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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 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:14 pm

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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1997 855 GLT (Light Pressure Turbo) still going strong. Previous: 1986 240 GL rusted out in '06, 1985 Saab 900T rusted out in '95, 1975 Saab 99 rusted out in '95, 1973 Saab 99 rusted out in '94

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

Post by abscate » Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:53 pm

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 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:27 pm

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.
Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.
Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by abscate » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:37 am

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 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:01 am

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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2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
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Re: Advice sought on how to flatten a bowed plastic cowl

Post by abscate » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:19 am

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 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:20 am

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 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:41 am

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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jreed
Platform: P80 1998 C70, B5234T3, 16T, AW50-42, Bosch Motronic 4.4, Special Edition package, Plant: Uddevalla Sweden.
Platform: X40 (Nedcar) 2003 S40, B4204T3, 14T twin scroll AW55-50/51SN, Siemens EMS 2000. Plant: Born Netherlands.
Platform P2 2005 XC90 T6 Executive, B6294T, 4T65 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0, Plant Torslanda Sweden.
Platform P2 2004 S60R, B2524T4, AW50/51 AWD, Bosch Motronic 7.0, BorgWarner K24 turbocharger, Plant Ghent Belgium.

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

Post by scot850 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 12:43 pm

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
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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