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Cowl Adjustment?

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Old 08-06-2018, 12:51 PM
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Cowl Adjustment?

My cowl on my '79 seems to be a bit wider than my hood and fenders. Sorry don't have a pic yet. This was a quick thought and question. I've adjusted the hood the best I can. I have tried to shim my drivers door out a bit. It does meet the cowl better but I think it will not work in the long run with the fenders. They will need to be shimmed out far too much to make it look good. There is something else going on here lol. Can I bend/work the cowl contours? Mine seems to be out too much. I can't see anyway to adjust them. Anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 08-06-2018, 01:59 PM
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As far as I know the cowl panel is fixed and that is the one panel everyone sets the (fender, hood and door) gaps off of? Maybe some body work guru has a better reply?
 
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:18 PM
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The cowl is in a fixed position, the hood/fenders gap is set off the cowl. You need to keep in mind that back in the day any panel gap under 3/4" was considered good to go and sent down the assembly line.

These trucks were never intended to be a "Chip Foose" quality build with perfect 3/16" panel gaps. lol
 
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:12 PM
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The cowl can be "narrowed" if need be..... or widened. But,there is no adjustment to do it. It is good 'ol sheet metal cut and weld or cut and add etc. etc. Unless experienced in that type of body work, you need to do what others have suggested ; average everything to the fixed cowl. Good luck,gary
 
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:39 PM
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Thx guys. Got it.
 
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by flatbedfordguy View Post
You need to keep in mind that back in the day any panel gap under 3/4" was considered good to go and sent down the assembly line.
Maybe that truck was built on a Friday before a 3-day holiday weekend.
 
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vtpkrat2 View Post
The cowl can be "narrowed" if need be..... or widened. But,there is no adjustment to do it. It is good 'ol sheet metal cut and weld or cut and add etc. etc. Unless experienced in that type of body work, you need to do what others have suggested ; average everything to the fixed cowl. Good luck,gary
Worked in body shop once and watched the boss cut and tig welded a cowl on one of these because of fit like that. He was a pro. I think that panel is galvanized, be careful about welding and grinding though. Myself, I would have to live with it.

 
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthwestX360 View Post
Maybe that truck was built on a Friday before a 3-day holiday weekend.
Or after an extended "lunch break" lol. There was some crazy stuff that took place on assembly lines back in the 70's.
 
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:43 PM
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Can you adjust the bottoms of the cowl, where it wraps around/down to meet the tops of the fenders? I would think that carefully pushing the bottoms of the cowl inward could adjust it to where you want it.
Is one side worse than the other? Can you post up some pics?
 
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:37 PM
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How far off is it? When the hood is closed, does it look to have more of a crown at the center than the cowl? Sounds like the hoods bowed up and narrower than it should be. Spreading the hood would also allow the fenders to move out and align with the cowl. Then deal with the doors. Sometimes these old trucks just need to be bent back into the correct shape. We always had a length of 2x4 in the body shop for tweaking body panels on older vehicles. Put it in the hinge and close the door slowly and it'll push the door out. Under a door to the rocker to tweak it up. Between an open door and fender to pull a fender out. It can even be used to hit with a hammer to spread the force across a panel. Like laying it on top, or the inner edge, of a fender and hitting it with a hammer to push the fender down, or out. These things are heavy enough metal, they can take some abuse.
 
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by meangreen92 View Post
Can you adjust the bottoms of the cowl, where it wraps around/down to meet the tops of the fenders? I would think that carefully pushing the bottoms of the cowl inward could adjust it to where you want it.
Is one side worse than the other? Can you post up some pics?
Ya meangreen I can't post pics, the trucks covered with junk right now. And because it's pushed up against something, I can't see the two sides together.
 
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by speedfreak78 View Post
How far off is it? When the hood is closed, does it look to have more of a crown at the center than the cowl? Sounds like the hoods bowed up and narrower than it should be. Spreading the hood would also allow the fenders to move out and align with the cowl. Then deal with the doors. Sometimes these old trucks just need to be bent back into the correct shape. We always had a length of 2x4 in the body shop for tweaking body panels on older vehicles. Put it in the hinge and close the door slowly and it'll push the door out. Under a door to the rocker to tweak it up. Between an open door and fender to pull a fender out. It can even be used to hit with a hammer to spread the force across a panel. Like laying it on top, or the inner edge, of a fender and hitting it with a hammer to push the fender down, or out. These things are heavy enough metal, they can take some abuse.
Speadfreak I can't give you that info either. The trucks covered in junk right now. I have been neglecting the rebuild so junk ends up all over it. It's sad. I really would like to get it done but too many other things come up right now. Figured I would just throw out a few questions but you guys are on me quick! Lots of questions that I can't answer. Thanks anyways.
 
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:20 AM
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Shim the fenders from the center bolt on the inside of the fender. The doors can be adjusted from the hinges. Sometimes, if the hood is removed, it will bow a little. You and a strong buddy can try to bend it back out by just pulling from each side, don't get carried away though. My hood was bowed just a little, but I just left it. Like what was mentioned, these trucks were ment to be work trucks, not show quality trailer queens.
 
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SlikWillie View Post
Shim the fenders from the center bolt on the inside of the fender. The doors can be adjusted from the hinges. Sometimes, if the hood is removed, it will bow a little. You and a strong buddy can try to bend it back out by just pulling from each side, don't get carried away though. My hood was bowed just a little, but I just left it. Like what was mentioned, these trucks were ment to be work trucks, not show quality trailer queens.
Since my drivers side is more accessible than the passenger side, I have shimmed the door out to meet the cowl a bit better. Just seems that I have to shim the fender out even more to make that all meet. Seems a little to aggressive to me, so I might reduce the door shim down so the fender doesn't need so much shimming. As flatbedfordguy said, the tolerances are not what they are today. I'm having to experiment a bit and not expect a perfect fit. Just make it look better than it was. And when I finally get the other side cleared I can compare them and make a better decisions.
 
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Old 08-20-2018, 04:13 AM
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I always thought mine was a poor fit/match between the cowl bottom and the top of the fender too. But being as the doors and fenders and such were perfect, and only the cowl stuck out proud of the fender top, I never wanted to really mess with it all that much. You can only change the door to match other components so much before you don't get a good tight seal with the cab I would think.
I'm pretty sure you'd have to do some substantial pie cutting to push that dude back in to meet the rest of the body.

Heck, I'm still chomping at the bit to cut big holes in the cowl, then make the sections I removed detachable somehow so I could easily get in and out of the area under the vent to get vacuum out leaves and debris that get under there.
Maybe one day I'll try to kill two birds with one stone.

Paul
 

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