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Discussion Starter #1
Question about my Cougars Trim. Most specifically the trim around the rear and front grille of the car. Most of my pieces are faded and gray looking instead of shiny. And there are some nicks and scratches in them. I have been wanting to do something with these.

My question is: Is this trim actually stainless steel? That can be worked and polished like normal stainless trim? The trim around my windows looks stainless, but the parts I am speaking of does not look like it.

I have previously heard that auto makers got out of using all stainless and started using more aluminum type material for trim in the 60's.

Just trying to decide if the trim is restorable, or if finding "new" parts is the best option.
 

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The trim you speak of is anodized aluminum. The way to work with it is to strip the anodizing (hard to do at home well - some people soak in drano or equiv.), then remove dents, file, sand, polish (in that order) and if you want to do it right, bright dip and re-anodize. That is what the people who do trim do. Some do not re-anodize, upkeep and oxidation prevention are then a concern. WCCC sell restored trim for those not up the the task of doing parts of the work themselves and/or not wanting to pay a trim shop for the trim work and then taking them to a plating shop for the re-anodizing (this is what I did with my stuff).

Stainless only requires the trim shop part of what I described.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So what you are saying is that it can be worked and polished, but it would basically be polished aluminum with no protection on it. Kind of like polished aluminum wheels, which I know are a pain to keep shiny.
Well maybe I will see if I can locate restored pieces and then maybe try to clean up one of my old ones before I buy new. I did try some good metal polish on it, but it did not do much.
 

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Not exactly. What I am saying (and said) is that after the work and polishng, aluminum trim needs to go to a plating shop for bright dip and re-anodizing in order to have the finish hold up as well as it did originally. Your analogy about aluminum wheels is a good one.
 

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from my research, although alot more limited than what the others here have done, is the factory equippment 68 trim was anodized aluminum as stated....but some parts, like the trunk lip, if purchased as a service replacement part from ford after 1969, were made out of stainless... so, that said, bascially what i read was ford started making them all out of SS in 69...including the prior years replacement parts...so if it was ever replaced due to an accident or anything after that, it could be a mix of anodized as well as SS depending on the piece.... i read that from a couple different sources so take it for what its worth...
 

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Absolutely correct Barney, regarding the trunk lip moulding.
 

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Adding to what Bob said about the aluminum, it can be sanded and polished to a really great shine but be prepared to take a good deal of material off. The anodized layer is pretty thick so if you want to sand instead of dipping, you'll have to start with a pretty course grit. You also have to take ALL dents, divots, pits and low spots or you'll end up with splotches of anodized metal that won't shine up with buffing. I went that approach on my rocker moldings and it was a major pain. On the plus side, the end result is shinier than the anodized originals and the finish can be fairly easily maintained using Mother's aluminum polish once or twice a month.
 

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Absolutely correct Barney, regarding the trunk lip moulding.
hot dam. im right for once haha only had the car a little over a week and already have some "facts" in my head....hahah now if someone can just help me out in my other couple of threads pointing in the right direction to put this thing back together..that would be awesome...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I do believe that the trunk lip section on my car is stainless. It is very shiney compared to the rest of the aluminum trim parts on the car. And I can tell it is not a coated metal. I was looking at the WCCC parts. Very nice, but pretty pricey. But looks well worth it. Thanks for the info guys.
 
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