Our little series of things the non-mechanic can do to improve the look of his or her aircooledvehicle continues.
In this installment we’re going to do a pretty easy, non expensive upgrade that really does make a difference. Many of us have trim/molding on our cars that has seen the wrong side of shopping carts, or the door edges of the cars that park too close to our precious babies. In some ways that is the purpose of the molding, but much like Bluto….after getting hit in the nose more times than it would like, your molding is probably ready for a change, so….let’s do this.
This is a shot of my molding changing kit. The seven piece molding kit is one of the 2 types we carry for an early bug. Note the procedure for later model bugs is different. We will get into that as we go along. I also ordered the clips and rubber boots from my friendly Chirco counter rep Ruben. As usual he was fast and friendly and really didn’t mind my 37 questions for such a simple thing….he’s a cool cat. I picked up the rubber bondo scrapers from a local auto parts store. Joe Chirco told me to get them as they make a part of the removal really easy and a lot more gentle on your car. The Vaseline is also a tip, this time from senior mechanic John “Been 3 years and still won’t give me a man-hug” Bol. We will cover it’s application shortly.
Here’s a good look at why I need to change my molding. This particular dent came during a heroic rescue of a doe eyed puppy from a well on Edmond’s property “Wild Wind” in Pine Valley. …don’t ask…I do that….rescue puppies I mean. Actually it’s probably one of many grocery store proximity violations that just happen over the course of time.
Step 1…gotta take the molding off the car. The molding is just snapped into place with these little clips and you could get a screwdriver and pry them off. That would however probably scratch your paint and even if your car doesn’t have a decent finish, why do that? How would you feel if someone pried your glasses off with a screwdriver?!…I know right?. Joe suggested I get a bondo scraper for this.
It was pretty easy. I just gently shoved the scraper with a teeny portion of my might and popped the molding out of the holes it’s clips were snapped into.
Now, John “I like the movie Grosse Point Blank” Bol also said Popsicle sticks that are sharpened to a flat head on a grinder work good too. I’m sure there are many things you can use actually, just don’t scratch your paint if you don’t have to.
Here’s a look after I got all the molding off. Took about 7 minutes because I was dancing to a cool song by target=”_blank”>Katdelic and I wasted like 5 minutes.
I went inside and grabbed a scrub brush just to clean off some of the dirt and wha-tnot that was trapped behind the molding.
Once again, pretty easy. I just popped the boots into the holes. I was careful to not push the edges through.
Here’s the pieces of molding . I’m not doing the nose piece because mine was replaced after my accident a couple years ago and it’s in pretty great shape. My buddy Mike did an amazing job on my car btw. Forever grateful.
Here’s where the Vaseline comes in. This was yet another John “G-thang Baby” Bol tip. By putting just a little lubricant, or Wienersliden as Chirco’s old mechanic Jackson (R.I.P) used to call it on the end of the clip, it will help prevent the clip from catching onto and pushing the boot into panel. (They fall into Neverland…you NEVER get them back!)
More easy peasy…just line up the clips and pop them into the boots. I’m told on later bugs the clips go on the car and the molding snaps over them. It’s a different procedure but I’m told it’s still easy.
It’s important to note that there is a left side and a right side to the molding . The pieces are slightly curved so lay them out first so you don’t accidentally put them on the wrong side and have to pop them off and do it all over again…like I will not admit that I had to do on this one.
There are also open ended and rounded ended pieces…be careful…visually fit the pieces then pop them in.
The drivers side went on pretty good.
Then a tremendous wind storm came through and created a target=”_blank”> Molding-nado and I was screaming “Oh the human manatee!” Then I went ahead and did the other side.
Not too shabby.
It really makes a difference! target=”_blank”>Cool!
There ya have it. Total time minus Katdelic and Molding-nado goofing off…about 10 minutes.
For the low cost, low time, big return….pretty cool thing that helps your car look better.
You can give Chirco a call at 800-955-9795 if you have any questions.