1994-2004 Mustang Cowl Replacement Guide

1994-2004 Mustang Cowl Replacement Guide

Last Updated April 17, 2024 | Bill Tumas

If your 94'-04' Mustang's cowl hood has become worn and faded over the years, removing the old cowl panel on your Mustang and installing an aftermarket replacement cowl can breathe new life into the exterior of your SN95 Mustang. A new cowl can also better protect your Mustang's exterior from damage and extend the longevity of your SN95's hood, wipers, and windshield.

We'll walk you through how to remove your old or damaged cowl and install a new 94'-04' Mustang cowl. The installation is easy, even for a beginner, and should take less than an hour. Follow our step-by-step instructions to improve the aesthetics and functionality of your SN95's front end.

1994-2004 Mustang Cowl Replacement Instructions

Besides a new Mustang cowl, the only supplies you'll need are a plastic pry bar and a small phillips head screwdriver. Some general cleaning supplies may also be useful since you'll have access to the bottom part of your Mustang's windshield that's normally covered.

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Step 1: Remove Wiper Blades

Pull up on the wiper blade so it's in the upright position. Remove the small pin connecting the wiper blade to the attachment stand. Pull up on the base of the wiper blade to remove it from your SN95 Mustang's cowl.

Mechanic removing wipers from an SN95 Mustang

Step 2: Remove Hood-to-Cowl Seal

Open your Mustang's hood for easy access to the cowl area. Pull up on the corner of the hood-to-cowl seal at the base of the factory cowl. Pull the seal all the way across the cowl until it is completely removed.

Mechanic removing SN95 Mustang cowl seal

Step 3: Remove Factory Retaining Screws

Unscrew the three plastic retaining screws at the base of the cowl. One is located on the far left, one in the center, and one on the far right of the cowl.

Mechanic removing cowl retaining screws on an SN95 Mustang

Pro Tip: Don't lower your hood all the way. Place a small object between the hood and the grille and close it most of the way. A slightly open hood will make the next few steps easier.

Step 4: Remove Factory Cowl

Pull up on the factory cowl with two hands and pop out the trim clips to remove the cowl. If you're having trouble removing it by hand, a plastic pry bar may help. As you remove the cowl, pull down on the washer hose nozzle to disconnect it from the factory cowl.

Mechanic removing the cowl on an SN95 Mustang

Step 5: Remove Washer Hose Assembly

Twist off the washer tube assembly by hand from the old cowl. Next snap out the sprayers from the old cowl by pushing on the top of the clip holding the assembly in place. Attach both the tube and sprayer nozzles in the same location on the new cowl. Use the clips on the inside of the cowl to reattach the washer fluid tube.

Mechanic removing the washer nozzle from an SN95 Mustang cowl

Step 6: Clean Windshield Under the Cowl

With your Mustang's cowl removed, it's a good idea to take the opportunity to use a rag and some glass cleaner to clean the base of the windshield that's normally covered. This will help prevent a buildup of residue and corrosion.

Mechanic cleaning the glass under an SN95 Mustang cowl

Step 7: Install New Cowl

Take your new Mustang cowl and place it over the wiper stands. Connect the washer nozzle to the port at the base of the hood. Line up the cowl making sure the ends are underneath the pillars on either side. Using two hands, push the trim clips into place and slide your hands down the length of the cowl until all clips are connected.

Mechanic installing a new cowl on an SN95 Mustang

Step 8: Reinstall Retainer Screws

At the base of the hood, reinstall the three plastic retainer screws to hold the cowl in place. Insert the screws by hand and tighten them with a screwdriver.

Mechanic reinstalling cowl retainer screws on an SN95 Mustang

Pro Tip: If your retaining screws need replacing, check out our options for cowl vent cover retainer kits.

Step 9: Reinstall Cowl Seal

Grab the rubber cowl seal and reinstall it by pushing it into the space between the retaining wall and the hood cowl. Slide your hand along the length to make sure the seal is seated properly.

Mechanic reinstalling cowl seal on an SN95 Mustang

Step 10: Reinstall Wiper Blades

Drop the wiper blades back onto the connection points they were removed from. Push down to pop them into place.

Make sure when the blades are down, they roughly align with the tint on the bottom of the window. If the wiper blades are misaligned, detach them and reposition.

Mechanic reinstalling wiper blades on an SN95 Mustang

Pro Tip: The longer wiper blade will be on the passenger side, with the shorter blade connecting to the driver's side.

Take On Your Next SN95 Mustang Project

With a new cowl installed, your SN95 Mustang will be better protected from the elements, while having a factory-fresh look. Match the quality of your new cowl by keeping the rest of your SN95 Mustang's exterior in good condition. We have all the tools you need to restore your SN95 Mustang to its factory appearance along with guides and tutorials to make sure you get the job done right.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.