Removing Truck Side Molding
body molding, pin stripe, emblems

Removing truck side molding is a simple way to not only "clean" up the look of your truck, but an effective way to remove years off the look of your truck if it is starting to look more and more its age. This project of removing the body trim molding from this '03 truck also included removing some adhesive pin striping, as well as the small emblem located on the C-pillar area of the truck.

Removing Truck Side Trim Molding

removing truck side molding

If you look in the picture above, you can see not only the obvious truck body moldings to be removed, but the pin stripe just below the window, as well as the small emblem behind the rear side windows.

Typically, there are 3 specific reasons people choose to have the truck body moldings removed:

  1. The truck side moldings discolor and turn yellow and rusty in color.
  2. In order to "clean-up" the appearance of your truck.
  3. Washing and detailing is made easier by the removal of these superfluous add-on's.

Pin Stripe Removal

removing truck side molding

Once again, I get so caught up in the removal job itself, I forget to take pictures from the get go. Here you can see the pin stripe after we had already the removal process. This pin striping was the adhesive type which in most cases is easier to remove than the painted on type. My customer had just purchased this truck used from Carmax who in the attempt to clean up the car, simply had more silver pinstripe laid right over the old, cracked pin striping. So we actually had to remove pin striping twice. The original pin stripe was dried out and cracked which made for difficult removal. If you are ever going to be removing truck side molding, car emblems, or pin striping, it is always better to do it sooner than later. As things age and get older, things get proportionately more difficult to remove. In case you are wondering, all the streaking of the clear liquid is the adhesive remover we had laid down to loosen the adhesive of the pin striping.

Removing Truck Emblems

removing truck side molding

As part of the "cleaning" up process of removing truck side molding and emblems, is the removal of this emblem located on the cab area just behind the side rear windows. The easy part is the removal of the top, rubberized plastic dome of this insignia. What lays behind is he difficult part that can be seen in the picture below. If you are interested in learning how to remove side moldings on cars and trucks yourself, you can visit my car badges, emblems, and moldings removal page and see a variety of projects we have done professionally, as well as tutorials for the Do-it-yourselfer.
The picture just above shows the beginning of the process with the removal of one of the first truck door side moldings already removed completely.

removing truck side molding

Underneath the top layers always lays either double sided tape or some form of adhesive; and usually both. It is the process of removing the double sided tape and adhesive residue that proves the most difficult part of the process.

When it comes to removing the exterior side trim moldings from your truck, there is a specific order of things to consider:

Removing Truck Side Molding Steps

  • Pull, and peel off first plastic side molding from truck doors.
  • Remove double-sided tape from truck door panels; the most difficult part.
  • Remove residual adhesive of double-sided tape using adhesive remover.
  • Polish abraded area of truck side moldings.
  • Apply wax to area.

removing truck side molding

Herer we have a picture of the underlying double sided tape found after removing truck side molding. In the case of the chevy truck side moldings, the double sided tape is rather thick and difficult to remove. The double sided tape has been changed over the years and is different on later Chevy trucks as opposed to this '03 Chevy truck. What you are seeing above is a combination of white double sided tape, along with years of accumulated dirt that has been trapped against the truck paint and the truck side body molding.

The Remains of Truck Moldings and Emblems

removing truck side molding

Here we see the shadow, or wear line that has been created by dirt and debris that gets underneath the truck side moldings and abrades a perimeter line into the paint. It is this line of abrasions that must be polished away if you are going to deliver professional results.

Removing Truck Side Trim Molding


removing truck side molding

The "dated", weathered look of the truck prior to removing the exterior side moldings and truck emblems.


removing truck side molding

The new and improved truck without the weathered side moldings and the "busyness" of the truck 2500 HD emblems!

I will end this removing truck side molding project with these additional tips and points of concern:

  • It will be more time consuming and difficult than you think if you are considering undertaking the removal of the truck side body moldings and truck emblems yourself.
  • Th eolder the truck, the more difficult removing truck side molding will be.
  • It's one thing to remove these moldings, it's another thing to achieve professional results.

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