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Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-24 8:39 PM (#536619)
Subject: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



Expert

Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
It's a classic. "You can't get there from here Sir"

On the way to installing my "new" Electro-Touch Tuning radio, I need to do a bunch of stuff that is going to get buried behind the radio once the radio is installed. One of these is the "new" cowl vent lever that I rehab'd and works like a hot darn. While I was out in the garage deciding how to modify the rear 6x9 speaker mounts that I making to work with the uncut parcel tray using existing screw holes in the parcel tray, I decided to try removing the old rusted (siezed) cowl vent lever.

Based on the rehab'd one, there are three bolts holding the cowl vent lever to the firewall. Two of those are easily accessed from the engine bay and I have them out. The third is inside the ventilation system, accessed (sort of) when the left side over-center camlock door is open. The bolt head is 7/16". I can barely feel it and I can't really get a wrench on it or even my tiniest 1/4" drive rachet and 7/16" socket.

Any hints on the secret decoder ring to get that last bolt out???

This is the diagram from the parts manual but it isn't 100% accurate. The Dodge cowl vent lever is a clever bell crank affair that translates horizontal lever movement into up/down and the connection to the cowl vent is a rod, not a cable.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-24 11:04 PM (#536627 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: RE: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
I forgot that I had posted a photo of the actual cowl vent lever in my "rehab" post.

Here it is. I've got the bolts in the left bottom and middle of the photo from the engine bay. It's the one near the top of the photo that is "accessed" (somehow) via the ventilation trap door. (OR by removing the fresh air/heater ducting on the firewall. (I refuse to open that can of worms)).

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-25 10:57 PM (#536661 - in reply to #536627)
Subject: RE: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



Expert

Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
Some progress today (2 steps ahead and one back kind of progress).

I tried to figure out how to get at that remaining bolt and while I was under the dash, I disconnected the activation rod from the bell crank. Then I tried to get the cowl vent to move. By prying alternately at each end, I eventually got the vent flap up high enough that I was able to remove the three screws that held the screen to the flap (aka "Lid"). With the screen out, I could see down into the ventilation system and that final bolt head. BUT I couldn't quite get my hand down there to start removing the bolt. I decided that IF I removed the cowl vent flap I would have a better chance of reaching in. Without thinking or hestitation and with the aid of my beautiful little 1/4" drive rachet and appropriate socket I started removing the three hex-head screws that hold the flap to the hinge.

HA!! I should have realized that I was making too much progress too fast. Snapped off the head on the first hex head screw I tried to remove.

OK. Time to quit anyway (had a play date with my wife - movie) so I put the car back in the garage and sprayed the remaining two screws with magic elixir in hopes that by tomorrow, they will come out with out snapping. Then I have the issue of fixing the broken screw.

I hope I can get the hinge working better and the activation rod and yoke de-rusted as well.

/Dave F

Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-26 12:23 AM




(56DodgeCowlVentDiagram.jpg)



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Attachments 56DodgeCowlVentDiagram.jpg (88KB - 32 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-26 7:38 PM (#536729 - in reply to #536661)
Subject: RE: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



Expert

Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
Progress but I still need some hints.

I got the 23-61-98 screen off yesterday but when I broke one of the machine screws holding the vent to the 23-61-65 hinge I quit for the day. I did spray them with PB Blaster before I shut down the garage.

Today I worked the remaining two machine screws back and forth and sprayed some more. I got the passenger side screw off but broke the middle one. (Merde). I took the cotter pin out of the 23-61-160cowl vent activation rod and removed the cowl vent. With it out of the way, I could get my arm down into the cavity and with a 7/16" socket on my mini-1/4" drive socket, I got that last bolt holding the cowl vent bell crank out (after removing some sealant that turns out to be the reason I couldn't get the bolt from the inside via the vent door opening). Removed the 23-61-85 trim on the cowl vent lever end and removed the entire old cowl vent lever and the activation rod.

The cowl vent flap, the mechanism and the rod are all soaking in rust destroyer/remover.

The questions are:

1. How is the hinge held to the body? It is extremely stiff and needs rehab (soaking in rust detroyer) plus I need to get those two broken machine screws out of it. I could feel the "hinge" (not a piano hinge). Seems to be something like a rivet. However, I could not see or feel how the hinge is held to the body.

2. The old 23-61-172 rubber grommet is brittle and broke at the body end. Suggestions re: replacement?



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-26 7:41 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-27 3:22 PM (#536766 - in reply to #536729)
Subject: Two steps ahead, three back.



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Posts: 2037
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Merde.

I decided that I could get the two remaining (broken) machine screws out without removing the hinge if I just used needle-nosed vice grips and turned the screws "IN" (through the hinge) from the back side where there were threads exposed. That worked.

Two steps ahead.

While I was there, I found my "MOVIT" pentrating fluid and long tube nozzle and directed some spray at the yet unseen hinge pins. I did that and started working the hinge thinking that maybe it won't have to come out after-all. All was going well until BANG!! (okay, maybe "SNAP!!"). While the driver's side hinge pin was fine, the passenger side of the hinge broke, breaking the fixed portion of the hinge away from the mounting plate (still unseen). NOT good.

Three steps back.

The hinge is a simple riveted pin at each end. However, I still can NOT figure out how the hinge base is held to the car.

I have Plans B through Z developing in my head but none of them are pretty.

DepsilonD might come through with a photo of the hinge mounting system. Maybe somebody else knows? Because now the hinge has to come out for sure.



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-27 3:23 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-27 5:14 PM (#536770 - in reply to #536766)
Subject: RE: Two steps ahead, three back.



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
Oh lord, what HAVE I done?

I looked at the "hinge" plate via a small (3" round) mirror and a flash light. No means of attachment are evident. I did see that the fixed portion of the hinge was punched and bent (90 deg) from the base plate. Not sure when the rivet was put in the hinge point.

I removed the rear portion of the rubber cowl flap seal hoping to see evidence of the means of hinge attachment. At this point I think that I am looking at something that was spot welded to the car during the assembly process. There was no intention of it a) ever failing or b) ever needing replacement, even though there is a part number for the hinge.

I know that if I can find the spot weld locations (and if they are under the cowl flap gasket) I can drill them out and free up the hinge. Assuming that is possible, I will then have to modify the existing hinge (with better hinge points) and reinstall, either with small bolts and nuts, pop rivets and/or a 6 pack of beer and my neighbour (who has a small 120V welder).

F_U_N.

(All I was trying to do was install a radio and fix a few things along the way.)



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-27 11:14 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-27 7:56 PM (#536781 - in reply to #536770)
Subject: RE: Two steps ahead, three back.



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
56D500boy - 2017-03-27 5:14 PM I know that if I can find the spot weld locations (and if they are under the cowl flap gasket) I can drill them out and free up the hinge. Assuming that is possible, I will then have to modify the existing hinge (with better hinge points) and reinstall, either with small bolts and nuts, pop rivets and/or a 6 pack of beer and my neighbour (who has a small 120V welder).


UPDATE:

Well, with the aid of some paint stripper, paper towels and a wire wheel on my drill, I've found evidence of at least 16 spot welds. I've drilled out 8 of them, moving from the driver's side towards the middle. I was also able to get a wedge (screw driver) in between the two layers (cowl and hinge) and pryed them apart (a bit). Because of the shape of the hinge, it is very stiff (at least so far) and prying them "apart" really means prying the cowl metal up. Had to quit because my drill bit started to suck. I'm charging the drill and will get a new drill bit tomorrow and carry on. Hopefully there aren't more hidden spot welds. Otherwise I will need to go to Plan C or D (whatever they are).



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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-28 7:34 PM (#536832 - in reply to #536781)
Subject: RE: Two steps ahead, three back.



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
The Swedes might appreciate this: It's becoming a Norse Saga ("David and the terrible Cowl Vent Hinge")

(kidding)

Got some new drill bits and drilled out the remaining 8 or 9 spot welds and started prying the hinge away from the cowl. It is taking more effort and much longer than I anticipated. I've now got the part of the hinge base that was spot welded to the windshield side of the lip of the cowl vent seat (normally under the rubber gasket) fully away from the cowl and am now prying the hinge base down further, pulling the portion that is tucked up under cowl near the base of the windshield. It is putting up quite a struggle. I pry a bit. Squirt some MOOVIT into the gap let it sit and then pry again. I am getting the odd BANG as either the rust between the hinge and the cowl lets loose or there are more spot welds up there (possible but I doubt it).

Had to quit. Getting cold out there.

More prying and hopefully success tomorrow.

Based on below this probably applies to 55-56 Desotos and Chryslers (albeit with a different PN) as well as Dodge and Plymouth





Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-28 10:46 PM




(23-61-65PartNumbersRelatedToTheDiagram.jpg)



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Attachments 23-61-65PartNumbersRelatedToTheDiagram.jpg (133KB - 34 downloads)
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-29 8:36 PM (#536976 - in reply to #536832)
Subject: The Saga continues



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
I left the car last night to soak with MOOVIT sprayed between where the hinge plate seemed to be in contact with the cowl. After lunch today, I was back out there, hoping that a little prying would free up the rest of the cowl vent hinge base plate. HA. Wishful thinking. Nada.

Decide that the rear portion of the hinge base plate must be spot welded to the cowl. Decide to strip paint in one half of the cowl to expose the location of the spot welds. HA. Nada. No spot welds at the surface.

Decide to drill through cowl in a couple of strategic locations to "encourage" the base plate to release from the under side of the upper cowl. As I do so, the drill bit breaks through the upper layer and drops down into a cavity (WTH??). I continue to drill through the bottom of the cavity and then the hinge, i.e. there are *THREE* layers under the cowl at the base of the windshield (man I would like to see the engineering drawings on that one).

I tried hammering through the "probe holes" and prying from the front but very little progress was made. (Some but not much). I also tried my oscillating saw (with metal blade) but I couldn't get it up into the actual gap between the hinge base plate and this new to me second (middle) layer.

So I quit in temporary defeat. Decided that I need more information and am hoping that John at Big M has a 55-56 Dodge (or Plymouth) that has no windshield or chrome moulding and that he could cut out a section of cowl with the hinge intact and send it to me. At least then I will be able to figure out what I am really up against.

See photos for more detail.



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-03-29 9:04 PM




(56DodgeCowlVentHingeRemovalDay2_Small_Annotated1.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlVentHingeDesiredCutArea.jpg)



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Attachments 56DodgeCowlVentHingeRemovalDay2_Small_Annotated1.jpg (220KB - 28 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlVentHingeDesiredCutArea.jpg (188KB - 27 downloads)
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DepsilonD
Posted 2017-03-30 11:55 AM (#537021 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



Elite Veteran

Posts: 701
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Location: Buena Park, CA
Wow, this has turned into quite the saga for you. I did not think the vent was this difficult to deal with, but I haven't had to address any issues yet. This is quite educational.
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-30 4:51 PM (#537039 - in reply to #537021)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
DepsilonD - 2017-03-30 11:55 AM
Wow, this has turned into quite the saga for you. I did not think the vent was this difficult to deal with, but I haven't had to address any issues yet. This is quite educational.


Dave: I can't believe that I'm the only one who has ever gone through this. Hate to be a pioneer on something so otherwise inconsequential.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-03-30 11:16 PM (#537069 - in reply to #536976)
Subject: RE: The Saga continues



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56D500boy - 2017-03-29 8:36 PM
So I quit in temporary defeat. Decided that I need more information and am hoping that John at Big M has a 55-56 Dodge (or Plymouth) that has no windshield or chrome moulding and that he could cut out a section of cowl with the hinge intact and send it to me. At least then I will be able to figure out what I am really up against.


I contacted John at Big M last night with the above photos and a short version of the "saga". We talked on the phone today and he is going to cut out a section of the cowl/firewall that has the bits that I need to investigate further. So on to Plan C.

Which is good news. I can solve problems once I can figure out what the problem actually is. With a section of the cowl/firewall, I will be able to better figure how the factory put it together and therefore how to take it apart. I'm guessing my final solution will not involve hidden spot welds.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-04-15 2:02 AM (#538147 - in reply to #537069)
Subject: RE: The Saga continues



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56D500boy - 2017-03-30 11:16 PM I contacted John at Big M last night with the above photos and a short version of the "saga". We talked on the phone today and he is going to cut out a section of the cowl/firewall that has the bits that I need to investigate further. So on to Plan C.
Which is good news. I can solve problems once I can figure out what the problem actually is. With a section of the cowl/firewall, I will be able to better figure how the factory put it together and therefore how to take it apart. I'm guessing my final solution will not involve hidden spot welds.


Well that *was* a good plan.

I got the section of the cowl and firewall from John at Big M today. He included a section of the cowl that was wider than the location of the windshield washer nozzles and went lower than the over-center spring lock fresh air doors (which he included). What I found out was not encouraging.

There are indeed three layers. I believe that the cowl vent hinge base plate was originally spot welded to the section of the firewall/air ducting that is behind the 1956 Dodge fiberglass heater air box. Then these two layers were covered by the windshield base/upper cowl and spot welded (this is my belief based on previous investigations of my cowl vent hinge). There is an air gap between the upper surface (that we see between the cowl vent and the windshield base) and the upper layer of the firewall/metal air box. This makes it impossible to non-destructively find the spot welds that attach the base plate of the cowl vent hinge.

Some photos tomorrow.

Tonight I will go to sleep thinking of options. None of them are pretty.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-04-15 5:03 PM (#538164 - in reply to #538147)
Subject: RE: The Saga continues



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56D500boy - 2017-04-15 2:02 AM
Some photos tomorrow. Tonight I will go to sleep thinking of options. None of them are pretty.
:(


I slept well enough 7hrs and 7 minutes according to FitBit. But the solutions I came up were probably closer to nightmares than sweet dreams.

The following photos show the result of me inspecting, dissasembling and cutting the cowl vent section that I got yesterday from John at Big M (thanks John).

When I first got the section I was a bit upset that it had the earlier tube-type cowl vent actuator. After a few minutes I realized and remembered that my focus for this section was investigation, to figure out what I could only suspect from playing with (drilling out spot welds, banging with a hammer, prying and a lot of cursing) on my car. AGAIN - please make sure your cowl vent hinges are well lubricated when/if they seem seized and you need to get it moving. This is not a can of worms that you should have to open.

Okay back to the situation and my understanding of it:

1. There are three layers of metal at the cowl just in front of the windshield: 1. the top, 2. the metal HVAC air box and 3. the cowl vent hinge plate with and air gap between 1. and 2.
2. I know from last week (or 2 weeks ago) that the front lip of the cowl vent hinge plate is spot welded to the top layer of the cowl, in the channel where the cowl vent gasket lives
3. I thought, and now have more or less confirmed, that the rear portion of the cowl hinge plate is spot welded to something other than the top layer, i.e. the HVAC air box.
4. I can not access the spot welds on the back of the hinge plate without removing the top layer of the cowl.

I think the two main potential solutions, both of which are mostly beyond my capabilities, are

Option 1. Replace a section of my car's existing cowl area with the equivalent section of the piece I got from John at Big M. Cutting the appropriate section from the piece from John would be relatively easy but cutting the piece that needs to be removed from my car would be very difficult or very tricky without removing the dash and the windshield. That is a HUGE CAN OF WORMS and I do not want to go there. Then there would be the welding of the "new" insert. I can't do that.

Clean up for Option 1 would involve some body work and repainting. (Also required for Option 2).

Option 2. Leaving my existing hinge in place and creating a new hinge tab for the broken right hinge. This would require making a 90 deg bracket (easy enough), grinding off the existing hinge pin of the end of the hinge., attaching the new bracket to the old hinge end (with an nice smooth acting hinge pin) and then figuring how to attach the new hinge tab to the existing hinge plate. I think this could be done with a lot of measuring and a lot of luck and it would involve removing a section of the upper cowl top above the hinge point so I could bolt the new hinge tab to the hinge plate from above. Issues to be overcome include getting the right hinge height and the right location. Might be some trial and error and/or slotting of the mounting point and more trial and error (with the cowl vent attached to the hinge).

Clean up for Option 2 would involve reattaching the front of the existing/original hinge plate (in the cowl vent gasket channel), either with some welding (not me) or pop rivets (which I can do). Plus some minor body work in that channel (and and the section of the upper cowl where I access the right hinge point.)

Rember: I just wanted to install my new radio and wanted to make sure the cowl vent was working properly before I did so.


Edited by 56D500boy 2017-04-15 7:14 PM




(56DodgeCowlSectionUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionRightHingeUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionLeftHingeUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionLeftHingeUpsideDownShowingHingeTab_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionUpRightRightEndShowingTheDefrosterChannel_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionUpRightRightEndShowingTheDefrosterChannelAndTopOfCowl_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionFrontViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemoved_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionFrontViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemovedShowingCowlTopHingePlateAndHinge_ANNOTATED.jpg)



(56DodgeCowlSectionRearViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemovedShowingMultipleLayers_ANNOTATED.jpg)



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Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg (155KB - 29 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionRightHingeUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg (202KB - 33 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionLeftHingeUpsideDown_ANNOTATED.jpg (198KB - 35 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionLeftHingeUpsideDownShowingHingeTab_ANNOTATED.jpg (238KB - 31 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionUpRightRightEndShowingTheDefrosterChannel_ANNOTATED.jpg (237KB - 30 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionUpRightRightEndShowingTheDefrosterChannelAndTopOfCowl_ANNOTATED.jpg (194KB - 32 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionFrontViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemoved_ANNOTATED.jpg (193KB - 30 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionFrontViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemovedShowingCowlTopHingePlateAndHinge_ANNOTATED.jpg (174KB - 35 downloads)
Attachments 56DodgeCowlSectionRearViewWithDefrosterChannelAndWindshieldGasketLipRemovedShowingMultipleLayers_ANNOTATED.jpg (165KB - 30 downloads)
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Old Ray
Posted 2017-04-15 6:32 PM (#538172 - in reply to #538164)
Subject: RE: The Saga continues



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So, not knowing what I am talking about, which has never stopped me before, I see that the ‘56 plymouth and Canadian Dodge dash board is removable, is yours and would that help? You also said somewhere, that I am to lazy to look for, that you could remove something(?) from the firewall but it would be to difficult, would it still be?

Oh, I’m back in my shop and loving it, long winter!
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westaus29
Posted 2017-05-24 10:43 AM (#540802 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?


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What a saga that has turned into. I had the same initial problem with a partly seized hinge which resulted in my wife not having the strength to move the dash lever. I had more luck getting the vent lid off without snapping those tiny bolts, and was able to spray penetrating oil up and under though I couldn't see the hinge pivots, and it eventually came free. It is still a bit sticky so may give it another dose so it doesn't freeze on me again.

Even tho I have access to a mig welder, I would go for option 2, make a 90 deg bracket and bolt it in. The bolt head would be hidden under the rubber vent seal. I agree it would be tricky to get the dimensions right but with some patience it should work. On the off chance that the left pivot fails while repairing the right, you can use the same method on that. That way you keep the car on the road. If you pop rivet the hinge front I would use monel pop rivets as it is a wet area, if you can get them, or stainless if you can get some that aren't Chinese.

I have done some cut and weld repairs with multiple layers and you have to cut the outer layers wider to get access, which ends up with a large area to refinish. As you suggest, you would probably have to remove windshield and dash - not a problem with a body off rebuild but if you are like me you would rather keep it on the road. Good luck!
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-05-24 12:52 PM (#540807 - in reply to #540802)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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westaus29 - 2017-05-24 10:43 AM
What a saga that has turned into....but if you are like me you would rather keep it on the road. Good luck!


I've left that can of worms alone now and opened up several other new ones instead.

I will be going for Option 2. I talked to a body shop owner (who has a 55 Custom Royal Lancer) about this issue and his recommendation was to limit the size of the can of worms and go for Option 2.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-09-12 11:59 AM (#548207 - in reply to #540807)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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56D500boy - 2017-05-24 12:52 PM
I've left that can of worms alone now and opened up several other new ones instead.
I will be going for Option 2. I talked to a body shop owner (who has a 55 Custom Royal Lancer) about this issue and his recommendation was to limit the size of the can of worms and go for Option 2. :)


The sage continues. Now that my generator is generating again, I want to install that converted radio I had done back in Feb/March. I'm under the dash, working on a few things, e.g. clock, cowl vent lever, etc. RE-read my previous posts in this thread, e.g.:

56D500boy - 2017-03-26 7:38 PM... I took the cotter pin out of the 23-61-160 cowl vent activation rod and removed the cowl vent. With it out of the way, I could get my arm down into the cavity and with a 7/16" socket on my mini-1/4" drive socket, I got that last bolt holding the cowl vent bell crank out (after removing some sealant that turns out to be the reason I couldn't get the bolt from the inside via the vent door opening). Removed the 23-61-85 trim on the cowl vent lever end and removed the entire old cowl vent lever and the activation rod.


Seemed simple enough. LOL.

I got my wife out to help me by holding the vent lever mechanism in place with the aid of some short dowel pieces (for alignment). I tried to install the one bolt down through the cowl vent area but for some reason, there wasn't enough room to get my mini-rachet and 7/16" socket down there with the bolt just barely started. So I let my wife go back in the house and spent probably 30 minutes trying to get the bolt started with my left hand in the left hand ventilation door opening. It was difficult/frustrating.

What worked in the end was using the wooden alignment dowels in the other two bolt/nut holes (with the dowels going out to the engine bay) and taping the vent handle to the bottom of the dash. Once I did that, I laid in the passenger foot well, door open, both legs outside the car and used my left hand to get the first (upper) bolt started. (The factory obviously installed the cowl vent mechanism *BEFORE* the ventilation/heater/fan box was installed.) With some patience, I finally got that bolt started. Then I went out to the engine bay and using the dowels as guides to the location of the other two bolts, got them started. I didn't fully snug them down before I went back to the inside and used a 7/16" box end wrench, little by little to tighten that one upper bolt that lives inside the ventilation box. (A ratcheting box end would have been the tool to use - but I didn't have one - so a quarter turn at a tedious time did the trick.) Then I snugged down the other two bolts from the engine bay side of the firewall.

Now I need to:

1. Find a replacement boot for the vent activation rod and install it.
2. Fix that broken hinge (Option 2)

Maybe MAYBE I will eventually get to install that radio.




Edited by 56D500boy 2017-09-12 12:01 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-09-12 10:50 PM (#548260 - in reply to #548207)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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56D500boy - 2017-09-12 11:59 AM

Now I need to:

1. Find a replacement boot for the vent activation rod and install it.
2. Fix that broken hinge (Option 2)


Okay. Found a replacement boot:

http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=66685&...

Now I would like to see what the 1628 890 Grommet seal (In section 23-61-42) looks like. Anybody?



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-09-12 10:52 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-09-13 2:55 PM (#548295 - in reply to #548260)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Location: Lower Mainland BC
56D500boy - 2017-09-12 10:50 PM

Now I would like to see what the 1628 890 Grommet seal (In section 23-61-42) looks like. Anybody?


No need. It just fits:

This is how it fits installed, no trimming of the boot, whatsoever. ( I just grabbed the edge of the boot from below with needle nose pliers and pulled it into the passenger compartment). Had to twist the bottom of the boot around because the top of the boot is so tight to the rod (a good thing) that I was winding up the rubber as I tried to get the end of the rod through the hole in the bell crank (and clip). Once I twisted the bottom appropriately, it was easy peasy(ish). Looks like a little sealant at the edge of the hole and I will be good to go.

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56D500boy
Posted 2017-09-22 9:26 PM (#548988 - in reply to #548295)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
Here is what the Mercury Outboard shift boot looks like from the top in the cowl cavity of my 56 Dodge, with the rod fully extended upwards:



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-09-22 9:36 PM




(CowlVentRodWithMercuryMarineEngineShiftFromAbove.jpg)



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71charger_fan
Posted 2017-10-20 9:06 AM (#550661 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?


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I just ordered that same bellows for my car. Thanks for the tip.



(Plaza Cowl 1955.jpg)



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Attachments Plaza Cowl 1955.jpg (143KB - 12 downloads)
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71charger_fan
Posted 2017-10-21 3:40 PM (#550755 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?


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Location: Frederick, MD
After fighting with mine with the heater box off, I have no idea how you managed all that with the heater box attached.
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-10-21 4:09 PM (#550757 - in reply to #550755)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
71charger_fan - 2017-10-21 3:40 PM
After fighting with mine with the heater box off, I have no idea how you managed all that with the heater box attached.


There was a lot of the Mercury space capsule "spam in a can" upside-down positioning in the passenger side foot well. Not fun.

Me during the testing phase:



(LOL)



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-10-21 4:10 PM
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-06 6:59 PM (#551752 - in reply to #550757)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Posts: 2037
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Location: Lower Mainland BC
Based on 71Charger_fan ending up with the same issue, i.e. broken passenger side cowl vent hinge, I had a look (today, Nov. 6th) at the cowl section that I bought from John at Big M to help figure out the solution.

What I said to 71Charger_fan in his thread was:

71charger_fan - 2017-11-06 3:59 PM Today, I drilled (and Dremel'd) the frozen bracket off of the cowl vent hinge. I'm trying to figure out a suitable work around to replace that passenger side pivot.


"Thanks for kicking my butt. That is one of my oldest untamed cans of worms

http://www.forwardlook.net/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=65057&...

My idea was to Dremel off the Hinge pin (but I see drilling it off works well too), and then using an angle/corner bracket to create the new hinge. One leg of the brace would be vertical and attached to the cowl vent hinge with a small bolt and nyloc nut. The other leg would be horizontal and bolted to the flat part of the cowl. The location for that would be a bit of trial and error using a drill to create trial holes. Initially the bolt head would be exposed beside the cowl vent. Once the location was fixed and the cowl vent was operating fine (enough), I would remove the vertical bolt and drill a larger hole in the upper cowl, through the top layer but not the bottom layer (there are several). Then I would reinstall the vertical bolt and, after confirming that it the hinge still works, fill in the larger hole and refinish and paint the cowl.

To decrease the "Trial and Error" on the location of the new hinge bracket, I can use the cowl piece that I got from John at Big M to get it within half a millimeter (see below)

Proposed 3/4" x 3/4" angle bracket (not too scale) (might need to be smaller or purpose made from flat stock):



My initial probe holes from back in March:



I can measure sizes and locations using the cowl and hinge shown in this photo, *IF* we can establish the proper measurement reference points:



PAUSE While I go down to basement and find the cowl section and probing size drill bit. I felt inside where I thought the hole should go. Got through the first layer but made no progress (maybe hitting the hinge). So I moved over a bit and tried again. Very close but needed to be over a bit more (for the angle bracket that I have). Third hole lucky.

Location is 18 mm back from the rounded edge of the cowl vent depression and either about 4" from the centerline of the right windshield washer nozzle or about 15/16" from the outer metal lip (at it's widest point) where the gasket sits. See below

Thanks for kicking my butt. I have other things to do today but I decided that I should at least post this: "





Close but no cigars. Needed to move the probe hole outboard a bit so I drilled a third hole:





Here are some measurement for the third hole ((Ignore the some of the measurements that you see and read the above and the photo label). Distances would vary depending on the bracket chosen):





"

Then I went back down to measure the height of the hinge pin off the "floor" (upside down ceiling) and had a thought.

First - the hinge pin height is around 5/16" (hard to measure)

The thought: I might be easier to mount the new hinge bracket on the inboard side of the hinge rather than on the outboard side which is not flat like the inboard side.

This will require more probing (on Weds., I'm too busy tomorrow)

Inboard is the left in this photo:



This won't be as bad as I thought.






Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-06 7:03 PM
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71charger_fan
Posted 2017-11-10 10:30 AM (#551974 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?


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Location: Frederick, MD
What color was the vent screen? Was it body color? Black? Natural? Mine had been slathered with blue paint when the car was repainted at some point in its life. Wondering if body color is original or not.
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56D500boy
Posted 2017-11-10 11:55 AM (#551977 - in reply to #551974)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?



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Posts: 2037
200025
Location: Lower Mainland BC
71charger_fan - 2017-11-10 10:30 AM What color was the vent screen? Was it body color? Black? Natural? Mine had been slathered with blue paint when the car was repainted at some point in its life. Wondering if body color is original or not.


That is a good question. I think it is safe to say that the outside and inside of the cowl vent should be the saddle colour. As for the screen, my OE screen was saddle colour (in my case blue). The section of cowl that I bought from John at Big M has a black cowl vent but the screen was painted silver (but I don't think that that was OE).

I checked all the 56 Dodge brochures that I could find and not one of them showed the cowl vent in the UP position (so no help there). Photos taken recently that show the cowl vent UP tend to show the screen in the saddle colour. BUT a lot of those photos are of black saddle cars. Those with non-black saddles also seem to show black screens. SO maybe the screen should be black regardless.

In any event, at this point, I doubt that it matters too much unless you are building a 99 point concours car.

Examples:

Typical Brochure Photo (Vent closed - no help)



Internet and/or magazine photos











OR NOT:



Edited by 56D500boy 2017-11-10 12:03 PM
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71charger_fan
Posted 2017-11-10 8:33 PM (#552003 - in reply to #536619)
Subject: Re: Hints on removal of a 55-56 Dodge (maybe Plymouth) cowl vent lever?


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 308
100100100
Location: Frederick, MD
I'm just trying to build a running/driving car. I'm leaning toward painting the screen black. I was just wondering what was originally done. The backside of my screen looks like it may have been silver originally.
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