Cowl Fix
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Following are photos of the cowl rattle fix on my RAV.  The plastic screw/clips on the battery cowl cover were removed and replaced #8 body panel screws anchored to a combination of Nylon Nuts and U Type Speed Nuts.  The nylon nuts press into the support members and body panels in the slots made for the the screw/clips (locations marked A)..  The  Speed Nuts slide over the slot in the large cowl cover and the top left mounting bracket (locations marked B).  Either use 5/16" flat washers under the body panel screws or trim the back off of the old plastic screw/clips and use the remaining portion as washers for the body panel screws.  Note that 3/4" self adhesive foam insulation tape has been applied to all locations on cross members and body panels contacted by cowl.  Also, the red plastic cover from the positive battery terminal has been removed.  I did not remove the rubber edge from the cowl panel, but instead applied a strip of 3/8" black foam to the windshield under the edge of the rubber strip to keep it from contacting the windshield.  On the larger cowl panel I slid a strip of felt between the rubber strip and the windshield.  Using the felt allowed me to just loosen the top cowl fasteners to slide it in rather than having to remove it completely as would have been the case to use the adhesive foam.

Locations of new fasteners for battery cover cowl section

A = Nylon Nut   B = U Type Speed Nut


Fastener specs

All made by Body-Tite Corp. and purchased at Pep Boys


Arrows show location of 3/8" foam tape installed on body and support members


Arrow shows 3/8" black foam tape installed on windshield.  

Rubber strip on cowl edge is centered on this foam tape when 

cowl is installed.


Nylon Nut installed in support member


U Type Speed Nut installed (on large cowl panel)



This is the infamous screw/clip - back view and with the 

screw part removed from the clip/washer


Back of the clip/washer with the clip portion trimmed off and a 

front view with the new body panel screw


Here's the cowl re-installed using 5/16" zinc washers under the body panel screws.  Looks tacky...


Here's one of the finished screws using the

 trimmed screw/clip in place of the washer.  

Much improved!


Here's a close up of the cowl edge showing the 

rubber strip (A) that presses on the windshield 

and the application of foam tape to the plastic 

edge inside the cowl (B)


Here's a full view of the cowl back showing the foam tape installed over the plastic edge.


Some owners have removed the rubber edge on the cowl panel that contacts the 

windshield and say that this has solved their rattle.  This has let to concern from others 

about the lack of a seal against  the windshield and where water running down the 

windshield is going to go when it runs under the cowl.  This is not an issue to be 

concerned about since there is a drain in the cowl panel that drains water into the engine 

compartment behind the battery anyway.  This is the drain hole in the battery cover cowl.