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Body side molding removal experience

rwd

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Not the hottest topic on this particular forum, but FWIW...

I took mine off over a period of two days, first one side for evaluation, then the other the following day. There was no damage whatsoever to the car or the moldings. I did take my time in order to be able to reuse the moldings if I changed my mind.

A few notes about my experience:

I waited for the ambient temperature to warm up (80-85F).

I did not use any heat source, wedges or prying force, just 30 lb. test fishing line.

I did not 'saw' the line back and forth. The first few inches that I pulled through came out covered with adhesive, so I just fed clean line in from one side and pulled the contaminated portion out the other side. The line never broke, and I used maybe 50 feet max.

I held the line wrapped around two pieces of quarter-round about 2 inches long that would be completely contained in my hands in case the line broke (so they couldn't scratch the car). A dowel would work, too. I used three wraps around the pulling side and one wrap around the line supply.

The moldings themselves came off in less than 5 minutes. The glue took considerably longer to remove.

All the body shop personnel I talked to agreed the best way to get the remaining adhesive off was rolling it up with the fingers or thumbs. That can cause blisters.

Suggestions:

1) Start with a clean car so dirt or particles don't get inadvertently rubbed into the finish.

2) Consider removing watches or anything that might scratch the car if something goes wrong.

3) I didn't have much luck getting the last bits of glue and smearing off with WD40 or Meguiar's Bug and Tar while exerting a pressure I felt comfortable with (i.e., minimal), so I got some 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner (08984, I think), and that cut through much better.

4) Pull the line as close to parallel with the the car and molding (i.e., toward the front or back); not away from it. The more perpendicular you pull the line away, the more likely the line will damage the sharp edges of the molding where it adheres to the body.

5) It's not necessary to exert any force to pull the moldings out or off. Although the adhesive is tacky enough to stick to itself and hold the molding in place after you've run the line through once, the molding will basically fall off if you start to run the line through again.

6) Consider washing the car afterward to remove any leftover chemicals.

Long story short, it is possible to remove them without damage to them or the car. Sorry, no camera for pictures, and thanks to those who provided the info for me to work with.
 

rwd

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Jan 22, 2002
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They came with the car from the factory; I didn't order them and might not have. I like the car both ways.

They do mask some of the sculpting in the body.

If I change my mind, it'll be easy enough to reverse.

It's a fairly hot topic on other forums.
 

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