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Old 04-24-2020, 10:30 AM   #1
Hot Rod Reverend
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Default 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

I am working on rocker panel trim and have new clips to install on a 1955 Fairlane. The car has never had the trim installed as this was of course an optional accessory back then. Two holes need to be drilled into the body to secure each clip to the sheet metal, but I do not have a template, do not know what size the holes should be, etc. Does anyone have any information? I looked through my parts manuals and could not even find an illustration of the trim (unless I am blind!).

Second - I need to mount the fender skirts once I have them painted. I purchased reproduction stainless stone guards for the skirts. However, I do not have any hardware to mount the trim - these are original fender skirts. Does anyone have an recommendations on getting the right hardware?
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:18 PM   #2
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

If you got the repro of the factory clips (7 needed per side), it looks like you need two different size holes.
The only thing I can do to get exact information is run out to Dans junkyard in Macoutah where there is a black '55 Towne Sedan with all the bells and whistles. It seems to me last time I saw it, the rocker trim had fallen off one side so the holes were exposed. I could take some cardboard, sissors and punch out with me to make a template and take measurements. He may have some original '55 skirts out there too that I could look at.
Thing is, I am certain they are closed due to the Chinese plague.
That black '55 has the accessory sun-visor over the windshield too. I always wanted that for my '55.
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Old 04-24-2020, 07:54 PM   #3
mercman from oz
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions






I don't know if these pictures help, they show the holes for the Rocker Panel Trim on a 1956 Mercury. as you can see, there are six Clips on the body and one on the front fender. I believe that they would be similar on the same model Fords?
I hope that this helps.
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

Thanks Trevor - looks like those holes were the same size both top and bottom. I do have a video link here that shows what I have. I am good on spacing, orientation, etc, but of course I do not know what size the holes should be. I don't think it's going to be a big problem though.



@Daves55Sedan - that is a very generous offer! I don't think you will need to do that though, I believe I have enough to go on - just missing the exact size hole I will need to drill for those clips. Of course too, those clips just attach to the body by BENDING one tab down and one tab up. I may experiment a little with that. When you get out to that yard, take a few photos of the car. I would love to see that visor!
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:57 AM   #5
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Question Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions



You know, those were available dealer and OTC kit form. I wonder if templates came with the kit?

Rev, there was a discussion here some time ago about skirts. Ii developed all pertinent details.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

HRR The clip shown in Mercmans 55 Mercury is the same one I saw pictured in the catalog (part # B5A-352220-S in Obsolete & Classics Auto parts. I believe the black '55 Ford in the junkyard had the top hole smaller than the bottom, but the top portion of the hole had been filed upward with a small square file (may have been punched out like that at the factory). And, there is no need to bend the top tab of the clip. You just slide it up into the squared out portion of the hole. The bottom tab needs to be bent to hold it into the bottom hole (similar to the way the body side trim clips are installed).
You could measure the clip to obtain the tangents at the farthest point then measure backward the radius of the two holes to get the measurement for the centerlines of the two holes.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions




Here are two pictures of the mounting clips for the Rocker Panel Molding on 1956 Fords and Mercury. It is obvious that I need new clips to mount my missing Rocker Panel Molding. I just measured the holes in the rocker panel and they all are 3/8 Inches. The Clips need to be installed in the Rocker Panel Trim, then aligned with the holes in the Rocker Panel. Line up the panel at an angle so that the top clips go in the top hole. Once all clips are attached at the top, angle down so that the bottom clips line up, and simply tap the trim adjacent to each hole and repeat the process until all 7 Clips are seated. I have yet to fit my missing Rocker Trim Panel, but that is how I see that it is done. Now I need to buy some new Clips. Hope that this helps. Regards Mercman <><
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:29 PM   #8
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Post Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

Below are the PN on the MLDG KITS and clips -
Attached Images
File Type: jpg MLDG - Rocker Panel.jpg (59.1 KB, 10 views)
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Old 04-25-2020, 11:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions


It is no surprise that the Rocker Panel Trim for the 56 Mercury is longer than the one for the 56 Ford, given that the Mercury has a longer wheelbase. However, imagine my surprise when I opened my parcel from the USA and see that I got one of each? Luckily, the one for the Mercury was the correct one that I was missing. You can also see that the two pieces are completely different is style as well as the length.
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Old 04-26-2020, 07:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

Thanks fellas!

Mercman - I appreciate the hole size and will certainly take a look. So, there is no "bending of the tabs" to lock the clips in place on the body, and then attach the trim to the clips? I had no idea.

let me get this straight - I need to drill 3/8" holes in the body (by pairs of course for the tabs on the upper and lower of each clip) for each clip, 7 clips a side. Then, attach the clips to the TRIM, align the tabs on the clips to the holes in the body (of course the clips may need to be slid either way to align), and then just press the trim/clip into the holes and it should snap into place?

If the above is true, then I need to make double sure that I not only have the right size holes but that the measure between top and bottom hole are spot on so that there is a tight fit of each tab into its respective hole. Too much distance and it will be loose, too little distance and it will be too tight to snap in. I wondered about this at the beginning and thought that a template would be what i need. Maybe I can experiment on some of my scrap metal as well.
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Old 04-26-2020, 11:09 AM   #11
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Post Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

In the MPC excerpt I posted above, the 55/56 FORD mldgs were ACCESSORY only and came in a kit. Most likely there was an instruction sheet/template included as there seems to have been no factory assembly and therefore no factory drilled holes.

Possibly hold the mldg(s) against the rocker and mark what position they look best at. Then measure where the clip tabs should contact and drill holes off that.

Do you have a photo of a car with them? The MERC holes shot is nice but the moldings are different.
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Old 04-26-2020, 01:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

Quote:
It is no surprise that the Rocker Panel Trim for the 56 Mercury is longer than the one for the 56 Ford, given that the Mercury has a longer wheelbase. However, imagine my surprise when I opened my parcel from the USA and see that I got one of each?
I wonder if the seller wasn't sure about MERC and included one of each to make sure you got what you needed? One nice guy if so.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:11 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

These Rocker Panel Trim pieces were purchased as a matching pair. This was before the advent of eBay, so I didn't get to see a picture before I purchased them. I just had to take the word of the seller. As mentioned, I was very fortunate in that the only Mercury piece that I received was for the side I was missing.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions




These Stainless Rocker Panel Trim pieces were standard on the Montclair series, but were an Accessory on the lesser Monterey series. These pictures are from the original Sales Brochure. As KULTULZ has mentioned, unlike the 1955 and 1956 Mercury, they were an optional extra on the 1955 and 1956 Fords, and no models in the original Sales Brochures show them on the Fords.
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Old 04-27-2020, 01:25 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions


I removed the two remaining Clips that were still attached to the body of my 1956 Mercury. They appear to be in perfect condition. The top Tab is fixed, as it slots into position first, while the bottom Tab seems to be folded to allow it to "spring" when it is snapped into place. From looking at the Repro Clips, I don't think that they are manufactured to the same quality or detail as the Originals?
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Old 04-27-2020, 09:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1955/56 Ford Trim Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercman from oz View Post

The top Tab is fixed, as it slots into position first, while the bottom Tab seems to be folded to allow it to "spring" when it is snapped into place.
Yes the top tab is fixed and should not require bending. The larger bottom tab needs to be bent with a pair of channel-locks or maybe needle-nosed pliers AFTER the clip has been inserted into the holes. It is a friction fit exactly the same as the body side molding clips.
Now to install the trim piece itself, you fit the trim piece down over the top of the clips (making sure the ends line up where they should be). Now start "popping" the bottom of the trim piece at each clip location with the palm of your hand. It will fit tight to the rocker panel.
Mercman, you may be able to salvage some of your old clips by soaking them in a rust remover solution, and maybe will need a little polishing down using a wire wheel in a workbench grinder motor. But if you do that be sure to SEAL the bare metal with black-oxide and clear metal sealer at the very least before re-installing to prevent future rusting.
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