Cowl cover / corners fastener alternative - Mondeo, Contour Donor

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DPDISXR4Ti
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Cowl cover / corners fastener alternative - Mondeo, Contour Donor

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

Aside from the fact that the cowl corners break if you look at them wrong, the worst part about these parts is the plastic fasteners, specifically, the plastic screw that often breaks. I've been trying to come up with an alternative solution, and here's what I've found...

The cowl cover for the '95+ Mondeo / Contour / Mystique / Cougar uses a somewhat similar setup, but with metal screws. The Contour screws have too much un-threaded section so won't work for us (even shortened), but #10 stainless steel wood screws (available in various lengths at Ace Hardware), have the exact same head size. As a result, the plastic screw caps from the Contour will snap on. These caps are just a little bit larger than the original ones however. As a result, in some places (cowl corners) they fit fine, but for some of the fittings on the big center piece they may need a bit of filing on the O.D. to clear the indents. I found the clearance was only needed on two sides, so you end up making the cover a bit egg-shaped. Of course, then it needs to be oriented properly when snapping into place.

The other part that may be of value from the Contour is the speed nut portion (i.e. what the screw gets screwed into). These are longer than the original speed nuts but work fine on the inner four locations that have deeper recesses in the body. For the outer locations you can use the original speed nuts or try to shorten the long ones from the Contour. Question in that regard.... Were the original speed nuts for the cowl corner locations smaller and shorter? The rectangular opening is smaller than all the others, with less depth available, so I assume so. I had to "re-engineer" a couple of the older ones as I didn't have any originals that were smaller.

Other notes... Because the SS wood screws have a beveled seat you need to counter-sink the speed nuts a bit, else the screw-heads will bottom out and sit up a bit too high. Perhaps there exists commercially a screw with a head similar to the original one on the Contour that is the correct lengths we need (I think I used 1/2", 3/4" and 1").

As an alternative, you could skip the screw covers entirely and just leave the SS screws exposed, or possibly find some of those black SS screws - maybe some pancake-head ones that would fill roughly the space that the covers do. If you had enough of the original speed nuts you could go this route and not bother with searching for Contour donors in the junkyard.
Brad
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DPDISXR4Ti
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Re: Cowl cover / corners fastener alternative - Mondeo, Contour Donor

Post by DPDISXR4Ti »

DPDISXR4Ti wrote: Sun May 22, 2022 11:45 am As an alternative, you could skip the screw covers entirely and just leave the SS screws exposed, or possibly find some of those black SS screws - maybe some pancake-head ones that would fill roughly the space that the covers do. If you had enough of the original speed nuts you could go this route and not bother with searching for Contour donors in the junkyard.
Something like this, except so far I'm only finding them in longer lengths. Only needs to be about 1" or less and fully threaded.

Image
Brad
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