Wednesday 12 April 2023

Chrome Trim

This is without doubt one of the scariest jobs. Fresh new paint and one slip and it's ruined.

The first thing I tackled was the MG badge on the boot lid.

I bought a nice new shiny set as I wanted it to look perfect against my lovely new paint.

But in the process of preparing the boot for paint all the old holes were now filled. How was I going to line it all up straight?

Fortunately on the underside was the reinforcing plate with with the holes on show.

So the only thing I needed to do was to drill from this side and hope they all line up. My only worry was trying not to drill to quickly that it might crack the paint on the other side.

Very slowly and carefully I drilled all the holes. Trying not to put too much downwards pressure as I went. 

Success! But would it fit?

All the clips went on ok and gripped the stems. Had to push the badge down a little hard to make sure it was flush with the boot surface. 

But that looks perfect!

Next up was the long chrome beading rail that runs from front to back along the wings, a-post and doors.

You may remember that my wings are donor ones that didn't have any beading rails on them and so no holes. I would have to drill the holes!

Luckily the doors are original and the holes were still there. Some had a little filler left behind but at least this gave me a line to aim at. The holes were also all ok in the rear wings sections.

Needed to enlarge some of the holes to get rid of the filler.

Then I needed to work out the gaps between the holes to make sure I followed the spacing that would have originally been done. It is important and the beading must be pulled on to the body work at the correct points or it might not sit flush.

Once I had measured a good few times I needed to transfer that to the tape and mark out the drill points. If I get this wrong the beading won't look straight.

The masking tape did it's job and stopped the drill from moving around and all the holes were drilled without any paint scratches. Such a relief!

Next up was to fit the clips that are held on with rivets. I've not used a rivet gun much so i was super nervous.

I very quickly ran into a problem which meant I had to drill out the first couple of goes. 

As you can see in the photo below you can see the clip is touching the face of the rivet gun and so leaving a gap between the rivet and the clip. So when you tighten the rivet to the point it snaps the clip is loose.

So I had to come up with a way to resolve this. I found an old small nut and filed it down so that it would fit between the rivet gun and the rivet.

Wasn't really sure how it would work but I had no other choice.

The first few times I tried this it did work well. But I found the rivet gun would jump towards the paint after it snapped. Caused a couple of very small marks in the paint. So I ended up wrapping my hand around the end of the rivet gun, pressing against the paint so that it couldn't do that.

It is important that you make sure each clip is the same way. I had it so the two prongs were at the bottom, so when you fit the beading you slot it on the top and push down so that it clips in. 

Fitting was really easy. The beading went on in seconds, clipping it down all the way. But how would it look? Did I get all the holes in line?


Then I just had to fit the A-post beading. 

Was much easier to line up with the beading in place either side.

And no rivets!

Not bad at all!

Last bit of trim was the grill surround. This should have been straight forward. Just a few rivets.

But it wasn't as easy as I had hoped. The holes in the wings and front valance that are supposed to line up with the holes in the chrome surrounds didn't line up well at all. Also some of the holes were too big and so the rivets wouldn't attach. 

I got really frustrated by this as I had to drill out the rivets and start again. Having to drill new holes in places and then trying to get the new chrome trim to fit inline. 

Also the edges of the chrome surrounds are very sharp and as I found out scratched and chipped some of the paint. I would advise using masking tape so you can avoid making the same mistake as I did.

I had to bang the side surrounds into shape to get them to fit properly. Really not ideal. I now have to get some touch up paint and correct this. 

Despite this annoyance with the chrome trim all finished and the grill back in place I'm very pleased with the finish.

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