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Discussion Starter #21
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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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. :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #23
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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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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Discussion Starter #25
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #28
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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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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Discussion Starter #30
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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Discussion Starter #31
Ok, so I have the cowl out(upper and lower) Just wondering how people usually reinstall it? With the lower and upper as one piece, or lower first, then upper? I am concerned about getting the lip for the lower cowl and the lip for the windshield channel to line up correctly with the upper cowl
 

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Mine was a two piece unit. I installed the lower first then the upper. You'll need LOTS of clamps and machine screws to hold the lower in place when welding and the same when putting the upper on.

If you take your time and clamp it properly along the windshield lip and firewall lip you'll be perfectly fine. Any extra material can be trimmed away and hammered into shape. Long repair but the most rewarding repair you'll do. Check my pics, I took many when I replaced mine.
 

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I would definitely take the time to epoxy prime everything as you are going. From the firewall, under the cowl and the inside (top and bottom) since you are in there. I actually put a single stage urethane on the inside of my '70's cowl over the epoxy when I replaced it. There are several alignment holes in the cowl to assist you in getting it lined back up. I strongly suggest using an export brace to check the firewall positioning before welding the lower in place. Fit everything before committing to welding. If something needs to be adjusted, do it during the fit-up process. I remove the paint from each rosette weld hole with a small wire bush once everything is primed and sheet metal screwed in place. I've installed a couple of these, it really isn't that bad. Pay attention to the details and it will come out nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I would definitely take the time to epoxy prime everything as you are going. From the firewall, under the cowl and the inside (top and bottom) since you are in there. I actually put a single stage urethane on the inside of my '70's cowl over the epoxy when I replaced it. There are several alignment holes in the cowl to assist you in getting it lined back up. I strongly suggest using an export brace to check the firewall positioning before welding the lower in place. Fit everything before committing to welding. If something needs to be adjusted, do it during the fit-up process. I remove the paint from each rosette weld hole with a small wire bush once everything is primed and sheet metal screwed in place. I've installed a couple of these, it really isn't that bad. Pay attention to the details and it will come out nice.
So...just for general amusement...the firewall flange where the alignment holes were was rotted away:



So I had to cut and patch it. I am pretty sure I got the new alignment holes positioned correctly(at least within 1/32nd of an inch) and drilled to the correct size(although in this picture I ran out of welding wire before I finished the weld). I agree though that this isnt that bad of a job...the floorpans were far worse as far as work involved(maybe because I installed torque boxes at the same time)
 

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Discussion Starter #35


Lower prepped and ready to go back in. Any last minute checklist I need to do before starting to weld(tomorrow). I dont have an export brace for alignment...just the factory shock tower braces.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Do you have any holes punched to weld at the lower windshield lip?

I didnt have any pre-drilled in the lower cowl at the lip area...but it only sits on about 2 inches of lip on either side for the lower cowl(I do need a drill a couple on each side to secure it there)...the vast majority of that lip wont get any holes in the lower cowl...all the holes will be in the upper cowl where it welds to the lower cowl lip





lower cowl installed aside from those couple holes on the top lip in the corners
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
Thanks for all the help and advice guys, its going back together...should be done by the end of the day with this rather intimidating task:



One last question though: Anyone have any tips for applying seam sealer to the front triple-lip of this area to most effectively seal it?
 

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Weld in the export brace bracket on the firewall while you are there....probably too late...
 
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