Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Cowl Cover Rehab

  1. #1

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Cowl Cover Rehab

    It starts like this. You realize that every time you get into your car, you see the lumpy cowl cover...




    ...and it bugs you each time.

    Your pride and joy should look better than this. I resolved to fix the problem. I should have been working on my front-end refresh that was in-progress (haltingly) at this time, but a guy can only take so many setbacks in a day before he looks to other projects. Hence, I removed my cowl cover. That promptly turned into disappointment that so much of our cars are put together with dreadful, terrible fasteners.

    Like this kind of thing:




    I can't complain too much. They've held up for 30 years. Even so, you'll notice that the centers of mine are all gone because they failed and I replaced them with metal screws. I didn't paint those screws, so I had bright shiny silver screws holding on my cowl cover that you might have noticed in some of my photos lately.

    I'll clean, straighten and paint the cover itself at some point, but today's task was to get rid of those awful fasteners.

    Enter this kit from eBay:


    86 Threaded Nut Rivet Tool Rivnut Insert Rivetnut Nutsert Gun Riveting Kit M3-M8 | eBay

    It allows me to turn those cheeseball plastic anchors into properly threaded bolt holes. Good good stuff!

    Now I won't lie, this tool is craaaaaaaap. Like, the tool only operates with tremendous difficulty. I had to use my slip-joint pliers to unscrew it from the finished rivet. It's supposed to turn easily by hand, but I had to use pliers. Also, the tool was literally falling apart in my hand as I used it. This was its maiden voyage! Brand new, right out of the box and it was falling apart in my hand. ROFL! But as bad as it is, it's still better than the tool I don't have, and it did the job I needed it to. The rivets performed well and if it they fail, I can drill them out and try again with a better tool. Like this one:



    Marson MR39314 Marson Klik Thread-Sert Kits | Summit Racing

    Here's what Honda gave me. Just a simple circular hole.




    One of the inserts in the kit fit very well into these holes, so that's what I used.

    Here's the bare tool.




    And the rivet.



    Rivet on tool.




    Tool in operation.


    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 03-27-2021 at 09:58 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW



  2. #2

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Cowl Cover Rehab

    The finished rivets look like this.



    You can see how they expand to fill the hole securely and evenly.



    I replaced all the crummy fasteners with nutserts.



    I had to drill out the holes closest to the engine because they were smaller than the others. I didn't have the exact right size of bit, so they were a little too large. Even so, the rivets expanded to fill the holes nicely and gave me greats results. I need to buy screws now, but this part is ready.

    These nutserts are a great solution here and in the wheel wells where those plastic fasteners go missing and then your fender liners get all lumpy and weird. They are easy to install and very forgiving. I'm sure I'll find a million uses for them in the interior especially.
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 08-02-2020 at 11:24 AM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  3. #3

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    Version 1.0 of my cowl cover refresh involved heating the cowl cover with a heat gun and propane torch. It instantly scorched, so clearly it's not a thermoplastic and heat will only burn it, not soften it.

    FAIL!

    Version 2.0 involved a PVC corner cap molding from Home Depot.



    The plan was to heat it and shape it to cover the top of the cover. Demonstrated here on a test piece.



    You get the idea:



    The problem is that the molding is very difficult to heat evenly with a propane torch. It's also difficult to heat it with a heat gun because the heat output isn't quite enough to keep a long piece hot. Like so:





    Not very lovely.



    And doesn't improve with paint.





    Yeesh!

    So Version 2.0 is another FAIL!!

    If I could monetize failure, I'd be a zillionaire. I have so much of it.
    Last edited by Dr_Snooz; 03-27-2021 at 10:16 PM.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  4. #4

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    So I gave up and painted it, at least. It turned out nice.



    Mostly.

    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  5. #5

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    I meant to mention that threaded inserts are made from different materials. There is steel and aluminum. Guess which material is on my cowl (and rusting now)? No big. They look totally legit.

    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  6. #6

    ShiRen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Vehicle
    87 Accord DX / 18 Civic Type R
    Location
    MO
    Posts
    961

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    I don't know what you tried to do there in the beginning, idk if I'm missing pictures, but I've found the best way to fix these faded plastic parts is to scrub them with lacquer thinner and then buff them with some very very hard cutting compound (or maybe wetsand?) to remove the faded layers smooth it over, just make sure its not stuff that turns plastic white. It won't fix my front bumper though, that thing has vitiligo.

  7. #7

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    Were working on a photo issue for this thread. I'm not sure why, but it deleted all the photos I posted originally and won't let me add them back.

    It's this waviness in trying to cure:

    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  8. #8


    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    88 LXi
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    4,983

    Re: Cowl Cover Rehab

    I got some stuff at work you might want to take a look at. Ill snap some pictures. I think its Delrin but it might be just 1010 Nylon. We use it for wear strip on machines and but it in 100' rolls. if its Delrin I can see painting it. if its Nylon it be easy to shape I would think.
    1988 Lxi owner since August 1995
    336k miles running strong!
    Now running E85.

    Oldblueaccord <<< MY YOUTUBE PAGE!

Similar Threads

  1. Cowl drainholes?
    By steveko in forum 3geez Accords
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-26-2010, 09:14 AM
  2. Project Custom Hood Cowl :)
    By Mike's89AccordLX in forum Interior & Exterior Care
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 09-18-2005, 08:56 PM
  3. interest in making or buying cowl hoods
    By sporkHSP in forum Classic Honda Community Chat
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-29-2004, 09:07 PM
  4. Removing cowl
    By Mantis88LX in forum 3geez Accords
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-15-2003, 04:42 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
     
VigLink badge