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Unread 02-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #1
Graffxman
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1976 CJ7 
 
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Cowl Seal replacement with pics...

After a recent rain, I decided to replace my cowl seal and try to reduce the leaking through the dash of my CJ. I am not a mechanic of any sort, but I'm not afraid to try. ( I was the kid who liked to take stuff apart, and only sometimes got it back together. Even then, there were always spare parts laying around....)

Also, I enjoy reading a lot of the build threads here, so I thought I'd try to take pics and do a small "beginner" thread of my own.

First pics are the existing seal. Notice how it is dry rotted and pulled away from the bottom of the windshield.

cowl-seal-003.jpg
cowl-seal-004.jpg

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Unread 02-09-2011, 09:50 AM   #2
Graffxman
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First step was to lower the windshield. Had the hard top on, so I had to lift it a couple of inches so the windshield would fold forward.
cowl-seal-006.jpg

The cowl seal is attached with 8 or 9 little screws. They come out easily, then the seal can be removed.

cowl-seal-009.jpg

Here is where the job slowed down. Had quite a bit of rust, though not too deep. I couldn't make myself install the new one over the rust, so I decided to grind it off.

cowl-seal-010.jpg
cowl-seal-012.jpg
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Unread 02-09-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
Graffxman
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I don't have a lot of tools, so a power drill with a grinding pad was the item of choice. Actually worked quite well. Had to take off the windshield mounts (2 bolts each), but nothing difficult there. After grinding away the rust, I cleaned the area, masked it off, and sprayed with primer/filler. I'm not worried about paint yet, as I plan on a complete repaint sometime this spring.
This is also where I didn't stop to take a lot of pics. The "befores" are in the previous post, the "afters" are here.

cowl-seal-022.jpg
cowl-seal-023.jpg
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Unread 02-09-2011, 10:03 AM   #4
Graffxman
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Also shown in the pics above are the new cowl seal and the Permaflex #2 NON-HARDENING gasket stuff. I put a bead of it across, then mounted the seal onto the windshield frame with all the screws that came out of it.

Everything wen't together smoothly. Reinstalled the windshield brackets and folded it back verticle.

Here's where it got a little interesting.

The new seal was such a tight fit that the windshield wouldn't go back to it's original position. It was short of meeting the hardtop by about 2". No amount of my 200 lbs. could convince it to budge.

Stepped back, gave it some thought, and came with the solution.....I unhooked my top all the way around, then lifted it and slid it forward the 2" to the top of the windshield. With that extra weight, I was then able to push on the top and get it all to slide back to where it was supposed to be.

Put my windshield knobs back on to torque it down, reattached all my hardtop bolts, and bing-bam-boom---I'm done!

Here's the final product:

cowl-seal-024.jpg

cowl-seal-025.jpg

It actually rained a couple of days after this and the leaks were gone!! I love it when a plan comes together......
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Unread 02-09-2011, 10:14 AM   #5
RjTack
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Graffxman, It's nice not having that water running down the dash when it rains, huh? One thing tho, Primer is porous and WILL let moisture and air through to rust your cleaned up frame. You really should put some paint on there so you don't have to repeat your work when you paint.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 10:18 AM   #6
Graffxman
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Guess I have a project for this weekend....outstanding!!
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Unread 02-09-2011, 10:21 AM   #7
RjTack
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I found out the hard way...sanblasted my whole tub..rattle can primer..covered it in plastic, but it had to sit outside. Of course it rained....there was new surface rust all over it!
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Unread 02-09-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
MoC
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Unread 02-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
waterdowg
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Good idea with using the top to put the windshield back in place.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
Graffxman
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Other option was a ratchet tie-down strap from the top corners of the windshield to the roll bar and tighten them down a little at a time, as evenly as I could. Fortunately, the top worked.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
FamousJerry
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Where did you get your cowl seal? i got one and its no where near the correct one. Got mine from 4wd Hardware and its been a bag of frustration from the first time i tried to put it on.
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Unread 07-18-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
70worm
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Same here jerry it's alittle too long, doesn't lay flat on the windshield frame, and takes a tube of chalk to keep it from leak. My original one was tight to the frame and made of something other than rubber.
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