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Old 03-27-2008, 09:55 PM
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Default AltimaVixen's (Jerry's) 'how to' sidemoulding removal

This is a cheap and easy, yet time consuming, mod for the 1st gens. Tools you will need will be a hot hair dryer, something like
"Goo Gone", rags and optional is a buffer and wax. This was performed on a 96' 1st gen, champagne color. This is a simple guide with a few pix to help you through the process if you choose to take your side moldings off. First of all the side moldings are just attached with double sided tape and they consist of 3 pieces. You have the smallest piece on the 1/4 panel, then the one on the front door and last one on the back door. There are NO holes behind them. That little seam you see that runs around the car is the same seam under these moldings. I would recommend you start with the smallest piece first. By doing this you can see if the car has ever been painted because potentially under the molding might be another color so you might want to abandon the project at this time and reattach the smallest piece. Otherwise, underneath the trim should look just like the car's original color.

Next, to begin actually removing the molding, you wanna get
your hair dryer and put it on high. You wanna start at one
end and start just letting that heat hit a spot so that the
adhesive underneath will start to get soft and this will allow
you to pull the molding off. It does take a little force to pull
it all the way up and off. The first small piece of it should come off as a whole. Just heat the whole portion and it should come right off with some tugging. For the 1st door portion, open the door and start to shoot the edge nearest to the door jam first with the hair dryer. Get your fingers underneath there and start to pull up. Once you get a portion up you are able just to remove the whole strip. For the 3rd strip on the back door, I found that it was best to keep the front door open, then keep the back door closed and heat the portion closest to the front door. There is a "flat" piece
in the molding that makes it easier to pull up. You'll see what
I mean. So just hit that portion with the heat and start to pull.
You should have all 3 pieces off now. (REPEAT FOR THE OTHER SIDE) Keep in mind it's gonna be pretty dirty under there as well as you having all this double sided tape there. It looks wack at this point. Check the pic below. Next, I went ahead and took some watered down Castrol brand degreaser on a damp rag and cleaned all the dirt and gook that was on there off. This allowed me to see what wouldn't come off with soap and water and what might take some "elbow grease" to take off.

Next, this is what I found to be the easiest way to get this tape
off by trial and error; because mannn is it sticky and hard to get
off. I got a rag, and then just held the dryer right on the tape
and slowly inched the rag along with force to slide the tape off.
As you do this you will see that the tape starts to curl up and off.
You'll have to stop every so often to discard the little curl of
tape you have built up. This took me about 20 minutes a side in
this fashion. Get the most tape off as you can during this process.
It will leave you less detailing work in the end if you do. After
this step, I again took the diluted degreaser and scrubbed the car
with a rag to get off what residue I could. I had to use the "Goo
Gone" type stuff for some areas. The stuff I used was actually some "bumper sticker remover" stuff I had bought when I removed the ALTIMA badging several months ago. It works well with a rough rag. This is where it turns optional. I washed the car with my washmit at the house, then drove it over to the carwash and shot it with presoak, washed it with my wash mit there again, shot it with high pressure wash and rinse. After I dried it, I rubbed that trim area with a little rubbing compound and then buffed it with a cleaner wax. I did all that for extra measure to make sure it was clean where the trim used to be. YOU'RE DONE! Good luck. Total time spent was about 2 hours. The car definately looks sleeker without the trim. Hope this gives you a helpful guide. -by Jerry
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