Fitting Trim, and Trimming the Dash
Fitting Trim, and Trimming the Dash
I brought the rear window trim piece I found in Jerry Curtis’ stash of parts to Frank’s shop to fit it to the car. On closer inspection, it’s not as straight as when I first saw it. I was happy that it was still in one piece as my old one had been broken in half, but it would still need to be worked into fitting on my car.
Five years ago, I wouldn’t have had a clue where to begin, but after watching, listening, and practicing, I’ve become a lot better at shaping metal. On top of just removing all the dents and waves in this trim piece, I also had to bend it to the shape of my rear window. Even though these 2+2 Ferraris were created with a certain amount of production at the Ferrari factory, they were still hand built, so no two parts are exactly the same. On my first fitting, this trim piece was a quater inch too long, and the top curve did not match the curve of the window frame!
After many trial fittings, I had the piece fitting pretty well. I remembered a video I saw about metal forming and stretched the aluminum by dimpling the surface with a ball peen hammer. This gradually made the arc of the trim piece follow the shape of my rear window. After I got the shape of the piece to fit, I hammered all the high spots down, and raised all the low spots to the same level. From there, it was filing and sanding the aluminum to a nice smooth surface.
After working on this piece for most of the morning, it was finally finished. Frank showed me a couple of neat techniques when applying the cover to get it to look its best. One of them is to use a heat gun to stretch the material taught over the aluminum before gluing it down. The other one I’m going to keep to myself for my own “bag of tricks!”
I continued to stuggle with attaching the piping to the edge of the defroster duct trim piece. Glue was getting everywhere except where it would hold the #$%&* piece in place! I was also left with this horrendous gap at the right edge of the dash pad. I think I may have tweaked the dash when I was positioning it to line up with the bolt holes, and this area may have gotten bent. Remember, this dash is made out of aluminum, so it is very easy to bend it out of shape. I felt the only solution to gluing down the piping, and fixing this gap was to remove the dash and start with the mounting proceedure all over again!
The thought of the struggle I had getting all the bolts to line up the first time really made me regret having to do it again! I took a break for lunch, and came back resigned to doing a job I did not want to do!
When I finally finished the job at the end of the day, it looked a lot better. The piping was attached securely to the trim piece, and was now where it was supposed to be. The ugly gap at the end of the dash was also much smaller. I literally twisted the whole dash for a better fit to the car. When I showed Frank my work, he suggested another invaluable tip to eliminate the gap all together. I’ll have to try it the next time. Stay tuned!
I installed my transmission cover temporarily today to get it out of my apartment. I had it at home for safe keeping, but it was now safe enough in the car to install it. Not all the snaps are snapped, so it’s a little loose fitting in this picture, but should be drum tight when it’s installed correctly. I wanted to spread it out a bit to allow the wrinkles to go away from keeping it folded for the last few months. I can’t wait to roll this car out in the sunlight to take a look at this interior in good light. Soon,…soon.
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