Thursday, November 18, 2010

Engine Cowl Dome

My van is missing its original engine cowl. I have to have a new one made, which isn't really a problem, except the little dome that's on the top of it. That's not a common thing. A couple weeks ago "Kim" of Kim's Van fame emailed a photo of his early J Van engine cowl complete with dome. However, because it was from a RHD vehicle it was not like the one I was familiar with from "Duncan". I told Kim that I was interested in his part, but that I wanted the dome only; that I would waste the rest. He decided against sending it to me, and I respect his decision. That of course left me with the problem I have had for two years now -- where to get a dome piece from.

About 15 minutes from my house is a shop that I've passed maybe 2000 times in my car, but never paid any attention too. Called AMS, it's a metal spinning shop. In any event, I took my part needs there and, to my great surprise, they were happy to help me out. It's a family run business and their surname is "English". They showed me the whole shop and we commenced a search for a pattern similar to the one used in the dome on a early J van. We didn't find one that was exactly the same, but close enough. In fact, I like the shape of the one they did for me more. I picked it up today and it looks awesome. The guy who helped me is named Allan. He told me that his company has made parts for the International Space Station. I thought to tell him that he can now tell prospective customers that his company has also made parts for the last remaining J Van in North America. In time I will have the new dome included into thee fabrication of a new engine cowl. This weekend I'm taking the engine out to Aaron's shop, and tomorrow I'm getting more parts from Austin.

No comments: