  these mldgs are difficult to remove without damage & even more difficult to straighten when damaged.
                  Barry'd in Studes

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                  • #10
                    The removal is from a scrap body, to install on a car that has a damaged section. I practiced and failed on the drivers side.

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                    • #11
                      I used a brake spoon and a stir stick. Put the stick under the spoon or it will dent the body. Work down the trim 2 inches at a time. Removed the trim from my 59 wagon. Did not damage it. The info came from a high end restoration shop.

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