1970 C10: The Cowl Does Not Make the Truck
But it seems that it’s often overlooked, even by myself. I guess it makes sense, it’s covered and honestly pretty hard to see once the truck is all buttoned up. Unfortunately for me, as soon as I removed the outer cowl panel it became pretty obvious that there were problems that couldn’t be seen from outside of the truck. And it only got better after the area was media blasted, exposing large cancerous areas that couldn’t be ignored. So I did what I do best, tear into the truck even further. The outer cowl panel is held in by four 5/16″ body fasteners and a handful of #10 screws, the inner panel is the pain. It’s held in by countless spot welds, none of them easy to get to, and half of them would have been impossible if the dash hadn’t already been out. I’d pondered ways to get around pulling the inner cowl off, but none would have created a lasting result, it was obvious that the cowl had to come off. Previously I’d taken note of the hole pictured above, it was part of an aftermarket stereo installation, but I hadn’t immediately noticed the rust to the left of the picture since it would normally be covered by inner cowl panel. As I cut the top layer away, I unveiled even more rust, which just meant I had more work to do. I’m pretty sure at least the top metal is reproduced, but I opted to form my own patches and installed them in the same sequence as the factory. The drivers side also had rust in the same area, so it received the same treatment. Moving on from the inner portion of the cowl, the outer portion had it’s fair share of problems as well. In addition to the ruined lip from me removing the panel, there was ample rust hiding beneath where the heat box had been mounted. After some time spent on the shrinker/stretcher and Beverly shear, the drivers side was finished. Same story on the passenger side, except I had to form a new piece where the blower motor mounts. Once everything was welded up and smoothed out, I was finally able to put some primer down and seam seal it all. After giving the sealer time to dry, I coated the entire area in bedliner. Overall, I’m pleased with the way it turned out, even though it was not an area I anticipated spending this much time on. Now that the cowl is finished up, I think I might actually be close to done with the rust repair (spoiler: there’s still more I didn’t account for in the drip rails – look forward to that in another post). With an end in sight on the cab, I should be able to start fitting the front sheetmetal soon.