Trim

Heinkel cars originally had a two piece trim set running down each side of the car. As these cars aged or were restored, many of the cars lost these trim pieces, as they weren’t replaced for either aesthetic or cost reasons. I like the trim and was determined to put it back on my car.

Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Trim vs. No Trim
Each club (German and English) sells their own version of the trim. The German club trim (with everything needed for installation) is three to four times more expensive than the English trim, so it’s probably comes as no surprise that I purchased the trim from the Heinkel Club of Great Britain. Like everything else in life though, you get what you pay for. You’ll need to do quite a bit of work to make the English trim fit your car.

Here are the differences (as best I can determine) on the trim pieces:
German:
  1. Two pieces per side (60.52 euros for the set)
  2. Formed exactly to fit
  3. Require a clip set to attach to the car (30.24 euros for the set)

English
  1. Two pieces per side (20 GBP for the set)
  2. Straight pieces that need to be cut to length
  3. Ends that need to be shaped
  4. You need to develop you own attachment system using 3mm screws, nuts, and washers (about $3.00 US)

Lets go through what it takes to prepare the English trim pieces for attachment:
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Trim Piece
Heinkel Kabine
Trim in Cross Section

The pieces are a rigid alloy channel about 7/16” wide and 3/8 “ tall. It quickly became apparent to me that the challenge was going to be forming the rounded/pointed trim ends. Luckily Nick from the club supplies you with enough extra that you can make a couple of mistakes on each one before you approach the limit of no return, i.e. make them too short.

Remove the highlighted sections from the underside with a Dremel tool

Remove the bottom part of the channel (as shown) with the Dremel tool. Then, using a soft faced hammer (or tape up the pieces) tap and bend the pieces to form almost a point. A point would look strange, so I bent them as close together as I thought looked good, imagining what a rounded tip would look like. 

Then I took some JB Weld (a metal epoxy) and formed the tip. JB Weld is grey, which is close in color to the trim. After the JB Weld dried, I shaped and sanded the end. When I hammered the point it made the ends lower than the sides, so I removed enough of the excess material so the piece would lay flat on the car. I then took some chrome/silver paint and touched up the small amount of JB Weld that was showing. Here’s the end result on the car:
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Finished End of Heinkel Trim

Attaching the Trim:

Attaching the trim requires more effort than you would initially think for two reasons. The first is that the channel is rigid, and it needs to bend to form to the contours of the car. The second is that you have to modify the screws in order to fit in the channel.

3mm screw needs trimming to fit in the channel

You’ll need to take your 3mm screws and flatten two parallel sides so they slide freely in the channel, but not so much that they are loose or spin around. Flat head screws work better than pan head screws, as you will have less filing to do. You will need to thread a nut onto these in order to secure them to the car, and the flat sides that just fit are key to your success.

There are 9 attachment points on each side. Insert all of your required screws into the channel, then insert them into the bodywork holes as you go along. Attach using a flat fender washer, regular washer, lock washer, and then a nut. I would caution against using Nyloc nuts- I tried that, they were incredibly difficult to put on because the screws would start to spin inside the soft aluminum channel. When you’re all done, cut off any remaining screw length, dull any sharp edges, and cover with caulking or putty so they don’t poke through your interior.

I have no regrets about the English trim. It looks great and is one of many innovative solutions they have devised at the Heinkel Club of Great Britain to keep the cars going. If I had to do it again, what would I do? Well, I like a little variety, maybe I’d try the German Trim!

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