I noticed when I removed the trim plate, that about
6" of the bead in the lower right-hand corner was split.
The rest of the trim plate was in good shape. Since reproduction
trim plates run upwards of $175.00, I decided I would try to repair the split. While
ordering some supplies from
Eastwood Company, I noticed
they sold an "aluminum solder"
kit. This sounding like just what I needed to make the repair,
so I ordered one of the kits. Well, to make a long story
short, I couldn't get the solder to work. I don't know if it was
me, the product, or the aluminum, but no matter what I tried, the
solder would just not stick. Maybe there was some coating on the
aluminum that prevented the solder from sticking. Anyway, after
a few attempts I was afraid repeated heating with a propane torch
would do some permanent damage, so I gave up. I don't mean I
gave up on trying to fix the split, I just gave up on using the solder
kit to do it with.
After pondering the problem for a
while, I remembered that I had used JB Weld with some success on metal
repairs in the past, so I decided to give it a try on the trim.
Unfortunately, I was out of JB Weld. It was Sunday, and about
the only place open was Home Depot, so I went down to their store to see if
they carried JB Weld. Of course they didn't. Seems
whatever you want, you can never find on the same day you want
it. They did
carry a two-part "metal epoxy" product made by Devcon.
It was only a couple of bucks, so I figured it was worth a try.
The tricky part was figuring out how to hold the split together while
the epoxy dried. Using the bench vice on my workbench, some pipe
clamps, a few wood blocks, and a length of scrape metal, I rigged up a
way to keep the split closed while I applied the epoxy and let it
Even though the epoxy was
"quick setting", I let it cure overnight before removing the
braces. When I removed the braces the next day I was pleased to
see that the epoxy seemed to work very well. The split was
barely visible from the outside and should be almost invisible once
the black details are re-painted.
Before masking off the trim for
painting, I washed it with Dawn dish detergent. After the trim
dried I masked it off in preparation for
painting the detail areas -- the areas between the beads and the
insides of the G-M-C emblems . I used the same masking technique
for the these emblems that I had used on the other emblems -- mask off
the whole emblem and cut out the letters with a utility knife.
Because the areas to paint were rather large, I used rattle cans to
apply the paint, rather than my air brush.
After wiping down with
lacquer thinner, I applied two coats of primer and two coats of black
satin enamel. After the paint was dry I removed the masking tape
Autosol to the chrome parts of the emblems
and I applied Armorall protectant to the wood grain decal area.
I also used my blackener kit from
Eastwood Company to
re-black the metal screws used to attach the trim plate. That takes
care of the tailgate trim plate.
The aluminum upper trim on the
tailgate is beyond repair and I
will need to replace it with reproduction pieces.
Actually, I only need to replace the two outside pieces. The
tailgate upper trim consists of three separate pieces - two long
aluminum outside pieces connected in the middle by a pot-metal chrome
piece. The middle chrome piece was in good shape and only needed