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O. Cowl Rust Repair - The Final Frontier

posted Sep 26, 2015, 6:15 AM by Dane Belden   [ updated Jul 26, 2016, 8:15 PM ]
The Shop Truck is 45 years old and it obviously spent a good deal of its like outside and if there was some rust in the back glass channel, so why wouldn't there be some in the windshield channel?  At first glance everything looks really nice.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
After you remove the stainless steel wiper trim the story gets a bit more interesting.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
Now like many, we could just put the stainless steel trim back on and move on, but that isn't the right answer and if this is going to be the Belden Speed & Engineering shop truck then it has to be made right.  So the first step is to remove the windshield.  This appears to be an older replacement windshield as there is no date code evident.  It has a number of large chips as well as wiper scoring, so a new windshield will be put in  its place.  That said, we took our time to remove it in one piece.  To do so the "sawing" method was used.  Here a piece of .025" MIG wire was poked through the sealer between the window and channel on the inside and holding each end with a screw driver handle the sealer was cut using a sawing motion.  After about a half hour the window was out in one piece.  Some good news is that the roof section and pillars are rust-free so that will save some work for sure.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
Upon closer inspection the cowl top needs to be replaced , but the cowl pan under it just has some rust through along the top edge which has been cut out and new metal welded in place.  Thankfully the windshield panel that spans across the top of the cowl has not rusted through and can be saved.  This is the piece that the VIN tag is attached to and legally cannot be altered.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
Dane Belden, Belden SpeedDane Belden, Belden Speed
Here is a shot of the cowl top mocked up during a trial fit (the red primer is weld through primer).  Once the pan is painted the proper low gloss black (as it came from the factory) the cowl top can be welded back on to the cowl pan and then the windshield panel welded to the the A pillars as well as the cowl top.  The assembly will be seam sealed and the rust will be gone and the repair will be done correctly.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
With the planned preparation and pan painting here is the cowl welded on without the cowl shoulders yet attached:
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
And with the shoulders welded in place - all that is left to do is to epoxy prime the areas where seam sealer will be applied and the seam seal it in preparation for the final under hood painting process.
Dane Belden, Belden Speed
So here is the before and after:
Dane Belden, Belden SpeedDane Belden, Belden Speed
And now the final version after seam sealing and paint:
Dane Belden, Belden Speed