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To install or not??? Wheel opening moldings and door edge guards

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now that I'm nearly done with the restoration of my '71 Mach 1 I'm batteling with myself whether to install wheel opening moldings and door edge guards. I'm attrachted by the added chrome accents and protection. On the other hand, I have serious doubts.


The wheel opening moldings require to drill the fender lips. My concern is that the holes for the sheet metal screws will start rusting quite easily.


Regarding the door edge guards I'm hesitant that when installing them I might scratch the paint. After all, they only hold by clamping to the edge which might put considdrabe strain on the paint.


I know I have to do the decision myself, but I'm looking for your opinions and experiances.


Thank you, Manfred.

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My 73 Convertible came without the wheel opening moldings from the factory since I had the decor option but the holes were pre-drilled around the openings. I would think the molding would trap sand and road debris which could promote deterioration of the paint and metal. I prefer the look without, but it's up to you which look you like better.


If you look closely you can see one of the pre-drilled molding holes in this picture:




Mike AKA Ole Pony & Rare Pony
Our current Mustang garage/driveway
1973 Mustang Convert - Bought in 1974 - Still have it!
2004 Mach 1 Oxford White Auto, Bought Sept 06







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those holes are actually the factory drain holes, but they match up with the molding.


usually these trim pieces hold water and rot out the arches.


I thought about getting a set to cover up some rust on my car but didn't bother.


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My convertible came with the wheel opening moldings....I took them off last summer to clean up under there, I guess I got lucky as my wheel well lips were good...just needed a brush off and touch up of paint. I never put them back on because after 37 years they looked a little rough and I haven't decided if I'm going to bother getting new ones.





73 Convertible 302-4v-3spd yellow /white int


08 Bullitt 4.6-5 spd black/black int



All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy

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Hi Manfred,

If you've seen my car, you can guess that I believe that less is more when it comes to chrome on our Mustangs.

Like Rocketfoot said, those wheel opening moldings are prone to trap water. This being said, I think that sometimes they do look nice, depending on the color and the overall appearance of the car.

But the door edge guards just ruin the lines of the car. All the body lines are horizontal and the door edge guards will be the only ones running vertically, thus visually cutting the side of the car in two.


So, my opinion is: wheel opening moldings maybe, but door edge guards big no-no.


But that's just me. In the end you should do what you like best.


"If I were you...... I´d rather be me." 😛
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My 73 fastback came with wheel well & rocker trim and looks real good that way.

I didn't think the mach 1 came with wheel well trim :huh:. I'm not sure how well reproduction wheel trim would fit. I would use something like silicone on the screws. Like Lux said I do not like the door trim. Mark

My garage http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage?filterxt_uid=40


73 mach 1 351c 4v cc ported, torker2, 750 edelbrock,C6.

73 fastback 351c 2v,performer intake,600 edelbrock,fmx, 325 trac-lok.

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You are right, door edge guards will scratch the paint.


Wheel well moldings, you can put a dab of under-coating on the screws.

I don't recommend silicone anywhere on the outside metal.


I have had 2 different parts cars with front windshields installed with silicone instead of the correct urethane.

BOTH cars had rotted window frames from the silicone. It was amazing how bad they were rotted. Both windshields just lifted right out as the metal was gone. I always assumed it was holding water and rotting but, a glass installer told me silicone has acid in it, reacts with the metal and moisture.


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thanks for all the replies. You really helped me to come to a decision. I now tend to not install both the wheel opening moldings and door edge guards. I think the disadvantages of drilling the fender lips, the danger of rust and scratching the paint outweight the added protection and looks.


Regards, Manfred



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do not use silicone on the screws because silicone has salt in it ( try tasting it) lol.

you can buy a lanolin product in a tube for putting into holes before putting the screws in that stops rust ( if you know anyone that works at Nissan they get the tubes with the tourno cover kits in the back of utility's).

my grande had them fitted but original owner took them off i want to replace them but also not sure how well the repo ones fit?

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