Small renovation to rear body

Post Reply
User avatar

Topic author
MountainManJoe
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2947
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: The Pacific North Wet
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Small renovation to rear body

Post by MountainManJoe »

Once in a while I like to clean behind the trim at the back of my van. Here on the wet coast, things get really mildewy, and I start to get dark streaks running down my white paint.
2014-gmc-savana-1500-cargo-van-rear-view.png
Of course one of the problems with trim pieces, is that they're made for quick assembly. Not for reuse. The retention clips get brittle and break very easily. Essentially disposable.

I found a 15 pc bag of these clips on eBay for around $3. (listed as "Car Panel Trim Clip Fastener Retainer For GM Rocker Cadillac Chevy 25693852")
They are not exactly the same as my OEM ones, but close enough, and they do work.

Here is the original (left) and eBay (right) clips
IMG_0809.jpeg
Attachments
IMG_0814.jpeg
IMG_0810.jpeg
User avatar

Topic author
MountainManJoe
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2947
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: The Pacific North Wet
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by MountainManJoe »

Other pieces are held are held on by flange nuts which thread onto studs which have been stud welded to the body sheet metal. Well the welding quality is very poor (much like a lot of things on this van unfortunately). And they used ordinary steel hardware for these exterior parts which are exposed to the elements. So of course the hardware corrodes and seizes up, and when you try to take the nut off, the stud easily twists off with it.

Since I don't have a stud welder, and you can't really weld sheet metal with a stick welder, I came up with another solution using things I already had laying around. I enlarged the hole a bit with a drill, and then I pressed in an aluminum M6 threaded insert (smeared some sealing goo on it too)
IMG_0815.jpeg



I ordered a stainless steel bolt with the same thread. I measure how much I would need and cut it to length. I put some threadlocker on it , and threaded the bolt through the insert from the inside until snug.
s-l1600.jpg
IMG_0817.jpeg




The other studs were still intact, so I just applied copper anti-seize to them.
I also ordered a bag of A4 stainless steel flange nuts from eBay to replace all the steel ones.
They cost about $4 for 20 pcs
IMG_0820.jpeg
IMG_0818.jpeg

The nut flanges weren't big enough for some of the trim pieces, so I added ordinary fender washers. I hit them with a bit of black paint so they don't stand out so much.

IMG_0825.jpeg


So hopefully now I shouldn't have problems with rusted hardware on the body.
User avatar

Topic author
MountainManJoe
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2947
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: The Pacific North Wet
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by MountainManJoe »

Next I wanted to tackle the rear windows. They only swing out a little bit. Not enough to be able to clean the whole window, and behind it. And the rubber gaskets were getting pretty nasty.

So I decided to take them out, but I ran into problems. The windows are held in by little screws with philips heads! ](*,)
They were cranked down really tight, and possible seized up too, so of course the heads started stripping. I HATE phillips screws so much! )>) All the screws stripped, and I very nearly gave up one of them. I was worried I'd have to get out the drill which is so scary around windows. But with some fresh bits, lots of pressure and patience, and probably vice grips, I got them out.

IMG_0821.jpeg

So with that in mind, I wanted to put the windows back in with hardware that wouldn't corrode, and wouldn't strip if they got tight. I opted for these A4 stainless steel socket head screws (allen head, recessed hex... whatever you want to call it). The dimensions of these is really critical.The head needs to be small enough to fit in the grommet "cup". (hex head is too big) The length also needs to be perfect, to clamp the grommets and glass just the right amount. These cost around $2 for 10. (M5 x 10mm)


IMG_0822.jpeg

They fit inside the cup perfectly, and they'll never strip. No more stress taking the windows out.
IMG_0824.jpeg
User avatar

okie1
I sleep in my van
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:05 am
Location: central Oklahoma
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by okie1 »

A little thought and imagination can go a long way to solving problems, good work!
User avatar

WoodButcher
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Woodbury, CT.
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by WoodButcher »

Nice work Joe, it's sad you need to do that to a newer vehicle.

That trim piece IMO is an abomination to the appearance of the GM van. Is there any way, body mod other than body color paint to hide it?
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap
'05 Astro AWD, lifted, 6 liter, cammed, ported and programmed for fast.
'69 G10, straight 6, 3 onatree, jumped at me when I had a pocketful of cash looking for a spare astro. :)
User avatar

Topic author
MountainManJoe
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2947
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: The Pacific North Wet
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by MountainManJoe »

Don't get me started on things I had to redo properly on this newer van. I think it was built on a Friday afternoon.

Anyway, I can kind of understand the function of the trim. There is a lip that goes all the way around the rear opening to keep water away. The roof eaves drain into the channel the lip creates. So the trim is probably meant to hide this gutter of sorts, which of course gets gungy.
The white corners you see further down are actually hollow. They hide the rear door hinges.

I agree that clean, unbroken white body would look better. I really hate cheap plastic too. But it doesn't bother me enough to justify doing something about it 8-[ There are other priorities.
User avatar

WoodButcher
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Woodbury, CT.
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by WoodButcher »

I had a close look at an '18 today, in order to mold that w/ fiberglass you need to use the inner portion of the part itself to attach to the truck. That would take a master.
I drove and worked out of this van for a week last August and loved it, drove well with a load on the rack and the AC was ice cold. The only bad thing was getting out of it into the 90+ degree weather.
Like I said, nice work. These are the tasks we finish and say, "That's the way GM should've done it!"
'93 Safari shorty, 350 swap
'05 Astro AWD, lifted, 6 liter, cammed, ported and programmed for fast.
'69 G10, straight 6, 3 onatree, jumped at me when I had a pocketful of cash looking for a spare astro. :)
User avatar

Topic author
MountainManJoe
I have my van tatooed on my cheeks
Posts: 2947
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:55 pm
Location: The Pacific North Wet
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Small renovation to rear body

Post by MountainManJoe »

OEM part numbers and associated Rockauto listing.

plastic top tail piece clip installed.JPG
Savana rear molding clip.png
partlist.png
Post Reply