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Swami

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About Swami

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  • Vehicle owned
    2000 Ford Contour SVT
  1. Ok folks here are some before and after photos. Two caveats: 1. The car has been sitting uncovered all winter and is in serious need of a wash and wax. Do not rag on me, please! 2. The bright sun makes photographing from outside the car very difficult. BEFORE: Vent and sliced front dash piece in good shape. Unsightly decay. From another angle. Inside the Bonzai Pipeline. Froggie sez "Hi!" Shooting the curl. Another outisde shot. Buttoned down... and ready for a night on the town. Decided to leave the rivet look. Froggie calls it the ribbit look. From outside. Installed new white HID fog lights. OK, ALREADY WILL WASH IT TOMORROW!
  2. Have you ever seen Frankenstein?
  3. Had to cut the front strip in half as I had originally planned as it had shrunk over an inch lengthwise. Covered with gorilla glue and jammed in some cardboard to keep flat.I filled the center 1" gap (for now) with a few pieces of navy blue outdoor carpet scraps. Was able to tighten the front strip down another 1/4" this morning. I'll redo in another week or so as it continues to settle in. Just afraid of stripping the heads or the threads so must be very patient. Got some black 11" tie wraps, bent in half then fed down into the sheet metal gaps and back through. Used 6. Tried a double tie wrap as an extension for the center, but it got hung up when I tried to tighten so had to cut it out. Pulled each one somewhat tighter and repeated sequentially until they were as tight as I could get them then used angled cutters to trim flush. The ends of the vent stick up somewhat, but it will not move or rattle. It is essentially finished except for the side slits. I want to think about the best way to fill them. Conclusion: Would I recommend this for anyone else? Not if you want a super clean ride you can be proud of. If you are short on funds and are not overly concernd on appearance or need vent functionality then go for it. If funds come in later, one could still do it the right way. Total cost: under $40 (mostly tools). Looks before: 3 out of 10. (1 or 2 would include major cracking/discoloration) Looks after: 6 out of 10. Functionality before: 2 out of 10. (defrost vent was useless and curl blocked some visibility.) Functionality after: 9 out of 10. (defrost vent works just fine and visibility is way improved) Am I happy I did this? YES! This has looked like crap for many years. It certainly IS noticable unlike my earlier post where I stated it would be nearly invisible. If I get at least two requests, I will post pics otherwise not going to bother.
  4. Had to swap the screws for #6 X 1.5". Put in the ten sheetmetal screws and washers. The angle, even with the cable offset, was extremely sharp - maybe 40 degrees. Got the curl from 5" down to maybe 3/4". Hopefully I can tighten them up a bit once a week or so as the dashboard settles to get it down to 1/4 to 1/2". Wht not flat? The extreme angle and pressure and the ease of stripping the screw heads. The remaining hump means I am going to have trouble ftiing the vent back in so that it doesn't look like crap. Doesn't look bad and I might leave them bright silver instead of painting. At least it is unique! This morning I will glue the front piece.
  5. Not sure if anyone is here in this ghost town, but I took the plunge today after living with this eyesore for about 6-7 years. I took some lousy before pics (bright sun and glare off of a dirty windhsield) and will upload later if there is any interest, I found the vent piece in the shed and it is in perfect condition. I cut the front strip horizontally on the ends with a box cutter. Did not need to do a center cut. It came out clean. Didn't even need to pry it up such was the quality glue Ford used. I lightly scuff-sanded the bottom for a little grip later. The vinyl itself is uncracked and in fine condition which is amazing with all the desert sun it takes, I washed both pieces, put on vinyl protectant and put them aside. I measured the huge front curl (surf's up!) at 5" high from where it should lay. I cut up a bunch of boxes and made wedges out of them and using the windshield, jammed the curl as flat as I could get it. Then I ran the length with a hair dryer on the highest setting; rewedged to get it tighter, then gave another heat treatment in the hope that the vinyl will loosen a bit. As that was setting, I drove to the hardware store and picked up a dozen #8 X 1" sheet metal screws and matching finish washers, some Gorilla glue, a 1/8" impact drill bit with 1/4" drive, and the key to this whole operation, a 1/4" Kobalt 11 piece flexible screwdriver kit. I only need the flexi part for this project, but it was all they had. Cost was around $35. This is as far I got so far today. What's Next - Part II The flexible shaft will allow me to drill about 10 holes in the vinyl and into the vent mounting sheetmetal. Lining the holes up will be a bitch because with the cardboard in place I cannot see anything and with it out of place the dash will recurl. I am going to start on one end so may be able to remove just enough of the wedge to see what I am doing. Will use a straight pin as a tool to pierce the dash to make sure I am hitting metal beneath. Just because I am going ghetto doesn't mean I want it to look sloppy. Not sure if I will have to fabricate a special applicating tool for the glue or not. Perhaps just a popsicle stick will suffice. Once I secure the wave, the cut front section which is supple and without curl should be fairly easy to glue in. No screws and no room anyway. If I have done a good job the vent should just push in. If not I may use another's trick of using a few black plastic tie wraps to secure to the the vent grill. To finish, I may just use black fingernail polish on the screw heads and washers. I will probably epoxy the slits and then sand and touch up with vinyl paint. If all goes according to plan, I bet only a fellow TourHead would even notice the repair.
  6. Correction to my original post. There would be a 2" vertical center cut and two each 5-6" horizontal cuts on the sides. Just want it to lay flat so I can have better visibility and so that it looks OK from a distance. Right now it is awful and brings down the whole car. I am waiting fro some sample swatches on dash covering material. If it looks too cheap, I will try my method and document the whole process.
  7. Doesn't that require pulling the dash? Not gonna go through that mess.
  8. Original owner of a 45,000 mile 2000 black Contour SVT. I live in Vegas and have the worst dash curl ever. You could surf down that thing. Read every single web page I could find on this defect and have looked at this a dozen ways. Not gonna rip out the dash to replace or repair it. Cannot just re-glue as the part closest to the windshield has retracted 3-4" and the lift on the side of the missing vent facing the driver is about 4" high. So am going to either cut off the dead flesh and hide with a carpet or velour dash cover. or May just cut the front strip cloeset to the windshield on both sides and in the center. Remove and clean up any old glue/dirt/rust under there. I should be then able to easily glue the strip in two pieces without any pulling pressure. After letting that set for a day I should have enough room to lay down some glue (Gorilla or epoxy?) and will probably use a 4-5" X 5' foot styrofoam pool noodle jammed under the windshield t provide pressure. Once that sets solid I can reglue the vent and trim if necessary. If this comes out as I picture it, it will have 3 small 2" Frankenstein scars. May just hide with some Navy blue tape. I am on a strict budget and have lived with this a long time so almost anything will be an improvement. The rest of my car is nearly stock and in impeccable mechanical condition. Would like to keep her another 5-8 years. Thoughts? (Please stay within my limitations.)
  9. Welcome to the forums Swami :)

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