How To: Remove Exterior Trim - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
Exterior Exterior DIY/How-to's

 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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How To: Remove Exterior Trim

I couldn't find a real how to on this topic so when I took mine off I thought I would snap a few pics and post it.

What you need:
Blow dryer
Screw driver
Bug and tar remover (rubbing alcohol works but I wouldnt use any high grade adhesive remover otherwise you will be damaging the clear coat)
Terry towels
Patience, lots of it!

I first started by taking the thinnest screwdriver I could find and cutting through the adhesive that attaches the trim to the car (some people might disagree with me on this part but if you are careful you wont scratch the car)

Once you get seperation put the terry towel under and partially around the head of the screwdriver and pull the screwdriver towards you.

Pull the trim off.

There will be a rubber like adhesive left on the car, this comes off a lot easier if you heat it up first.

get the adhesive started with your nail then just start rolling it with your thumb (use multiple fingers while doing this, you will see why at the end!)

This is what you will be left with from one door.

Use the bug and tar remover to clean excess adhesive and clean the surface to ensure the remover doesn't soak into the paint.

You should have a finished product that looks like this

And if you only use one finger for an entire door the finished product of your finger will look like this!!!


Hope this helps, post any alternative methods.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 08:05 AM
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EEEK! hows your thumb feel! i used mechanics gloves when i did mine and used fishing line/hair dryer, worked great that was on my last car, ive got to go look at my cobalt i dont even know if it has side moldings.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Just a friction burn, I'll live. I tried the fishing line on the debadge but it failed miserably so I tried this and it worked perfectly. I just alternated fingers on the other door and the thumb ended up being the only problem.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 09:44 AM
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I've done this on two cars now and the second time was WAY easier and faster. What I did was park it so the sun was on the side I was going to remove, let it sit for 30 mins. Then pour some goo-gone along the top of the trim (it will soak down in behind it). I did two passes of this, being generous with the goo-gone. Let it soak in for 10-15 minutes.

Rather than a screw driver, I used a plastic screen removal tool for a cell phone screen. Its essentially a plastic flat tipped screw driver, but you can use it to scrape off the remaining residue rather than your thumb nail. Get what you can off (dont need to scrape it very hard at this point), then add some more goo-gone with a towel and rub the rest off.
Repeat for the other side. If you don't consider the 1 hour of the car warming up in the sun and soaking in the goo-gone, it took about 20 minutes to do both sides. You can also do a 180 with the car before you start the first peel and have the other side warm in the sun while peeling the 1st side off.


My first time was nearly identical to this write-up, bug and tar remover, heat gun, etc. Turned out great, but it took probably 2 hours of finger nail scraping.

Just my experience.
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