1962 to 1965 Mopar Web site logo, based on early '60's Mopar Logo

1962 to 1965 Mopar Rust Issues

Tips about finding and fixing rust on 1962 to 1965 Mopars

There are common areas where our 1962 to 1965 Mopars rust. The cowl to the left of the steering column and fresh air inlet grille is shaped so that dirt and debris are trapped there. It stays wet, i.e., a rust prone environment. There is a weep hole on the left under the fender but it is not very effective: the metal rusts under the dash in that location and rusts through the firewall. Pinholes are just a little hint of more rot you cannot see. Note that the location in the cowl where rust first shows up is maybe a little confusing to those who have not experienced it--to the front and below the left windshield wiper pivot arm hole. Both in the cowl and under the dash. Also, the drain flaps area on the right side of firewall and the right side behind the right fender. Most likely too is floorboard rust where the carpet has stayed wet, front and back. The trunk floor under the mat can be rusty if the trunk seal has leaked. Outside it is common to find rust at the lower rear part of both front fenders (back of the wheelwell), both right and left rocker panels and around both rear wheel openings. — MO (Steve Mick), 1964 Dodge

As to the rust prone or “trouble spots” on our early B body Mopars, Mo’s information pretty well covered the body. Still another most important place to inspect for rusting are the front frame rails from where they attach to the transmission cross member and forward. Also, check the area where the front shock towers are welded to the top of the frame rails. It is difficult to see with the upper control arm and wheel in the way but you’ll find a “cavity” there, which can fill with road dirt/debris even though there are drain openings at the corners. But with a flashlight and some effort you should be able to determine if these are clogged or not. A tell-tale sign I picked up on is if you find the U shaped channel that runs around the outer lip of the upper control arm is packed full of road dirt/debris, then more than likely so will be this “cavity.” As a matter of interest, the L side (cavity) on my car was fine...but the R side was packed solid and rusted through. All is repairable. It’s what keeps or puts our obscure Mopars on the road for all to admire!
      It is great that there are replacement patch panels available for our favorite Mopars. There is one major problem with the upper-left side cowl replacement panel currently available. The relief stamping in the panel for the windshield wiper arm and pivot is too small. It looks to be in correct location and will work, but the overall size of the relief, that is; length, depth and raised portion, is noticeably smaller and shallow compared to the corresponding right side. I guess with the amount of cutting, fitting and welding that will be done anyway, it will be no big deal to cut and graft the original relief into the repair panel in order to keep the L and R sides equal in size to each other. It is still easier to do that than to have to fabricate everything from scratch like what people had to do when no patch panels were available for these Mopars. — Dave B., 1964 Dodge

I repaired the cowl areas on my 1965 Plymouth Belvedere and it is a “bear.” to do. Check the underside above the steering column with a light. My repair required complete removal of the top cowl (windshield first) and fabricating patches and replacing the left upper and part of the lower cowl with patch panels from Kramer Automotive Specialties. After the welding I fiberglassed the entire lower cowl to waterproof and direct water to the drains. I also built up the bottom of the drains to flush them out with the lower edge of the opening (fiberglass). Lots of work but, only one time in my lifetime! —  Mike LeFevre

View Tom Over’s 1962 Dodge Polara 500 Cowl Repair page.

I fixed my 1962 Plymouth cowl, changed it and used stainless steel.

1962 Plymouth cowl repair 1962 Plymouth cowl repair

Do not give up, repairs will come to an end! — Knud holm, Denmark, 1962 Plymouth Sport Fury

Page Created January 13, 2011

Go back to the 1962 to 1965 Mopar Web Site Home Page.