Correct 70-72 Front Wheel Opening Molding Screws?

Discussion in 'Chassis restoration' started by Smartin, Sep 20, 2023.

  1. Buickone

    Buickone Founders Club Member

    Not that it matters, but I found a set of NOS w/o mldgs in the wrapper with the screws in a GM bag and all 4 had the style James showed.
  2. tdacton

    tdacton Gold Level Contributor

    If I'm seeing it right, James' picture shows the rear have a taller head than the fronts.
  3. Duane

    Duane Member

    The ones that James posted from his 71 car look the same, to me, as the ones Gary posted from his 70 GSX and the first two pics that David Walker posted.

    The one style also looks to be the same screw that Adam posted as the 1st picture of his original post.

    The difference I am seeing between the 2 screw types I am talking about, is that the one type has a very small flat edge around the screw bulge, while the other has a wider, shall I say, built-in washer, around the screw bulge.

    Let the discussion continue.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2023
    69WILD and SpecialWagon65 like this.
  4. 69WILD

    69WILD Ron

    Ha. Just thinking about the guy who put these screws in never dreamed there would be a conversation like this! I'm grateful you knowledgeable people are still around! ....How many people are going to be left to care about these details in 50 years :(
  5. gsjo

    gsjo Platinum Level Contributor

    Almost every 70 Stage 1 thats passed by me has had the 2nd pictured screw.Dave Kleiner and I talked about this many times ,we both had the same thought.That was if we used the correct match to what we removed ( from FRT) the question would be why we didnt match screws.frt to rr.I have a few untouched cars here that bare this out.Probably bring one down to BG this year.
  6. wallypep

    wallypep Silver Level contributor

    My 70 , second week December build,, flint had the pan head screws on the fronts
    446379H, BUQUICK and Daves69 like this.
  7. Duane

    Duane Member

    Not to throw more confusion into the mix but, Fisher Body did the shells from the firewall back, and Final Assembly did everything from the firewall forward including everything on the dash.

    Now I will have to check the assembly manuals, but if Fisher did install the rear WOM’s then that could also be why there were different screws between the fronts and rears.

    We would be talking about different jurisdictions, with possibly different suppliers.
    ToddsGS, GSX10/10, Daves69 and 3 others like this.
  8. Duane

    Duane Member

    I checked the assembly manuals, and as suspected, there is no mention of Final Assembly installing the rear WOM’s, just the fronts.

    This means that Fisher Body installed the rears. Fisher Body was it’s own entity back then so just like any other company they used the hardware they wanted, just like GMAD did.

    Now, Final Assembly was run by GMAD for every plant but one, Flint.

    The Flint Final Assembly plant was run by Buick not GMAD, and they used their own hardware. There are many instances where the Flint hardware differed from the GMAD hardware. (Bumper-frame bolts are one example.)

    This is most likely why the screws on the Flint built vehicles do not match front to back.

    This may not be the case with cars assembled at other plants, as they were run by GMAD not Buick.

    So there is another piece of the puzzle.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2023
  9. alvareracing

    alvareracing Platinum Level Contributor

    Duane, COULD this same scenario be also applied to 72-73 cars? BTW excellent information to all who have contributed. thanks

  10. Duane

    Duane Member

    I would imagine the 72 cars also followed the 70-71 cars, but as far as the 73 cars, they were a completely different body style so I have no idea.

    I never tracked any of the 73 cars, as my interest in these cars stopped at the end of the 72 production year. (Sorry guys, I never tracked any of the big car stuff either.)

    One thing I want to point out, the “research” that was put into figuring out what was “correct” for these cars was done probably at least 25 years ago.

    Other info has been added since then, including the Pliacell shocks for the GS A-bodies with the HD suspensions, and the fact that the Air Cleaner assemblies were painted in Gloss vs semi-gloss paint, but other then that not much has been changed.

    Years ago it was much easier to find examples of un-molested original cars then it would be today.

    Case in point, could you tell the difference between original paint on a fender, vs the same fender that was either spotted or repainted when it was a year old????? Both would be at least 50 years old by now, and I could not tell them apart. Even checking to make sure the date codes on the sheetmetal will only get you so far.

    If you want to change how the cars are judged then you need to prove your point. That was the reason I wrote the article for the Pliacell vs Spiral shocks. It involved getting info from many different cars, including the date codes, so you could see when the change-over took place. Then it had to be submitted to the powers that be, to get the changes put in place on the show fields.

    That’s what it takes, and we have gone above and beyond to make sure we do the best that we can for the owners of the cars getting judged, because it is important to them.

    That is why people like Adam Martin, or Joe Castrigano, or Dave Kleiner have asked these questions, because they want to do them correctly.

    It is good to question the standards, that is how we add more info to our knowledge base, plus it’s refreshing to see that people still care about these things.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2023
    Mike Sobotka, gsjo, tdacton and 4 others like this.
  11. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I agree!
    Who as far as the judges are just reciting info they heard or were told, and is THAT source telling know factual information, or are THEY just repeating what THEY heard.
    I’m my experience doing body and paint on Buicks, even up to the ‘75s I’ve always seen the screws in the first picture, and I remember this clearly because they were ALWAYS a fight to get out BECAUSE of the super flat head verses a pan head type screw, the screw driver doesn’t have much bite in the screws in picture #1
    On a recent all original ‘72 Cutlass I did at work, same screws, I had to carefully rock the head back and forth with a chisel to remove them, there is not much of any edge around the head like a pan head screw.
  12. Duane

    Duane Member

    Again, and I will say this only once,
    When the judging standards were put together for the Concours Classes at the GSCA and the BPG events we looked at many original cars to determine what was and was not correct. We had input from a multitude of owners and builders of restored vehicles. We also took care to note the differences between the different production plants.

    These included the differences between the various nuts/bolts used as well as differences between the parts themselves. Case in point, GMAD cars use different rear emergency brake cables then their Flint built counter parts. The ones on the Flint cars use a flat band of steel that is spirally wrapped around the cable as the housing. GMAD cars use wires wrapped around the cable as the housing.

    Now granted, most of the research was done on the 70-72 cars as that was where most of the interest had been, but as some people have gotten really serious about doing other year vehicles to this level, I am sure the judges will be learning new things.

    If you don’t believe the cars are being judged correctly then jump on board and help.

    Research the cars, check the date codes and differences between plants, verify the differences, write something up you can submit, become part of the solution, add to the knowledge base, help fine tune the judging parameters.

    Personally I don’t have a dog in this race anymore. I have not judged a car for years as others have taken up the fight, and I wish them well.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2023
    Ryans-GSX likes this.
  13. 1972 Stage 1

    1972 Stage 1 Well-Known Member

    I reached out to a few board members that have original paint cars. Bill Sales’ GSX was built the third week of February of 1970 and his fronts are the pan head style, and the rears are like all the others with the flat style head.

    I’m starting to think the 69 and early/mid year 70 cars had the pan head style front screws and the late 70 and 71/72 cars had the flat style. Hopefully we can get a few more cars/build dates to compare.

    Here are Bill’s:

    IMG_0868.jpeg IMG_0871.jpeg
    446379H, #7, thepartsman and 3 others like this.
  14. Smartin

    Smartin Staff Member

    Thanks James.
  15. Buicksky

    Buicksky Gold Level Contributor

    Great discussion I would like your opinion on a Flint Built 1969 GS. In the 80s I concentrated on pulling parts on 69 and some 68s My memory of all the rusty cars with wheel well trim I removed were either style #1 or # 2 many broke or snapped the rears were typically the tougher ones and more difficult to remove. This was fine if I was just pulling parts and not my car or fender Iwas keeping, some of course had extra holes and additional screws added. My question which style do I put on my current 69 project and is rear the same or different from the front? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
  16. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    So after reading through this and talking to a few of you guys I've updated my website to carry 4 different Wheel Well Trim Screw OPTIONS that it appears GM used on these cars . . . .

    3 different screws to choose from - 4 different purchasing options because of the Staggered Screws used in 1970. (according to the general consensus)

    Hopefully this will give everybody the hardware option needed to restore their car correctly!
    This is the "Staggered" kit typically used on the 1970 Models

    More pronounced washer on this one compared to the bottom photo . . .
    Simple "Pan Head" style and possibly only used in 1970? (and maybe earlier cars)
    Smaller washer on this one . . .

    Here's a photo of Gordon Martins original (Front) Pan Head screws. Gordon's car was an un-restored - 29,675 original milage car.
    I saved as much of the original hardware as possible for documentation purposes.
    This is why I offer a "Staggered" kit for the 70 Models.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2023
    446379H, thepartsman and Dano like this.
  17. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    As Duane mentions 2) different style Bumper Bolts were used on these cars. Hex vs Carriage (But will leave that can of worms alone)
    Point is, GM did some goofy things with these cars when it came to hardware . . . .

    I do stock both though! :)


    Dano likes this.
  18. alvareracing

    alvareracing Platinum Level Contributor

    thank you Todd, for providing us with the little things that are a pain to find.

    Dano and ToddsGS like this.
  19. ToddsGS

    ToddsGS Founders Club Member

    Thank you as well. I appreciate the support and comments!

  20. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    Thanks Todd!

    To add to the mix, I just pulled moldings off a seemingly original '70 Fremont car & they were the reverse of Flint. Regular panhead on the rears.

Share This Page