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Customs 1940 Ford inner cowl replacement - anyone done this?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cjtwigt, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member

    Hi,

    I'm restoring a 1940 Ford, see my blog here:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/1940-ford-4-door-restoration-project-in-europe.1116531/

    I intend to replace the floor but I'm also considering replacing the inner cowl panels as they contain some metal rot (see picture).

    However replacing these inner cowl panels seems to be a daunting task.
    I see some spot welds on the cowl in the area of the fender. In addition they seem to be welded to the door area but it is hard to see how/where. I assume there is a lot more trouble removing them but it is hard to oversee. Has anyone done this before? It is worth buying the inner cowl panels from Macs Autoparts?

    https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_...nner-lower-cowl-structure-ford-passenger.html

    As I do not see pictures of this part from all angles so it is hard to see if the part resembles what I have.
    Any help/suggestion is very appreciated.

    Regards,
    Chris
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,236

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    I really can’t see well enough from the pic to get an accurate idea of where the panel is rusted or how it fits......but.....when replacing panels it is sometime the case that only a section needs replacement, not the entire piece.

    It may be that you can leave the original in place around some or all of it’s edges, cut out what is bad, and trim the repair piece accordingly....welding it in place with but welds or lap welds if necessary.
     
  3. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,143

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Are you prepared to do major disassembly to sandblast the area clean? If not, the rust will still be hidden in many of the joints, bends, and pockets in that area. And it will come back. The little bit of rust shown is not really worth cutting out and replacing unless you are going to do it right. If you aren't going to do it right, just drive it and enjoy it as is.

    I do things the right way, unless it's a junker daily driver car, then it only needs to be safe. In your case, I'd cut out just the rusted chunks of each panel, sandblast the whole area, then see if any further need trimmed out due to newly found rust holes or pits. Then you can make replacement parts with a simple brake and tin snips. Most all those panels in there are simple straight bends. You might not be able to make the panel in one continuous piece, but making it in segments is fine. No need to spend big money for premade parts you'll only use a quarter of.
     
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  4. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member

    Thank you Hnstray for the help. I'll look at the panels again and consider your solution.
     
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  5. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member


    Hi Alchemy,

    I intend to sandblast the entire body. I am struggling with the timing for doing it however. I'm doing a restoration that will take a long time (40 hour/week on the job and 2 children..) and I'm located in a wet climate. So coating the frame right after sandblasting is essential.

    So then what will I gain by sandblasting? Okay, there will be 1 moment when I can judge the body to see where it will need to be repaired. But after I cover it with primer again then I'm left with almost the same situation I have now: I will have to remove paint before I can start welding and removing paint is almost as easy as removing rust/paint from decent/good sheet metal parts. Is it worth it to sandblast it now?

    I think I'm actually doing the restoration according to your ideas: I'm doing the obvious repairs now. Then I will sandblast. If there is any areas uncovered then that need repairs then I will repair them. I have considered buying a brake instead of the inner cowl parts. In the end it will cost me the same but I will end up with the parts AND the brake. Steel is cheap so if I f*ck up some steel in the process of making the parts then it does not matter that much.

    Thank you Alchemy. I think I'm on the right track.

    Regards,
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  6. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,143

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rust doesn't just lay flat. It makes pits in the steel, and creeps into nooks and crannies. Until you get the rust out of all those little spots, you don't know what damage it has done. You can grind the surface, but no grinder I know of can get into all the pits. Sandblasting does.

    That's why I think it's best to remove the obviously rusted bits (the stuff you knew you needed to cut out for a patch panel), then sandblast. It will clean behind the chunk you just removed, as well as show if the surrounding pits are actually holes now. Then you can cut out a little more if needed.

    Sandblasting is thorough. Grinding the surface is not.

    As for priming right after blasting, I think that is ok. Removing a little paint at the weld joint is easy.
     
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  7. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,729

    The 39 guy
    Member

    If you carefully cut and grind the part out like you did on the upper cowl you can expose all of the metal that will need cleaning (blasting). From what I have seen of your skills I think you can make the parts you will need. Just take accurate measurements before you start cutting metal away.

    If you have a small pot sand blaster you can blast the area before you weld the new metal in. The small blasters are not too expensive and will clean the area well without making too much of a mess.
     
  8. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member

    Hi Alchemy,

    Thank you for your elaborate response.
    You are right. Removing paint is easier than removing a mix of paint and rust and dust.

    One more question. Suppose there is an area with pits in it. I will be able to see the pits after blasting. But will I still be able to see the pits after priming or will the pits be invisible again after priming?

    Regards,
    Chris
     
  9. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 6,733

    19Fordy
    Member

    Use high build primer.
    However, be sure the metal you are applying it to has structural integrity and is not paper thin.
     
  10. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,143

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The only pits that will cause structural worries are the ones you can still see after the primer is applied. If a single coat of primer fills up a pit it wasn't very deep and I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  11. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member

    Thank you Alchemy,

    Now I understand what I get after sandblasting and priming. So I cut out the obvious heavy rusted parts, then sandblast and prime and after that deal with the left overs.

    Thanks!
    Chris





    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  12. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member

    Thank you 19Fordy!
    Chris


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  13. oz40
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 236

    oz40
    Member

    Hi Chris,
    Well you don't have much of a difference to my dilema, that I had here with the 40 Coupe that I am doing for a client.
    Both the inner cowl supports were rotted out,, and to make matters even worse the so-called professionals with 145 years combined experience couldn't even fix this area on top of the rest of the car that they totally ruined.
    Anyway here is how I tackled the repairs.
    Sandblasting had revealed all the rusted areas and this made it easier to tackle the repairs.

    Basically I marked the damaged areas into small sections, thinking that I may have to do smaller parts to accomplish the repair, but as I go into the planning it became evident that I could do it with lesser parts.

    Then I fabricated each part up ready for the fitting process.
    I set each part into place to ensure that the sections would fit to each other.
    When I was happy with the fitment,, I simply cut out the damaged marked sections in sequence and replaced it with the new panel replacement.
    When finally fitted in, I completed the rest by simply oxy butt welding up the whole lot to the exacting original measurements and shapes.

    Hope this helps and all the best with the resto.

    Regards
    oz40 (Tom)
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. cjtwigt
    Joined: Dec 23, 2017
    Posts: 98

    cjtwigt
    Member


    Hi Tom,

    Thank you very much for your detailed response and your photo's!
    So you did a lot of careful cutting and made several replacement parts that fit together nicely.
    It looks like the adjacent vertical sheet metal parts are rusty at the bottom. Did you manage
    to make good welds to them?

    My vertical bits are a bit rotten at the bottom and I'm not sure if I can weld there.
    That is why I'm not sure how to approach this. Maybe I should postpone this until after sand blasting.

    I would still like to make my own inner cowl, then replace the entire inner cowl with mine
    but it is hard to see how the rusty inner cowl is attached to the outer cowl. I can see some
    spot welds but I'm sure I do not see all of them.
    I have learned that removing sheet metal is not a very clean process. It seems that whatever you want to
    remove never comes off the car intact. So far I ended up tearing, cutting, grinding, bending, drilling and
    ripping the shit out of the old metal in order to remove it. So I'm worried that in an attempt to remove the
    inner cowl I will destroy more of the outer cowl than I really want. I will give it some more thought.

    Thank you again for your detailed response Tom!
    Chris
     
  15. oz40
    Joined: Dec 17, 2006
    Posts: 236

    oz40
    Member

    Hi Chris,
    Good to hear back from you.
    After the sandblasting various rusted areas did show up, on this repair..
    However the vertical faces only had pitting in them and based on the metals' thickness,, I saw it as a no issue and simply continued with the repairs to the lower sections as you can see in the pictures.

    I simply tacked in the panels with the mig welder, and ground the heads off when ready for the final oxy/acetyline weld up. Where the vertical panels are I just simply slowed down the welding and reduced the flame just to insure that I would not blow through any weaker metal areas.

    Unfortunately,, when trying to repair inner cowl brackets they are never an easy solution to fix whilst still in the car.
     

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