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Discussion Starter #1
Hi im doing the body work on my 67 mustang and altho my cowl panel is very solid, there is dead leaves and flaking paint inside of it. How do I sand in there or prime and paint in there. Im changing the cars color from red to springtime yellow and I really want this to be perfect. Any advice tricks or tips?
 

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The only ways I know is to remove the cowl (big job) or only drill the welds out on the ends and bend (yes, I said bend) the last foot or so up to give you access to the underside. This would require some additional body work to fix the warped metal from the bend job. Either way, the job is not any fun. If the cowl and the surrounding areas are solid, I would flush with water and pic the junk out with a coathanger and let the over spray freshen up what color is visible from outside.

If you really want perfection. Remove the hl buckets, fenders, hood, windshield and associated trim, drill out the 118 spot welds (I counted when I did mine) and remove the cowl.
 

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Honestly if you're looking for perfection, you're going to have to remove the top portion of the cowl in order to get in there to really clean it out and paint the inside of it. Don't paint the lip of the cowl though, as you'll burn the paint when you weld it back on.

Luckily, mine was pretty clean and I just used an air hose with a blower attachment and angled the air stream towards the water vents in the sides to empty mine out. In terms of painting it, I had the same concern you did of "how do I paint inside there?" Ultimately my decision was based on going to car shows and looking inside people's vents and talking to people about it.

The consensus was that if you've got to take the cowl apart for repairs, then paint it while it's apart before you put it back together. If the cowl's fine, then it was just left to whatever overspray from painting the car got in there through the vent slots. Nobody had any compaints from doing it either way, and I saw it both ways.

If you cowl is fine, I'd just leave it alone. You're talking drilling and popping out 100+ spot welds all the way around just to get some paint in there. IMO, drilling and working to get all that opened up for something that didn't need to be fixed really wasn't worth it.

Now, since your's is full of leaves and stuff, if blowing it out doesn't work, you might do the can opener trick people do when they're replacing the vent hats - instead of taking the whole top part off, you just cut the portion of the cowl over the vent hats and drill out the spot welds around the ends. Then you just lift open the ends of the cowl like a can lid, remove whatever is in there, do any necessary patch work to the vent hats, close the "lid" back down and re-weld it.

Ultimately the decision will still be yours how far you want to take this. Maybe somebody else has a better idea as to how to clean the leaves and junk out without taking the cowl apart. Pour some water in the center vent and see if it drains properly or if you get water inside your car. If you get water in the car, you'll need to take the cowl apart for repairs anyway. If no water, then just decide how far you're willing to go for paint.
 

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As others have said the only way to truly get in there and clean out the cowl and paint it is to take it apart completely...big job. But if you are doing major body and paint now is the time to do it. It may appear to be solid but once you actually open it up and look from above you may find it in need of some repair. If not consider yourself very lucky.

If you decide not to take it apart and I would not blame you, you can usually get the leaves and debris out as others have suggested it is good to do this when you have the fenders off anyway just to make sure the cowl drains are not obstructed.

As far as paint on the inside of the cowl it should not matter at a show if the inside of the cowl is not painted as no Mustang left the factory with the inside of the cowl area painted other than the little overspray it got during painting the exterior. That is why they are so notorious for rust and corrosion issues.

If yours is currently painted on the inside more than just overspray then it was probably repaired at one time and probably why it is in good shape. You can try and get as much paint in through the vents to cover the color change, I have used an airbrush with a fine tip to get in the cowl area but if you want a perfect look you gotta take it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the advice.

Hey guys thanks for the advice. haha im not a skilled enough welder to take the cowl off... i think ultimately I will just blow the leaves out and let the over spray hit it the best i can, then get one of those covers the make for them to prevent water getting in there anymore.

-Nick
 

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Hi All,

Sorry Nick for jumping in your post but I have a question about the cowl also. If I end up fixing mine on my 67 fastback I know there is plastic hat ( hope this is the right term.) do you recommend them.

Thanks for input and thanks Nick.

Take care and good luck,

Dion
 

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I tried the plastic hats route before doing the full cowl replacement. It was a colossal failure. If your drivers side cowl is shot, it's likely that the studs that hold on the vent are shot too.

The full replacement is time-consuming but if you're short on time, restoring a vintage Mustang is not a wise undertaking. It does not require any great degree of skill, just time and a MIG welder.
 

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Thanks Bitter and Ken,

Dion
 
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