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Thread: 1957 BelAir Fin Mouldings! - TWO versions!

  1. #1
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    1957 BelAir Fin Mouldings! - TWO versions!

    While involved with restoring the crown (fin) mouldings on my '57 Nomad, I've learned something I don't think I ever knew...(with Lee T's assistance and photos!).. Thanks Lee!~


    ... and that is there are two different versions of the mechanism for attaching the crown moulding to the vertical moulding behind it. My red Nomad is an early Nov car and has the early version; it seems the 2nd version is an improvement re installing and/or removing the mouldings! The main difference is the little stainless insert piece that integrates the crown and vertical part of the mouldings.


    Questions:


    1) Is it possible to convert 1st design to 2nd design; ie this means removing and replacing the small stainless insert and adding the body mounted retainer at the rear of the fin.


    2) Are the stainless inserts pieces and the body mounted retainer reproduced?


    3) OR... is my only alternative to either use what I have (with the problems), or to replace all the mouldings?


    If I can figure out my best alternative maybe I can find what I need at the Nats this weekend...

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    Gary, I'm not sure if it is early vs late, or maybe just a different vertical stainless for the 150/210. I have worked on several 57 Bel Airs, but never a 150 or 210, so I don't know why there are two different ones, might even be different suppliers.





    I would guess that the one with the holes doesn't use this clip, since the screws would do the same thing.



    And the problem is that you can't install both the crown molding and vertical molding together, you must put the vertical molding on and screw it down, then slide the crown stainless down enough to clear the vertical stainless before installing it. Once they are both on the car, then slide the crown stainless back until it engages the vertical stainless.

    It might work on the very short crown stainless that the 150/210 has, but the long Bel Air stainless could be a problem, especially trying to remove it after several years. The connector on the vertical stainless is attached the same way on both designs. A wing on each under side of the stainless for the connector to slide into, then a spot weld on top.



    You can see the spot on top of the one that uses the clip, because it was mishandled while still connected to the crown molding. Most of the used ones off the car are like this. The other type with the shorter connector doesn't have the problem as bad. The front of the crown molding has to elevated when installing or removing from the car, to keep it at the correct angle with the vertical molding.



    The loose spot weld can be fixed and connectors can even be exchanged, but the angle has to be right, relative to the crown molding. The guys that do stainless buffing can also weld the connector then sand and buff it so its invisible

    Last edited by LEE T; 08-06-2019 at 03:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaNomad View Post


    Questions:


    1) Is it possible to convert 1st design to 2nd design; ie this means removing and replacing the small stainless insert and adding the body mounted retainer at the rear of the fin.


    2) Are the stainless inserts pieces and the body mounted retainer reproduced?


    3) OR... is my only alternative to either use what I have (with the problems), or to replace all the mouldings?


    If I can figure out my best alternative maybe I can find what I need at the Nats this weekend...
    1) I don't think its necessary. I have tested the short connector type using the clip on the rear of the fin instead of the screws, and it seemed to work.

    2) The clip on the rear of the fin is available new.

  4. #4
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Were the same type retainers used on both fins on a given car?

    Do you know which vendor sells the clip at the rear of the fin? or what it's called?


    After some searching online without success, I was able to find this in the Danchuk catalog (pg 42). The parts are called Fin corner Retaining clips #12706 (sell by pr for $11.95). So I guess that answers both my questions here..

    1957 Chevy Fin Corner Moulding Retaining Clip Set




    Item Number: 12706

    Your Price: $11.95 PR

    Last edited by BamaNomad; 08-06-2019 at 08:41 PM.

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    After additional information and discussion with Lee, I'm now of the opinion that what I called the 'first design' was actually the approach used for the short 150/210 crown mouldings, and the use of the clip on the body behind the fin along with the 'non screw type' moulding connector was used on BelAir models with the long crown moulding. Part of the vertical fin cap mouldings on my '57 Nomad were apparently retrofits from 210/150 models.

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    I am restoring a 57 two door hardtop and I have a different question on the vertical fin on the passenger side. The bottom portion of the vertical fin has two holes for screws but there is no attachment point. Am I missing a attachment bracket. Now the only thing holding the fin in place is the tail light chrome casting. It retains the fin but its moves around which can't be correct.

  7. #7
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Sven, seems you might be missing the brackets I mentioned previously in this thread...


    Danchuk's # is 12706, although they are available from several sources. The two 'holes' you mention is where the screws attach these brackets, and the vertical find moulding is retained by the 'edges' of these brackets when you slide the moulding down.

    PS. I'm unsure if my last post below contained all I found out about these mouldings, but I did make a later post on the other site. Check out that thread here...
    https://www.trifive.com/threads/57-b.../#post-2268650
    Last edited by BamaNomad; 07-05-2021 at 07:54 AM.

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    Sorry I don't have access to my pictures right now, but you are missing a plate that covers the big hole in the tail fin on that side before the trim goes on. The bottom of the molding attaches to that steel plate.

  9. #9
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    That's right... the passenger side is different than the drivers side due to the non-existence of the fuel filler parts, but as Lee says, there should be a plate that mounts to cover the hole, and it has the locations for the two screws at the bottom of the vert fin moulding. note: This has nothing to do with the 'two versions' of vert find moulding retention I was referring to in this thread ...

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