Ground effects peeling back


New Member
Jun 19, 2020
Spokane, Wa
Hey all! I’ve been stalking the forums for some time and the wife finally green lighted buying a project car!
I did all my research on what to look out for in terms of rust on fox bodies and what upgrades to start with.

We bought an 87 GT hatchback with just over 144k. Drove it home with no issues!
Now our project is first starting with getting this gal (she’s not named yet) road worthy andd up to snuff. Just little things, cleaning the engine bay refurbishing brackets for misc accessories are nothing and in progress. We’re dropping the tank this weekend to swap the fuel sending unit after changing out the temperature sending unit.
Now this pony has some surface rust issues along with clear coat so, painting is in the very near future. While we taking care of said surface rust, I noticed the ground effects were essentially pealing back from the body. I’ve researched a bit here and know the parts are backed by aluminum pieces and that it is not recommended to remove them...

How do I get them back in place?? I’m uploading a pic of the rear drivers side as an example. I thought at first I’d just use some 3m tape but it just seems so stiff!
Any thoughts?


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Founding Member
Nov 19, 2001
Rochester, NY
common on these cars, with age the moldings warp, besides replacing the GFX with another set you could try using a heat gun and a clamp and let it sit over night to see if it "reforms"


Active Member
Apr 29, 2020
San Antonio
The door moldings on my 87 GT did the same thing. I pulled them off and put the new ones from LMR on. It was extremely tedious getting the 34 year old adhesive off the door, but the new ones went on with no issues, and look great.


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10 Year Member
Sep 1, 2010
Kearney, NE
On an 87 Merc, the shop pulled the door strips off for painting and put them back with super 3m trim tape. It held, but the gray strip of the tape edge contrasted with the paint.


5 Year Member
Apr 16, 2015
In your first pic with the side molding in front of the rear tire, it almost looks like it has popped off the metal strip in the middle.

If you want to try and salvage your existing GFX, remove them and then set them on the ground faced up in the sun for a while and see what it looks like. Doing this you can also check condition of the clips at the same time. Removal of the long side skirt is removing the rivets/screws along the bottom then should be a screw or two in the wheel well. The panel you showed should come off with a little up and forward movement. The clips are vertical at door jamb and horizontal just below the body line.

When I reinstalled my GFX after painting I had to install them 3 or 4 times to get the skirt properly behind the clips. If your clips are rotted, I recommend the kit from LMR. Very complete and great looking parts.


New Member
Jun 19, 2020
Spokane, Wa
Wow some awesome suggestions already! I’ll try and see if the heat gun will get back in place And hold with 3m tape. If not and the clips aren’t rotted, the sun is a great idea too.

I was looking at LME but just couldn’t bring myself to spending that much for all the trim (because a lot of the pieces have their own issue)
Thanks everyone!