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In a Pinch

That new convertible top deserves some new trim

Jim Black - July 05, 2012 10:00 AM

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Required tools

• Telescoping mirror

• Soft rubber mallet

• Long Phillips screwdriver

• Short Phillips screwdriver

• Two-inch blue painters tape

• 9/64-inch drill bit

• 3/32-inch drill bit

• Electric drill

• Punch

• Felt tip marker

• Trim removal tool

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We’ll be installing OPGI’s new convertible pinchweld molding set (p/n 2011840), which is an accurate reproduction of the original, as well as a set of new clips (p/n C21154).

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The new two-piece reproduction is made from quality stainless steel with a highly-polished finish and the same curves and formed ends as original. It also includes the original tooled mounting tabs at the pinchweld and window felt screw locations for a trouble-free installation.

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A new clip set was recommended, since our originals may be missing or badly rusted. The set includes 12 clips and screws, which are duplicates of the originals.

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We started the installation by running a strip of blue painter’s tape adjacent to the existing molding to protect existing painted surfaces from scratches.

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We lowered the convertible top about halfway to give us more working room, and then we carefully removed the window felt screws at each end of the molding.

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Using our telescoping mirror, we located each of the mounting tabs retaining the moldings.

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We carefully removed each fastener with a nut driver, freeing the molding.

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Starting at one end, we carefully removed each of the moldings with little effort in our case, since no clips had been used previously. A trim removal tool may be required if clips were used in the original installation.

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We carefully joined the two halves of our new reproduction molding, set it in place in its new location and temporarily attached the window felt screws at each end. We carefully aligned the moldings by pulling them tightly against the body of the car for a proper fit then secured the moldings with tape.

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Using blue tape as a guide, we carefully transferred the attachment locations underneath, wrapping the tape up and over the trim, then marked the location with a felt tip marker on the adjacent tape surface. Our mirror worked well to aid us in correctly locating the guide tape in reference to the holes. We could have simply marked the locations with a felt tip from underneath then transferred the locations to the top after removing the molding, but they may have been a little harder to see.

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Here, we carefully removed the molding, then transferred the alignment marks with our felt tip and straightedge to the adjacent pinchweld.

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We measured down approximately ¼-inch from the top of the pinchweld, used a center punch to set location, and drilled pilot holes using a 3/32-inch bit. We pilot-drilled all the mounting hole locations first, then followed up with a 9/64-inch bit for proper hole size. We used caution when drilling in close proximity to the convertible top and placed some old towels down for adequate protection. Including the window felt screw holes, there are now five holes on the left side, and six holes on the right.

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We installed the molding clips evenly using two to three clips on the sides and six to eight clips along the back. We set the clips with the “V” shaped hooks facing up and used a small rubber hammer to help seat each clip to the pinchweld against the groove.

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Next, we laid the moldings against the clips pulling towards the outside of the vehicle body engaging each of the clips with a “snap”. Snapping one clip at a time was easier than trying to snap the entire molding as a unit.

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After engaging all the clips, we used a rubber hammer to adjust the moldings for proper location of our predrilled mounting holes. Our telescoping mirror proved handy in aiding the alignment.

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After matching up the holes, we used our small screwdriver and fastened each mounting location with the screws provided.

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Following attachment, we carefully vacuumed out the boot well of any remaining steel filings left from drilling, then raised the top and removed our protective tape.

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We applied a fresh coat of polish to our new moldings which really set off our new top, a major improvement. Project complete!

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We recently replaced the convertible top on our classic 1969 GTO and it looks great.

However, the adjacent pinchweld molding (commonly called boot trim) is another story, with several unsightly dents and scratches that draw attention.

Removal of the old trim and then subsequent polishing and repair would be very labor intensive and costly if this were our only option, but thanks to Original Parts Group Inc., we now have an economical alternative. They have recently added a pinchweld molding set for 1968-72 GTO and LeMans convertible models.

They also have sets for the 1964-’65 and 1966-’67 models as well. Using all-new tooling, they are accurate reproductions of the originals made of high-quality polished stainless steel with all the correct curves, formed ends and mounting tabs, making installation a snap. Separate molding clip sets are also available if your originals are rusted and/or broken. The molding clips are exact duplicates of the originals and recommended for the installation.

Instead of repairing and polishing our old trim we’ve decided to install a new set of reproduction pinchweld moldings from OPGI on our classic 1969 GTO. We’ve included a list of tools needed (see sidebar), so follow along and see what problems, if any, we might encounter.

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