Modified Mustangs & FordsHow To Paint Body
Repairing & Polishing Damaged Stainless Trim
Tips on Brightwork
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There are plenty of parts out there for the pony marque. Even if you’re working with little more than a shell, you can build a Mustang from a parts catalog. The rest of the Ford and Mercury car lines, however, do not enjoy the same kind of parts availability that the Mustang does, which forces most of us to go searching for good used pieces. If you’ve done much searching lately, then you know that the most difficult parts to find are show-quality stainless trim pieces. It seems that nearly every piece we need for our vintage Fords and Mercs has been scratched, dented or kinked in some way or another. We’re not only going to show you how to save these pieces, but we will also show you how to return them to a show-quality shine.
Most Ford trim from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was made of stainless steel. Stainless is, of course, virtually corrosion proof. However, it is also a relatively soft metal that will dent, scratch and kink easily, which is why it is often hard to find good used pieces. On the other hand, it is that very softness or malleability that makes it possible to repair even badly damaged stainless-steel trim parts. Expert polisher Bob Tueffel allowed us to look over his shoulder at his East Bethel, Minnesota, shop while he demonstrated his technique. Tueffel is a genuine craftsman who has been repairing all kinds of stainless trim parts for nine years. The piece we’re demonstrating for you isn’t necessarily a Ford item because it is generic in nature. Ford trim isn’t unlike that of General Motors, Chrysler or American Motors of the period. This is a throwaway part that can be brought back to like-new condition. As with any form of hammer and dolly work, this sort of repair requires some practice. Therefore, we recommend practicing on something you won’t need in the future until you get a feel for what works. Start with something simple and use the following photos as a guide. It is likely you will amaze even yourself! If your parts are damaged beyond your capabilities, call Bob Tueffel at 763-434-1208.