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Old 02-08-2008, 11:42 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, TX - Hook 'Em
Posts: 112
Question 450SL - Lower body trim attachment/replacement - with picture

Alright, I've got another issue I need help with!

The lower body trim on the passenger side of my '80 450SL has been coming off in the middle, so last night I tried to take the whole thing off to get an idea of how the trim is attached to the body. I was able to unscrew the front of the trim (in the front wheel well), but when I got the back I couldn't figure out how to detach the mount that holds on the other end of the trim.

In the picture, I have circled the area I'm talking about. Can anyone tell me how that particular clip is attached to the body, and how I can detach it to remove the entire trim piece?


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Old 02-09-2008, 11:43 PM
Strife's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
Your picture did not come through, but there is a nut/screw on the other end that you get at from inside the rear wheel well. Expect it to be corroded and difficult. The entire aluminum trim is held in with pins along the aluminum channel that fit into round plastic inserts that plug into the rockers.

You have to be very, very careful removing this part or you will bend it. I use a vinyl wedge, feeling along for where the pins are from underneath. The pins pop out from the inserts.

It is likely, given the age of the car, that the pins will break in the process of removal or have broken already. The worst thing to find is that rust has pushed the piece outwards.

Assuming that you can remove it without damage and it is in good shape, you can get new pins, screws, to fit along the channel as well as new "white berry" inserts (which you should use because the old ones are hard and brittle) from the dealer, and they are not expensive. In fact, the entire aluminum piece is not really bad. When you replace it make sure that you spread the force of putting the trim back on with a block of wood or similar - the aluminum is really, really thin and very easy to ding up.

I am actually in the process of doing this now because my car is back from paint.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Austin, TX - Hook 'Em
Posts: 112
Awesome, thanks for the feedback. I'll try to get on this as soon as possible!

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