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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 5:46 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
In my continuing quest to clean everything on this 25 year old chassis, my attention turned to my windshield cowl.
Attachment:
File comment: cowl
cowl.jpg
cowl.jpg [ 3.07 MiB | Viewed 320 times ]

I had already repainted it and the wiper arms with flat black, which makes them look like new.

But I got curious as to what crud might've collected over decades under the cowl, and probably also helped make the AC smell a bit musty.

So, I removed the wiper arms (lift a lock tab and pry up at the outermost rim) and the twelve #8 x 1-1/4 black automotive trim screws. Then the driver side cowl half lifts first. Watch for sprayer hoses.

O. M. G. It was like a mini terrarium under there :lol: Took lots of scooping to clean that and all the collected muck out from down in the openings.
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File comment: dirt
cowl_dirt.jpg
cowl_dirt.jpg [ 1.66 MiB | Viewed 320 times ]

Note the rubber sheet and plastic shield at the right which protects the wiper motor underneath. At least they were still in good shape.

Also noticed that the rubber cowl seals (top of pic) that sit along the bottom of the windshield had turned hard and curved, so I'll be replacing those as well:
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File comment: seal
cowl_seal.jpg
cowl_seal.jpg [ 2.04 MiB | Viewed 320 times ]

Right now I'm off to the Ford dealer to try to get a replacement washer nozzle that I broke in my rush to disconnect the sprayer hoses. *grumble*

Anyway, I highly recommend looking under your cowl.

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 7:03 am 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
Posts: 245
Location: Santa Cruz
Haha, that's funny! And good tip, BTW.

Coincidentally, I just did this last week and was going to suggest it as well.

Just wanted to mention that there's only one cowl drain (that I could find); it's on the driver side. It's a funny little vertical rubber flap that allows water to drain onto the fender liner then run down to the ground. The drain was packed with compost and not doing its job. Also, if you're already into the cowl, might be worth the extra time to remove the fender liners to clean in there as well. My cowl cover is slightly warped and the weather strip from Ford was doing nothing, as your photo shows. I'm thinking of either replacing the cowl covers ($200 ebay) or installing some (much) thicker weather strip.

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 7:23 am 
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Joined: February 17th, 2015, 1:57 pm
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Location: Marysville, WA
Ours wasn't quite that bad but similar with those maple tree whirligigs. The other place they got was on top of the motor under the intake. I must have removed a pound or two with the shop vac. Never dreamed so much crud could accumulate there. :lol:

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 11:48 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Kev - usually I really like your ideas but having a garden under the hood seems unnecessary. May I suggest that you order the Door Stick from Blue Go and use that to clean out all that vegetation!

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 5:01 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
It is nothing if not versatile 8-)

But yeah, with Kevin, wouldn't you think he'd have labeled all the plants with both Latin and common names? (Tidy placards of course.)

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2017, 6:34 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
Hahahaha! Love the avatar, Blue. I could've definitely used The Stick to clean out that mess, along with the rope to retrieve it from the cowling depths!

Good news is the broken nozzle part was only about $9 from Ford, though they had to order it.

Then I visited our local hardware store, hoping to find some rubber weatherstripping to replace the dry rotted original pieces. Eventually I found this perfect item:
Attachment:
File comment: seal
cowl_new_seal1.jpg
cowl_new_seal1.jpg [ 1.25 MiB | Viewed 273 times ]

And here's pics comparing original and new::
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cowl_new_seal2.jpg
cowl_new_seal2.jpg [ 2.86 MiB | Viewed 273 times ]

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File comment: new3
cowl_new_seal3.jpg
cowl_new_seal3.jpg [ 3.58 MiB | Viewed 273 times ]

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 7:33 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 10:56 am
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Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
I'm not ready to remove the cowling to investigate under, but the top fins of mine look dull and dry. What is a good treatment to protect whatever it is made of? I have spray Armor All which would be much easier to put on than something wipe-on. Or should it be waxed along with the rest of the RV?

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 11:08 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Anything plastic/rubber I'd recommend 303 protectant*. This returns plasticizers which leach out over time. You can use it on plastic, dashboards, tires, etc. Armorall contains silcone last I checked, and so I don't put it on anything. Ugh. Plus Armorall leaves that super shiny/slippery/greasy look and feel (gawd, I once bought a used car wherein they had Armoralled EVERYTHING. You were taking your life in your hands just putting weight on the floor mats - it was all ridiculously slippery (and thank to the silicone, good luck getting it off).

BG

*303 now makes some more specialized things like fabric guard, but you want just the basic 303 protectant. A note is that it's supposed to have a two-year shelf life. I don't know how "strict" this is, and there is no date on the container, but for me I just don't buy a 55-gallon drum to last a lifetime, but rather buy smaller containers and re-supply from time to time.

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2017, 6:15 pm 
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Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Blue, thanks for the 303 Protectant recommendation and info. It sounds like exactly what I need. Had heard that Armor-all isn't all that good, and I don't like it much, but did not know what to use instead.

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PostPosted: September 5th, 2017, 2:49 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
Jeanie, is your cowl unscratched and still all black?

If so, use the spray.

If not, I'd mask off a couple feet in each direction and repaint it with flat black spray, so it'll look like new.

Kev

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