Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Driver's Side Vent Repair - Barracuda

The vents in these older A-body cars leave a little to be desired in terms of aesthetics. They are a simple door with a latch, and you reach under the dash and rotate the latch then pull the door open. My Sport Fury on the other hand has tastefully-done small chrome-handled cable pulls right under the steering wheel that you pull to open, and both can be opened from the drivers seat.

Back to the 'Cuda's vents though. The driver's side vent door was broken off and the opening had been taped up with duct tape. When I finally pulled it out, I noticed someone had also stuffed burlap into the hole to help keep drafts down.

Fortunately my brother had acquired a replacement vent assembly, so it was just a matter of swapping the two vent assemblies.

Almost. The replacement's door had one broken hinge that needed to be repaired first. You might also notice that there's a hole to the left of the broken hinge, next to the silver tape. That shouldn't be there. More on that later though.

I didn't quite know how to repair the sheetmetal hinge but thought I'd just try my small Lincoln wire-feed welder. It's chart says it can weld 18 or 20 gauge metal. And it just happened to work very well.

Next step is to plug the large hole in the bottom of the fiber box. I cut a short length of rubber tubing that would be sandwiched between the box and a washer.

It was at this point though that I pulled the broken vent out of the car and discovered it was in better shape than the replacement. The good vent is on the right, the vent with the hole is on the left. The foam rubber gasket was even in better shape on the good vent that had come out of the car.

Hmm. Ok, new game plan. Drill out the rivets holding the door onto the broken vent and pop-rivet the door to the good vent. Here's the finished product. Oh yeah!

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