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HOW TO: replace front door and rear side door aluminum window trim / belt molding

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by toypaseo, September 2, 2014.

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    1. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Well, after my Explorer got pounded by some ping pong/golf ball sized hail, the dented aluminum black window trim visually bothered me. I decided to attempt replacement with some advice from [MENTION=9927]MONMIX[/MENTION], and from some info from a post by [MENTION=40188]KillerB74[/MENTION], http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=151597

      I pick up used pieces from a pick-a-part yard. Finding ones in good shape, on Explorers with the windows down, took a while. Two different Explorers donated pieces.

      Click on images for larger views.

      Here are the aluminum trim pieces being replaced on the front door. You can see some of the hail dings.

      [​IMG]

      Tool list:
      • drill with 9/64 drill bit
      • ratchet with 10MM and 11MM sockets
      • panel poppers (optional)
      • philips screwdriver
      • flat screwdriver
      • awl
      • punch with a flat tip larger than 1/8"
      • hammer
      • pop rivet tool
      • 1/8" x 1/4" aluminum rivets
      • rubbing alcohol for cleanup, if needed (not pictured)
      • vacuum (not pictured)

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Roll window down, then open door and remove the 10MM and 11MM nuts.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Pull up the window belt molding starting from the end where you removed the 10MM nut. There are two clips holding that piece on. Keep pulling up, moving toward the end by the mirror, until the clips completely release. Remove piece and set aside.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Pull rubber window seal in on the right side, pull down on the top side, and then push loose rubber window seal through window opening to get it out of the way. Only pull and push enough to access the aluminum trim piece rivets.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Take the drill with 9/64 drill bit, drill each rivet head until the top falls off. KEEP ALL THE TOPS. Take hammer and punch and tap all the rivet bodies until they fall out. You might have to use the hammer and awl for removal for some, but be warned that it might start caving in the area around the hole while pounding the rivet body. Remove damaged aluminum trim piece, and put the replacement piece in it's place. Snug up the front edge by the mirror. Compare your old rivet tops with the tops on the replacement rivets. My replacement rivet tops were too small, but for some weird reason, the new rivet fit through the hole in the old rivet top. I did buy some stainless steel washers to use before I figured out they fit, and had to use one since I somehow lost one of the old rivet tops. Replace rivets starting from the left to the right.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Pull the rubber window seal back through the window opening and slide it back in place. Take the window belt molding and start replacement by the mirror. Make sure the clips, circled in red, go BEHIND the metal lip on the door. If you try to slip the longer part of the clip over the metal lip, it will just scratch and gouge the paint, as seen in the pic. Continue pushing down until it seats properly. Replace 10MM and 11MM nuts. Done.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      The rear door instructions will be a bit abbreviated since rain was coming, and it's mostly the same as the front. First roll the window down. Remove the 10MM and 11MM nuts.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Open door. Remove the two screws by the interior door handle and the door handle surround trim piece. The backside of the surround trim piece is shown so you can see how it snaps in place. Open ashtray, and simply pull assembly straight up to remove it. Slide the door pull handle piece to the right, and slightly up, to release the clips underneath. Turn it over, remove the two screws holding the power window switch harness. Use the flat screwdriver, or whatever, to wedge between the black piece and the grey piece, to spread them apart until black piece will slide over the clips (one on both sides), then slide grey piece out from the black piece. Push that wire harness back into the door cavity. There are nine panel clips (circled in red) that need to be released with a panel popper, hands, or whatever. Once all of them are popped out. slide the whole door panel straight up for removal.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Pull back the plastic sheeting about half way across door. I used one of the door panel clip holes over the door lock pull to keep it out of the way. Remove the 11MM(?) bolt circled in red.

      [​IMG]

      Pull up the window belt molding and remove. Pull rubber window seal in on the left side, pull down on the top side, and then push loose rubber window seal through window opening to get it out of the way. The rubber window seal containing the rear quarter window can be rotated somewhat to access the rivets. Only pull and push enough to access them. Take the drill with 9/64 drill bit, drill each rivet head until the top falls off. KEEP ALL THE TOPS. Be warned that ones around the quarter window are difficult to access. Take hammer and punch and tap all the rivet bodies until they fall out. You might have to use the hammer and awl for removal for some. Remove damaged aluminum trim piece, and put the replacement piece in its place. As with the front door, take the replacement rivets, insert them through the top of the old rivet. I started riveting on the top left, and continued around and down the opening. The area around the quarter window is where it becomes difficult to get the head of the pop rivet tool in place. Honestly, removing the quarter window is the best option, especially with the last bottom rivet. Continue to replace all the rivets. Put the quarter window back in the rubber window seal, if you removed it. Finesse the rubber window seal back into position. Take the window belt molding and start replacement on the left. Make sure the clips, circled in red, go BEHIND the metal lip on the door. Continue pushing down until it seats properly. Replace 10MM and 11MM nuts that hold the trim on. Replace the 11MM bolt on the inside of the door. Replace door panel. Snap the power window switch harness back into the switch and replace the screws. Slide the door pull handle piece back into place. Make sure it sets correctly back in place. I had to push to the left, and down, to get on the the clips to catch. Replace the two screws by the interior door handle and replace the door handle surround trim piece. Vacuum up all the aluminum particles from drilling, and make sure to vacuum the door drain holes located on the bottom edge of both doors hopefully to get the loose old headless rivet bodies. I used the rubbing alcohol to cleanup the black sealant/goop/tar from the quarter window removal.

      [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

      Here are a couple hailed vs. used trim pieces.

      [​IMG] [​IMG]

      I think it took longer to narrate and organize the pics than it did to actually replace the pieces :D
       
      Last edited: September 3, 2014
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    3. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I woulda taken the mirror off and lived simpler...
      Also the lower trim is called a belt molding
       
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    4. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      I'll try to edit in the Belt Molding term.

      The mirror is not in the way.
       
    5. MayJan

      MayJan Well-Known Member

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      I think he meant take off the mirror so you can't see the dents when you look at the mirror while driving. :p Nice writeup on the replacement.
       
    6. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Ahhh... that makes sense. Only bugged me walking toward the doors...
       
    7. Buildin!XJ

      Buildin!XJ New Member

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      Thanks for the post. What I'm talking about is the rear window guide which is located inside the door. On the fron you remove one 11mm bolt and pull on it slightly and it is out of the way so you can replace the exterior door handle. On the rear I removed the interior door panel then the weather shield then the 11mm bolt that holds the bottom of the window track but tug and pull as hard as I can I can't get it to budge. It appears to me that the rear window track extends up and outside the inner door and continues all the way up to the top of the window and fits snugly against the 1/4 glass.
       
    8. Buildin!XJ

      Buildin!XJ New Member

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      Ok I think after re reading your post is that what you are saying is that The rivets are what are holding the track between the !/4 glass and the full window. Is that correct?
       
    9. MONMIX

      MONMIX I fix dents Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I am SO confused right now...
       
    10. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Good post, and thanks for the pictures!!!
       
    11. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      Uh, I think once your remove the 11MM(?) bolt on the side of the door, the track should be able to drop down enough to allow the quarter glass to be removed :dunno:
       

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