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Removing Debris/Leaves From Cowl Area

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Old 01-17-2018, 12:09 AM
1TonBasecamp
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Removing Debris/Leaves From Cowl Area

Ok, so where are all the discussions about removing the crap that builds up under the cowl vent? I did a cursory search (every day over the last few months!) and did not see any.
I thought that kind of odd since this is a common problem. Figure there's an in-depth discussion about it somewhere here.
Got links?

And I'm open to anything from special fittings for the shop-vac, all the way to cutting access holes (very tempting) in the engine compartment side of the cowl.

What have you done to yours?

Thanks

Paul
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:44 AM
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gotcha.....

Start on the passenger side.... Remove or peel away the front wheel well liner and/or the hard felt on the back side of the well which seals off the fender from the cab body. Need clearance? Turn the wheel into the side yer working on and slide up in there.

Look up and you'll see the footwell vent bowl. I recall it has a large oval rubber plug. Look at the drain.. it'll probably be packed with "mulch". There is a body bolt directly below it which prevents debris from escaping. Fashion a hook out of stiff wire and go about hooking the debris and drawing it out the drain hole.

When ya think it's clear, then use a hose to rinse it out... reverse flush up the drain hole and then finally through the cowl vent slots behind the hood. Be careful though because flooding the vent bowl can cause it to overflow into the interior and on the floor pans/carpet. Fish it out with the water running til it runs free of debris.. btw, water will run down your arm. Brrrr.

On the driver side, close the foot well vent on the inside and go about doing the same. Slow and steady while being mindful gets the job done...

**While you're there**, also flush out the crevices between the fender and the cab body where the debris will drain out.

Reassemble.

Git'er done.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:56 AM
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If you open the passenger door and look up in the side of the body there is a drain hole pointing down. Remove the vent rubber going to the heater and you can poke away at the buildup and then flush with water. Same on drivers side I think.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:29 AM
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About once a year or so I pull the driver and passenger side fresh air vents out inside the cab. Once those are out it's easy to get a flexible piece of plastic pipe (duct taped to the shop vac hose) in the opening to clean out the bottom/drain area of the cowl vent duct. Living in the mountains I have to deal with pine and fir needles as well as aspen leaves. The pine/fir needles take years to degrade and do a great job of clogging the bottom drain I vacuum, blow up from the bottom, down from the top, then rinse out with water to make sure it's all clean. Last year I bought a roll of galvanized screen with 1/4" squares at the local hardware store. It's like chicken wire with 1/4" spacing on the wire instead of 1/2". I cut 1 strip for each side of the cowl vents (took a bit of test fitting, making sure the windshield squirters were clear, and cut out for the wipers) and fed them in under the vent slots. I used tiny zip ties to attach the screen under the vent. When I tightened the zip ties I pulled the connector to the underside for a cleaner looking install. Now the screen catches the aspen leaves and the pine needles and the smaller fir needles somewhat. This ought to keep some of the debris out of the bottom. I'll know this summer when I pull it apart to clean it out and report back. I actually got this idea from dealing with Yellow Jackets building a nest in the furnace vent on my motorhome. The commercially available vent screens are about the spacing as the mesh I bought. As a bonus I used some of the extra mesh to close off the water heater and refrigerator vents on the motorhome to keep the bugs out.
Mark.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:27 PM
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Ditto what MQ said. I usually just need the drivers side vent or delete plate(yes removal of E brake is nec. to get at all bolts.)I blow air into the top cowl to get all the leaves to the pass side and vacuum it out flush with H20. Viola!
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:18 PM
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Just the info I needed! Has anyone thought of making a cowl cover? I would need one since I am forced to park under a pine tree, thinking of making one out of carpet with microfiber on the bottom to protect the paint.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:31 PM
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I'm in the process of painting, and I was seeking out a solution to clean and paint in there a while back. I wish I could seal it all up and fins an alternative, less visible, way to get air.

...or at least weld up about half of the slots. I don't see why there needs to be that many. Tons of cars were made with those, so I guess I'm being too picky.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:35 PM
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My sons eliminating his altogether on the 79 Bronco. No heat, no, vents no, ac or wipers( strictly beach show). You could cut and mold the later model f150 the ones with the small holes so no leaves can get thru.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 1996_5.8 View Post
Just the info I needed! Has anyone thought of making a cowl cover? I would need one since I am forced to park under a pine tree, thinking of making one out of carpet with microfiber on the bottom to protect the paint.
The aftermarket makes a version for early Mustangs... plexiglass with a foam tape at the perimeter. It is secured with two spring-loaded shafts with a ****. The ***** are positioned to located one on each side at 1/3 and 2/3 the width of the plexiglass. At the end of the shaft is a small tee. The tees are inserted into the cowls slot and turned 90 to hook on both sides.
 
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:48 PM
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Hio, we had that one on our 65 fastback. Worked ok at best, but better than nothing.
 
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:54 AM
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Hey thanks for the suggestions guys!
And yes, I've made covers most years, but only out of stuff I had laying around. Which meant it worked as a temporary thing, but usually was of some material that deteriorated in the sun too quickly. Usually got just one year out of it. But they did usually work.

Being parked so much of the time (uh, like all of the time?) and with me sometimes forgetting to replace the old covers, I'm managed to create a Ginko and Elm tree leaf farm inside my cowl area. So now the covers are just to keep the rain out so it doesn't turn into a real swamp!

And I have actually done what most of you have suggested. A time or two anyway, and have been gratified with decent results and still no rust.
I'm a little worried about the rust thing now though. Haven't been very diligent in the last few years...

I've wondered about making a screen to fit inside, but never quite came up with a solution. I've done it on all my other cars and Broncos, but these trucks don't lend themselves well to my ideas. I like the fact that you succeeded mark_guiver.
You don't happen to have any pics you can show us by any chance?

I've used a combination of vacuum, compressed air and water from any angle I could. Having A/C means I don't have the driver's side vent, and that cover plate is really on there permanent-like!
Guess I have to be more persistent...

Thanks again. I'm going to dig into it. And today hopefully make another "temporary-unless-it-works" cover to keep the rain out of the leaf garden.
Had an '83 F150 that I thought was going to be ok, until I saw a tree growing out of the vent holes!
When I got around to it, I filled a Homer bucket and a half with the junk I took out of there. Tree was growing really well too!

Paul
 
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:54 PM
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Magnetic sheeting (from a sign shop) is a very good alternative for a cowl vent cover.
 
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Old 01-18-2018, 02:29 PM
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Paul I too have A/C and had the plate on there. I relieved a donor vehicle of it's driverside vent. I then removed the e-brake assembly easy and got the unreachable bolts and took the cover off and installed the vent and replaced the e-brake. I cleaned it out while I was installing it as well. Had I known I would have pulled one off today at the JY. I got the front light harness without having to do too much.
 
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:46 PM
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Great idea. I'd thought of doing that years ago (probably the first time I realized I didn't have one!) but put it way down on the list. Probably should have followed through with it so I could be lazy and still get the crap out of the driver's side area more easily.

We don't have many of our vintage trucks at the yards anymore around here. They were there for many years in decent numbers, but starting only about two or three years ago I could go through the yard and see not a single pre-'80's Ford truck. Bummer.

If you do see another one though, I'd love to take it off your hands!
Thanks

Paul
 
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:47 PM
1TonBasecamp
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You know, that magnetic sheet stuff is a great idea HIO. I'm always on about magnets holding something down over the vents, but never actually thought of something like that.
Not sure I was even aware of it's ready availability.

I'll check that out the next time I get a chance.

Paul
 
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