Malibu Monday: Customizing the Malibu’s Cowl Panel

In the spirit of customizing their 1965 Malibu SS, the crew of The Build have put a lot of extra time and work into their classic Chevy build project. On this week’s episode of The Build, Sr. Claims Specialist Rick Drewry and his crew are at it again, this time opting to customize the cowl panel that sits right against the Malibu’s front windshield. Check out the process in the video above.

While the cowl panel may not seem like an obvious thing to customize, Drewry had the idea in mind to eliminate the holes for the windshield wipers in the panel since the Malibu will not be running wipers of any kind. (Maybe the crew never intends to get stuck in the rain?) To do this, Drewry cut the holes for the wipers out of the new cowl panel and used the old damaged panel as a donor to cut more factory cowl slats from. He then welded them into the holes left by the removal of the windshield wiper mounts on the new panel.

With the factory cowl panel slats being punched with a very particular spacing, it was important for Drewry to get the donor slats to line up within the new cowl panel perfectly, so he took some extra time to make sure everything was positioned correctly.

Once the replacement slats were clamped in exactly the right place, Drewry was able to weld them into place, finishing off the process by grinding down the welds.

With a little bit of body filler in the future, you shouldn’t be able to tell that the windshield wiper-delete of sorts was not factory original.

Be sure to check back next week to see what else the American Modern crew is working on!

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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