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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two question. I'm cleaning the brightwork and noticed the headlight surrounds are different. One must be a pull or aftermarket, but the finishes are very different and I can polish them to the same.

One has a semi gloss and the other is near chrome, which is correct and how do I fix this because the duller one will not polish. It seems to have a coating on it and polishing, even BlueMagic doesn't have any effect. The other trim parts seem much more reflective.

I'm thinking one is from a different model. Is there some guide to what is supposed to be duller and what is supposed to be higher luster?


The other question is about the steering wheel. I have an aftermarket on now. It has the standard aftermarket 3 hole connector, the EOM doesn't, so the adapter comes off and the EOM replaces it. What about the center section (horn ring) and the button. I can't find a good breakdown pic of this.

I'm guessing the 3 hole adapter goes to the center of the EOM wheel, but that seems too thick for the horn ring and would make it stick out too far and it still has to spring, I don't have any springs except those center plastic ones. So here's the parts I've got, what else do I need to make this work and where can I get a good closeup break down pic of the parts in their assembly order?

The "bowtie" center isn't correct for the SS, but it's the only one that sticks in the center, how is the other one held in place?
 

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All the headlight bezels were the same originally.

The 'almost chrome' one might have been polished in a previous life. It sure looks nice!

The other one looks like most oem stiff I've come across, but it should still polish up. I don't know what it might have been coated with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
All the headlight bezels were the same originally.

The 'almost chrome' one might have been polished in a previous life. It sure looks nice!

The other one looks like most oem stiff I've come across, but it should still polish up. I don't know what it might have been coated with.
So all the different chevelle / el camino / whatever Canada had / post cars / station wagon / etc... they were all the same?

I'm guessing the OEM / duller one is correct. This is odd because the "eyebrows" are more polished and those are NOS.

The rear bright work seems to all match up, I wonder why the headlight surrounds would be different.

This was discussed in a truck forum years ago. The solution was to use some lye or something to eat off the coating and polish the alum. Blue magic will make alum like like chrome. As you use it, it turns black. None of the bright work did this, so it's all coated.

They coat it so that it doesn't fade so fast, if it were raw alum, it would have to be re-polished all the time. Someone years ago looked at stripping the coating, polishing and re-coating them, but the coating tends to turn yellow. Eastwood has a no-yellow clear now.

I think he use oven cleaner to strip them.
 

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So all the different chevelle / el camino / whatever Canada had / post cars / station wagon / etc... they were all the same?

I'm guessing the OEM / duller one is correct. This is odd because the "eyebrows" are more polished and those are NOS.

The rear bright work seems to all match up, I wonder why the headlight surrounds would be different.

This was discussed in a truck forum years ago. The solution was to use some lye or something to eat off the coating and polish the alum. Blue magic will make alum like like chrome. As you use it, it turns black. None of the bright work did this, so it's all coated.

They coat it so that it doesn't fade so fast, if it were raw alum, it would have to be re-polished all the time. Someone years ago looked at stripping the coating, polishing and re-coating them, but the coating tends to turn yellow. Eastwood has a no-yellow clear now.

I think he use oven cleaner to strip them.
The bezels weren't as 'chrome' or specialty polished at the purty one. But they definitely weren't as beat as the other one. Stock ones should polish out fine, but you won't get 'quite' that chrome look.

They should look the same as new fender eyebrows.

I can take pics of mine tomorrow if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bezels weren't as 'chrome' or specialty polished at the purty one. But they definitely weren't as beat as the other one. Stock ones should polish out fine, but you won't get 'quite' that chrome look.

They should look the same as new fender eyebrows.

I can take pics of mine tomorrow if needed.
Now that's really odd. I checked that the BlueMagic didn't make any difference and it didn't. That means that both are coated. If you think about it, alum looks like crap after a year or two in the elements. Look at alum intake, rims, etc... GM didn't want their bright work to not be bright.

So now I don't know what to do. I think I've just got the two and the "beat" one looks like NOS or aftermarket. I actually have some true NOS trim for the eyebrows and it's almost a mirror.

I really think GM made different ones, like the SS vs Malibu and how they treated the grills differently with the edge trim, etc...

I do know that the PO got some Malibu parts like the deck lid, dash, etc... maybe one came from that.

Update:
I just did a test with BlueMagic to make sure it actually works. BueMagic alum polish turns black on alum. It did on a alum handle but NOT on ANY of the brightwork.

So, everything is coated and NOT polished, or sent out for custom polish and re-coat. The re-coat would have to stay clear for some 40+ years. That I don't think happened.

I guess I posted my pic limit, but I actually removed the protective factory wax from some of this brightwork and have the tags to prove it. It really shines compared to the older stuff and this car hasn't seen a lot of UV.

Something here isn't right.
 

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All the aluminum trim is anodyzed on '66's - apparently someone removed the anodyzation on the shinier pieces - anodyzed ones won't polish up like that - they're either shiny or they're not.

The coating dulls over the years and nothing will rejuvenate it.

So, you need to remove the coating and either get them reanodyzed or clear powdercoated. I've even seen some people have them chrome-plated.

Don't know about the wheel - sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here'a a link to some NOS from eBay and it really doesn't have the chrome reflection. It's either an odd ball or the trim is supposed to be that way.

He has some pretty good close ups and nothing reflects the same as the one of mine.

66 CHEVELLE HEAD LIGHT BEZELS HEADLIGHT MALIBU EL CAMINO SS DELUXE | eBay


Update: it looks like GM did make two different ones: 589 vs 590: (look at the last pic for a compare, I must have loaded my limit of pics).

c] NOS 1966 CHEVELLE MALIBU El Camino Headlamp Bezel LEFT Side GM 3874589 | eBay
 

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As mentioned, the original aluminum trim was anodized, so it cannot be polished unless the anodizing is stripped (yes, Oven cleaner can be used, but do some research, as many "modern" products have been reformulated over the years, and since you are in California, its a possibility that new oven cleaner may no longer work...

But, you strip the anodizing, and polish the aluminum... Not sure how long until it oxidizes, but I polished the grill and surrounds on a '66 El camino, and I never recoateded the pieces... After several years, I sold the car, and the trim still looked great (I may have waxed the trim)...


As for the horn button, the original "CHEVELLE" cap had two metal tangs, but it was common for one to break, and IIRC, they were "riveted" to the cap... Not sure on the replacement pieces...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As mentioned, the original aluminum trim was anodized, so it cannot be polished unless the anodizing is stripped (yes, Oven cleaner can be used, but do some research, as many "modern" products have been reformulated over the years, and since you are in California, its a possibility that new oven cleaner may no longer work...

But, you strip the anodizing, and polish the aluminum... Not sure how long until it oxidizes, but I polished the grill and surrounds on a '66 El camino, and I never recoateded the pieces... After several years, I sold the car, and the trim still looked great (I may have waxed the trim)...


As for the horn button, the original "CHEVELLE" cap had two metal tangs, but it was common for one to break, and IIRC, they were "riveted" to the cap... Not sure on the replacement pieces...
I see the metal tangs, the center cap that say's "chevelle" has 4 holes where it fits into the metal tangs and that holds the center cap button in the outer shell, but I don't see how that outer shell (with the rivets and tangs) is held on to the center 'horn ring'.

I have to be missing some parts, just don't know what I'm missing because I don't have any breakdown pics.
 

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There was only one version of headlight bezel for all 66 Chevelles.

The finish difference you are seeing is based on when the part was made. They continued to make NOS replacement bezels for 66's for many years. The later production pieces have a VERY rough finish, poor stampings, and look more like they have dull silver paint on them than anodizing. That is NOT the way they looked when the cars were new. The second ebay auction you linked has one early production bezel (the nice one) in the corrugated paper package with the part number printed on it, and a later production bezel (the crappy one) in the cardboard box with a sticker on it. That's the difference.
 
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