making some body trim clips (and adjusting the fuel-fill door) - 65 Chrysler 300L

fury fan

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I polished some trim around the taillights on my 300L. When removing it, a couple of the metal clips broke. I had nothing similar in my Plano box of clips, and didn’t want to spend an hour or 2 online trying to find the right ones, and spending $30 or more to get them.


Due to all the angles inside the trim, I knew it was NOT a simple measurement to find the right width. The lip is pretty narrow and the beveled edge requires it to be pretty thin to catch the lips.
So I dug thru some scraps of ⅛” material until I found a width that was pretty snug, but still able to slide easily. That saved iterations.

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Initially I made a piece to use the smaller clip that typically holds the fenderwell/UCA flaps (and other rubber flap locations), but the clip was too small to reliably hold into the holes on the car.

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So I went to the standard doorcard clips (I have at least 100 used ones). I had to enlarge the program’s hole for the clip (from a slot to a square), but it was successful on first try. The expanding section of the doorcard clip is a little bigger than the original, but close enough to continue to evaluate the fit.

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I was hesitant to use just clips in all spots for fear the trim might come off somehow. The engineers apparently felt the same way, as 2 of them were screw/nut types (each broke an ear upon removal). With some thought, and several fastening ideas that either wouldn’t fit or wouldn’t be easily tightenable, I finally landed on a 10-24 SS carriage bolt and a pal-nut to keep it affixed in the plastic. A suitable square hole into the same plastic rectangle was another simple program change.

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So I made a full set from plastic on my CNC router. (I had the plastic laying around, I think it’s HDPE)


I installed all of them and the trim fits nice and snug, just like it should. The screw-clips held nicely, and the carriage screw didn’t strip out in the plastic.
The HDPE should be rugged enough (I think!) and won’t cause any reactions or oxidations to paint, fastener or trim. No fear of oxidation stains down the paint.
So this is a method I can possibly use in some other places to replace a broken clip.


For about $15 from Mcmaster, an hour of drawing/programming, and <30 min of CNC, I made some clips instead of buying.
Yes, it wasn’t ‘free’, and I spent almost as much time/money as buying clips.
But skills were exercised and new capabilities were developed. And I watched/listened to some TV whilst doing it.
And I have 98 more paid-for screws/pal-nuts left!
 
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While in the neighborhood, the fuel filler flapdoor was always misaligned and it irritated me.

I spent some time readjusting the hinge bracket, and it reminded me very much of adjusting that PITA valve on top of the PS gearbox. :BangHead:
1. it needs to be in exactly the right place L-R and also squareness,
2. it moves a bit while you tighten it,
3. because the hinge goes <90deg when it's loose, you can't tell until after adjusting it if you got it right,
4. each try is like throwing a dart, there's no successively creeping up on the right adjustment.

At least adjusting this flap doesn't require jackstands and starting the car 27 times in a 1-hour period.

Maybe shoving some popsickle sticks in the gaps might've helped? I dunno. Might try that next time, if the rest of the car dictates a higher-level of adjustment. (so 2028 or so :()

The flap bottoms against some tabs. I assumed some rubber bumpers were missing, but not from these tabs. They feel like plastic, and don't seem to have any adjustment or rubber bumpers.
So I found the thickest grommets I had, they slid right over the top of the tabs, and they helped a lot.


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Anyway, it's not perfect, but it's much better than before.

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