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 Using "universal wheel well molding" instead of the OEM ones...thoughts?

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billfrank85
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PostSubject: Using "universal wheel well molding" instead of the OEM ones...thoughts?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:37 pm

I've been trying to fix up my Riviera for a while now, and one of the things it needs are the chrome wheel well arch pieces. They tend to sell for $100+ a PIECE on ebay, which is ridiculous. I have, however, seen several universal kits that include a more flexible product that you simply cut and adhere in the same location as the OEM ones.

Example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BUICK-wheel-well-chrome-molding-trim-all-models-/301386356187?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A1995|Make%3ABuick|Model%3ARiviera|Submodel%3ABase|Engine+-+Liter_Display%3A3.8L&hash=item462c06d5db&vxp=mtr

They come in a few different widths...I have yet to actually measure for the width that I need, but has anyone on here used these? If so, what are your thoughts?

Thank you for any input.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Using "universal wheel well molding" instead of the OEM ones...thoughts?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:49 pm

Don't take this the wrong way. I'm all about the budget fixes that get the job done. But the exterior parts - "A" surfaces - can be tricky, and here's why:

"A" surfaces, the parts you typically wash on the car, these are the ones people look at from the outside. Depending on who's looking, if something's not right, they're going to notice it. This goes for every cosmetic detail you change on the car, and often it's a subjective/taste thing. Ever see that chrome edge guard stuff on doors? Some folks like that.

"B" surfaces, the parts you typically don't see, including the suspension and engine bay, these are areas that can be cobbled together (and often are) from the factory, or by backyard mechanic types. No one really cares because they don't see the B-sides, and as long as everything works, all is good.

Because all eyes are on the exterior, A-side parts are more difficult to patch/fix/modify than B-side parts for the average car owner, because they have to be perfect, and most of us aren't when it comes to craftsmanship. This is why we pay pros for bodywork, wheels repair, window tint, etc. There are exceptions, but most people don't have a level of skill like the pros.

This universal wheel trim a patch that some people won't notice the first time, maybe not the 2nd time they look. But people who are into cars, those who've seen lots of cars, or the exterior pros - they're going to notice it immediately. The question is, how much do you care?

Me, I care. I think an old or slightly dented trim piece that's clean and taken care of looks better than a piece that wasn't made for the car to begin with. Those pics of universal trim in the link don't look good to me. They don't look terrible either, but usually photos look better than the actual product, so I wouldn't expect it to be that good installed. If you asked a pro to install this trim, my guess is they'd try to take you out of it. But, maybe there's somebody out there who feels differently and could try.

If my trim was missing and I couldn't find any to replace, one option might be to talk to a pro about shaving and rolling the wheel openings for a cleaner Euro car look.

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billfrank85
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Name : Will
Age : 31
Location : Carbondale, IL
Joined : 2014-08-03
Post Count : 97
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PostSubject: Re: Using "universal wheel well molding" instead of the OEM ones...thoughts?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:05 pm

Yeah I'm not really into show-room quality looks, my car is beat up enough as it is. It would look a lot better with something covering the holes in the front fenders though.
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