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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like I've got the dreaded "rusted cowl vent problem". It's too far gone for the patch kit, and the price to completely repair this scared me to death. I was quoted $1500, parts and labor. Is this too steep a price? I know it's a tough project, but OUCH. Any advise would be great.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Sounds about right to me. Thats about half a week labor.
 
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I would agree that the price quote sounds pretty fair... it really is a big undertaking, those labor hours add up fast.
 

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Try repairing it yourself. There are quite a few websites with step-by-step instructions. You save on labor and keep the money for something else!
 

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We used to charge $1000 as a start. Figure 40 hours + parts. On most, we also found the side panel below the cowl also needed patching- extra $$. What about NCS? (Northern Car Syndrome) This pops up at the seam where the shock tower welds to the inner fender panel. There are 2 places where the salt would get up under the edge of the fender and shock tower seam and eat it away. Ever see bubbles at this junction? If you want to do it yourself, get a good wire brush for the drill and clean off the area at the front of the cowl, to expose the spot welds. There are over 100 of them. You will also remove the fenders, hood and windshield. After drilling out all the spot welds and the small piece that attaches the cowl to the inner fender, you will cut the piece just under the windshiled with a side cutter. The new seal for the windshield will hide the weld. Then you carefully chisel the cowl loose. Now you cut the rust out and cut the patch panels to fit. Remember to mark the wiper motor position so you can drill the new panels for the motor. After welding the new panels in, coat with something like Mastercoat or POR-15. Then trailer it to the body shop and have it painted body color, so it will look correct. Weld the cowl back, carefully re-doing all those spot welds and the cut under the windshield, grinding it flush so the window won't leak. Re-fill the area around the spot welds with seam sealer. And don't forget to cut the drain hole just a little bit larger to let those leaves float out. Send pics of your progress!
 

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I have recently taken the cowl off my '65 Coupe - not that difficult a job, just time consuming (tip for young players - a butterknife does a fantastic job splitting the seams apart). There was virtually no rust around the vent hats - only along the welded seams where the cowl attached to the firewall/fender apron etc.

I intend to follow the advise of PonyDoc as far as painting with the POR-15 & body color goes, but have a question about the re-welding. As you re-do the spot welds, any paint beneath/near the welds is going to burn off, leaving metal exposed and vunerable to rust, in a really hard place to get some protection back onto the metal. Is there any way to protect that metal again? Perhaps some sort of primer etc used along the weld faces that won't burn off??

Thanks,

J.B.
 

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Hmm, good point. What if....paint all the areas not to be welded around with regular POR-15/equivelant, and then paint the areas that will be welded with the high temp POR paint? (or would that just fall off from the welding also??) But, I'm not sure if the high temp paint from POR is designed to keep rust away, or if it is just that--high temp paint. Might be worth looking into.
PS. I'm doing this project right now too. /forums/images/icons/crazy.gif
 
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Wow prices have gone up, I paid $250 a couple of years back to have both sides replaced, patch one cowl side panel and replace the other, plus he comes to your house and does it. Painted the inside real nice and everything, I made sure I was there.......The job really isn't that bad, I could do it now, but then I was scared......
 

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That would be a reasonable price if that includes the shop splitting the cowl, making the repairs, putting the cowl back together again, and making it look presentable. Here in the northeast, with "Northern" cars, full-blown cowl repair can run to about 2k to 2.5k these days!
 
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Thats how the guy did mine, split the cowl, replace both inner panels, welded back on, but patched the pass. side top and replaced the drivers side cowl panel (inside fender). I'm in CT, the guy advertised in the )Bargain News), can't remember the name though.....I think the guys name was Walt...... In fact he did that and drivers floor, torque box and toe floorboard for $450 at the time, not sure what his prices are now, did it in my garage too....
 
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