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Making Your Window Molding Look New!!
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Making Your Window Molding Look New!!

Rodney Bell

Applicable Models:

 
Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 914 (1970-76)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)
Forward by Wayne:
     Here's a small tech article detailing how to get your windshield molding to look much better.  Although originally written for the 914, the techniques and principles can be applied across all the cars.  Rodney enjoys working on his Porsche with his sons during the week.

Is your aluminum window molding scratched or dull? Does it a take away from the overall sharp appearance of your car? Well, before digging into your savings to buy new molding, take a look at what I did!

The windshield molding on my 1974 914 Porsche looked old and scratched, and didn’t contribute to the new paint job on the car.  We didn’t have an extra $200 to purchase new molding, but now mine looks brand new and shining, all for less than $20.

MATERIAL LIST

1. wet and dry sand paper (1 —2 sheets of the following grits): 250, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000. Any good Auto Paint Store will have this sand paper in stock.
2. Bucket of water.
3. Shaklee Basic H: add 1 Tablespoon to a bucket of water
4. Mother’s Aluminum Polish
5. Flat surface to work on
6. Lots of patience and elbow grease

PREPARATION STEPS

1. Remove molding from around the windshield. There will be 6 pieces. I found it easiest by removing the small corner end clips first.  Be careful not to scratch your paint while removing the molding.

2. Clean off any paint or silicon with paint remover/thinner or scrape and sand off by hand.

CAUTION: Be careful when cleaning and removing aluminum molding. It is soft and will bend very easily.

TEST SAND FIRST

3. Test sand on the BACK of a piece to get the hang of how to do it. It is best to learn this process by using the back of a small area of the molding. No one else will see it and you can evaluate the end results that you want. The next steps teach you how to sand.  NOTE: You will complete the following process, one piece at a time.

THE PROCESS

4. Cut a 2" x 4" piece of sand paper, beginning with 240. Dip the sand paper into the bucket of water and thoroughly sand the complete surface of one piece of molding. (Remember, you have already practiced on the back and you know what you are doing.)

NOTE: It is important that you always sand in the SAME direction at all times. If you don ‘t, you will probably end up with more scratches  than you started with.

5. While you are sanding, continue to dip the sandpaper into the bucket of water. This helps clean any build up from the paper. The Basic H water also acts as a lubricant which makes it a lot easier to sand.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with each grit of sandpaper.

NOTE: Remember that with each grit of paper, the brightness and color of the molding will change. The main thing to look for is a consistency and brightness all along the piece. If there are any spots that do not match, resand that spot ONLY with sandpaper, one grit lower than you just used. You must follow the process to the end on that one spot. It is easier to see a bad area if you first rinse with clean water and dry with a soft towel.

7. After you have followed this process with all 5 grits, then clean and dry the piece.

8. Apply Mother’s Aluminum Polish, according to the directions on the can.

9. Repeat steps 4-8 on all the pieces, including the small corner clips.

10. Clean and inspect the 19 reattachments clips. If any are broken or missing, you can order new ones from Pelican Parts.

NOTE: This polishing process can be used on ANY aluminum piece.

So now that my windshield trim looks shiny and new, I’m all set to polish the rear roll bar molding as well!!

The Shaklee Basic H product can be purchased through Rodney's Shaklee business.  For more details, please contact him directly at rbell5@flash.net.

You asked, "What is Basic H?" It is a 100% biodegradeable household cleaner with 100’s of uses for the home, auto, garden and more. Because it is ph balanced, it does not dry out the skin and it acts as a great lubricant when wet sanding alumimum or paint, etc. When mixed with water in the correct ratio, it can be used to clean the interior, exterior and the engine without hurting YOU, the car, or the environment. It has been around for over 35 years. You can get more information by looking up www.shaklee.com. We also have a personal web page at that site (in the Shaklee Yellow Pages). I love my Shaklee MLM business and we run it from our home. That gives me more time and freedom to work on my 914.

Dave Menken adds the following comments:

I think it’s great that you guys are providing this service. It’s much needed and will certainly help everyone involved. However, I just read the tech article on repairing scratched window moldings and have a few comments:
  • The problem with this technique is that it removes the anodizing which will lead to a rapid deterioration of the molding, not to mention that polished, unanodized aluminum doesn’t look the same as the original piece. You might do your readers a service by telling them instead where to reanodize these parts.
  • Also, this temporary fix only works, if at all, on aluminum moldings.

Early 911’s and 356’s were chrome plated brass.

I hope you understand the spirit of these suggestions is to save you guys from the ire that would be generated by the poor folks who spent many hours ruining their moldings. Thanks for being out there.

Dave

Wayne adds:  I'm not sure if the 914 window moldings are annodized.  I didn't think so.  Anyone out there know for sure?

 

 

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Comments and Suggestions:
sal Comments: having trouble installing front windshield on a 1974 porsche 911. window trim is difficult to keep in grove. bottom part of gasket is tight to dash
February 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Has the body been repaired? If so the area may be smaller than it should be. I would also double check the part numbers to be sure they are correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Albuquerque Comments: Do I need to take off the windshield glass? Or can I simply take the trim to do the job? How?
May 25, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For this task, you should be able to pop off the trim, leaving the windscreen in place. Be careful though, as the trim is *very* fragile. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
kevin Comments: Here's a technique we used in college metalworking to preserve the finishing on polished parts. Mix lacquer thinner and varnish 10:1 to coat the parts after polishing. Thoroughly clean with the thinner only and let dry. Then dip the parts and hang them to dry; takes only a few minutes, but give it an hour at least to ensure the varnish has dried completely. The part is now protected from the elements...unless you scratch or sand again.
November 14, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Albert Comments: Wayne, Thanks for the reply. I have had further talks with a metal plating shop in Salt Lake City. You are correct- you must first sand/polish the aluminum trim. You can then have it brite dip annodized. I am also told PPG and others sell a clear coat for aluminum. It sound like this would probably also work. I sent my trim to the shop in Salt Lake and the owner said he would send it to a metal finishing shop to have it polished. They will then annodize the polished aluminum to protect it.
I will let you know.
Thanks, Albert Upsher
October 18, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Albert Comments: I am painting a 1978 SC. The trim was painted black. The front and rear window trim was scuffed to allow the paint to adhere. I took the parts to a plating company. Although they do not plate aluminum, they told me that to restore the trim pieces I needed to find a company that does bright dip annodizing. Secondly you need to know what type of aluminum was used to manufacture the part. The owner of a shop in Salt Lake which does bright dip annodizing told me that the plating process can damage the part if the aluminum is not compatable with the plating process.
It is my understanding that if you sand and polish, you will have to periodically polish, since the polished aluminum will oxidize.
I am going to give it a try. It looks to me like the front and rear window trim pieces are the same aluminum as the rear quater window trim. The shop owner is going to use the trim clips to try to match the process with the aluminum. I see Pelican has these available. He will use the bottom part of the window frames to do his plating test, since they will not show.
I would be glad to let you know what happens.
Thanks, Albert Upsher
October 12, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The window trim on these cars is a huge pain. I've heard that sanding and polishing works and then you can put a clear coat of Wurth paint (like the one we sell for use on Fuchs alloys) over it to protect it and keep it from dulling. I've been told this works well, but I haven't done it myself. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
globbus Comments: Can I anodize the part and resolve the problem?
April 26, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, you should be able to reanodize the trim, but I don't think that's an inexpensive alternative. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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