I got new wipers today. And since I was there to change them, I decided to take half an hour and do a cabin filter mod I was planning on doing for a month now. The idea is to stop the fumes and various other funky smells that come in cabin when standing still in city traffic.
Duration: 30 min
Cost: $5 (probably much less in the US)
Tools: phillips screwdriver (5 cowl bolts), flat-head screwdriver (lever to remove wiper arms), cutting blade (for the filter material), zip-ties (to fix the filter material to the grille)
Parts: filter material (for the kitchen aspirator, it says it filters odours, it's made for filtering odours - it's gotta work here too)
(click on images to enlarge)
1. Remove wiper blades & arms. This is pretty straight-forward: pull the little securing pin and lift the entire blade/arm. Remove both, of course.
Note the leafs and grawel here, just waiting to get sucked in and launched through the air ducts:
2. Remove 5 screws holding the cowl down. Remove the rubber thing that runs along the cowl from the engine side. No glue here, just pull it out. Then lift the cowl, and push it towards the windshield. You can't remove it from the ZJ without disconnecting the washer tube, so I just lifted it enough to clear the space needed.
3. On the passenger side, in the firewall, locate the "mighty grid" protecting the air intake for the cabin. Remove the 3 plastic pins holding the "mighty grid" (it's "mighty" because it couldn't filter anything smaller than an air-to-ground missile).
If I knew those darn pins are so stubborn to get out, I would have bought new pins and just cut the existing ones - unfortunately, saturday afternoon most stores are closed around here.
6. Take the said grid home, lay it on a piece of filter intended for kitchen aspirator, and cut it more or less along the grid. The filter costed some US$5 here, and there's enough material for 8-10 filters, maybe even more.
7. I didn't even have the zip-ties I wanted to use to fix the filter material to the grid (on the inside of the grid), so I used some insulating tape (for insulating wires) I had by hand. It's not pretty but it works. Will get zip-ties for the next filter change, though. I want that to look nice, although nobody would ever see it.
8. Return everything back the way it was (grille with filter to the firewall, cowl, cowl rubber, cowl bolts, wipers)
I did a 20-minute drive in town, and I didn't get the nasty smells or fumes I usually get. OK, the traffic wasn't as it's in the peak hours, but still - no funky smells entered. For the 30' job this was, I am happy with how it came out. The most difficult part here was to remove the wiper blades and to pry out the darn plastic pins. Next time I'll get new pins and the smalles zip-ties to put on the filter.
Well, that's it - off to have a beer now. Cheers!