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 cure. 

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 and applied 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 polishing.   

The only other trim item on the tailgate was the stainless steel tailgate handle trim cover.  All that was needed on this trim piece was to buff with 0000 steel wool and apply a coat of Autosol.  I was please to find this trim piece still on the vehicle.  These trim pieces were only on those pickups with the Cheyenne Super trim package and very few have survived through the years.



Copyright 2001-2006 by Johnny M. Patterson
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