Cowl Cover Restoration:
With everything that I've done to restore the front clip of the car, the last thing I wanted was a nasty old faded cowl cover. No matter how much I cleaned it,
it still looked bad. I saw a YouTube video a couple of years ago that showed a person restoring the natural gloss on their plastic bumper by using a heat gun.
Essentially, the person used the heat gun to melt the oxidized face of the bumper. As soon as the plastic began to melt, he would pull away allowing the plastic to cool.
This would leave the natural texture intact, but would eliminate the powdery / chalky look of the plastic. I did this on the cowl panel, and it worked perfectly.
The first thing I did was clean it extremely well using dish soap and a tooth brush. When it was completely clean, I laid it down on the floor of my concrete garage.
I took the heat gun and went over the areas with general strokes until I could see it begin to change color. As soon as I saw the plastic starting to return to it's natural
color, I backed off. I did this over the entire area. If you stay in one area too long, you can either warp the plastic out of shape, or ruin the natural texture. You
can use this to your advantage however to re-shape the cowl panel if any part of it has warped over the years. I would recommend using the heat gun on the opposide side if you want to re-shape it.
After I was done, I painted the metal cowl mesh to ensure that that looked good as well. The underside was easy, I just used Duplicolor spray enamel and went over the area. For the
top, you don't want the paint on the plastic, so took a lint-free damn cloth, painted over the top (including the honey-comb) and then wiped the plastic part down, leaving only the metal mesh
having been painted. To paint the hood spring, I simply masked it off, painted it, and let it dry. You can then coat the cowl panel with your choice of plastic protectant (like Armor All, etc).
In the picture above, I had not yet painted the hood spring, or coated the plastic with Armor All. The color is what it should look like when done, without any dressing.