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C1 - Anyone had experience with replacement/after market SS trim?

firstgear

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Looking at cost trade offs of refurbishing versus buying aftermarket SS trim....any opinions? Best sources? For 1960 C1

thanks, Herb
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
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Location
Newark, Delaware
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1965 Coupe L76 / 1978 L82
Herb, I can't answer for the C1's but for my '65 I bought new SS windshield trim moldings when my car was in the paint shop. The old moldings had some dents/flat spots where it looked as if a previous owner tried to force them in place with a big hammer or mallet and flattened them so i figured I'd just get new ones.
BIG MISTAKE, they didn't fit worth a d*mn!! the top molding piece was so far off from a correct fit there was NO WAY to make it work at all. We ended up getting one of the side pieces to work luckily as that was the worst one of the originals but it's far from great.
I still have the rest of the repro pieces sitting in my basement now since we ended up having to re-use the original parts even though they don't look great but at least they fit.
The repro parts came from either Paragon ot LICS, I forget which so I'd have to pull out the sales slip from when I ordered them.

If you can reuse the originals, even if it means having to get them refinished I'd recommend it
 

firstgear

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Location
Norwalk, Ohio
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15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
anyone else??????
 

4WDVETTE

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201
Location
Waterford, NJ
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1966 Coupe
Similar response as Barry except that I bought only 1 piece of winshield trim new. Pretty sure it was Paragon - I don't keep receipts because I don't want to know or leave evidence around the house. The piece was disposed of as it just wouldn't work. I polished and 'massaged' the originals to the best of my ability and reinstalled them. This winter I am going to do it right and really get them looking good. Use the old if you have it and it is in reasonable shape. Get them restored by someone who knows stainless or learn yourself. It's not rocket science just time consuming.

Steve
 

Bwmurph

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Dec 24, 2003
Messages
367
Location
Conway, SC
Corvette
'59 Blk/Red, '71 Blk/Red
Same for me - Bought the top fender spears for my '59 from either CHicago Corvette or Corvette Central. Didn't fit at all; had to drill new holes in the fenders to get them to fit. Window felts were the worst, though. No matter what we did to them they were too tight and when you rolled the windows up and down they felts just got all ripped to pieces. Front bumpers weren't too bad, but side spears were a littel off too.

If you can use your originals at all, use them. You already know that they fit.

Bernie O
 

firstgear

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Location
Norwalk, Ohio
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15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
th ebody shop is going to fill in all the holes, particularly the ones on the side of the car and redrill them. In this particular case there was a couple of holes at each spot.

Do you think since I am doing the body that having to redrill holes is a problem? I see the problems with the windshield for sure. I can reuse my old, there is a problem with the holes that bubba put in the top header of the windshield for bubba sun visors!

I am looking at getting some sun visors to put in, the bubba holes still might be there.

comments or thoughts....

I rally do thank each of you for taking the time to respond....it does make a difference!

Herb
 
S

studiog

Guest
Hi Herb,

I salvaged the stainless all around the windshield and the trim that runs around the back of the seats and across the doors. They all polished up nice. Took a bit of work but it was worth it. There are really good threads by Larry (IH2LOSE) and John McGraw as well as others on technique and materials needed. I bought new cove stainless and the fasteners. They fit very well from Paragon. I did have to grind one piece where it meets the front bumper to get a good fit. I would try to identify the good fastener holes from your cove moulding by referencing photos from other projects. They seem to vary as to where they are drilled in reference to the "edge" that defines the cove.
Good luck.

FYI: When I had a new windshield installed in the frame I found small dimples on the top mid section of the stainless where they must have used a rubber mallet to hammer it in. Most of them were covered by the new visors I installed
 

firstgear

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Norwalk, Ohio
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15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
Hi Herb,

I salvaged the stainless all around the windshield and the trim that runs around the back of the seats and across the doors. They all polished up nice. Took a bit of work but it was worth it. There are really good threads by Larry (IH2LOSE) and John McGraw as well as others on technique and materials needed. I bought new cove stainless and the fasteners. They fit very well from Paragon. I did have to grind one piece where it meets the front bumper to get a good fit. I would try to identify the good fastener holes from your cove moulding by referencing photos from other projects. They seem to vary as to where they are drilled in reference to the "edge" that defines the cove.
Good luck.

FYI: When I had a new windshield installed in the frame I found small dimples on the top mid section of the stainless where they must have used a rubber mallet to hammer it in. Most of them were covered by the new visors I installed
I bought the hardware to hang visors....and I guess I will use my existing glass stuff....just needs a dent here and there fixed as well as a good buffing

I orderd the front grill stuff today from Paragon.....figuring we can fit it up while the body is being worked on and then fix what ever part of the body need fixing.....

Paragon has the side pieces from GM restoration and have a 15% discount....since I am buying so much stuff.....I figure that is a good way to go, if it all fits up good, then I can sell my original stuff and while not coming out ahead, I dont think I will spend as much total money once the other stuff sells.....this crap sure eats money like I used to eat BIG MACs in college....like there was no tomorrow!!!:rotfl
 

Mac

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I helped reassemble a 57 Chev 2dr hardtop some years ago. The owner bought a truck load of new stainless bits and was going to toss the original stuff but my buddy (who was doing the restoration) convinced him to hang onto it... just in case.

Every bit of new stuff was either completely wrong or partially wrong. Nothing fit. It would have been more work to make the new stuff fit than it was to fix the old stuff. The only things he ended up using the new stuff for were a couple of odds and ends. I'm sure there are manufacturers who produce better quality bits but they're the exception.

According to my buddy, a big part of the problem is the quality control at the time wasn't great so the variation between cars could be remarkable. As a result, the guys installing the stainless tweaked it to fit the car. If you don't know how to tweak it, you're fighting an up-hill battle and the newer stainless isn't made of the same material so it doesn't hold the "tweak" as well as the old stuff did.

-Mac
 

firstgear

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Oct 11, 2003
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Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
I helped reassemble a 57 Chev 2dr hardtop some years ago. The owner bought a truck load of new stainless bits and was going to toss the original stuff but my buddy (who was doing the restoration) convinced him to hang onto it... just in case.

Every bit of new stuff was either completely wrong or partially wrong. Nothing fit. It would have been more work to make the new stuff fit than it was to fix the old stuff. The only things he ended up using the new stuff for were a couple of odds and ends. I'm sure there are manufacturers who produce better quality bits but they're the exception.

According to my buddy, a big part of the problem is the quality control at the time wasn't great so the variation between cars could be remarkable. As a result, the guys installing the stainless tweaked it to fit the car. If you don't know how to tweak it, you're fighting an up-hill battle and the newer stainless isn't made of the same material so it doesn't hold the "tweak" as well as the old stuff did.

-Mac
yikes
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
106
Location
Abington, MA
Corvette
1965 white coupe 383 stroker, 405HP, 440TQ, TKO600
Keep the old ones !!

Herb,
I too like Barry have a 65 not a C1 but I started out buying a complete set of windshield trim from LIC. The packaging did say Paragon however.
The trim wouldn't stay in place with the clips because the angle of the return on the trim that hooks onto the clip was closed to much. I called Paragon and told them the problem and they said they haven't had any other complaints and were very nice about it. I called LIC and asked them and got the good old LIC response that I was full of sh*t. But they did agree to take it back with a restocking charge because it was over 30 days. I sent it back with a sketch of what was incorrect with the trim and actually received a full refund because they saw my sketch and understood what I meant and agreed with me.
After posting this story last year I received a reply from an awesome fellow Massachusetts Corvette Forum member who had a set from a prevoiusly owned 65 that he had replaced the trim on and said he would give me his old trim and refused any $$ (Ralph I still owe you lunch). To make a long story short, I purchased a buffing wheel for my bench grinder and bought two bricks of stainless polishing compound (coarse and smooth) and they came out looking like new with the exception of a few dents I made trying to get the clips to hold.
I would be more than happy to send you NC a hunk of each to try.
If you want email me at A353@aol.com

Mark
 

firstgear

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Joined
Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
Herb,
I too like Barry have a 65 not a C1 but I started out buying a complete set of windshield trim from LIC. The packaging did say Paragon however.
The trim wouldn't stay in place with the clips because the angle of the return on the trim that hooks onto the clip was closed to much. I called Paragon and told them the problem and they said they haven't had any other complaints and were very nice about it. I called LIC and asked them and got the good old LIC response that I was full of sh*t. But they did agree to take it back with a restocking charge because it was over 30 days. I sent it back with a sketch of what was incorrect with the trim and actually received a full refund because they saw my sketch and understood what I meant and agreed with me.
After posting this story last year I received a reply from an awesome fellow Massachusetts Corvette Forum member who had a set from a prevoiusly owned 65 that he had replaced the trim on and said he would give me his old trim and refused any $$ (Ralph I still owe you lunch). To make a long story short, I purchased a buffing wheel for my bench grinder and bought two bricks of stainless polishing compound (coarse and smooth) and they came out looking like new with the exception of a few dents I made trying to get the clips to hold.
I would be more than happy to send you NC a hunk of each to try.
If you want email me at A353@aol.com

Mark
Mark, thank you for the very kind offer. I know of the "bricks" you are talking about and perhaps I will go that route after all myself. I am getting some new pieces. Since the car is at the body shop, we are fitting all of the pieces up before we take it to paint. That way if we need to build out any areas to meet up with the trim pieces it will be fine.

In terms of the windshield, it seems that there really isn't anyone that has C1 parts. So I will stick with what I have and get them cleaned up.

thanks again for the very kind offer.

Herb
 

Mac

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1973 coupe L82 (gone as casualty of divorce)
Yup! Interestingly enough, those wide tolerances make things easier to work on but much harder to "perfect" if you've got perfectionist tendencies.

The body was badly rusted so my buddy ended up replacing the floor pan & trunk pan completely. To ensure everything would fit, my buddy did extensive cross-bracing and copious measuring before anything got welded in place.

The frame was well within tolerance but he straightened it to perfect. He did so because the body shims on it when disassembled appeared to show a low corner (passenger's rear) and, sure enough, the measurements showed exactly that. It might make no difference whatsoever in the ride or fit & finish but my buddy likes things to be "right" so he tends to over-restore.

The owner had a deep wallet and no mechanical skills but he was frustrating to deal with because he couldn't make up his mind whether he wanted a museum-quality restoration or a show car or a runner or ??? He spent mucho money having the original engine rebuilt for originality but then added a/c. He retained the old drum brakes all the way around but added power windows.

-Mac
 

Mac

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1973 coupe L82 (gone as casualty of divorce)
Mac, are you a member of the BCCC by any chance?
Nope. How about you? I'm in White Rock rather than Vancouver. I put Vancouver in my profile because not too many folks outside of the region recognize WR.

My only experience with Corvette clubs (not the BCCC) wasn't pleasant. There were three "factions" and folks spent more time arguing than anything else.

-Mac
 

safety_match

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Dec 12, 2002
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164
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Vancouver, BC, Canada
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1990 Bright Red roadster
Lol, and I live in North Delta but I also put my location as Vancouver for the same reason. Yes, I have been in the BCCC since 2002 but have never seen any arguing there. They have lots of events to keep up the interest and every one of the 130+ members are very friendly.
Nice to meet you.
 

Mac

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Were you at Gary T's this year? There were quite a few BCCC guys there... I dropped by and took a few pics. Lloyd Raynard said to drop by but didn't say it was a Vette only show so I brought my truck instead. D-oh!!

-Mac
 

Gasman

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Sep 21, 2004
Messages
60
Location
texas
Corvette
'61 white fulie, '02 Z06
Bought the upper winshield chrome from Grosssmueler about a year
ago. first one i found then and it was $600. hope they are in production
now. i was told it was one of the harder pieces to find.

rick
 

firstgear

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Oct 11, 2003
Messages
1,895
Location
Norwalk, Ohio
Corvette
15 Z06, 01 Vert, 63 SWC & 60 ALL RED
Bought the upper winshield chrome from Grosssmueler about a year
ago. first one i found then and it was $600. hope they are in production
now. i was told it was one of the harder pieces to find.

rick
uh oh......that is not good.....
 

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