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Thread: Cowl - Top Inner rust repair

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    Question Cowl - Top Inner rust repair

    Part #66310-E4600 is where the air intake for the HVAC fan is located. The fan is bolted to the underside of this cowl over the intake opening. This intake is a sheetmetal rounded rectangular duct with a flange that is welded to the cowl. I have rust around the flange of this intake that is allowing water to leak onto the passenger floor area. This intake is covered by a shroud on the Cowl - Top outer (66300-E4600) that keeps rain from entering this intake. It appears to me the only way to access this intake from the top of the cowl, is to cut out the shroud so that the rust hole can be treated and sealed. Has anyone else had rust issue here? If so, how did you attack this?

    It appears that they tried to apply a thick bead of sealer/caulking around the this intake (at the factory?) to keep water away from the flange. I used a video boroscope to look under the shroud but it was very difficult to see the rust because of the limited maneuvering of the camera under the shroud. Before I start cutting around on this sheetmetal, I wanted to get some thoughts from you guys.
    Last edited by bpilati; 02-20-2013 at 08:48 AM.
    Bryan Pilati
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    Hi This is how I did it, but I hade to fix rust in the engine bay wall to so it was easier this way for me.
    Hope this will be of some help.
    Lars


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    Haha, thanks. I don't think I'm in the same ballpark. But that is some nice work there.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    I cut mine out. Cut out a rectangle and welded in a patch. Then re-cut the opening in the patch and welded in the replacement I made from underneath. Getting seam sealer all all the way around the bottom flange was a pain. Had to get creative with some tubing and mirrors to see what I was doing. I'm not so good at stopping and taking pics so this is about all I have.
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    How did you fabricate the new intake duct?
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpilati View Post
    How did you fabricate the new intake duct?
    I cut out a rectangle of sheet steel and bent it over a tube to form the basic shape. I overlapped the ends a little and welded it closed with a few tacks on the outside and inside. The carefully bent down the flanges along the straight edges with some wide billed pliers. In the corners I hammered out the flanges against a block of wood. It's functional but not "restoration" correct. But who's going to ever see it?

    Steve
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    Painting it afterwards is going to be a trick too.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    This makes me wanna check mine ! Sometimes it scares me...the rust
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    That might be wise.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpilati View Post
    Painting it afterwards is going to be a trick too.
    It was. Fabricated a foam brush with a wire handle to get the spots I couldn't get to. Sometimes I think it might have been easier to completely disassemble the entire unibody. Or go to CA and get a relatively rust free car. I actually enjoy doing the work though so it's more the journey than the destination for me. Another spot to consider (is there any NOT to consider on a Z?) .

    Steve
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    I've put about $10K in the paint and body, and mine was rust free compared to yours.
    Bryan Pilati
    1971 Datsun 240Z (8/71; 920 paint)
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    Here's what I found yesterday after removing the black rubber compound that apparently filled this area with at the factory. There is another smaller hole at the other end of this crevice. Looks like removal of the air intake duct in this photo will be part of the solution. This hole is actually a bit larger than it appears here. Once I started scraping around there was more rotted area.
    Bryan Pilati
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpilati View Post
    That might be wise.
    Well I jus did, because after some heavy raining my floors are wet. ( First I thought it was the sunroof, which I sealed shut " temp fix " before repaint and removal ).

    I removed the cowl, and there was dirt on both sides, clogging the water flowing outwards on both sides. No dirt in the exit tubes, but near the lowest points, and this made the water stand in the middle and along the seams. The air intake thing or how it's called seems intact some slight surface rust. But I will have to let it dry up to look carefully where its leaking

    It seems there's no easy way to acces some parts of the air intake tube, so I will need to cut open the " little roof " that's hanging above it ?
    Last edited by bartsscooterservice; 11-06-2013 at 08:38 AM.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpilati View Post
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    Here's what I found yesterday after removing the black rubber compound that apparently filled this area with at the factory. There is another smaller hole at the other end of this crevice. Looks like removal of the air intake duct in this photo will be part of the solution. This hole is actually a bit larger than it appears here. Once I started scraping around there was more rotted area.
    I think mine is leaking also on that spot, I can't see it really good right now because that plate is above the air intake for preventing the rain from going in. I also have the factory seal still on it, but like you it might be leaking under there...
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Bart,
    There are six or seven spot welds around the intake cover. Drill those out and the cover will come out in one piece. You still won't have great access to the area between the vent stack and the firewall but with a good light you can see most of it. I did this on a restoration so I could seal all that up and epoxy prime those areas.
    Charles

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    Default another area that leaks

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    this lip here is another common are for water leaks

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    @ hr369, yes that seam ! When I look with a flash light on the inside driver side firewall, I can see that seam is wett on the inside. ( maybe because the water couldn't drain properly to the sides and was along the seam all the time ? )

    I'm currently getting everything dry and then will see what to do, maybe I just need to reseal everything again.

    @ Patcon, thanks for the tip, I will have a look for those spotwelds.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    I'm very interested to hear how you all fix that.
    Bryan Pilati
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    Okay, I drilled out the spot welds to remove the intake cover thing. And found out that water was blocked from going out, some previous owner put alot of extra sealant in the area infront of the air intake, which blocks the outflow of water to the right side The left side was open but blocked with dirt. Also found the factory seal around the air intake on the firewall side to thick, working as a sort of dam to hold the water in to a higher level..

    I'm going to remove the old seals, and reseal it, keeping in mind the water outflow. Hopefully it works.

    Here's some pictures from what's going on











    This last picture, the right bottom is the area that was blocked with sealant and dirt. In the picture 75% is removed allready.

    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartsscooterservice View Post
    Okay, I drilled out the spot welds to remove the intake cover thing. And found out that water was blocked from going out, some previous owner put alot of extra sealant in the area infront of the air intake, which blocks the outflow of water to the right side The left side was open but blocked with dirt. Also found the factory seal around the air intake on the firewall side to thick, working as a sort of dam to hold the water in to a higher level..

    I'm going to remove the old seals, and reseal it, keeping in mind the water outflow. Hopefully it works.

    Here's some pictures from what's going on











    This last picture, the right bottom is the area that was blocked with sealant and dirt. In the picture 75% is removed allready.

    Looks like you have your work cut out for you too. Let me know how it goes for you.
    Bryan Pilati
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    Yeah.. it's a pain to get into the small area's though


    Currently I'm informing what to use....

    I found a product called Gummil from Canada, it's sold here, and I e-mailed them with these pictures, and they said it can be used for this application to seal it from water. Just remove all the lose rust, and degrease, then apply 2 coats. 1 litre about 40 euro. I'm going to order it, and see how it does.

    It's a rubber coating, applied with brush.

    Metaalbescherming met Gummil Premium vloeibaar rubber
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    By the way there are no holes on the rust areas, so I might be lucky, able to seal it with the coating...
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    There may be less expensive products used to seal rain gutters on the edges of roofs or roofing sealant for flashing.
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    Bart,
    The car I am working on has the same sealant around the intake hat. I believe that black sealant is the factory sealant. It was piled up thick like yours was on the fire wall side. I used 3m seam sealer to seal up all of the cowl area seams and to go over the factory sealant around the hat.
    Charles

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    Blue - You are correct, sir.

    My windshelid in my daily driver (Chevy S10) was leaking, I found some +20yr old seam sealer in the garage. worked like a charm!
    Attached is a pic of the can (I doubt if the label is the same, but I'd bet they still make this stuff)

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    Pretty sure I saw a similar seam sealer product from Eastwood.

    I think the stuff I used was intended to be sprayed on, but I used a brush and allowed it to flow into the areas that were leaking. It's been over 6 months and no leaks!

    I'm sure the stuff can be painted over, but as so far I'm just tickled it's not leaking!
    1977 280Z "Lucy" as of 4/05

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    applied a coat of rubber sealant, and it's drying, will take a while to dry I guess, the black is allready ok.





    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Sorry didn't take anymore pictures. But awaiting the result...
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    I'm watching this thread as I have a persistent leak at the firewall on the passengers side. The factory seam sealer in the seam where the bottom panel connects to the firewall is loose. I have dug it out and resealed the drivers side with good results. I can also see the big glob of black sealer by the fresh air intake and down that side. I need to remove that cover to see it better.

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    You likely have rust through there. I'd get on that.
    Bryan Pilati
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    We had some heavy rain here last week, but haven't seen wet floors, they are dry. So I assume it's working..
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Excellent thread here - wish I had found it a few months ago - I have the same leaking issue on a 1978 280Z - here is a picture with the cowl removed on the intake area - looks to me like the shroud that covers the intake vent is part of the frame - anyone seen something like this and can recommend an easy way to proceed forward to stop the leaking around this? Thanks!

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    Last edited by LinParkFL; 12-09-2013 at 08:28 AM.

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    Look to my pictures above. You have to remove the paint with a wire brush, so you can see the spotwelds, and then drill them out. Then you can remove the cover that's over the intake vent and have more room to work. It's hard to reach on the area between the air intake tube and the firewall, but that's the most important spot. I used alot of patience, small screw drivers to scrape of dirt and a work light.

    You also need to remove the wiper motor.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    I just want to share some info. That section of cowl covering the vent duct is solid on his 78(part of cowl) 75 and older had this section spot welded to the cowl and mounted from underneath(seperate piece) they used seam sealer for the mating joint.

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    Thanks GraphiteZ - that is what I was afraid of - what are my options at this point? I'd prefer not to do any cutting if possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LinParkFL View Post
    Thanks GraphiteZ - that is what I was afraid of - what are my options at this point? I'd prefer not to do any cutting if possible.
    If you drop down your blower motor housing you can seal it from the inside as a temp fix. It is most likely going to be rotted in this area,if you want to fix it properly you will have to cut it all out and weld in new metal and re-apply seam sealer around the duct tube. Do you have any welding skills? If not i would recommend getting it done at a fab shop. It is really easy to get in over your head working with thin metal. I am currently at this stage on my car right now,i had to cut the cowl on top to gain access to the duct tube.
    Last edited by GraphiteZ; 12-10-2013 at 03:48 PM.

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    I figured sealing it on the inside wouldn't really do me much good since the water would still be getting inside something it shouldn't. I did some welding back in shop class in school like 30 years ago (enjoyed it quite a bit actually) but haven't touched it again since. Any recommendations on a welding setup that I could use for a project like this - what are you using for your setup GraphiteZ?

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    I have only been welding for a short time myself. I picked up a mig 135 from eastwood, great entry level machine. I recommend runing gas 75/25 argon/ co2 , flux core gasless wire is really crappy to use, deffinately on thin automotive sheet metal. The 135mig is $300 and a good size gas bottle will run from $50-100 depend on size. With some practice you will be ready to tackle this. If you have any other questions feel free to ask, I am no expert but I am willing to share my trials with you.
    Last edited by GraphiteZ; 12-11-2013 at 04:08 PM.

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    Thanks! Looks like I might need to add a few things to my Christmas list.

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    There are some great solutions and work to solve this problem shown in this thread.
    Here's a link to an earlier thread with some ideas and great pics. Member a7dz (Jim) did a remarkable job as well and has some great pics of his finished results.

    https://www.classiczcars.com/forums/...wall-rust.html

    I took some pics of this area as well when I drilled out the spot welds and removed the "rain cover" from the "top inner cowl panel". Most of these I've seen, seem to have been sealed rather haphazardly with a hit & miss method. It almost seems like the original intent was to create a few degrees of fall for the water to run away from the chimney to the drain. Not very well done or effective.
    I had rust trapped in the seam between the top inner & outer cowl panels all the way to the hood latch support and broke those welds loose and removed the support so I could sandblast and repair the rusted areas. I welded it all together and coated it with a thick layer of DP90 epoxy primer and before the primer was cured, sealed everything with a two part epoxy flowing it over the area trying to create a small amount of fall as well. Because of events of the last few years, I still haven't finished prepping and painting this repair but it is solid and water tight. I decided to weld some nuts on the underside of the chimney cover and bolt it on, for easier access in the future.

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    LinParkFL, if you read that thread I linked to, I mentioned using one of the adhesive panel bonding products. They have come a long way in recent years and I'm convinced that a cowl repair could be done quite effectively after cutting an access opening. We just need someone daring enough to try it and report back with pics.
    It would be especially helpful for someone trying to avoid disassembly and heat from welding. It is necessary to cut an access opening somewhere on a '78.

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    I welded new metal in for my cowl chimney repair and flowed some two part epoxy similar to the type shown in this link. It bonded permanently to the epoxy primer, creating a perfect, tougher than nails seal and I wouldn't want to be the guy trying to remove it. I wouldn't hesitate using these products or something similar on an area such as these cowl chimney leaks.

    Master Bond Epoxy Systems for Metal Bonding | MasterBond.com

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    Default Found my leak source

    I have found the source of my leak, see the cracked sealer in the photo. There is a gap between the firewall and cowl bottom of about 1/16" where the wiper motor sets. Although I have quite a bit of surface rust on the inside of the firewall panel the metal under the black bog looks good and solid. I need to finish the clean up and treat the rust and reseal. Overall it does not look as bad as what I expected.

    There appears to be some writing and some embossed marks on the end of the fresh air tube. Anyone else noticed these?

    I'm thinking about removing the tube by cutting the top out of the cowl area, drilling the spot welds holding the tub. Then re welding it all back together after it's all cleaned up.

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    It says, "What the hell are you looking under here for" in Japanese.
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    That's a good one Bryan.

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    It's been weeks and I haven't seen wet floors since I repaired it ( see above ). @ jwtaylor, I'm borrowing your pic, to give my idea of what's the problem.




    The red line indicates the lowest part of the cowl, and the road which the rain water needs to flow through, to both sides where the draines are.

    The yellow indicates the main water blocking area, and also where the biggest rust occurs.

    The green indicates the factory seal.

    In my opinion the factory seal is to thick, creating a " dam " so the rain water can't go out easily, and it also lets some water remain standing infront of the seal, causing rust and eventually a leak..

    What I did was scrape all the old seal off, in the entire cowl, so the surface is smooth ( allowing rain water to flow easily to the sides ), and applied a layer of rubber coating, which does 2 jobs all at once ( seal and help guide rainwater ).
    Last edited by bartsscooterservice; 12-20-2013 at 06:01 AM.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

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    I agree with you. In my case the amount of material in that area was up over the panel seam, just above the red line. I'm thinking that dam it created directed the water onto the top of the seam. The seam sealer had failed on both sides of the fresh air duct just past the black goop they used for the dam. In any case I have not found any rust on the bottom panel.

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    FWIW, Eastwood offers a liquid sealer that has received a lot of good reviews from customers (a couple of whom have specifically mentioned using it to treat cowl areas). Positive comments about ease of use, coverage, and final appearance. Perhaps worth looking at - provided you're not dealing with corrosion to the point of needing to replace metal.

    Eastwood Brush on Seam Sealer 30.4 fl.oz. - Item #51657ZP

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    I have that very seam sealer to use when I am ready to reseal it. For now I have treated all the minor surface rust with some rust converter, need to let it dry a couple of days befor sealing and painting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwtaylor View Post
    I have found the source of my leak, see the cracked sealer in the photo. There is a gap between the firewall and cowl bottom of about 1/16" where the wiper motor sets. Although I have quite a bit of surface rust on the inside of the firewall panel the metal under the black bog looks good and solid. I need to finish the clean up and treat the rust and reseal. Overall it does not look as bad as what I expected.

    There appears to be some writing and some embossed marks on the end of the fresh air tube. Anyone else noticed these?

    I'm thinking about removing the tube by cutting the top out of the cowl area, drilling the spot welds holding the tub. Then re welding it all back together after it's all cleaned up.

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    How were able to take this photo. I think there's a spar frame there, isn't there?
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    Yeah I noticed it to...
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by bpilati View Post
    How were able to take this photo. I think there's a spar frame there, isn't there?
    This is on a 12/70 build series 1 240z. There is no spar frame on the wiper motor side. The other side only has one small strut in that area. You can just see it in the corner of this picture.

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    It was still a pain to get the old sealer out from the firewall and the air duct, if a frame is on that side in the later cars I feel for you guys trying to dig it out.

    I got this all resealed and tested the other day - no more water from the seam. But I have found that there is some small leaks around the firewall grommets that I need to seal.

    I have also noticed that the factory had put seam sealer on the bottom of that seam (inside of the firewall in the cabin) all the way across from side to side. This had also failed and let the water into the cabin. To repair I need to pull the firewall pad, which is falling apart.
    Last edited by jwtaylor; 01-01-2014 at 10:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwtaylor View Post
    ...I have also noticed that the factory had put seam sealer on the bottom of that seam (inside of the firewall in the cabin) all the way across from side to side. This had also failed and let the water into the cabin. To repair I need to pull the firewall pad, which is falling apart.
    I had to open that seam up to clean/blast and reweld, re-seal as well. It was/is common practice to apply seam sealer between all metal mating surfaces before spot welding. It expanded and cured after going through the paint oven. This served a dual purpose. It acted as a sound insulator, preventing harmonic vibrations and to seal and protect from the elements. Seam sealers have been improved greatly over the years with both better adhesive properties and much less moisture absorbtion. Rust never rests and breeds where we don't see it until it has spread far enough to cause problems or become an eyesore.
    Taking care of these problem areas will ensure these cars will live on a long time. I had the advantage, (yeah right) of working on a totally disassembled, bare shell, which makes it much easier to access and remove the rust especially on these North Eastern "sort of survived" Zs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geezer View Post
    I had to open that seam up to clean/blast and reweld, re-seal as well. It was/is common practice to apply seam sealer between all metal mating surfaces before spot welding. It expanded and cured after going through the paint oven. This served a dual purpose. It acted as a sound insulator, preventing harmonic vibrations and to seal and protect from the elements. Seam sealers have been improved greatly over the years with both better adhesive properties and much less moisture absorbtion. Rust never rests and breeds where we don't see it until it has spread far enough to cause problems or become an eyesore.
    Taking care of these problem areas will ensure these cars will live on a long time. I had the advantage, (yeah right) of working on a totally disassembled, bare shell, which makes it much easier to access and remove the rust especially on these North Eastern "sort of survived" Zs.
    And we all know that the Z had tons of resonance issues.
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    I thought the floor in #6333 were in bad shape. To everyone viewing it just goes to show that with a little ingenuity, the right tools, patience(lots of that) these rigs can be better than new especially with the coating technology. I will be working on the same area in Project 3/72 meanwhile take a look at some current floor work in #6333
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    "HAPPINESS"....isn't just around the corner......"HAPPINESS"....is the CORNER"

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartsscooterservice View Post
    We had some heavy rain here last week, but haven't seen wet floors, they are dry. So I assume it's working..
    No wet floors so far..
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

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