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Replacement of garnish moulding or as most people would call it window trim

33394 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  luciano136
I guess when some Germans sat down with an UK version of the German to English dictionary, this is the term they came up with.

Anyway, seems to be a very common problem of the clear plastic film peeling off the trim. If it could all peel off at once, probably wouldn't look so bad. I thought about peeling it off myself, but would probably take an hour per trim piece if not more and I figure my time was worth more than the borderline result.

My car had the gloss black trim, I hear the silver lasts longer (and is more expensive), but my wife insisted to keep it black so black is what I bought below.

I did quite a bit searching of the forum here to find out more about this task but didn't come up with anything concrete other than most people let the dealer do it and whoever does it themselves says its easy. Well, I figure I would take the mystery away, see bottom of my post for pictures.

There really wasn't much to it. I did two doors even though I ordered all 4 at once. I thought I would replace them all at once even though only two had peeled. However, I figure with summer starting here in Phoenix, might as well let the two survivors weather another Africa hot summer before replacement. I bet one or both peels before the end of the year.

First door was tougher, pulling up on the trim was more difficult. You can use a broad flat head or a chisel wrapped in duct tape. Also a plastic spreader for plaster could be used if you can find a stiff one.

Second door was easier. Key is just to pull up hard on the trim at the end of the door closest to the B-Pillar. This is where the only clip is located. There is a plastic plug at one end of each trim piece, that can stay in place for both old and new during removal/installation. Once you get the trim off the clip, the rest of the trim just pulls of the metal tongue inserted into the groove of the trim piece.

Once the old one is removed, clean up underneath and get the new one ready to install. Start with the trim end opposite of the clip location on the door, snug it up firmly and start the groove on the metal tounge protruding from top of door. Just keep pressing it and move towards the clip. Make sure the end you started doesn't back off from where you snug up it up against the window frame.

Note, while you have trim off, its a great time to polish up the black section of the B Pillars. Mine where looking somewhat faded. However, this seems to be actual black paint where many other cars use vinyl decals. I started with polishing compound and finished up with wax and they are nice black and shiny again. I tried wax only and they came out nicer with the two step process. Just dont get carried away with the polishing compound.

Including the time I spent polishing up the B-Pillars, it was about an hour job for two pieces.

Best price I could find online was at Mercedes Parts - Get Mercedes Parts at Wholesale Prices

However, finding these parts online wasn't the easiest, some places seem to call out the code with an A at the beginning. The goofy name doesn't help either.

Stock Code: 1646904780
$ 77.00
Stock Code: 1646904880
$ 82.00
Stock Code: 1646904680
$ 84.00
Stock Code: 1646904580
$ 85.00

Back side of trim, note groove in middle:

Top of window opening:
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Thanks quake, I was looking for this info and gave up a year ago. I still have the trims yet to be installed. What I've gathered from your post:
1. There is no part that you need to remove prior to taking out the old mouldings. Just take the old trims out, and put the new ones in. Correct?
2. Plastic plugs by the B pillars on front and rear doors do not need to be removed.

If you don't mind, would you mind posting a picture and indicate with arrows or something the locations that I should pry out the trims both on front and rear doors?
Thanks again.
No parts need to be removed from either old or new trim pieces during the replacement process. It looks like it would be required, but I found out the hard way by prying one of them out and finding out it has nothing to do with removal or install.

You see the clip in my last picture, located under the black exterior door section, you need to pry up from beneath the general area of this clip. Just work the old trim piece back and forth with your pry tool and wiggle the trim up. Once it starts moving you can pull up on the trim with your hands and it will break loose.

For the back doors, the clip is in the same place under the black vertical door sections that are closest to the B pillar.

The clip seems stronger than the trim so you have leeway taking the old one off.

The only thing to add is that you do not want to be too aggressive jaming the nose of the new trim piece into the edge of the window opening opposite of the clip. I find it tends to rise a little bit with temperature changes and I am often pushing it back into place. Perhaps if I didn't fit it so aggressively, it could expand and not force itself out of the groove.

Other thing, I found that waxing the black panels on the door is something that needs to be done very frequently for them to look good. They quickly seem to fade back to dingy gray. If there is a cheap solution that lasts longer, would be great to hear it.
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Gotcha. I misunderstood the pic. Thanks again.
Thanks for posting. I will be repairing mine soon as well.
Do you know how to remove the rear quarter window trim?
The black B pillar trim panels are painted matte black enamel single stage paint. Years ago they tried using two stage paint base and clear. With this method the clear went bad and flaked off much like the garnish molding are doing. Mercedes went to a single stage paint to fix this problem. The new problem they created is the paint oxidizes over time. When you wax or polish the panels you remove dead paint from the surface and expose new paint. This old paint can not deal with the temperature and weather and turns gray in a short time. I have tried over the years to fix this problem on different cars. First if you clean the panel and spray clear over the black the clear paint will raise and react with the old paint and really look bad. Most of the over the counter paint you buy is acrylic lacquer (to dry faster) and you can't spray lacquer over old enamel paint without a problem. I usually remove the panels and sand, prime and recoat the panels with enamel matte finish black paint. It takes some time for the paint to dry. You may have to drive your vehicle for a day without the panels. My fix on this ML that I have now is to buy overlay panels made of plastic from Ebay and cover the painted surface up. You can buy them in chrome, gloss black or carbon fiber look. However if you buy the gloss black panels they will scratch easy, so be careful when you clean your car.
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This video is very helpful for the side pillar trims and very cheap alternative.

Here's my experience replacing garnish moldings:

I started prying underneath the clip end, but then the molding jumped off at the A pillar end. So I removed the rest by starting at the end opposite the clip working each end a little at a time.

To install I started at the end opposite the clip as Quake describes. Pay particular attention to line up the plastic end (clip end) with the edge of the door. It was a little difficult to push it into the clip end, as the plastic end piece must pass the window molding before dropping into place.

Don't forget to use fine rubbing compound on the B pillars and then keep them waxed. Products like Back to Black are useless. Rubbing compound is the key to return them to near showroom condition.
I prefer the brushed aluminum or the chrome look for those trim parts, as seen on more recent ML models.
I want to upgrade to this look, but I prefer not to put an overlay on the horizontal trim because I do not think I would be happy with the look.
Instead, I have decided to try a metallic adhesive tape called FX Sheeting.

Alsa Corp | FXSheeting : Mirror Chrome

It is manufactured to endure the elements. It will cost about $40 to do all 4 strips.
I too will need to remove all the trim strips, so I appreciate Quake posting his tutorial to help with removal.
I will post the results after installation. Still waiting on delivery.

As for the B pillars, both front door pillars look terrible. They show wear at points of contact, like a charcoal grey instead of black.
I am a little confused with the posts above, I always assumed these were originally flat black, not glossy black. In the newer models they went to glossy black which I prefer.
I will probably go with the shiny black appliqués shown in the YouTube video above. But first I want to install the chrome trim effect.
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Just replaced my 2 rear pieces.
Easy to get off.
Used plastic pry bar and pull up near pillar to unclip. The rest is easy just pull up.
Does the old one break when this happens? I'm planning to swap from one car to another but obviously breakage would prevent that from happening...
Does anyone know where the clip is located for the 3rd (rearward) piece?
I know the front window is located at the rear end of the piece (near B pillar)
And the back door window is located at the front end of the piece (near B pillar)

But where is the clip for the 3rd piece located? Near the front end (where it meets the rear door) or the back end (where it meets the hatch)??
Bumping an old post because it has great info :). I just replaced the rear garnish molding on mine (driver's side). Literally took 5 minutes. I added a little soap on the back end of the new piece to help slide it in place; worked like a charm!
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