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March 2001, updated August 13, 2010

This page will constantly be under construction, as will the Rod !!!  

Repairing a Cowl on a 1930/31 Ford Hotrod

I could not help myself ! I picked up this very cheap 1931 roadster cowl and decided I would try to repair it if I had any spare time !

You can see the state of it and why it was cheap. I decided the easiest way to repair it, was to pull it totally apart, then rebuild the sides first. With the amount of rust, a total replacement, except for the leading edge will be done. You can buy these repro side panels but they are quite expensive.

Pulling the cowl apart was done by drilling out all the spot welds on the firewall sides, which is pretty good, and grinding off the heads of all the other bolts. Takes about an hour or so.

Careful measurements were taken from the old side and a piece of 0.9mm steel was cut to size, with a little extra at the top.

Some shape was wheeled into the steel to give it a profile more like that of the original side, to resist "oil canning". A selected piece of steel from a wrecked car (eg roof section) could be used if a wheeling machine is not available.

A swage line similar to that on the original cowl was placed about 30mm from the bottom, allowing for a folded edge. The swage is a simple flattened "s" shape which can be done on a folding machine or maybe by hand.

All of the parts have now been placed in the mollasses bath, for de-rusting.

This is an inside view detail of the swaged line and folded bottom edge. The swage is about 30mm from the bottom.

Thats progress at the moment.

Next, will be re-producing the more complex swaged area at the top of the panel, (horizontal black line in picture above) where it meets the fuel tank. This project will not exactly reproduce the original cowl shapes but hopefully is a simple way to repair a bad cowl for use in a roadster pickup for example. Future plans are to do just that, making doors etc to suit.

Progress might be slow, as the Coupe has priority.

Rust !!!