Replace Side Molding

With New Gullwings, This Corvette Can Really Fly

Tom Rounds Aug 1, 2000 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

Corvette Central’s Side Chrome Set, gullwings, and emblems.

We first removed the old Chevrolet emblem by using a small, flat-head screwdriver to gently slide the four pins out of the fender.

Next, we removed the old gullwing, beginning with the three studs with nuts that go through the fender. The front molding may need to be removed first; in our case one of the studs on the backside of the gullwing was missing, making it easy to remove.

The old front molding is attached to the fender with retaining clips. In order to remove the molding, we used a small screwdriver to gently pop the top edge off the clips. In this photo, we removed the molding from the car.

Here, all of the old U-shaped retaining clips were removed.

The back of the door molding is bent at a 90-degree angle on both sides so the clips have a surface to hold it on to the door.

This angled area stops approximately 2 inches from the front (pointing screwdriver), allowing you to slide the molding past the retaining clips to remove it easily.

Once again, we removed all of the old retaining clips. These clips have small bolts that go through the door. The heads of the bolts can be reached inside the door’s glove compartment. Having a second person helps accomplish this task.

The rear molding was removed in the same way as the door molding, except it was slid to the front of the car instead of back.

With all of the molding off the car, we gave it a good cleaning, removing dirt that had been hiding for the last 50 years or so. We were then ready to install Corvette Central’s Side Chrome Set (PN 331005), Gullwings (PN 331004), and Side Chevrolet Script (PN 291002).

Here, the new gullwing was put into place and bolted on.

We added fender washers on the backside because of the oversized holes in the fender.

New U-shaped clips were screwed onto the fender. Don’t over-tighten the metal screws or you’ll strip out the hole.

Once all of the new clips were in place, the front molding snapped in place.

The door molding used different clips from the ones that were on the car. The new ones are a spring-type clip that simply slide on the molding.

The spring clips were lined up with the holes in the door and pushed through. Washers and nuts were put on from the inside of the door. Once again, having the help of a second person will make this simple.

The rear molding was snapped on.

Before pushing the Side Chevrolet Script on the fender, we added a small amount of silicone to all four posts so it would stay firmly attached. The four posts received speed nuts on the backside of the fender to complete the installation.

There can be casting differences between the new reproduction (arrow A) and the old (arrow B) pieces. This didn’t affect the look of the new gullwing, but it did create a small difference in fit.

We ended up removing the newly installed gullwing for this reason. Using a Dremel tool, we ground away some of the body seam, making the gullwing fit correctly.

It was time. The old dented and pitted side molding on this ’54 was looking ragged, making the vintage car look tired. We made a simple call to our buddies at Corvette Central to explain our problem, and ordered all the supplies we needed to make this Corvette’s side molding shine again.

Follow along with us step by step as we install the new parts.

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