1. Exterior
  2. T-Top G-Body Windshield Trim Removal

This article was written by Darkapollo on 03-31-2009.

I have been told this process is rather difficult as there are rivets and glue holding everything together, however, I love my 86 CS and I will not part with her because of a challenge.
As I have seen this question several times in searching, and needing to replace my now multifaceted frontal viewing area (aka, the windshield) I decided to do a Pic-U-Mentory of the step by step process.

Tools required: Drill with very small drill bit that is sharp enough to cut metal at a low speed (i used a 1/4'' bit from an easy-out set), SHARP razor blade, small flat head screw driver (used a 1/4'' with 3'' shank).

Part 1: Passenger Top

As you will notice upon removing the glass top, there is a felt strip with an aluminum/tin backing with 3 rivets going through it and into the black trim.

Take your drill bit and SLOWLY cut the heads off of the rivets. Put some padding under the drill as you may damage the Tops weather strip.


Next, take your razor and cut along the back side of this piece to separate it from the trim. BE VERY CAREFUL. This piece is very thin and bends easily. GENTLY pull it away from the trim, from center back. If it does not come clean or easily, CHECK YOUR RIVETS. If there is any bit of the rivet head left, it will snag and you may tear this piece. If the Rivets are all clean, run your razor behind it more and more untill you either hit the metal of the roof or you can see the blade on the bottom of the metal strip. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THIS PIECE YET!

Thought you were done? Not quite.

In the corner near the door there will be 3 more rivets in very close proximity. They are in a triangle shape with in 1/2'' of each other. 1 hold the strip to the top trim, 1 holds the strip to the side trim, and 1 holds the side trim to the mounting frame.

Drill these out using the same care and caution as before.

By now, the top trim should be free from the metal mounting frame. DO NOT PULL THIS PIECE UP! unless you want to try and glue it back together.Take your screw driver and pop the center metal cover up, it is glued down but shouldnt provide much fight. Slide this piece off to where you have remove the metal strip and it should come off easily (the metal tab in the center of mine was slightly bent, which is one reason it was lose).

Take your screw driver and slide it under the windshield side of the trim. SLOWLY run it from center to side. You should start to hear a popping sound (if your car is old (ie my 86) dont worry, its not its hip breaking ;-) ).

When you have run the screw driver back and forth several times. PUSH up from the windshield to see if the trim is free. If it sticks, find out where. There is probably a huge goop of water seal holding it back by the door.

Using your razor, carve out this rubber (we will use window-weld later to replace any weather proofing we may have damaged in this action)

When the trim is free, GENTLY pull up from the center and slide it out and away from the side trim as there is a tab that connects the two.

You can now see the top of the windshield, the mounting frame, and you can set the top trim aside to be re-installed later.

Part 2: Side Trim -THE HARD PART

Unfortunately, due to the way this one is attached my camera would not focus clearly on the trim, so I only have two pictures. The before, and the After.

There are 5 rivets holding the side trim on by the door. From the top of the trim they are: 5/8'', 4 3/4'', 8 3/8'', 12 1/8'', 15 7/8''. You will not be able to see the top two, and this is a problem. There is a metal strip in the way that acts as a glue point, it runs from the top (looking from the top is is the D shaped metal tab) down about 8 1/2'' where it meets another trim piece. This piece I believe is part of the trim mounting frame, so it cannot be removed by normal means.

You will need to go on blind faith and drill out from the measurements given above, or, brave the 'snap' and break the mounting tabs off at the rivets.

I chose the latter, and I suggest you do as well. Not only are the tabs riveted in, there is a strip of glue holding the bottom as well. You cannot access that glue by any means with a knife to cut the bottom free. There is also a button hook at the lowest point before the hood line, it slides up and out, however, unless you some how managed to free the mounting tabs from the rivets and the glue, this too, will break off.

Part 3 - To fix the broken trim

I have tried Plastic Model Cement, heat, and Krazy-Glue.

The Krazy-Glue I used was the brush on water reactive kind. My fiancee had a bottle laying around to fix her delicate stone-ware and I figured if it bonds that kind of non-porous surface, it might just work.
AND IT DOES. I had broken the drivers side top and side trims in half (the top was only because I got hasty and forgot to push up to break the glue seal on the door side) and the side trim was already 3/4 broken and the second I drilled out the rivets it cracked the rest of the way.

As long as the pieces are not shattered, or you have all of the small pieces and you can fit them together, you can repair the trim.

Use the super glue to bond them back together, it took about 3 minutes of holding for the bond to fully set with the side trim, and the top took little over 30 seconds. I have filled in the gaps with the model cement to ensure a full bond. This I will sand down to make it appear as one piece again. I was going to paint the trim anyway because it is no longer black, more of a dull charcoal-gray. This just gives me more reason to.

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