1963 "SS" INSERT INSTALLATION
1963 "SS" INSERT INSTALLATION
Want 1963 Impala SS moldings? Maybe you have purchased Impala moldings, but now you are building a Super Sport. How about turning the Impala moldings into an SS set? Yes, you can order the complete SS set as PIN 511132, which is a complete set with the correct metal swirl inserts already installed. Your wife maybe has not given you the "thumbs up" on that large of a purchase. Maybe you do not need a complete set of SS moldings. You may want the more economical route of installing the metal inserts yourself Just turn your 1963 Impala moldings into SS moldings with a couple of hours of careful work. Yes, you can install SS tape inserts and save more, yet very few owners will be satisfied with the end product. If you are investing time and money into building a 1963 Impala Super Sport, then the only way to go is to install side moldings with the correct metal swirl inserts! This is a project anyone can tackle and have the satisfaction of a job well done.
The finest reproduction 1963 Impala SS Door moldings are available as PIN 562580. These come with the metal inserts already installed. Unfortunately, the SS fender and quarter moldings are not reproduced at this time. So if you want just a pair of SS fender moldings or a great pair of SS quarter moldings, then you must make them yourself And, it is not hard to do! This article will explain the procedure for the quarter moldings. You can take the same basic steps to install the small metal inserts into the 1963 Impala fender moldings. So to save some money and to have the satisfaction of producing some nice SS moldings, here are the parts you will need and how to do it. Even though NOS moldings would be preferable, very nice reproduction parts are available and you can produce some outstanding SS side moldings.
Fine Tooth Metal File
Drill Bits: 3132", 9/64", 1/4"
Image #1: The products that will be required for this pro ject are made by 3M: PIN 549014 Fast Tack Trim Adhesive (tube) or PIN 563572 Super Trim Adhesive (spray), and PIN 549009 General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. (These cannot be shipped via air, so order early.) (See Photo #1) You will also use a small tube of Super Glue. Before you get started, make sure that the work area is clean. Lay down a large piece of fresh cardboard or a clean cloth or blanket to protect the soft aluminum moldings. As you are working with these moldings, make sure to be very careful not to scratch the outer surfaces.
Image #2-3: The ends of the reproduction moldings can be a little rough at the edges and might need a small amount of hand work. A pair of needle-nosed pliers and a fine-toothed file can be used to make these ends look good and fit properly. You can protect the tips of the pliers with some masking tape (See Photos #2 & #3).
Image #4: The reproduction Impala moldings are painted white. A rag and some 3M's Weatherstrip Adhesive Cleaner can be used to remove the white paint (See Photo #4). Follow this with a clean rag and more adhesive cleaner to remove any residue that might keep the adhesive from securing the metal inserts.
Image #5-6-7: The SS metal inserts are made exactly like the originals.The rear ends of the repro moldings are slightly different from the original moldings. The distance from the very rear edge to where the metal insert starts is different and the curvature of the indentation is slightly different (See Photos #5 & #6). Thus, after selecting which insert you will put into a particular molding, you may have to shape the rear part of the insert with a fine-toothed file to fit th e contour of the indentation (See Photos #6 & #7).
Image #8: Before gluing the metal insert into place, position the metal insert into the molding and check the fit at the front and the rear. I suggest starting the metal insert about 1/16-inch from the front edge of the molding. This will lower the chance of something snagging the end of the metal insert and lifting it away from the molding. Mask the sides and the rear end of the molding. If you mask right down to the indentation, the cleanup will be minimal (See Photo #8). With a clean rag and adhesive cleaner, clean the area of the molding and the backside of the metal insert that will be glued together. Use a small amount of cleaner so that the masking tape does not lift.
Image #9: Lay the molding and insert on a clean cardboard or cloth so that the surfaces to be glued are up. Spray a coating of 3M's Super Trim Adhesive onto the molding and onto the backside of the metal insert (See Photo #9). If you are using 3M's Fast Tack Adhesive, you will want to lay down a small bead on the metal insert and a couple of beads on the molding. By holding the tube somewhat perpendicular to the molding, you will not apply too much of the adhesive.
Image #10: You may want to run a small trial bead on some other piece of metal just to see how the adhesive comes out of the tube (See Photo #10). The spray trim adhesive is ready immediately; but the Tack Trim bead will need a little time to become tacky to the touch. The pieces are now ready to be put together. Although you can do the next step by yourself, with someone's help, the job will be much easier. While you work at the front of the molding, your helper can hold the rear part of the metal insert away from the molding. Position the front part of the metal insert into the molding and press the insert into the molding as you work toward the rear. Do not try to reposition the metal insert - once it is down, you must leave it or start over.
Image #11: After the metal insert is in place, it should not pull away. For your own peace of mind, a wooden dowel or narrow piece of wood molding can be rubber banded or taped into place to press the metal insert into the molding (See Photo #11). This will allow the adhesive to set up completely. After a couple of hours, remove the masking tape and piece of wood. Clean up any adhesive that remains on the molding with a clean rag and small amount of adhesive cleaner. Do not pour the adhesive cleaner directly onto the inserted molding.
Image #12-13-14: Next, the "IMPALA" letters will be installed to finish the SS moldings. The holes for the letters are already drilled in the moldings, but the metal SS insert does not have any of the holes. From the backside of the molding, drill a small pilot hole in the center of each hole. A 3/32-inch bit works well. Because you do not want to push the metal insert away from the molding, do not push hard as you drill (See Photo #12). From the front side of the molding, re-drill each of the holes with a larger bit. A 9/64-inch bit is best, but 1/8-inch bit will work (See Photo #13). From the backside, use a 1/4-inch bit to de-bur the molding. Just use your hand and not the drill (See Photo #14).
Image #15-16: A small block of wood and a small 1/4-inch drive socket (5/16-inch)can be used to install the IMPALA letters. Each of the letters is installed with the thick part of the letter to the bottom side of the molding. As seen in Photo # 15, position the letter in the molding, position the molding and letter onto a block of wood, position the pushnut retainer and socket over the letter, and drive the pushnut retainer into place. Each of the letters is held in place with two of these pushnut retainers. The "I" is the only letter where it is difficult to install the two retainers. After installing the first pushnut , use a pair of diagonal cutters to trim a piece of the second pushnut. Install the second pushnut as seen in Photo # 16.
Image #17: After the pushnut retainers are installed , a drop of Super Glue on each of the pushnut retainers will help insure that the clip will not pop off (See Photo #17). One of the last things you want to happen after installing the moldings onto the quarters of your 1963 SS Impala is to have one of the letters come loose or fall off. Someone might end up asking you "What is an IMPLA?"