Fiber optic light indicators were used on '68 thru '71 Corvettes and the forward fiber optic trim plate is made of chrome-plated pot metal with a satin black background. This trim plate houses the fiber optic indicators for the headlights and, like other black-and-chrome interior Corvette trim pieces will, in time, require either refurbishment or replacement. Replacing this piece will set you back a sizeable piece of change, but if you're willing to put in a little time and elbow grease, you can make your existing trim piece look as good as new for about $5.00.
I should also mention that the techniques shown and described here will also work for console shift plates, gauge bezels and other black-and-chrome pot metal interior parts. No special skills are required but patience and care are essential-attempts to rush this refurbishment will result in frustration and less-than-stellar results. That having been said, let's get into it.
|Difficulty Index - 2 Wrenches|
|Anyone's Project: no tools required||1 Wrench|
|Beginner: basic tools||2 Wrenches|
|Experienced: special tools||3 Wrenches|
|Accomplished: special tools and outside help||4 Wrenches|
|Professionals Only: send this work out||5 Wrenches|
After having removed the shifter...
After having removed the shifter console from the car, invert it and remove the forward fiber optics trim plate retaining clips with a hemostat or needle-nose pliers.
Find a piece of scrap wood...
Find a piece of scrap wood at least 12 inches long and 3 inches wide. Invert the removed trim plate on the wood and blacken the tips of both securing posts with a permanent black ink marker.
Flip the trim plate over and...
Flip the trim plate over and press the securing posts into the wood lightly to transfer the ink marks to the wood. Then use a 3/16-inch drill to bore holes about 1/2 inch into the wood at the post marks.
Insert the trim plate posts...
Insert the trim plate posts into the newly-bored holes. This wooden stand will serve to hold the trim plate steady and secure for the next steps.
I recommend using protective...
I recommend using protective gloves and eye protection for the rest of the operations. Use a strong paint solvent (gasoline works well) and a disposable utility brush to thoroughly coat the black paint on the trim plate so that it loosens and, ultimately, washes away. You may have to repeat this procedure two or three times depending on the strength of the solvent you're using.
It may be necessary to use...
It may be necessary to use fine steel wool dipped in solvent to loosen and remove stubborn bits of paint in the corners. If you use steel wool, use it sparingly and with as little pressure as possible to lessen the chances of scratching the soft pot metal.