Relocating cowl-vent lever


Sharpest Tool
Aug 27, 2010
Colorado Springs, CO
First Name
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I just got a Danhard universal heater to install into my wagon and the obvious choice for location is to mount it to the bottom edge of the dash. However, this means removing the lever for the cowl-vent. I use that vent all the time and would like to continue doing so. Any suggestions on rigging something up so I can move the lever to the left and have it still operate the vent?
On our '65 wagon, the amount of force required to push/pull the lever to open and close the flap is considerable. So... I expect it will be a bit tricky to re-engineer (fabricate) a different control setup.

Here's an idea: If there will be any room between the top of the heater and the bottom of the dash, you might be able to attach a new lever (with some mechanical advantage) sideways to the existing lever. If there is space, the new lever would be "L" shaped and have its fulcrum near the lower edge of the dash. A "U" shaped rod might connect the new lever with the original handle. You would push the new lever toward one side and back again to control your original handle under there.

Here's another idea: If you could find a strong Bouden cable (Sp?) similar to the handbrake setup, you could spring load the original handle to close automatically and open using the cable pointing toward the firewall. Perhaps the cable could be routed to the passenger side near the base of the A pillar...


Kyle, the one aftermarket item in my wagon is the heater. Mounting it in the logical under dash area was not an option due to the lever. Instead, I built some braces out of 1" aluminum square tubing, under the glove box area from the firewall and kick panel. The glove "box" itself wasn't / isn't there, so that made it even easier. Consider something like this to make life easy and not affect the vehicle.
Thanks guys, I'd really prefer to have it centered under the dash for a couple of reasons but I like Pavel's suggestion of cables. I hadn't thought of that. I'll give it a good look as well as just making up some kind of new mechanism (the wife just gave me a new welder for my B-day and this might be a good first project.) But I really like the cable idea. ...May have to go with that one.