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Screw-In Style Trim Clip Studs, Or The Pop-Rivet Type?

posted Nov 30, 2017, 8:22 PM by Dane Belden


When replacing your window channels you are also faced with replacing your window trim clip studs and we thought it would be good to briefly compare the two most popular replacement studs used today. As we have pointed out in a previous post, there are three options with the third being a welded-on stud like provided by the factory. This method is the most technically accurate and perhaps the best solution, but relatively few restorers have access to a stud welder and the tooling required to weld the studs on, so the most common solutions are either screw-in or riveted-on studs.


We sell them both, but the most popular is the screw-in stud. As the name implies, the stud is a Phillips-head screw with a shoulder on it for the trim clip to slip over. It is the most popular because of cost and ease of use and as you can see from the comparisons below, it’s certainly an adequate trim clip stud option.

We do sell the Aluminum pop-rivet studs which have a bit more of a factory appearance and use a conventional hand-held pop rivet tool to insert. They are very secure and pretty-much fool proof (no stripped holes, etc.), but the main drawback is the cost (almost 5 times the cost of screws) due to the processes used to make them. While your total dollar investment in trim clip studs is minor with regards to restoration cost, cost is a factor for many. So regardless of your preference, either of these two options will function fine as compared to the factory welded-on stud.

Oh, one last thing, it’s best practice to install the studs prior to prime and paint. Once installed, cut small pieces of tubing (Tygon, etc) to put over the stud, but leaving it about 1/16” proud of the channel wall so that your primer and paint can encapsulate the interface between the stud and the channel wall, but leaving the stud shoulder clean of paint so that your trim clip slips right on. In not covering the stud and painting over the entire stud you run the risk of chipping your new paint just to get the paint off the stud shoulder so your clips can fit.

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