Drivers Air Vent Refurbishment

Fresh Air Vent On The Driver’s Side


I was expecting to have a few bits for this as it looked completely ruined. The fire under the dash had melted the plastic casing around the cable and the cable would not move inside the metal cable itself. I managed to salvage the whole lot with no new parts at all. Result.


The fresh air on the driver’s side is a simple knob that you pull and opens a flap and lets the fresh air in from the cowl above and below the front windscreen. The mini fire has cause a lot of damage and this cable control didn’t get away with it.


The paint was original and I was expecting this to be a paint to remove. I unscrewed the cable clamp, wire clip and the fitting on the back and placed them in a prep solution to de-rust. The paint – I was right. Using the POR Strip I applied liberally over the paint and watched it bubble in some places and not others. I used a small scraper to tease the paint of the metal without marking it which took it’s time. With the first application done and scraped off (pic below), I re-applied the second dose of stripper and let it get to work.


The second coat removed the last stubborn sections of paint. I used a medium grade of wire wool to rub the surface clean of any remaining paint to get down to the bare metal. I sued the POR Prep & Ready for thirty mins on the rusted section of the vent. This brought the metal up nice and bright and treated. Plenty of water was used to rinse of the remaining solution and was thoroughly dried and left in the sun to bake dry.

While the vent body was drying I inspected the cable and found that the plastic was beyond help and melted. A sharp scalpel was used to cut along the length of the metal cable and pulled it off. The cable was still not going to move. So I got some Gibbs Brand and tiny amounts were squirted down the top of the mounting to allow the capillary action to soak down inside the metal casing. I repeated this a number of times throughout the time I was cleaning the vent body. I held the cable vertical to allow the gravity to aid in pulling the Gibbs down the cable. I got a pair of bib mole grips and clamped the knob end and tried to shock the cable into moving. It moved a fraction which was encouraging so I treated it with some more Gibbs. Working the tiny movement it gradually got more and more movement until it suddenly travelled the full distance of the movement. now I went berserk with the Gibbs and it freed up perfectly. With the cable now moving I used the white grease and squirted it at each end of the cable and worked it till it had gone and re-applied more. Now I could move the cable with my fingers without too much force at all which was a great result.


I used the POR Self Etching primer on the bare metal and allowed it to dry and set for a few days ready to be top coated.

Updated 6/4/2014

The Eastwood underhood black was used to give the stock look again. This came up pretty well and looks like a new part.


There isn’t to much to replace on this part. There is the fitting at the back, the loom holder on the front and there is the cable fitting. for the control knob. Three screws in total. The cable was the only thing that had to be lined up, so I put the cable to its most open position and most closed. There I could see what was the range of movement. The clamp was tightened up and its a job done.

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