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Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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jreed
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Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by jreed »

The plastic cowl cover on our '97 850 started to bow a few years ago. I added a little hold down made out of a cable tie, which worked pretty well for a while. But now the plastic is bowing again. Has anybody else observed this problem? What have you done to fix it? Thanks.
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by abscate »

What’s under there😳?

Can I send you a spare somehow?
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by RickHaleParker »

I would use a Heat gun to soften it up then reform it. A hair blow dryer should do the trick if you do not have a heat gun.

Wait what am I saying? .... a hair blow dryer is a heat gun.
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by abscate »

Is that just bowing under the tension of the zip tie? It looks too tight.

It should take another screw holding it down through the boss up top

If the plastic underneath is broken, build up with JB Weld, still a pilot hole, and replace screw
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by scot850 »

The other option is to find a better replacement at a junkyard. The plastic is close to 25 years old so likely to suffer from age issues like myself! I think a combo of what Rick and Steve have suggested can work using self threading bolts/screws with large washers, drilling a couple of holes and first heating the plastic before putting the screws in.

If your car is otherwise still in very good condition and you want to keep it that way, then a better used example is the way to go. You may have to find one from a more northerly state where year round temperatures are lower so the plastic may still be more supple.

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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by abscate »

Argh , you need the -1997 draining channel

9151056 NLA new

Stick a request in the junkyard request sticky in CLASSIFIEDS


1998- on won’t work, different part number,

9127584

that one is still available
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by bmdubya1198 »

The heat gun idea is a good start, see if you can get it nice and warm and try to flatten it out. Then, use the correct screw in that spot to bolt it down. Looks like it's broken, so some JB Weld and a washer might be a good way to fix that.

Otherwise if all else fails, that's a good thing to grab at the junkyard. I might even have one somewhere.
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by RickHaleParker »

scot850 wrote: Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:01 am I think a combo of what Rick and Steve have suggested can work using self threading bolts/screws with large washers, drilling a couple of holes and first heating the plastic before putting the screws in.
Soften it up just a little then clamp a straight edge along the straight edge of the plastic, let it cool in a new form. Might need to heat the rest when the edge is clamped down for tension relief .
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by scot850 »

Excellent addition, wish I had thought of that, and the further suggestion of a little more heat once clamped to reduce the natural plastic will to bend is also excellent.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
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1993 850 GLT -Sold
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