|How long does this take?||???|
MR2 Stainless Steel Sill Plates - Installation
The plastic door sill trim plates in the mk2 MR2 can be dressed-up a little with the addition of stainless steel scuff plates. These might also provide some kind of protection against scratches as you get in and out, but I think their primary function is to look nice. I'd gauge the installation as being simple to medium difficulty and it will probably take you about two hours for the first side and a little less for the second. Patience is the key to a good installation here.
Thanks are due to Dale Adkins for his original instructions to me.
I got mine from David Hawkins at http://www.twosrus.com, but I know that he isn't selling them any more. Vassilios Bertakis (Silo) tells me he can supply them through his website at http://surf.to/mr2specials - note though that Silo is located in Germany. Try Jeff Watson of Jay Marks Toyota at 1-800-327-2087 too. If all else fails you might try your local dealer's parts department. The part number is 67919-17010 (see Photo 1). You will need one for each sill. The parts are the same for both the left and right sills, so there is only one part number. They come with a clear sheet of plastic stuck to them to protect the finish. Sometimes this plastic sheet is difficult to see if it hasn't been marked, so remember to remove it when you've finished the installation.
You'll need at least the following tools:
1. Remove one of the existing door sill trim pieces. I suggest you start with the passenger side because you'll probably make a better job of the second one (and you'll have to look at the drivers' side much more often...). The trim pieces attach with a cross-head screw down in the footwell and five of those annoying little pop-off clips under the trim piece itself. Be careful that you don't break either the clips or the trim piece when removing it - gentle persuasion is the key here.
If you have a flat lever, such as a metal ruler, you can use this to pry up the trim piece from underneath. Slide it along until you come to one of the clips so that you don't bend the trim piece too much. The trim piece on the driver’s side goes around the front trunk release lever. You might need to remove the small screw securing this lever to be able to remove the trim piece. See Photo 2 for the approximate location of the mounting points. Note that I only marked four of the holes in this photo - I couldn't see the fifth and don't remember where it is. I'm sure you'll find it :-)
2. When you have the trim piece removed, place it on your workbench and lay one of the stainless plates over it. At this point you need to decide exactly how you want to position the plate. I chose to mount them as far forward as possible, since the purpose of them (at least in theory) is to protect the sill from your shoes when getting in and out. Mark each end of the plate onto the plastic trim piece using a pencil. See Photo 3 - note the five plastic pop-off clips on the bench behind the plate.
For the next section I need to introduce some definitions so that orientation of the trim piece is clear:
3. When you lay the plate over the trim piece you'll probably notice that it doesn't fit. Others have made the plate fit the trim piece by hammering the lips on the plate flat or even machining the lips off entirely, but I chose to trim the plastic trim piece instead. This way the plate will clip into place and you might not need any adhesive at all. In addition, the plastic of the trim piece is very much easier to work with than the metal of the plate.
If you hook the rear of the plate over the inside edge of the trim piece, so that you can read the "MR2" logo from outside the car, you will see that the plate stands up at an angle. See Photo 4. The first part you'll need to cut is the underneath of the inside of the trim piece, where the rear of the plate wants to hook under.
4. Start the trimming by cutting notches into the plastic trim piece at each end of the plate location to a little under the final desired depth. The final depth should be somewhere between 2-3/16ths of an inch. But don't take my word for it! Be conservative and cut a little at a time. See Photo 5. When you've notched each end of the cut join the two notches with a line and begin removing the plastic between them. I used a heavy utility knife with a new blade for this. Others have reported success with a Dremel tool. If you're using a blade you need to watch your fingers. I tried to always cut away from my hands but still received a few cuts for my troubles.
5. When you've cut the notch into the inside of the trim piece you should find that the plate lies much flatter. If the plate is still significantly raised up and you can't press the outside edge down without bending it you need to make the inside cut deeper. At this point you'll be able to see approximately where the plate comes to on the outside edge of the trim piece. Mark this line with a pencil. If you have any plastic-faced spring clamps you might want to use them to hold the plate firmly onto the trim piece.
6. You now need to cut the outside edge of the trim piece. This edge is somewhat thinner than the inside edge so the cutting is easier. Be careful not to go too deep into the trim piece because of this. I don't remember exactly how much material I removed. Make sure you hold the plate up to the trim piece after each cut so that you don't remove too much plastic. The goal is to make the lips on the outside edge of the plate snap over the plastic trim piece. To achive this you'll need to undercut the trim piece so that the edge is almost knife-like. See Photo 6 - although it is a little difficult to see I've cut the outside of the trim piece to a sharp edge.
7. On the underside of the trim piece you'll notice some ribbing to give the piece some stiffness. Trim back the outside edges of this ribbing so that they don't interfere with the outside plate lip, as shown in Photo 7.
8. When you've finally removed enough plastic from the outside of the trim piece you should be able to snap the plate over the trim piece. It will take a bit of persuasion and you might need to trim a little more plastic from the underside of the trim piece as you snap it on. If you're patient though, you'll get it on after a bit of swearing.
9. At this point, you may be finished, except for the reinstallation. I chose to finish the job by glueing the ends of the plates onto the trim piece, since otherwise there is inevitably a slight gap which you might consider unsightly. I used a two-part epoxy adhesive, clamped the two pieces together with spring clamps and left overnight. See Photo 8.
10. Reinstallation of the plate and trim piece is simple. Just insert the five pop-off clips into the underside of the trim piece and gently press it into position on the car. A small flashlight might be useful to locate the holes accurately. Don't forget the screw in the footwell. Now lather, rinse and repeat for the other side...
The completed installation: