So...cowl repair. Need advice - Page 2 - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:00 PM
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@wicked93gs If you are concerned about TIG torch clearance check out a flooding cup. It's all I use now. You can go with extreme stick out, minimum 3/4" and more. If you use that cup with good stick out on a 9 or 20 torch with the smallest back cap it shouldn't be an issue.

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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 11:10 PM
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Im with Frankie. On my 66 I replaced both top and bottom because they needed it. The replacement fit well and made it easer than repairing the old one.

On the 65 Fastback I am working on, I just opened the cowl and found the bottom trashed even though it looked good from underneath. I sand blasted the cowl top and will reuse it to preserve as much original metal, as possible. It was in very good shape. The bottom had to be replaced. When ordering just the bottom, what they sell for 65/66 is really a 67 bottom. It works but will take some trimming and fitting. Not quite as easy as the two piece unit, but saved about $225 by saving the original top.

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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 10:03 AM
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If you clean out the debris and it still leaks there is only one thing to do. Crack it open!
If you are dealing with a '67 or '68 don't chose the small repair patches. They are made for '65/ '66 and will need modified heavily to fit the driver side. (guess which repair patches I used? lol)
If the full lower cowl was available I would have definitely gone that route. If you replace just the lower remember to make sure the holes for the wiper arms line up with the upper before you finalize your welds. I almost got caught on that one.

If it can't be fixed with a hammer, you have an electrical problem...(stolen from the H.A.M.B.)
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I was able to snake a shop vac hose in one cowl hood, all the way across the cowl to the other cowl hood, the reach up in there and break up the 50 years of mulch and vacuum most of it away(good thing it was a 6HP vac). I still cant see the cowl floor of course...but it feels badly pitted. So if its not leaking now, it will be soon. I was going to kick this can down the road, but that changed my mind...so I am ordering a new lower cowl at the least(more likely both lower and upper because I can use a spare upper to play around with methods for making a removable grill that could be interchanged with a blank panel depending on weather and for cleaning the cowl)
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 10:57 PM
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I can use a spare upper to play around with methods for making a removable grill that could be interchanged with a blank panel depending on weather and for cleaning the cowl)
uhhh, the grill is a separate panel that goes over the cowl... at least it is on a 69. Pretty sure it's the same on other years as well.

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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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No..on a 66 the grill is not removable...Ford realized that particular mistake after a few years...no easy way to clean out the garbage(not sure how many 69+ owners did anyway though)
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:53 AM
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I installed a complete new upper/lower cowl in my car, and although I also put in a Vintage Air system with electronic controls (no cables under dash!) I also managed to retain the driver's side fresh air vent too. (Yeah, it's crowded up under there, but it can be done.) To keep debris out I bought a pair of clear plexiglass cowl vent covers (see below). I can pop 'em off in seconds and pull the knob by the parking brake lever for fresh air. Windows down cruising and a nice breeze from down under too.
Nifty. I highly recommend them.
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah...I have seen the plastic cowl covers...but the attaching hardware just always makes them look horrible...if only they had a countersunk screw or something reasonable
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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:34 AM
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I removed cowl and replaced it. I didn't have to as it turned out but I am glad I did- It was not that hard- it made dash work SO nice- (you will have awesome access to about anything under the dash so consider that before you put the new one in.)

I left the dyna corn paint stuff on- but scuffed it up good- primed with a good epoxy primer- and then seam sealed around the hats- (making a ramp- going up the side of the hat, and down to the cowl floor- so as to really push water away from the vents) We used a combination of body glue (not sure of the real name- its used for gluing on parts on new cars- and spot welds and mig) We did this to ensure all water tight joints- with the appearance of factory spot welds- and also strength. It was easier than i thought and I hopefully will never revisit this issue on the 65. I would do it again.
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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I am considering doing this without pulling the engine(that is a task for another day since currently it has the I6 and I plan on swapping to a v8...dont want to put the I6 back in once I pull it...not to mention the fact that I have engine bay and trans tunnel sheet metal work to do where I butt welded the floorpan-to-firewall extensions and floor pans to existing metal,need to make those weld seams disappear once I take the engine out...not a project I want to add on top of this one). Is cowl replacement with the engine in place feasible? I can always jack the engine up from below to take the majority of the weight off the shock towers if need be. It would certainly be more convenient to be able to move around in the engine bay...but being a tall guy I dont have any trouble reaching across the cowl as needed for spot weld access.
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post #26 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:28 AM
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I guess you could, but remember the cowl is structural, when you remove it the front "clip" will drop, with or without the engine. Without the cowl I can move the front frame up and down by hand. You have to make sure everything is straight again before welding it back in. It will certainly make it much harder having to reach over instead of being able to stand in the engine bay. Spending the time to pull the engine may well save you time in the end.
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post #27 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:33 AM
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My engine was out but IDK if thats a requirement. It sure was nice to stand in the engine bay and work. a 6 cyl should come out easy and pretty qwik- I get not taking it out and putting it back- but I think it will be easier in the long run-
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post #28 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
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My engine was out but IDK if thats a requirement. It sure was nice to stand in the engine bay and work. a 6 cyl should come out easy and pretty qwik- I get not taking it out and putting it back- but I think it will be easier in the long run-
The funny thing is that if it were a v8 I wouldn't hesitate to pull it, but the extra length of the I6 makes me wonder how much of a pain its going to be to pull with the trans attached(no way I am pulling it without the trans...I absolutely HATE pulling an engine without a trans...you waste so much time realigning them in-car, doesnt matter if its FWD or RWD, I will pull both together 98% of the time)
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post #29 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 12:10 AM
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Is cowl replacement with the engine in place feasible? I can always jack the engine up from below to take the majority of the weight off the shock towers if need be. It would certainly be more convenient to be able to move around in the engine bay...but being a tall guy I dont have any trouble reaching across the cowl as needed for spot weld access.
You can have the engine out in 1/2 hour. Just do it. The amount of time you'll save with it out of the way will be WAY worth your while. I did quite a bit of my cowl replacement standing in the engine bay. You'll also discover a lot of things that need to be addressed in the bay while the engine is out making it much easier when it comes time to make the change over to V8.
Trust me. Pull the engine.

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post #30 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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I'd do at least the bottom... I'd do the top as well because it doesn't cost much more than doing only the bottom, and it can be done using the original "spot weld" method. If you replace the bottom only, you'll be filling the holes you drilled in the top rather than a true spot weld. The cowl is structural. Do it once, do it right.
I didn't have the option of "either/or" on my 69. There's no patch kit available and the only cowl replacement was top and bottom, and I'm glad it was the only option.
I welded the bottom in, primed it and painted it, but masked off the lip so I'd get a clean weld when I did the top. Granted, Ford didn't paint the lower cowl, but you can't see it once the top is on.
Heck, you've got it apart anyway, and Dynacorn does a really nice job with the repro parts. Might as well do the whole thing.
I am curious as to why you think plug welding is inferior to spot welding? The weld is the same regardless, as long as the two pieces are pressed together tightly through whatever method...the metal around the weld will fail long before the weld itself...spot welded or plug welded(although I have noticed a few factory plug welds that are failing...but they weren't correctly plug welded to start with(half the hole or more wasn't even filled)
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