Stainless Steel Trim Removal

Next I went to work removing the remaining trim pieces from the body.

The first thing I did was to remove the D A T S U N and 2000 emblems from the rear.

Both emblems were connected through holes in the body by pins with little square tension clips on the inside. I pried these squares off the pins using a flat-head screwdriver and the emblems popped right off.

Next I removed the stainless steel trim from the rear fenders. These pieces were attached by bolts in the trim pieces and nuts on the inside of the trunk and fenders.

I removed the nuts from the inside of the trunk using my 1/4″ drive socket wrench and a 3/8″ socket–three nuts on each side.

There were a couple more nuts inside the fender just in front of the rear wheel wells.

With all of the nuts removed the trim started to come free. I had to work a couple of the bolts out from inside the turn in order to get the trim totally free.

There were similar stainless trim bits on the doors. There were two more 3/8″ nuts towards the rear end of the door, which I loosened.

And two more nuts towards the front end of the doors.

The door trim then came off with a bit of prying and tapping on the bolts from the inside.

I then decided to remove the hinges from each door. First I removed the door “levelers” that add support to the door and prevent the doors from swinging open too freely. They were inside the door post on the body and I just pulled them out.

Inside the doors are some plate that the bolts attach to that reinforce the connection; basically so there is more than just sheet metal anchoring the hinges to the door. On the front edge of the door were the four bolt heads, which I loosened using a 7/16″ socket.

I removed all four hinges, one at a time. When each came off I marked it using my nailset to create a divot in the upper edge of each hinge.

These markings will ensure that I can put the hinges back in the same positions they were in so that the doors are more likely to close. I put one mark on the passenger side upper hinge, two dots on the passenger side upper hinge, three on the driver’s side upper, and four on the driver’s side lower hinge.

The “twisties” and hooks used to secure the top and/or tonneau covers on the rear edge of the cabin were bolted in from underneath. I removed the twisty bolts using an 8 mm socket and the bolts on the hooks using a 9 mm socket.

Then there remained some large bolts into the wheel wells, which I loosened using a 21 mm socket.

I did the same on the other side and that completed the removal of the trim pieces that remained on the body.

Bumper Removal

I removed the front and rear bumpers so that I can clean them up, address any dents, and send them off to be re-chromed.

The front bumper is mounted on a pair of steel brackets that project from under the body. Four 9/16″ bolts connect the bumper to these brackets; two on each side.

I used some Liquid Wrench on the bolts but one of the bolts got bound up toward the end and I rounded the bolt’s head. Eventually I was able to twist it off using a pair of vice grips. With those bolts removed the bumper came free.

The rear bumper has a license plate light mounted in the center. The light has a chrome cover plate on top that I removed by taking out the two philips head mounting screws (below left). From underneath the light was mounted with two 5/16″ nuts. Also there were two electrical connections, one one a ground. I disconnected both wires (visible below right).

Then I was able to pop the license plate light up and off the rear bumper. The bumper itself was mounted with similar 9/16″ bolts to those on the front bumper. In the rear there were three bolts, left, center, and right.

With the bumpers removed I could see that there was a considerable amount of surface rust on the inside, particularly of the front bumper.

I removed the overriders, which were attached each with two 1/2″ bolts.