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Discussion Starter #1
i have a '71 convertible that was originally a new york car and has the expected sheet metal rust. the frame rails, torque boxes, etc. are in good shape, though. my main concern is the rust that is falling from behind the dash into the passenger side floorboard. the passenger side floorpans are also rusty, indicating water is leaking through the cowl and onto the floorboard. how difficult is a cowl replacement on a '71? i know it is a major job on prior years, but i've never seen much on the '71-3's. could that rust be coming from anything else? thanks.
 

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Piece of cake (relatively speaking)... The 71-73 had removable grilles, what i did was take out the grilles, take out the glovebox, grind out all the nasty, rusted metal (put something down on the carpet of course), fiberglassed the hole (s), primed, and painted. Its not too tough a job on our generation.
 

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I second what Jason said, this is basically what I did on the 71 I used to have. I POR-15'd the hell out of everything before applying the fiberglass, then POR-15'd it again afterword. The repair lasted just fine through a couple wet Washington winters. I don't agree with the "Piece of cake" though. As I recall the repair was a bitch, but NOTHING compared to cowl repair on earlier Stangs. Good luck!
 

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Hehehe, you missed the most important line! "relatively speaking"... Relative to the older cars, not relative to the actual devouring of a piece of cake, LOL.
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Discussion Starter #6
no, i'm not sure about that, but there is no rust on the metal part of the dash. other than using the water hose to spray off a little shop dust, the car hasn't been wet since i've had it. it stays inside in it's own garage bay with the top down. i have bypassed the heater since i've had the car. before that, there would be a wet spot in the floor after driving the car. i thought maybe the heater core was rusted out and that's where the rust was coming from. i'm still not sure that's not it, i was just trying to prepare for the worst. i'm somewhat relieved to hear the others' comments on the cowl repair. can you see/feel the rust if the cowl grills are removed? thanks for everyone's input.
 

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Yup, pull the grilles off and have a look with a flashlight... I could wiggle myself around and see most if not all the interior of the cowl, and what I couldn't see I could certainly feel. Its also easy to see if you pull out the glovebox, its right there.
 

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you said cowl leak so we're all going that direction.
however, rusty water on the passenger side floor could be a leaking heater box.
mine went after the new carpet was installed one day in traffic, i just watched with foot on clutch, hand on shifter, as rusty water dumped onto my new carpet.
a heater box replacement is not a mechanical nightmare but is labor intensive, takes a bit of a long while.
pay someone and save your lower back.
mac
 
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My cowl was also rusted out on the passengers side. That explained the rusted out torque box and floor pan. Well, after hearing the the way the other guys repaired theirs, I guess I did it the hard way. I had the windshield out so I just cut the old section out and welded in a rust free cowl section from a parts car. Ryan.
 
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