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Top Cowl Vent Repair
#1406786 Tue Apr 20 2021 04:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 105
N
'Bolter
Happy Spring!

Washing Ole Red up after the winter and determined that the top cowl vent was leaking; I have a new gasket so figured I'd go ahead and replace it.

Unsurprisingly, there was some rust all the way around the sealing flange, and found a couple in the top (spot welds that were sitting on the rotten gasket).

That all went well, but the new gasket seems to thick? It's very firm as well, and having to apply enough pressure to get it to where it is, causes the adjustment to move. I'm wondering about making a gasket out of rubberized cork or some softer neoprene material? I even set it overnight with two 25 lb bags of #8 shot and a carton of .38/.357 LSWC on it (a good 75 pounds). Didn't even dent the gasket. Perhaps Vaseline might soften it?

Edit: I'll take a look again tomorrow, it occurs to me that the gasket might just need to be chamfered. The lip is sitting on top but really, it should "capture"the seal.

At any rate, some photos of the progress. It's a "driving project" so forgive the appearance.

I should add, I LOVE the look of these cowl vents, always have; and inside I LOVE having levers to throw. So I'm not electrifying it.

Attached Files
cowl 1.jpg (52.89 KB, 150 downloads)
cowl 3.jpg (56.86 KB, 147 downloads)
cowl 4.jpg (58.94 KB, 148 downloads)
cowl 5.jpg (55.93 KB, 153 downloads)
Cowl 8.jpg (24.76 KB, 152 downloads)
Last edited by NorthCoast3800; Tue Apr 20 2021 04:57 AM.

1949 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton - Still Solid.
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406787 Tue Apr 20 2021 06:17 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,895
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Where did the new gasket come from? I see some vendors have two styles, original foam and molded rubber.

I don't think vaseline will do anything to soften the rubber.

Let us know how your efforts go.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
klhansen #1406839 Tue Apr 20 2021 04:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 105
N
'Bolter
Originally Posted by klhansen
Where did the new gasket come from? I see some vendors have two styles, original foam and molded rubber.

I don't think vaseline will do anything to soften the rubber.

Let us know how your efforts go.

Thank you sir; it's a Precision brand gasket definitely molded rubber. It fits the channel perfectly. I agree re: the Vaseline option. Tonight after work I'll pull the vent again and chamfer the outer top edges of that gasket - I bet that will solve it. Will report back.


1949 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton - Still Solid.
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406887 Tue Apr 20 2021 09:55 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,245
J
'Bolter
Please don't use Vaseline on rubber, neoprene or similar products. Vaseline will ruin these products and it will begin almost immediately. The original seal was a molded rubber labyrinth design and was very creatively made so it drained (to prevent the vent from sitting in water and rusting. If you have a simple stamped cut foam seal, it will lack any possible draining scheme and you'll get rust around the perimeter of your vent. If you don't have the rather firm labyrinth design, please keep looking. You do know you have to adjust the cowl vent after you remove it, yes? Also the molded labyrinth type has an upper side and a lower side. The one I recently replaced came from The Filling Station and fit perfectly.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
Jon G #1406889 Tue Apr 20 2021 10:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 105
N
'Bolter
Originally Posted by Jon G
Please don't use Vaseline on rubber, neoprene or similar products. Vaseline will ruin these products and it will begin almost immediately. The original seal was a molded rubber labyrinth design and was very creatively made so it drained (to prevent the vent from sitting in water and rusting. If you have a simple stamped cut foam seal, it will lack any possible draining scheme and you'll get rust around the perimeter of your vent. If you don't have the rather firm labyrinth design, please keep looking. You do know you have to adjust the cowl vent after you remove it, yes? Also the molded labyrinth type has an upper side and a lower side. The one I recently replaced came from The Filling Station and fit perfectly.

Thanks Jon; no I won't be using Vaseline just a passing thought.

This one is a firm (hard) neoprene seal that is identical from side to side (so flip it over, it doesn't matter). Flat as a board as well. I've adjusted the cowl vent, the seal itself simply has a wider footprint than the cowl vent itself. I'm going to try chamfering the edges so that the vent itself can "grab" the seal and slide over it. Otherwise, there's no physical way this seal will work. Like I say, it's so firm that the vertical adjustment is forced out when I try and compress the seal by closing the vent. Which is obviously wrong.


1949 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton - Still Solid.
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406892 Tue Apr 20 2021 10:18 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,859
P
AD Addict
Originally Posted by Jon G
The one I recently replaced came from The Filling Station and fit perfectly.
I looked at the seals available from the Filling station and one is made by Steele Rubber. It doesn‘t say if its a labyrinth seal or not. Is that the one you used?


Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406900 Tue Apr 20 2021 10:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,245
J
'Bolter
Yes, as I recall Steele made the one I got. It was expensive...I want to say maybe $35 or so? Several years ago I also bought one from a place called ChevyDuty and it was the right molded design. I have no idea who made it, but it worked fine. This would have been in the 80s.

If you have a hard and flat piece of rubber, I can pretty well promise that will be difficult, although the hard flat part might cause it to harbor water a bit less.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406903 Tue Apr 20 2021 11:04 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 105
N
'Bolter
Interesting... pretty sure this one cost about the same (in USD) so that part's not an issue. Yup just hard and flat, no flexibility or pliability at all (vertically that is). If that's the case I'll get this one functional for now but go looking for the Steele Rubber one right away.

Thanks both!

Last edited by NorthCoast3800; Tue Apr 20 2021 11:04 PM.

1949 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton - Still Solid.
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406910 Tue Apr 20 2021 11:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,245
J
'Bolter
Hard and flat sounds like it was made from solid neoprene or some other rubber compound with a shore durometer value about the same as a tire. That seal ought to have a slightly firm but compressible nature...a hardness between your door seals and vent window seals.


Jon

1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: Top Cowl Vent Repair
NorthCoast3800 #1406912 Tue Apr 20 2021 11:47 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 1,859
P
AD Addict
Originally Posted by Jon G
It was expensive...I want to say maybe $35 or so?
It’s selling for $43.99 plus shipping. Sounds like it worth the extra cost!

Last edited by Phak1; Tue Apr 20 2021 11:48 PM.

Phil

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
‘59 235 & hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
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