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Offline rramjet

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Rusty Air Vent
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:29:32 PM »
I have a water leak on the drivers side of my wagon and found that the plastic duct that brings fresh air into the car was connected to a mass of rust on the cowl. I saw one post where the OP sealed it up with fiberglass and metal, (he was installing A/C and didn't need the vent). I would like to retain the vent so I'm looking for a way to repair it. Does anyone know how to access the area from the outside? It looks like at least a fender removal. Is there supposed to be a drain system to keep water out of this area? I suspect the rust was due to an accumulation of leaves and dirt from the cowl louvers holding moisture.

Offline TIGGER

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 09:48:46 PM »
In order to get to it from the outside you will need to remove the cowl vent cover (drill our spot welds).  This requires the fenders to be removed as well as the windshield.  It is a lot of work but the best way to get access.  Else you can remove the dash and wiring and repair it that way but it will be difficult to seal the repair from the outside.
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Offline rramjet

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 10:17:39 PM »
That's more than I'm interested in doing so I will try to seal it up from the inside and live without the vent.

The more I think about it I wonder if the water is a windshield seal leak rather than from the grill area behind the hood. I guess I should figure out where it's coming from so it doesn't happen again but I'm thinking if it does it will be long after I will be around to worry about it.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 09:42:02 AM »
If it's rotted around that vent it will allow the water coming in the cowl to pour on the floor.
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Offline Fred Morgan

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 12:27:39 PM »
This is what the box looks like. Let me know if you need more pictures.  Fred   :)
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Offline rramjet

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 12:35:49 PM »
Wow great pictures Fred. Thanks.

So is there supposed to be a drain of some sort to keep water from collecting around the vent duct? If so do you know where it exits the car? If so I would try to unplug it before I repair the area.

Offline Fred Morgan

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 02:17:26 PM »
Okay found it.  Fred   :)
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 04:48:23 PM »
Those drains Fred pointed to in those last 2 pics usually clog with decayed leaves, pine needles & muck then the cowl holds water & rots out. I spent 4 hours on my '80 cleaning all that with long bottle brushes, compressed air & the water hose. After it dried &I was sure there was no crud left I poured Rust-Oleum paint in the cowl & used my air gun to blow it everywhere till it was coated in paint. Now when you dump water in the cowl it just pours out the drains like new.
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Offline rramjet

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 06:33:56 PM »
Great pictures Fred. Thanks.

Looks like I need to get busy cleaning out the drains. I'm sure that's the problem because the first time I opened the fresh air vent I got a face full of pine needles and leaves.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 07:12:18 PM »
Great pictures Fred. Thanks.

Looks like I need to get busy cleaning out the drains. I'm sure that's the problem because the first time I opened the fresh air vent I got a face full of pine needles and leaves.

Ditto!! I couldn't open mine until I was done cleaning it because there was 2 pounds of crud in there. I got lucky since the car sat abandoned in a garage for 15 years & that mess stayed dry preventing mine from rotting through the metal. If it was kept outside I'm sure mine would be junk.
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Offline waldo786

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2013, 01:28:23 AM »
I had the problem of water leaking into my grandfather's wagon, and found it to be a huge nest (chipmunk I think) in the cowl.  The car had been sitting outside and started to have a small leak into the car.  Considering it probably was blocked for years and how much gunk was in there I can't believe more water wasn't pouring in.  At any rate, the idea of using rustoleum is what I did as well.  I did it a little different but took an animal medicine dropper and sucked up rustoleum and then sprayed it down through the cowl to cover the area.  Took a little time, but it worked well.  I should mention that I did the rustoleum in a '66 Mustang I restored that did not have a hole in the cowl.

Offline Reeves1

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 04:05:09 AM »
Fred - you should make "how to videos" !

My Ugly Yellow will need the front cowl taken off at some future point. Not sure if I'll do it now, or when I do a full resto.....

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 07:38:02 AM »
JUST WONDERING FRED IS IT PRETTY EASY ONCE YOU GET THE WINDSHIELD AND FENDERS OFF?? LOOKS LIKE YOU DRILL OUT THE SPOT WELDS?!?!?
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Offline rramjet

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 01:32:38 PM »
Those drains Fred pointed to in those last 2 pics usually clog with decayed leaves, pine needles & muck then the cowl holds water & rots out. I spent 4 hours on my '80 cleaning all that with long bottle brushes, compressed air & the water hose. After it dried &I was sure there was no crud left I poured Rust-Oleum paint in the cowl & used my air gun to blow it everywhere till it was coated in paint. Now when you dump water in the cowl it just pours out the drains like new.

So how did you get to the drains? I took a quick look in the wheel well and didn't see any obvious exit point but guessing it's behind the inner fender. Did you just go through the grill on the cowl?

I'm going to get it up on a lift to get better access from the bottom but would be interested in your thoughts.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2013, 04:24:44 PM »
You have to pull the fenders. It's a 20 minute job. Once you get them off you will see the drains
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Offline rramjet

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 08:57:53 PM »
You have to pull the fenders. It's a 20 minute job. Once you get them off you will see the drains

Actually I found that there is a plastic duct inside the wheel well that fits over two metal tabs that need to be straightened out then it pulls out really easy and wa la, the cowl drain exit is right there. Mine was clean so I think someone might have already done some work on it. I screwed some metal arms on the vent duct then steel epoxied them to the cowl from the inside. Sealed all around the duct with seam sealer putty that comes in a tape form. So far it's dry but time will tell. I may still have to just glass the whole thing up.

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Re: Rusty Air Vent
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 03:02:01 PM »
<--On knees bowing to Fred, Repeating "Fred is great, Fred is great"
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