These details are nothing large, but I guess the human eye picks up imperfections one may not be usually aware of. For example:
|So what exactly does this rubber trim do? Is it needed?
|On this side too!
When I inquired at Nissan Prince, I was told that I would have to replace the entire cowl in order to replace the rubber trim. So, I went ahead and ordered because it was a way to freshen up both aspects at the same time.
There was also this:
|Windshield wiper arms showing wear and tear...
Anyway, since the wiper arms need to be removed in order to replace the cowl, it was only natural that, given the above thinking, I decided to go ahead and order some brand new wiper arms as well.
So it took a few weeks, but then I got the call so I went to Nissan Prince to pick up the parts:
After squeezing the cowl into the back seat (somewhat diagonally) I drove home and then life got so busy I wasn't able to work on replacing the parts...
Finally a few weeks ago (right before a business trip to Chicago) I decided to do the job, just in case the plane went down. Didn't want to die with unfinished business, right?
|First, remove the wiper arms. Begin by removing cap with small flat tip screwdriver (yellow arrow);
See how the faded paint detracts from the overall appearance? (red arrow)
|Then use a proper socket wrench (12mm I think).
|Next, remove this soft rubber trim piece by pulling the plastic "screws" out of the sockets
|I'm now thinking, this is pretty easy...
|The dust on the right, I expected. That rust, I did not!
|So you can see how the rust isn't just in one location...
|That dust is from all over Japan!
|Not finished but you get the idea...
Normally, I would choose the third option - put all the old pieces back on, and then take the car to a body shop. But with funds tight and an upcoming "shaken" (bi-annual road inspection/tax) coming up, I decided the better thing to do would be to go to a body shop sometime in the future to take care of not only this, but some other issues I've spotted, all at once. So for the time being, I would have to deal with just this section of rust - long time readers will know I've dealt with rust on the car before - I just would prefer to let a pro handle it, of course.
Also, the cowl itself now looked like this, so re-assembly with the old pieces was probably not the smart option anyway:
|Uh, this is not going to go back on well...
And used #400 grit sand paper to begin manually removing paint and rust. I soon discovered however that the rust wasn't as easy to remove as I thought, as well as under paint that didn't show bubbling.
|You can also see the old under hood insulation which was
beginning to separate in some places - see how it looks puffy?
|Luckily I had an unopened can of spray primer
|Three thin coats of primer later (several hours to dry in between, of course)
|New versus old
|Supple is the word!
And then I began to prep the new parts by spraying down with Aerospace 303 and letting it soak in:
|The underside, which won't see daylight again until it's removed.
|And the topside, which will!
I then attached the rubber piece to the front of the cowl, which helps to secure it better (as otherwise only 4 plastic clips are holding it on).
And then I just swapped out the old wipers for new, transferring the blades over.
|If you are curious you can make out the parts numbers...(28886-15U00 and 28881-15U00)
Then I just bolted the wipers back on, put on the plastic caps which cover the bolts, and I was done!
Speaking of parts numbers, here are the others for completeness sake:
So what's next? Luckily, there are no other places with that level of rust. However Japan being a humid place, plus because I like to wash the car, I guess I will have to be careful going forward. That being said, there is some bodywork I'm still thinking about, so maybe at that time I can get this under cowl area redone professionally.
In any case, the car looks like this now:
|Ahhh Yeah! Perfect!