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There has been some discussion about the replacement of the rear window trim covers once they start showing the flaking and delamination problem particularly common in hotter climates. Many folks have recommended leaving this task to the dealer but after getting an estimate of over $350 for the job, I completed it myself and am offering this insight for anybody else thinking of doing it themselves. First and foremost, it is not a difficult job to do and I was able to pick up the two trim pieces from my local MB dealer for around $45 each with my MBCA discount, saving me over $200.


Tools needed:
1. Rubber mallet
2. Small wood block for tapping
3. 5” block for bracing top open (removal step)
4. 16” block for bracing the top open (reinstallation step)
5. Liquid dish soap


Removal

The first step is to close the top, stopping it mid-way, and then once the mechanism is released after 15 seconds, gently rest the top on a brace to keep it slightly open. I used a short piece of wood of about 5” (you may want to use one for each side). The trick here is that you want it open enough so you can push the trim piece upward without the top in the way, but closed enough so you can still get a good angle on the bottom edge of the trim.





I then used a small piece of soft wood and a rubber mallet to firmly, but carefully, tap the bottom edge of the trim piece upward. The trim is firmly seated in place so it will take a bit of force to get it moving. Don’t try to move it all at once, the tapping will move it steadily upwards.





Once the trim is lifted about 1.5” it has been released from the clips that are along the outer edge. Since the inner edge lip continues along the entire length of the molding, you remove the trim piece from the car body by pulling upwards from the outer edge until the entire length is separated. The inner edge should still be attached at this point. Now just push the trim piece inwards and work it around in order to slip the inner lip between the seal and retaining channel. This takes a little force but should come off easily.






Installation

Since you do not need access to the bottom edge any longer, I found it easier to have the top opened further when reinstalling the new piece. This allows you to slide the new trim piece into place without the top being in the way. I used the 16” brace for this.





I applied a small amount of liquid dish soap to the inner and outer plastic lips of the trim piece, as well as the inner body channel, particularly where the window seal meets the channel.





Start about 13” high, sliding the trim into the inner channel from the top edge of the seal. Push it down until it is about 1.5” from the bottom edge.





At this point the width of the trim should fit flush into the space for it. Depending on how much soap you used and how tight the fit is, you may be able to slide the trim all the way back into place by hand or you may need to tap it a bit from the top. Be very careful if you do need to tap it from the top as the trim is very fragile and you are working close to the car’s painted surface. Again, just use caution and take your time and you shouldn’t have any problems.

One last bit of advice - be sure to carefully inspect the new trim piece before starting the job. Because they are rather fragile, one of the new ones I received had been snapped in shipping. I reinstalled the old one again while I waited for the replacement.

Hope this helps!
 

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Great job!
 

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I've been looking for the solution for the trim for a long time, finally here it is! great post and detail instructions. Just curious about if I can push the trim in without applying any soap or lubricants on the inner channel?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been looking for the solution for the trim for a long time, finally here it is! great post and detail instructions. Just curious about if I can push the trim in without applying any soap or lubricants on the inner channel?
I wouldn't recommend skipping the lubricant along the seal. There may be something better to use than dish soap but you'll want the trim to slide easily between the rubber seal and metal channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the photos and detailed instructions. Does anyone have pictures of the trims with the issues? What would you do to prevent flaking in the future? Wax? Laminate?

-K

Here's my post from last year - before Eddy clarified what the problem was for me. Unfortunately in sunny climates, I don't think there is much you can do to avoid this. I'm sure waxing more often couldn't hurt. http://www.slkworld.com/general-discussion/22465-read-window-rubbing-top-down.html
 

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To add just a little to this most excellent write up, be sure you allow the top of the piece to move OVER the rubber seal as you tap the old piece upward. If you don't, it can dislodge the seal. Just lift the end as it starts to move and then it will guide itself.
 

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I just ordered a pair online.

Item: body hardware, retractable top, top & components, trim cover Left: $41.58
Item: body hardware, retractable top, top & components, trim cover Right: $42.90

Total with tax and shipping: $95.43.

The dealer wanted about $180 before taxes for both sides.

Looks like I have a little project to do this weekend. Now the question is, to wash and wax before or after I put these on? =)

-K
 

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I just ordered a pair online.

Item: body hardware, retractable top, top & components, trim cover Left: $41.58
Item: body hardware, retractable top, top & components, trim cover Right: $42.90

Total with tax and shipping: $95.43.

The dealer wanted about $180 before taxes for both sides.

Looks like I have a little project to do this weekend. Now the question is, to wash and wax before or after I put these on? =)

-K
Wash after. You will have water at the rubber seals if you do the wash before unless you want the trunk/noot space area to get wet.

I was thinking of using the Krytox grease (from Amazon) instead of soap if I were to be doing this project. Let us know how easy/difficult it is and if there are other tips/tricks we need to be aware of.
 

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Jus completed this. The car looks so much better now, and no flaky pieces to deal with on the surrounding paintwork.

I used lithium grease, just a dab of it on the metal slide areas instead of the plastic trim itself. I didn't have to use a hammer or mallet to knock the pieces out, just pushing them gently from the bottom was enough to get it moving.

The key take away is that to get the pieces off, the trim has to move about 1.5 inches off the original position, as Gary first described. To install, you start from the place where you removed the trim, push the trim against the rubber seal along the windshield glass, so that the groove on it catches on the L bracket that runs the whole length along the rubber.

I think the hardest part was the top edge, getting it aligned just needed a little patience. Just apply a little pressure on the trim away from the glass and slide the whole trim downwards. The whole procedure took about 30 mins for both sides total.

-K
 

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Holy moly. I have been looking for a detailed tutorial for 3 days. I was using all words like "C Pillar installation", "C pillar removal", etc. First one that I tried to get off, I snapped.

Needless-to-say, I just ordered new ones. :(
 

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Awesome thread! Thanks for the help! I was about to bring the car to a body shop to have them repainted.

The car was originally from Florida, so I agree that intese sun causes the delamination, not rubbing.
 

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Holy moly. I have been looking for a detailed tutorial for 3 days. I was using all words like "C Pillar installation", "C pillar removal", etc. First one that I tried to get off, I snapped.

Needless-to-say, I just ordered new ones. :(
I thought you were going the (gold) vinyl route? Change of plan?
 
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